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2'4 The Joseph Story: Genesis 3750

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[ Speiser, AB:Gen, 292] General Remarks ... fits into the unity of the overall collection as a story about one of Jacob's sons. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 2'4 The Joseph Story: Genesis 3750


1
2.4 The Joseph Story Genesis 37-50
  • APTS-BOT620

2
General Remarks
  • 1. "We begin with a brief word about the literary
    quality of the Joseph story as a whole. It is
    distinct from all previous narratives because of
    its unusual length, for it considerably exceeds
    the length of the longest of the patriarchal
    stories, the one about Eliezer's suit of Rebekah
    (ch 24). Further, it has not attained this length
    by means of a gradual comprehensive composition
    of individual narrative units. It does not belong
    to an 'epic cycle,' but it is from beginning to
    end an organically constructed narrative, no
    single segment of which can have existed
    independently as a separate element of
    tradition." von Rad, Genesis OTL, 347

3
General Remarks
  • 2. "It is at once the most intricately
    constructed and the best integrated of all
    patriarchal histories. For sustained dramatic
    effect the narrative is unsurpassed in the whole
    Pentateuch. The theme is essentially personal and
    secular. Other aspects, to be sure, are in
    evidence here and there, yet they are never
    allowed to distract attention from the central
    human drama." Speiser, ABGen, 292

4
General Remarks
  • 3. "The Joseph narrative offers a kind of
    literature which is distinctive in Genesis. It is
    distinguished in every way from the narratives
    dealing with Abraham and Jacob. The intellectual
    world of this narrative has much more in common
    with the David story of 2 Sam 9-20 than it does
    with the ancestral tales.... Its presuppositions
    suggest a cool detachment from things religious
    that is contrasted with the much more direct
    religious affirmation of the Abraham and Jacob
    stories. This narrative appears to belong to a
    generation of believers in a cultural climate
    where old modes of faith were embarrassing."
    Brueggemann, InterpGen, 288

5
Structure
  • 1. "The point of unity in this composition
    derives from a common subject - Jacob and his
    sons.... Indeed, within the scope of the Joseph
    story itself, the interplay between Joseph and
    his brothers consistently holds Jacob, the
    father, as a foil." Coats, FOTLGen, 259

6
Structure
  • 2. "At the crucial point of transition between
    the complication and retardation in the plot's
    movement produced by the digression, the
    narrative breaks, and a distinct story about
    Judah and Tamar is inserted. The Judah-Tamar
    story, secured in its position by recapitulation
    of a transition sentence (37.36 and 39.1),
    develops none of the narrative motifs from the
    Joseph story, although it fits into the unity of
    the overall collection as a story about one of
    Jacob's sons." Coats, FOTLGen, 260

7
Structure
  • 3. Main block of Joseph narrative 37 39-45
    46.28-47.27. While there can be separated others
    elements
  • (a) Gen 38 Jacob, Tamar story conclusion to
    Jacob story
  • (b) Gen 46.1-7 a theophany account of Jacob
    28.10-22 32.1-2 32.22-32 35.1-15
  • (c) Gen 46.8-27 a genealogy.
  • (d) Gen 47.28-48.22 49.28-33 50.1-14 diverse
    material related to Jacob's death.
  • (e) Gen 49.1-27 last blessing of Jacob tribal
    history conclusion to Jacob story
  • (f) Gen 50.15-26 the death of Joseph.

8
Structure
  • 4. Note the use of Leitmotif Westermann,
    Genesis 37-50, 246
  • a. "First there is the dream motif in the three
    pairs of dreams Joseph's dreams, the dreams of
    the officials, the dreams of the Pharaoh."
  • b. "Then there is the motif of the tunic.
  • c. "...the greeting in word and gesture, with
    obeisance and the word wlv this is of great
    importance in content for the narrative as a
    whole, as well as in form for the frame."

9
Structure
  • d. "...another leitmotif is the famine, whereby
    the narrator describes the two aspects of its
    importance, for the starving nomad families and
    for the concern of a king for his realm."

10
Critical Considerations
  • 1. The Joseph narratives sustain artistic
    characteristic. Therefore establishing "The
    movement of this narrative from the initial dream
    of Joseph (37.5-9) to the secure settlement of
    Israel in the land under the governance of Joseph
    (47.27)." Brueggemman, InterpGen, 290

11
Critical Considerations
  • 2. The Dream and fulfillment as threat throughout
    narrative 37.5-9 (bow-down) gt 42.6 43.26, 28b
    50.18. Also the disclosure texts of 45.4-8 and
    50.19-20 play crux roles.

12
Critical Considerations
  • 3. The narrative has a strong Egyptian influence
    in words, social customs and procedures. N.B.
    Westermann

13
Critical Considerations
  • 4. "The most influential hypothesis is that the
    narrative is part of a major literary attempt of
    the Solomonic period (10th cen. B.C.) to provide
    a statement about the hidden rule of God in the
    affairs of persons and nations (followed by von
    Rad, Old Testament Theology I, 48-86)."
    Brueggemann, InterpGen, 291

14
Critical Considerations
  • 5. The Joseph narrative as a literary device to
    link they ancestral promises to the Exodus
    narrative. N.B. Noth, The Pentateuchal
    Traditions Coats, From Canaan to Egypt

15
Critical Considerations
  • 6. One must consider also the history of
    interpretation of the Joseph narratives. Although
    the Jewish interpretations have tended to deal
    with the texts as historical, early Christian
    interpretation has been marked by allegory. F.
    Delitzsch follows Pascal with "Jesus Christ is
    prefigured in Joseph, his father's favorite sent
    by the father to his brothers, the guiltless one
    sold by his brothers for twenty pieces of silver
    and so become their Lord....Such is the Church's
    vital portrayal of the Joseph story from time
    immemorial." in Westermann, Genesis 37-50, 18

16
Theology of the Joseph Narratives
  • 1. "The theme of the Joseph narrative concerns
    God's hidden and decisive power which works in
    and through but also against human forms of
    power....the theme is that God is working out his
    purpose through and in spite of Egypt, through
    and in spite of Joseph and his brothers."
    Brueggemann, InterpGen, 293 note the texts
    45.5-8 and 50.19-20

17
Theology of the Joseph Narratives
  • 2. "The narrative is also about the hiddenness of
    God." Brueggemann, InterpGen, 293 note use of
    dreams and the ending doxological disclosure.

18
Theology of the Joseph Narratives
  • 3. "The overriding power of God's rule is not a
    vacuous sovereignty. Its purpose is to feed a
    people. This hidden God has a quite identifiable
    historical purpose. And though that purpose is
    worked out with reference to imperial power and
    well-being, his goal is the creation of a
    community of liberation (cf. Ex 1, immediately
    after Gen 50)." Brueggemann, InterpGen, 294

19
Theology of the Joseph Narratives
  • 4. "At another level the story concerns the
    struggle of a family. But it is a specific,
    concrete family." Brueggemann, InterpGen, 295

20
Theology of the Joseph Narratives
  • 5. "This narrative...suggests new ways to think
    about faith and power in relation to public
    realities....the text approaches the question
    from three perspectives (1) In terms of power to
    address large public problems not caused by human
    agents, (2) in terms of the interaction between
    imperial power and power of the 'least,' and (3)
    in terms of modeling prudent use of power for the
    public good. From each perspective, Joseph is the
    new paradigm for the dynamic power and faith."
    Brueggemann, InterpGen, 296

21
Outline
  • I. Exposition (37 1-4)
  • II. Complication (375-36)
  • III. Digression (39-41)
  • IV. Complication (42)
  • V. Denouement (43-45)
  • VI. Conclusion (46 l-4727)
  • Coats, George, From Canaan to Egypt, 8

22
I. Exposition (371-4)
  • 37.1 Connection to Narrative (N.B. 36.8 and
    47.27a)
  • 37.2a Toledoth formula
  • 37.2b Description of the bad relationship
    Joseph with his brothers
  • 37.3 Intensification of tension caused by Jacobs
    love and robe.

23
II. Complication (375-36)
  • 37.5-8, 9-11 Two dream reports
  • 37.12-33 Narrative leading to the Principal
    Crisis
  • 37.34-35 A Concluding Soliloquy
  • 37.36 Transitional Element

24
III. Digression (39-41)
  • 39.1-20a Josephs Crisis
  • 39.20b-23 Reprisal
  • 40.1-23 Administration Dreams
  • 41.1-36 Dreams
  • 41.37-57 Administration

25
IV. Complication (42)
  • 42.1-5 Scene 1 Setting
  • 42.6-17 Scene 2 Meeting with Joseph
  • 42.18-26 Scene 3 2nd Meeting with Joseph
  • 42.27-38 Scene 4 Return to Canaan

26
V. Denouement (43-45)
  • 43.1-14 Preparation to Return to Egypt
  • 43.15-34 The Banquet with Joseph
  • 44.1-13 Benjamin entrapped
  • 44.14-45.15 Resolution of Brothers Conflict
  • 44.16-24 Extension by Pharaoh
  • 44.25-28 Closure (travel Jacob)

27
VI. Conclusion (461-4727)
  • 46.1-4 Theophany at Beersheba
  • 46.5-26 Travel Report
  • 46.27-47.12 Settlement Report
  • 46.13-27 Conclusion
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