"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 Terence E. Fretheim
Jacob is Israel.
This claim centers the Genesis story of Jacob (Genesis 25:19-36:43). Jacob remains an individual in his own right, but over the course of the story he becomes Israel. In the end, Jacob is more than an individual and his Genesis story tells a story about the people of Israel. Every Israelite can recognize themselves in this story; as such, it is remarkably honest and unpretentious. Yes: I, the reader, am Jacob/Israel. This story looks like me.
The center of the Jacob story (Genesis 29:31-30:24), with its explosion of God language, speaks of the birth of almost all of the twelve sons (tribes) of Israel (plus Dinah). The four appearances of God to Jacob are scattered across the story (25:23; 28:10-22; 32:22-32; 35:9-15).
The second appearance of God in 28:10-22, often named “Jacob’s Dream at Bethel,” centers the text to be considered here. Inasmuch as this text speaks of the first appearance of Jacob by himself, it can be said to represent a new beginning for the central ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL283: Jacob's Dream
September 24, 2017
This is the podcast for Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Sept. 24, 2017, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.