The Literary Artistry of the Bible (Gen 38)

In his famous literary introduction to the narrative portions of the Bible, Robert Alter opens with an analysis of Gen 38, the passage that I'll be preaching this coming Lord's Day.  Noting that traditional higher critical approaches have struggled to make sense of the placement of Gen 38, Alter offers a close reading to the… Continue reading The Literary Artistry of the Bible (Gen 38)

John Calvin on Joseph’s Sale into Slavery

Calvin is such an interesting exegete and does such a fine job of application in his exposition of the Joseph story.  I was struck by this line today in his commentary on Genesis 37: Thus the promise of God, which had exalted [Joseph] to honour, almost plunges him into the grave.  We, also, who have… Continue reading John Calvin on Joseph’s Sale into Slavery

Do the brothers bring? (Gen 37:32)

There is an interesting textual feature in Gen 37:32. After selling Joseph to the Midianite/Ishmaelite caravan, they dip his special garment in goat blood in order to deceive their father. (Don't miss the irony here as Jacob himself used both a goat and a garment to deceive his own father many years before.) But do… Continue reading Do the brothers bring? (Gen 37:32)

Joseph in Potiphar’s House (Genesis 39) and its Egyptian Literary Parallels?!

Old Testament specialists have a tendency to love ancient Near Eastern (ANE) literature.  This is not always the case, but it does seem to be often the case.  I once heard a very unofficial statistic, that were it not for OT studies, perhaps 95% of the students currently taking Akkadian in American university classrooms would… Continue reading Joseph in Potiphar’s House (Genesis 39) and its Egyptian Literary Parallels?!