Deuteronomy 323639


Deuteronomy 32:36-39 Essay, Research Paper

Genesis 25:19-?34

Scope, Selection and Content of Pericope

Genesis 25:19 begins a new text section, marked by a topic marker ?These are the descendants of name son of name? which begins new sections in Gn 2:4, 5:1, 6:9, 10:1, and 11:27. Gn 26, immediately following the pericope is an independent story about Isaac. The Jacob saga begun in 25:19 continues with 27:1, which directly depends on 25:19-34. The pericope as selected is a well-defined and complete text consisting of introductory material and a brief narrative.


This text is predominantly J tradition with a P introduction. The narrative has the typical J traits of the name Yahweh and the immanence of the Deity. The connection of Esau with Edom both explicitly and through wordplay shows a J origin because the conflict between Judah and Edom is a southern (hence J) rather than northern (E) concern. The oracle that Jacob will dominate Esau (Edom), reflects a situation that only obtained during the kingships of David and Solomon. The emphasis on personal inheritance of God?s promise accords with the J view of the Davidic covenant.

Summary of Content

Preceding context

Abraham obtains Rebekah as wife for Isaac in Gn 24. Miscellaneous genealogical material related to Abraham occupies the first 18 verses of Gn 25.


A new section of the Patriarchal History, the Jacob Saga , begins with 25:19. Rebekah is ?barren?; she becomes pregnant when Yahweh answers Isaac?s prayer. An oracle of the dominance of Jacob over Esau is interpolated in 22-23. Rebekah bears twins, the firstborn is red and hairy, the second grips the first?s heel. Esau becomes Isaac?s favorite, Jacob is Rachel?s. Jacob demands and gets Esau?s birthright as the price of a bowl of lentil stew.


After an unrelated Isaac story in Gn 26, the saga continues in Gn 27 with the story of Jacob obtaining the blessing of the firstborn, by trickery, from Isaac, completing (or complementing) the sale of the birthright.

Lexical and Grammatical Issues


rq=i8, ?aqar, from rqi, ?root?, can be used of male or female human or animal without descendants. In Dt 7:14 the absence of barren-ness is listed as one of Yahweh?s blessings for keeping the covenant. Rebekah?s barrenness emphasizes that these children are born of Yahweh?s will because of his relationship to Isaac.

Why do I live?

Rebekah?s question ?yk1Ona= hz

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