Friday, May 30, 2014

15. Genesis 37-38 (Sibling Issues: Joseph, Tamar)

Still running behind!  Here is Wednesday's post, Genesis 37-38:
  • Family Lessons: I think most of us recognize several problems here. First, Joseph is immature and shouldn't talk about the concubines of his father. Second, Jacob shouldn't show favoritism to his children. Note also the sense of being a stranger in a foreign land that adds to the Bible's value to help the stranger in the land.
  • Don't Gloat: Again, Joseph is immature. Don't tell your brothers you're going to rule over them. Let time show them.
  • Older folk are wiser: Note that the older Jacob, as well as the older sons Reuben and Judah, are wiser about killing Joseph than the others.
  • Line of Christ: Tamar is in the line of Christ, as she is an ancestor of King David. The women in Jesus' genealogy seem to foreshadow the inclusion of the Gentiles into the people of God.
  • Don't blame the woman: Genesis 38 makes it clear that it is not Tamar who is to blame for the deaths of Er and Onan. It is because they were immoral. (P.S. Onan has nothing to do with Onanism.)
  • Levirite marriage: Even this early, it was cultural to practice Levirite marriage (really Levirite sex here), where it was the duty of younger brothers to "help" the wife of a deceased older brother have a male heir. See Deuteronomy 25:5-10.
  • Tamar wins: Judah sleeps with her, thinking she is a prostitute. Apparently it was okay for the man to go to a prostitute but not okay for someone in the family to be a prostitute.
Previous notes:
1. Genesis 1:1-2:3 (Creation)
2. Genesis 2:4-3:24 (The Fall)
3. Genesis 4-5 (Cain and Abel)
4. Genesis 6-9 (The Flood)
5. Genesis 10-11 (The Tower of Babel)
6. Genesis 12 (The Call of Abram)
7. Genesis 13-14 (Melchizedek)
8. Genesis 15-17 (Hagar and Ishmael)
9. Genesis 18-19 (Sodom and Gomorrah)
10. Genesis 20-22 (Abraham and Isaac)
11. Genesis 23-24 (Isaac and Rebekah)
12. Genesis 25-26 (Birth of Jacob and Esau)
13. Genesis 27:1-30:24 (Jacob's Trickery, Flight, and Children)
14. Genesis 30:25-36:43 (Jacob's Departure from Haran)

Next post next Friday on Genesis 39:1-47:26.

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