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From Genesis, we will focus on the character and story of Jacob. Jacob, or Israel, becomes the patriarch whom all the Israelites of Exodus claim as their common (and eponymous) ancestor. It behooves us, therefore, to examine his character and accomplishments particularly closely. What special skills and qualities does Jacob have? Does he remind you of any characters from the Greek works we read? What might any such similarities imply about the skills and qualities valued in Judaic and Classical lore, respectively?
Leah and Rachel, as the only female exemplars of the sibling rivalry/reversal of primogeniture plot, are also of particular interest. On what does their rivalry center? What tools does each wield in her own behalf? In what ways does Jacob himself take on the role of God in his dealings with them? Can you draw connections between Jacob's role here and that of Moses in Exodus?
Note especially the complexity of the narrative in Gen. 31, dealing with Jacob's departure from the house and service of Laban. What is the effect of the threefold perspective here (Jacob, Laban, Rachel)? How much information does each character have about what is really going on? What ironies does this produce?
From Exodus, we will mostly be concerned with the story of Moses, the escape of the Israelites from Egypt, the giving of the law (establishment of covenant), and the Golden Calf episode (breach of covenant): that is, Ch 1-20 and Ch. 32. You should certainly read the other chapters, but focus particularly closely on the ones I have mentioned.
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