"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Commentary
by Karla Suomala
Biblical scholar Renita Weems has described Jacob as “the first real human being” in the Book of Genesis.
She goes on to say that with the appearance of Jacob on the scene, “we finally have someone with adjectives we can use -- deceptive, clever, shrewd.”1 Before Jacob, she notes, characters seem to be more one-dimensional in that they “pretty much do what God says,” protesting only a bit here and there. Jacob, though, exhibits a much wider range of human behaviors and impulses, often in a marked departure from the high road that Abraham takes as the first patriarch. And although we might not want to admit it, we can probably identify with him more fully.
Deceptive, Clever, Shrewd
In Genesis 25:26 Jacob comes into the world gripping his brother Esau’s heel. In fact, the name Ya’aqov in Hebrew points to this meaning. In its verbal sense, it means “to follow” or “to come behind” while as a noun it means “heel.” Our first encounter with Jacob as a young man suggests that he was well named and that little has changed in the ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 092: Jacob's Dream
September 22, 2013
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers texts for Sept. 22, 2013: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 (corresponding Gospel: John 1:50-51).