A powerful hero of the Bible, Jacob is also one of its most complex figures. Bible stories recounting his life often expose his deception, lies, and greed--then, puzzlingly, attempt to justify them. In this book, eminent biblical scholar Yair Zakovitch presents a complete view of the patriarch, first examining Jacob and his life story as presented in the Bible, then also reconstructing the stories that the Bible writers suppressed--tales that were well-known, perhaps, but incompatible with the image of Jacob they wanted to promote. Through a work of extraordinary "literary archaeology," Zakovitch explores the recesses of literary history, reaching back even to the stage of oral storytelling, to identify sources of Jacob's story that preceded the work of the Genesis writers. The biblical writers were skilled mosaic-makers, Zakovitch shows, and their achievement was to reshape diverse pre-biblical representations of Jacob in support of their emerging new religion and identity. As the author follows Jacob in his wanderings and revelations, his successes, disgraces, and disappointments, he also considers the religious and political environment in which the Bible was written, offering a powerful explication of early Judaism.
New Haven : Yale University Press, ©2012.
ix, 202 pages ;,22 cm.
Chap. 1. The children struggled in her womb: the fight for the birthright
Chapt. 2. He should cheat me twice? He took my birthright and now he has taken my blessing!: Jacob the deceiver
Chapt. 3. And behold, a stairway was set on the ground and its head reached to the sky: Jacobs dream at Bethel
Chapt. 4. It is not the practice in our place: wives and sons, a mixed blessing
Chapt. 5. Let me go and I will go to my place and to my land: Jacobs odyssey from slavery to freedom
Chapt. 6. For you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed: Jacob's homebound encounters
Chapt. 7. Should our sister be treated like a whore? Jacob in Shechem
Chapt. 8. And Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his kin in ripe old age: deaths in the family
Chapt. 9. And Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, for he was the son of his old age: priority of the young
Chapt. 10. Gather together that I may tell you what is to befall you in the days to come: an end, a beginning.
Statement of Responsibility:
Yair Zakovitch ; translated from the Hebrew by Valerie Zakovitch
Jacob (Biblical patriarch)
Bible. Genesis, XXXIII, 18-20 Criticism, interpretation, etc., Jewish.