By Donald B. Redford
We're tremendously indebted to Dr. Redford for this thorough piece of labor. It illustrates the necessity for monographs that can assemble jointly the accrued result of sustained examine with extra amplitude than is feasible in a piece of writing and extra element than is feasible in a remark. there are various different specified chunks of culture within the OT, rather within the Pentateuch, which deserve such therapy. Redford's paintings features a complete overview of previous paintings, a clean and painstaking exam of numerous salient concerns, and a few confident conclusions.
The distinctive difficulties offered by way of the Joseph tale warrant exam in detachment from the remainder of the Pentateuch. As Redford's paintings exhibits, too many matters were prejudged simply because effects (or hypotheses) derived from surrounding fabrics were authorized to steer, if to not dictate, the end result of investigating Genesis 37-50. A parade instance is using the divine names, and different contrastive vocabulary-pairs, as hallmarks of the resource files J and E. As Redford exhibits, Yahweh is specific to ch. 39. additionally, different pairs, like Israel/Jacob, whereas now not correlating with this primary clue, do need to a point a concomitant distribution with the Judah/Reuben motifs.
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Extra info for A Study of the Biblical Story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50)
In fitting the Patriarchal Traditions into this framework, the Genesis editor was setting for himself a tour de force, and may not have been altogether unaware of it. 2 At Isaac's death Jacob would have been 120 (cf. 25: 26 with 35: 28); he died at the age of 147, after having spent 17 years in Egypt (47: 28). When the events of chapter 37 took place he would have been 108 (130-22 [13 (Gen. 41: 46) 7 (Gen. 41: 48) 2 (Gen. 45: 11)]). ; Eerdmans AS I, 69; for parallels to the adoption of Ephraim and Manasseh in ancient cultures, see 1.
It should be noted that when Jacob journeys to Egypt he starts out 2 from Beersheba; and the details of chapter 37 3 suggest that this is where the writer of the Joseph Story located the patriarch's homestead. 4 A later glossator, however, wished to locate the residence in the vicinity of Hebron,5 and the reason for this was probably the notice ofIsaac's death. Isaac had to be buried at Hebron (cf. 25: 9-10), and this had to be related before the Genesis editor inserted his taUrjoj-formula with the genealogies of Esau and Jacob (cf.
The above considerations show that the writer of the bulk of vs. 2 had the Joseph Story already before him, as well as the birth traditions, that he took an interest in personal relationships superfluous to the story, and that he was concerned about chronology. All this points to the editor of the present Book of Genesis, the same who makes use of the to/frjo/-formula, and is responsible for the inclusion of the genealogical material. To him we may safely assign vss. 1 and 2, and construe them as editorial introduction to the story proper which begins in vs.