Thursday, January 27, 2005

Thoughts on Genesis 43, 44

Conrad Gempf has some thoughts on Genesis 43, 44 that are new to me. I think Conrad's post is intended specificially for students in one of his courses, but he's got some helpful thoughts for the rest of us in interpreting the text. Bear in mind that Conrad is rhetorically addressing a particular author here, and isn't really insulting his readers:

Look, pal, this thing isn't about Joseph anymore. You are totally missing the way that Judah steps up outta nowhere here. Maybe, like me, you were expecting Social-Conscience Reuben (Uh, hey guys, I'm not really sure we should be doing this...) to take the lead. But no -- it's Judah, although the story not really about Judah as Judah anymore either.

This is about a network of relationships, about love and reconciliation. This is about what CS Lewis calls the deeper magic from before the dawn of time -- a pattern of atonement that God is hard-wiring into the Jewish psyche as a ripple spreading backward and forward from the event that stands at the centre of time.

I do
n't know about you, but that second paragraph in particular gives me something to think about.


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