Reading Genesis and Reading Joseph: Land

Whenever you come to a particular pericope (yes, pericope, not periscope Microsoft Word!) there are a few questions that you should ask. What is the point of this single narrative episode? In other words, if this text existed in a vacuum, how would we interpret it if the only context we had was the contextContinue reading “Reading Genesis and Reading Joseph: Land”

Snakes and Sorcery: Joseph’s Cup and Character (Gen 44)

Snakes are frequently tied to knowledge, rebirth, sex, and magic in the ancient world. Asclepius—who was either the son of Apollo or a sort of adopted son—was raised by Chiron, but he gained true knowledge after rescuing some snakes who then cleaned out his ears, which gave him special knowledge of healing. His symbol wasContinue reading “Snakes and Sorcery: Joseph’s Cup and Character (Gen 44)”

Joseph’s Dreams

I’m going to tell you something shocking: Joseph is not a hero. Well, ok, there are two misleading things in that statement. First of all, if you’ve known me for very long, taken my classes, or read more than one of my blogs, you probably aren’t shocked that I would say that Joseph isn’t aContinue reading “Joseph’s Dreams”

The “Other Brother”: Genesis 43 and Father’s Day

The story of Joseph (Gen 37–50) is a family drama. And like so many family dramas, from Wes Anderson films to Inception, the focus is on redemption and reconciliation. All of the action that takes place serves only to move the characters into the right place—both locationally and mentally—to confront their past mistakes and eachContinue reading “The “Other Brother”: Genesis 43 and Father’s Day”

“They Did Not Recognize Him”: Identity and Dress and Joseph

Travelling to Egypt I’ve taught the Joseph Cycle in Hebrew several times and am currently preaching through it, so I’ve thought about it a lot. I will probably be blogging on and off about it in the near future, but as I was working through chapter 42, I came across a cool tie-in to theContinue reading ““They Did Not Recognize Him”: Identity and Dress and Joseph”

Rape in the Ancient World (Slaves)

Genesis 37 is one of the most famous texts in the Hebrew Bible. In this narrative we read that Joseph—having been sold as a slave to the Egyptians due to jealousy by his brothers—is very beautiful. Beautiful enough that his master’s wife lusted after him and wanted to sate his lust. Repeatedly she commands, “LieContinue reading “Rape in the Ancient World (Slaves)”

Rape in the Ancient World

In 2 Samuel 13, we read about the horrible situation of Amnon and Tamar, which we talked about last time. However, one aspect of the story bears a closer look. As Amnon begins to force his sister, she cries out: No, my brother, do not degrade me, for such a thing is not done inContinue reading “Rape in the Ancient World”