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2010-08-10

Good old buck-passing Rebekah decides that this whole mess is Jacob's fault, but, luckily, she has a plan. She's going to manipulate her dying husband into sending Jacob back to her home town. This probably means there is a possibility that Jacob won't even be present when his father dies, but hey, that's the price you have to pay to keep a good lie going. Oh, what a tangled web we weave

Genesis 27:43-45 informs us of something else important. Specifically, Rebekah says, "Why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?" Biblical commentators interpret this to be in reference to Goelism, which is the idea that, if a crime is inflicted upon someone, and they cannot seek vengeance by themselves, the closest family member is expected to seek vengeance for them. In this context, if Esau kills Jacob, then, another family member must kill Esau, and Rebekah would lose both of her sons.

The problem with this idea is that the laws of Goelism aren't declared by God until Numbers 35:9-30, which isn't until the life of Moses. So, how could Rebekah know about these laws hundreds of years before Moses was born? It seems much more likely that the laws of Moses didn't come from God at all, but were simply the cementing of various social contracts that the culture had already agreed upon for generations.

 

Comments

Ray writes:

 

There once was a man from Nantucket....

(I wish I had some chicken in a bucket.)

Techs writes:

 

that was so greasy and good,
that I could and would,
the oil from my fingers suckit.

Connor writes:

 

Well, to play God's advocate here (there's an ironic turn-of-phrase), God DID say that "whoever sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed" all the way back when Noah got off the ark, so if the Semetic line had for the most part kept following the commandments of God, as Genesis seems to imply, then it's not unreasonable to expect that they had some form of Goelism even back then. It's a pretty easy out for the apologists.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Yes, but that is simply an eye for an eye mentality, not the more sophisticated goelism. Not that it matters, since either is morally reprehensible and should never be endorsed by the supposed creator of morals.

And I love that phrase, God's advocate; much more apt!

 

Oh the irony!