Friday, February 24, 2012

Wait a minute!

“...Jacob’s prayer creates for the reader a tension and an expectation: will God answer Jacob’s prayer, and if so, how? At this stage, however, all the reader can do is wait alongside Jacob in the hope that God will in some way hear his prayer and deliver him from the presumed wrath of Esau. As the text continues, the initial tension over whether God intervenes is quickly replaced by a new tension centered on how God sets out to deliver Jacob. This divine assistance comes in a much more foreboding form than Jacob or the reader could anticipate: an encounter with the divine that quickly takes on a terrifyingly violent tenor. What kind of deliverance is this that includes God’s assault on the bearer of the promise?”—Jacob and the Divine Trickster, page 146

<idle musing>
But isn't that exactly what happens to Moses on his way back to Egypt? YHWH meets him to kill him in Exodus 4:24-26?

At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Mosesa and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.b “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.) (TNIV)

Ah, he does mention the similarities on page 154, but quickly dismisses them. I think they would bear closer scrutiny, though. In fairness to John, he and I discussed this when I first read it. He feels his parallels are a better fit within the Jacob cycle than taking it to Exodus...
</idle musing>

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