Chiastic Structure in Genesis

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Bobcat
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Chiastic Structure in Genesis

#1 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

[Under Construction]

Gathering resources related to chiastic structure in Genesis:

Creation Narrative (Gen 1 & 2): Here.

The Rebellion Narrative (Gen 3:1-24): Here

Flood Narrative (Gen 6-9): Here.

Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9): Here,

The Abraham narrative (Gen 11:27-25:12): Here

The Jacob Narrative (Gen 25:19-35:22): Here, and here

The Joseph Narrative (Gen 37:1- 50:26): Here


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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Linked Resources]

#2 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

For those interested, the OP has been updated. Still under construction.

Another link to the Joseph part of Genesis: Here.

A PDF on the "Joseph Narrative": Here.

Rutgers Study

Another resource

Another

Class in Genesis Literary Structure

The whole book in parts: Here.

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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Creation Narrative]

#3 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

[Creation Narrative]

The literary structure below was copied from here, but with some small modifications. The literary structure. with its repeating pattern, would have been more memorable to listeners who would not have had a personal copy of the text:

P. The Creation (שׁמיםארץ) (Gen 1:1-2)

. . . A. "The first day, light and darkness, day and night" (אור) (Gen 1:3-5)

. . . . . . B. "The second day, water and sky" (מים) (Gen 1:6-8)

. . . . . . . . . C. "The third day, land and plant" (עשׂב) (Gen 1:9-13)


. . . A^ "The fourth day, light and darkness, day and night" (מאור) (Gen 1:14-19)

. . . . . . B^ "The fifth day, water and sky" (מים) (Gen 1:20-23)

. . . . . . . . . C^ "The sixth day, land and plant" (עשׂב) (Gen 1:24-31)

P^ The Creation (שׁמיםארץ) (Gen 2:1-3)

Legend: P: Introduction, Conclusion, A: Light and darkness B: Water and sky C: Land and plant

Then, within Gen 1:24-31 (the C^ part above) there is also a chiastic literary structure:
A. Words of God 1, "good" (טוב) (Gen 1:24-25)

. . . B. Words of God 2, "dominion" (וירדו) (Gen 1:26)

. . . . . . C. God created man (Gen 1:27)

. . . B^ Words of God 3, "dominion" (ורדו) (Gen 1:28)

A^ Words of God 4, "good" (טוב) (Gen 1:29-31)

Legend: A: Good B: Dominion C: God created man

On possible differences between "create" and "make/made/yield[ing]" see this short PDF.

This page discusses how on a wider Biblical scale the differences between "create" and "make" may not always hold up, so that, one might see in the Genesis 1 account the writer possibly employing the two Hebrew words for literary effect, and for how they sound to the ear.

On God's use of a plural self reference at Gen 1:26 ("Let us make ..."), see this post and included links for some research.

See posts # 48 & 49 (starting here) for links to water in the mantle and a possible Pangaean super continent in the pre-Deluge world.

Note how in the next post, regarding Gen 2:4-25, a similar literary pattern as above is reproduced.


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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Creation of Humans & Rebellion Narrative]

#4 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

[Creation of Humans & Rebellion Narrative]

What follows below are the literary structures that make up the first of ten toledoth passages that begins at Gen 2:4 and extends to Gen 4:26. See the Genesis Index at the bottom of this post for a complete listing of the ten toledoth passages in Genesis.

The Garden of Eden (Gen 2:4b-17)

A. A stream waters the ground (Gen 2:4b-6) (והשׁקה)

. . . B. God placed the man in Eden (Gen 2:7-8) (גןבעדן)

. . . . . . C. The tree of the knowledge of good and bad (Gen 2:9) (עץהדעת)


A^ (2:10-14)A river waters the garden (Gen 2:10-14) (להשׁקות)

. . . B^ God settled the man in Eden (Gen 2:15) (בגןעדן)

. . . . . . C^ The tree of the knowledge of good and bad (Gen 2:16-17) (ומעץהדעת)


Legend: A: Water. B: God placed the man in Eden. C: The tree of the knowledge of good and bad.

Creation of Woman (Gen 2:18-25)

A. Making a suitable partner for the man (Gen 2:18)

. . . B. Creation and naming of beasts and birds (Gen 2:19-20) (יקרא)

. . . . . . C. Woman made from man (Gen 2:21)

. . . B^ Creation and naming of woman (Gen 2:22-23) (יקרא)

A^ The man and his wife (Gen 2:24-25)


Legend: A: Suitable partner. B: Creation and naming. C: How woman made.

The First Sin and Its Punishment (Gen 3:1-24)

A. You will be like God(s) knowing good and bad (Gen 3:5) (ידעיטובורע)

. . . B. Fig leaves (Gen 3:7-8)

. . . . . . C. Excuse of the man and the woman (Gen 3:9-13)

. . . . . . . . . D. Curse against the serpent (Gen 3:14-15)

. . . . . . C^ Punishment against the man and the woman (Gen 3:16-20)

. . . B^ Leather garments (Gen 3:21)

A^ Man has become like us, knowing good and bad (Gen 3:22-24) (לדעתטובורע)


Legend: A: Knowing good and bad. B: Coverings. C: Sin and punishment. D: Curse against serpent.

Beginning of Seed of the Serpent and Seed of the Woman (Gen 4:1-26)

A. Birth of Cain and Abel, start of seed of 'serpent' (Gen 4:1-2; compare Jn 8:44; 1Jn 3:12)

. . . B. Cain shall be avenged sevenfold (Gen 4:3:16) (שׁבעתים)

. . . . . . C. Descendants of Cain (Gen 4:17-22)

. . . B^ If Cain avenged sevenfold, Lamech seventy-seven fold (Gen 4:23-24) (שׁבעתים)

A^ Birth of Seth, start of seed of 'woman' (Gen 4:25-26)


Legend: A: Birth of Adam's children. B: Sevenfold revenge. C: Descendants of Cain.

On God's use of a plural self reference at Gen 3:22 ("Look!, the man has become like one of us make ..."), see this post and included links for some research.


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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Flood Narrative 6:1-9:29]

#5 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

[Flood Narrative]


This first chiasm is of the disobedience of the "sons of God" before the flood. (Gen 6:1-4) I'll try to minimize the wording to help highlight the complementary parts:
A. When men multiplied ... and daughters were born to them (Gen 6:1)

. . . B. Sons of God saw the daughters and took wives (Gen 6:2)

. . . . . . X. Jehovah said, my spirit shall not remain with man, 120 years more (Gen 6:3)

. . . B^ Nephilim in the earth, when sons of God came into the daughters of men (Gen 6:4a)

A^ and children were born to them, men of fame (Gen 6:4b)

Notes:
1. There is an interesting similarity to the construction of Gen 3:6 and Gen 6:2. Both portray the soon-to-be-sinner(s) as taking notice of something forbidden, yet attractive, and their subsequent "taking" of it. The Genesis account has the serpent helping Eve to begin to notice the Tree of Knowledge. Revelation 12:4 has the "dragon," identified as Satan, causing a 'third of the stars' to be 'thrown to the earth.' This helps link Satan to both events. It also helps identify the method he used. (For some additional on this observation, see post # 36 and post # 44.)

2. There are some interesting footnotes in the NET in Genesis 6. See here for footnotes 4, 5, 11-16.

3. Here is a PDF of 1st Enoch which is referenced in one of the NET footnotes. (I personally don't hold this book to be inspired. But it is useful to look at. Jude 14-15 appears to quote or allude to 1 Enoch 1:9. See page 11 of the PDF.)

4. See post # 58 in this thread for additional links related to the Nephilim

This second chiasm (immediately below) is of Gen 6:5-8. It introduces Noah as a contrast to the world around him. Noah was initially introduced in Gen 5:28-32 where it is hinted that he will play a role in the rectifying of mankind's pre-flood plight. This second symmetry also emphasizes how Jehovah is affected by what is going on in the earth. (See footnotes # 18-25 in the NET at Genesis chapter 6.)

At first glance it might seem odd that God's comments about the situation in Gen 6:6-7 focus on the depravity of mankind, whereas, Gen 6:1-4 has just described the involvement and activity of the disobedient "sons of God" and their hybrid offspring, the Nephilim, in human affairs. Later Bible writers would go on to describe the involvement of the disobedient angels in this time period. (1Pe 3:19-20; 2Pe 2:4-5; Jude 6; also see pp.14-17 of the 1 Enoch PDF linked to above)

But in fact, the entire (post-sin) pre-flood era was both arranged for and foreseen by God to allow for the possibility of what the disobedient angels went on to do. It was arranged for and foreseen in the same way that what is described in Rev 20:7-10 is also divinely arranged for and foreseen. For a fuller discussion of how the pre-flood period falls within Jehovah's purpose to restore the universe, see this post and included links. This post shows how the pre-flood era fits within a chiastic arrangement of the events of the 7th rest day.
A. God saw wickedness of man was great, and the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5)

. . . B. And Jehovah regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (Gen 6:6)

. . . . . . X. Jehovah said, I will destroy man ... man, beast, creeping thing, and the birds (Gen 6:7)

. . . B^ I [Jehovah] do regret that I have made them.

A^ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Jehovah. (Gen 6:8)

This third chiasm covers from Genesis 6:9-9:29 and covers the entire flood and post-flood life of Noah. It is also unusually detailed. I did not space it out as much so that more of it will be viewable on the screen for comparison of its parallel parts.
A. Noah the righteous man (Gen 6:9)
. . B. Noah's sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen 6:10)
. . . . C. Earth filled with violence and corruption (Gen 6:11-12)
. . . . . . D. First divine address (1): (Gen 6:13)
. . . . . . . . E. First divine address (2): Noah to build ark (Gen 6:14-22)
. . . . . . . . . . F. Second divine address (1): Command to enter ark (Gen 7:1-3)
. . . . . . . . . . . . G. Second divine address (2): 7 day wait for flood (Gen 7:4-5)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . H. 7 days waiting for flood (repeated) (Gen 7:6-10)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I. Beginning of flood and entry into ark (Gen 7:11-15)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. God shuts the door (Gen 7:16b
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . K. 40 days flood, waters increase (Gen 7:17-18)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . L. Waters prevail, mountains covered (Gen 7:19-20)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . M. 150 days waters prevail (Gen 7:21-24)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X. God remembers Noah (Gen 8:1a) CENTER or PIVOT
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . M^ 150 days waters abate (Gen 8:1b-5)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . L^ Waters abate, mountain tops visible (Gen 8:5)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . K^ 40 days (at the end of) (Gen 8:6a)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J^ Noah opens window of ark (Gen 8:6b)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I^ Raven and dove leave ark (Gen 8:7-9)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . H^ 7 days waiting for waters to subside (Gen 8:10-11)
. . . . . . . . . . . . G^ 7 (more) days waiting for waters to subside (Gen 8:12-14)
. . . . . . . . . . F^ Third divine address: Command to leave ark (Gen 8: 15-19)
. . . . . . . . E^ Noah builds an alter (Gen 8:20)
. . . . . . D^ God's commitment to preserve the earth (Gen 8:20-21)
. . . . C^ Fourth divine address: Covenant blessing and peace (Gen 9:1-17)
. . B^ Noah's sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth (includes Noah's drunkenness and Ham's sin) (Gen 9:18-27)
A^ Noah: Life and death (Gen 9:28-29)

In this chiasm the various numbers that are used help suggest the placement of each part as well as the center or pivot point.


Additional Notes:

1. A thread on the possible shape of Noah's ark: Here.


2. See note # 4 at the end of this post for dating of the flood corrected from WT's dating.


3. This post discusses some of the 'problems' raised about the flood with links to answers to those problems. See also note # 4 below.


4. Regarding the source of the flood waters, Genesis 7:11 (ESV) mentions two sources: "All the fountains of the great deep" and "the windows of the heavens." (Compare Gen 1:2, 6, 7, 9) The WT Society maintains that both of these sources were from above. For why they maintain this idea, see it-1 p. 1059 & w04 1/1 p. 30. (Both references represent little more than assertions and/or a failure to appreciate the significance of Gen 1:9-10.) The NET (New English Translation) has a footnote at Gen 7:11 (# 18) regarding "all the fountains of the great deep":
tn The Hebrew term תְּהוֹם (tehom, “deep”) refers to the watery deep, the salty ocean—especially the primeval ocean that surrounds and underlies the earth (see Gen 1:2).

sn The watery deep. The same Hebrew term used to describe the watery deep in Gen 1:2 (תְּהוֹם, tehom) appears here. The text seems to picture here subterranean waters coming from under the earth and contributing to the rapid rise of water. The significance seems to be, among other things, that in this judgment God was returning the world to its earlier condition of being enveloped with water—a judgment involving the reversal of creation. On Gen 7:11 see G. F. Hasel, “The Fountains of the Great Deep,” Origins 1 (1974): 67-72; idem, “The Biblical View of the Extent of the Flood,” Origins 2 (1975): 77-95.

In connection with the comment in the quote above that, "The significance seems to be ... that in this judgment God was returning the world to its earlier condition of being enveloped with water—a judgment involving the reversal of creation," see post # 36 in this thread that shows how the literary structure of the first 11 chapters of Genesis appears to support this idea.

When seen this way, it takes no more faith to believe that God could cause a global flood than it would take to believe that He could do what it says in Genesis 1:6-10, as the great flood would represent an undoing of what was accomplished in Gen 1:6-10. (And by extension, the WT's view that all the flood waters came solely from above can be seen for what it is, an impediment to faith.)

By way of speculation, seeing the great flood as an undoing of Genesis 1:6-10 might lend itself to the idea of a pre-flood Pangaea super-continent (and its corresponding Panthalassa super-ocean). Compare the wording of Gen 1:9 where the waters are "gathered together into one place" in order to "let the dry land appear." If so, then, a different process may have been used to make the dry land reappear after the deluge since the continents are now configured differently (supposing, of course, a single super-continent before the deluge). (Gen 8:1-5)

Further research has led me to a Discovery magazine article that discusses another possible source of the flood waters. The magazine was not discussing the great flood, but simply the recent findings of scientists. The article can be found here. See also post # 48 in this thread for additional links to this. And post # 49 for links on articles about Pangaea.


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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Table of Nations & Tower of Babel 10-11]

#6 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

[Table of Nations & Tower of Babel]

This post will show the literary structure to what has been called the 'Table of Nations', as well as the Tower of Babel account.

Image


The Table of Nations helps show the development of the families that become referred to as "gentiles" throughout the Bible.

A. 'These are the generations of the sons of Noah' (Gen 10:1)

. . . B. of Shem

. . . . . . C. of Ham

. . . . . . . . . D. of Japheth

. . . . . . . . . . . . X. Sons born to them after the flood

. . . . . . . . . D^ The sons of Japheth (14) ... (Gen 10:2-5)

. . . . . . C^ The sons of Ham (30) ... (Gen 10:6-20)

. . . B^ The sons of Shem (26) ... (Gen 10:21-31)

A^ These are the families of Noah according to their generations (70 total) (Gen 10:32)

This chiasm of Genesis 10 was adapted and edited from here. The names of the sons are used twice (B, C, D and D^, C^, B^). In the second instance the names are reversed, showing the intention of the writer to form a symmetry in the account. The numbers after D^, C^, and B^ are the number of descendants for each son. They total 70, which forms the "table of nations." I wonder if the listing is purposeful. that is, selective so as to arrive at 70?

The listing of offspring breaks down further like this:
Japheth: 7 sons, 7 grandchildren
Ham: 4 sons, 26 grandchildren
Shem: 5 sons, 21 grandchildren

The writer (from the link) also offers this note:
Note how in the above chiasm, the usual order of the sons of Noah as found in the Genesis record, “Shem, Ham, and Japheth” (Gen 5:32; 6:10; 7:13; 9:18; 10:1) is reversed in the second half. The central statement, “and unto them were sons born after the flood”, may at first seem insignificant. However, it emphasizes that all people were destroyed by the Flood except the eight on the ark. This statement precludes the possibility that any of the sons of Shem, Ham, or Japheth mentioned in Genesis 10 were born before the Flood and somehow survived without going on the ark (for example, by going beyond the boundaries of a supposed local flood).
For a discussion about Noah's curse upon Canaan: Here.


What follows is the symmetry or chiasm of the Tower of Babel account. Numerous sources outline this basic structure. I have tried to edit the words down to the basic idea. You can hover over the verses to see the whole verse.
A. "all the earth had one language" (Gen 11:1)

. . . B. "settled there" [Shinar] (Gen 11:2)

. . . . . . C. "said to each other" (Gen 11:3)

. . . . . . . . . D. "come, let us make bricks"

. . . . . . . . . . . . E. "let us build for ourselves" (Gen 11:4)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. "a city and a tower"

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X. "Jehovah came down" (Gen 11:5-6)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F^ "the city and the tower"

. . . . . . . . . . . . E^ "which the men had built"

. . . . . . . . . D^ "come ... let us mix up" (Gen 11:7)

. . . . . . C^ "confuse each others language"

. . . B^ "scattered from there" [Shinar] (Gen 11:8)

A^ "confused the language of the earth" (Gen 11:9)

The Tower of Babel account shows how the nations are given (forcibly) their 'inheritance,' which ends up being all the earth outside of the Promised Land. (Deut 32:7-8) It makes me wonder if there is also an underlying pattern here where Adam and Eve had use of all the garden except for the tree of knowledge. Here the nations are given the whole earth except for the promised land. Yet, throughout the following history they show their desire to take over the promised land also. In the end they get expelled from their own inheritance. (Obad 15-17; following the same desires of their ruler - Gen 3:15; Yet, despite their ruler, the nations also display their own rebellious desires.)

I have also argued that the tower account marks the beginning of the Gentile Times of Luke 21:24 and the beginning of Satan's grant of rulership over the nations. (Lu 4:5-6; Which ends at Rev 11:15; See here and here.)


Resources:
1. On the "us" at Gen 11:7 see this post and included links for some research on that topic.

2. Interesting commentary on Lucifer and rebellion in Eden, before the flood, and at the Tower of Babel: Here

3. A video discussing the Tower of Babel in the Is Genesis History? series: Here. (22:35 in length; very informative)

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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Abraham Narrative 11:27-25:11]

#7 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

[Abraham Narrative]

Abraham's Family Tree:

Image


For what is called, "the Abraham Narrative", that is, Gen 11:27-25:11, I am going to borrow from a Mr Zac Wyse (here), who has done his research on this portion of Genesis to show the literary style that is employed. He also does a pretty good job of explaining chiastic structure while describing it in this part of Genesis:

The Structure of the Abraham Narrative (Genesis 11:27-25:11)


The Structure of a Text

When studying a biblical text, it is important to consider its structure. How does a psalm flow? How does a narrative unfold? How are legal commands linked together to create a coherent message?

Readers of Genesis are accustomed to dividing the book into 50 chapters. The chapter divisions and verse numbers are not original, however. They were added later, in order to help us refer to a particular text with greater ease. The text of Genesis itself manifests a tenfold division. After a prologue (Genesis 1:1-2:3), the Hebrew phrase Aylah toledot (“These are the generations of”) divides the book into ten parts. The sixth section begins These are the generations of Terah. It encompasses 11:27 to 25:11, and its main character is Abraham.

But what is the structure of this most important section of Holy Scripture? And how does it inform our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ? What follows is my current answer to these questions.


Deja Vu

There are a few interesting events that quickly jump out to the reader of this section of Genesis. The first is the fact that Abraham twice hands Sarah over to a foreign ruler to save his own life. Didn’t Abraham just do that?! The second is the appearance and reappearance of Lot and Sodom & Gomorrah, when the story would seem to flow just fine without mentioning Lot at all. A third is the fact that Abraham twice engages with Sodom, and he does so faithfully.

It’s especially interesting that these three are joined together in the biblical text. We initially read of Sarah, with Lot and Abraham immediately following. Then, a little later, we read of Abraham, Lot, and Sarah, in reverse order.


The Chiasm of Genesis 11:27-25:11

This invites us to ask whether this section of Genesis could be chiastic, a structural technique already employed in the Flood narrative. (A chiasm is a mirroring structure, where the first part mirrors a second part. This is a small chiasm: Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. It unfolds in the pattern ABC-CBA). My tentative conclusion is that this entire section of Genesis unfolds in a chiastic pattern. This is as follows:
A. Nahor, Haran, Deaths, Sarah’s barrenness, Marriages & children (Gen 11:27-32)

. . . B. God’s promise and Abraham’s fidelity (Gen 12:1-9)

. . . . . . C. Sarah – “Abraham’s sister,” taken by Pharaoh (Gen 12:10-13:1)

. . . . . . . . . D. Lot and Sodom & Gomorrah (Gen 13:2-13)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E. Abraham is faithful toward Lot & Sodom (Gen 13:14-14:24)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Abrahamic Covenant established through Sarah & Isaac, not Hagar & Ishmael (Gen 15-17)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E^ Abraham is faithful toward Lot & Sodom (Gen 18:1-33)

. . . . . . . . . D^ Lot and Sodom & Gomorrah (Gen 19:1-38)

. . . . . . C^ Sarah – “Abraham’s sister,” taken by Abimelech (Gen 20:1-18)(For Abimelech, see here.)

. . . B^ God’s promise and Abraham’s fidelity (Gen 21:1-22:19) (On the Aqedah, see this post)

A^ Nahor’s family, Haran, Death of Sarah & Abraham, Marriage (Gen 22:20-25:11) (On Gen 24 here)

The Center of the Chiasm

If the above structure is correct, F, the central component of the chiasm, is being highlighted for us. Along with Old Covenant Israel, Genesis is directing our attention to the Abrahamic Covenant and Abraham’s promised seed, who is ultimately Jesus Christ. [Compare Gal 4:21-31; Perhaps it is his familiarity with chiastic structure that helps lead Paul, in Gal 4:21-31, to his conclusions - Bobcat]

It is worth unpacking F further. This central component alternates between the formal institution of the Abrahamic Covenant and the matter of Abraham’s elect heir. Who would become the next patriarch? This juxtaposition highlights the covenant purpose of God to establish Isaac, not Ishmael, as the chosen patriarch. The Abrahamic Covenant would be renewed with Isaac, the son of promise – not Ishmael, the son of human works.
A. Covenant-making ceremony (Gen 15:1-21)

. . . B. Sarah, Hagar, and Ishmael (Gen 16:1-16)

. . . . . . C. Covenant Sign/Seal instituted (Gen 17:1-14)

. . . B^ Sarah, Ishmael, and Isaac (Gen 17:15-21)

A^ Covenant Sign/Seal is applied (Gen 17:22-27)

Paul guides us in better-understanding the significance of these matters in Galatians 4:21-31. He teaches us that it was inappropriate for Ishmael, the child of a slave woman, to become patriarch, since God’s people are destined for freedom. Thus, we are like Isaac, the son of a free woman. We are not born of human effort, but rather through promise. Unlike the slave, we have an inheritance – the new creation of God, which we receive in Abraham’s promised seed, the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:16).

There is an interesting analysis on the use of Gen 12:3 and Gen 12:18 in the NT. The write-up can be found here.

This post has several links (six to be exact) to a series of articles on the origins of the Dead Sea.


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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Isaac's Marriage - 24:1-66]

#8 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

The chiastic/symmetrical structure of Genesis 24:
The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah (Gen 24:1-66)

A. You will go to my own land and to my kindred to get a wife for my son Isaac (Gen 24:1-4)

. . B. What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? (Gen 24:5-9)

. . . . C. Wish and realization about choosing a daughter as Isaac's wife (Gen 24:10-20)

. . . . . . D. Gold accessories, acceptance of Rebekah (Gen 24:21-25)

. . . . . . . . E. Thanks to the Lord, who led the journey (Gen 24:26-27) PIVOT POINT

. . . . . . D^ Gold accessories, acceptance of Laban (Gen 24:28-31)

. . . . C^ Explanation about wish and realization about choosing a daughter as Isaac's wife (Gen 24:32-54)

. . B^ Rebekah is willing and consented to go (Gen 24:55-60)

A^ Isaac married with Rebekah (Gen 24:61-66)

Legend: A=Marriage; B=Will of the woman; C=Choosing daughter for Isaac; D=Gold accessories; E=Thanks to the Lord.

Additional Resources:
1. Wikipedia article on the Wife-Sister narratives in Genesis: Here.

2. On placing the hand under the thigh during an oath (Gen 24:2-3), see this thread on Reddit AcademicBiblical for various references.

Bobcat

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Bobcat
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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Jacob Narrative 25:19-35:29]

#9 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

[Jacob Narrative]

Like with the Abraham Narrative a couple of posts above, I will borrow from Zac Wyse (here) who has done his research documenting the Jacob Narrative portion of Genesis (Gen 25:19-35:29)

The Structure of the Jacob Narrative (Genesis 25:19-35:29)


I addressed the importance of a text’s structure in a previous post, The Structure of the Abrahamic Narrative. What follows is the way I believe that the Jacob Narrative unfolds.

Again, it follows a chiastic pattern (see the explanation in the aforementioned article [in the Abraham Narrative two posts above - Bobcat]), just like the narratives of the Flood and of Abraham. The turning point of the chiasm is the birth of Joseph (Gen. 30:24), who will become the central figure in the final “book” of Genesis (ch. 37-50) and receive Jacob’s birthright and blessing (1 Chr. 5:1-2).

A. Genealogy: Sons born to Isaac; Jacob’s calling foretold (Gen 25:19-34)

. . . B. God’s appearance & promise to Pilgrim-Isaac (Gen 26:1-5)

. . . . . . C. Relations with Canaanites; woman (Rebekah) unharmed; peaceful covenant (Gen 26:6-33)

. . . . . . . . . D. Jacob’s takes Esau’s blessing; enmity & danger (Gen 26:34-28:9)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E. Nighttime vision of the Lord; “Bethel” named (Gen 28:10-22)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Jacob serves for Leah & Rachel; cheated/dishonored (Gen 29:1-30)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . G. Jacob is blessed with children (Gen 29:31-30:24)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . G^ Jacob is blessed with prosperity (Gen 30:25-43)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F^ Jacob departs w/ Leah & Rachel; cheats/plunders (Gen 31:1-55)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E^ Nighttime wrestling with the Lord; “Israel” named (Gen 32:1-32)

. . . . . . . . . D^ Jacob gives Esau blessing; protected & reconciled (Gen 33:1-20)

. . . . . . C^ Relations with Canaanites; woman (Dinah) harmed; enmity & warfare (Gen 34:1-31)

. . . B^ God’s appearance & promise to Pilgrim-Jacob (Gen 35:1-15)

A^ Genealogy: Sons bury Isaac; Jacob’s calling fulfilled (Gen 35:16-29)

In the above chiasm, the center or pivot point could have been combined into just "Jacob's prosperity." But it is a case of 'six of one, a half dozen of another.'

Below are some additional resources related to the Jacob Narrative::
A 17 page PDF entitled, The Jacob Cycle: Here

On how Laban fooled Jacob into marrying Leah: Here.

A Rabbinic take on the Isaac Toledoth /Jacob Narrative: Here.

Bobcat

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Re: Chiastic Structure in Genesis [Joseph Narrative 37:2-50:26]

#10 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

[Joseph Narrative 37:2-50:26]

The Joseph Narrative (Genesis chapters 37:2-50:26) is laid out in chiastic/symmetrical format in this PDF. The PDF is 24 pages with quite a bit of information regarding this portion of Genesis. The symmetrical structure is as follows:

A. Hostility of brothers to Joseph (Gen 37:2-11)

. . . B. Apparent death of Joseph, Jacob mourns (Gen 37:12-36)

. . . . . . C. Interlude: Judah and Tamar (Gen 38:1-26)

. . . . . . . . . D. Unexpected Reversals (Gen 38:27—39:23)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E. Wisdom of Joseph (Gen 40:1—42:57)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Movement to Egypt (Gen 43:1—46:7)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X. The Genealogy of Israel (Gen 46:8-27)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F^ Settlement in Egypt (Gen 46:28—47:12)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E^ Wisdom of Joseph (Gen 47:13-26)

. . . . . . . . . D^ Unexpected Reversals (Gen Gen 48:1-22)

. . . . . . C^ Interlude: Jacob blesses his sons (49:1-28)

. . . B^ Death of Jacob, Joseph buries him (Gen 49:29—50:14)

A^ Joseph reassures brothers (Gen 50:15-26)

Here are some additional links to chiastic structure in the Joseph Narrative:

Bobcat

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