Blessing and Betrothal: Jacob Deceives and Is Deceived (26:34–29:30)

Thomas L. Brodie

in Genesis as Dialogue

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780195138368
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834037 | DOI:
 								Blessing and Betrothal: Jacob Deceives and Is Deceived (26:34–29:30)

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The diptych of Jacob's youth centers around blessing (Genesis 26:34–27:45) and betrothal (27:46–29:30). The two are related: blessing bestows vitality and so strengthens betrothal/marriage. There are many complementarities between the two parts of the text. Jacob substitutes himself for his older brother to gain his father's blessing (26:34–27:45), but at his own betrothal/marriage his father‐in‐law substitutes the older sister for the younger, Rachel (27:46–29:30). The link between blessing and marriage is first suggested at creation (God blesses the humans and then tells them to be fruitful and multiply; 1:28; cf. 1:22), and Jacob's early struggles with Esau have echoes of the primordial struggles of humankind around blessing and curse (Genesis 1:1–4:16). As in Genesis 24, Rebekah has a double role: she is the wife of Isaac, but she is involved in the primordial effort to achieve blessing.

Keywords: betrothal; curse; Esau; Genesis; Isaac's blessing; Jacob; marriage; primordial struggle; Rachel; Rebekah

Chapter.  5595 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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