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In the WildernessThe Doctrine of Defilement in the Book of Numbers$
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Mary Douglas

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245413.001.0001

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Jacob's Prophecies: Two Story Rungs

Jacob's Prophecies: Two Story Rungs

(p.185) Chapter 10 Jacob's Prophecies: Two Story Rungs
In the Wilderness

Mary Douglas

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses literary structure and focuses on two story rungs. The diagram of the sons of Jacob standing around the tabernacle records the historical effect of his curses, reflected in their positions. One should notice that though the curses of their father were effective and though the descendants of the cursed sons were destroyed, the curses were implemented by the military power of enemies, not by Jacob's other sons. This interpretation is strengthened by the exploits of the sons of Jacob in the story rungs. As the law rungs formed a structural unit, so the four story rungs can be taken as a quatrain, with four themes. The two parts of the first rung are connected by the theme of gifts to the Lord and from the Lord. The promise about the cloud for their guidance for all their settings out has been fulfilled, as have all the other promises.

Keywords:   literary structure, story rungs, sons of Jacob, curses, quatrain, gifts, Lord

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