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Kate Orman
News From the House of Sticks
Genesis 31 
11th-Aug-2004 06:50 pm
HOLD ON
We're heading into Lloyd Webber territory here. Here's the text, and here are my notes to myself.

- *quick rewind* OK, that "he" in verse 1 is Jacob, overhearing a spot of jealousy on the part of his employers' sons. Uh-oh. Has his breeding program been a bit *too* clever?

- I must have been right that "cattle" means "any hoofed, domesticated animal" - otherwise there are some very dodgy rams in this chapter.

- What are the "images" that Rachel makes off with in verse 19? Oh... verse 30, his gods. What does she want with them?

- Verse 35 (Rachel, you cunning girl!). Is "the custom of women" menstruation or pregnancy?

- Thoughy the Arbitration Commission was going to have to get involved. I get the impression the pillar is a boundary marker - a fence between good neighbours.
Comments 
11th-Aug-2004 02:50 am (UTC)
What are the "images" that Rachel makes off with in verse 19? Oh... verse 30, his gods. What does she want with them?

She wanted to pawn them so she could buy more crack. Yo.
11th-Aug-2004 04:52 am (UTC)
"The custom of women" is her period. She's claiming she can't stand up because her cramps are too bad. :)

I think the idols (teraphim) were like a good luck charm, and by removing them from her father's house Rachel was trying to transfer blessing from her father's house to Jacob's. It does show, I think, that she wasn't (at least not yet) on the same spiritual wavelength as Jacob -- not a monotheist. To her, God may have seemed more like the top dog on the pantheon.

And yeah, I think that's a good description of the pillar.
11th-Aug-2004 05:03 am (UTC)
She's claiming she can't stand up because her cramps are too bad. :)

And what's he gonna do - pick her up and move her out of the way? Mwa ha ha!
11th-Aug-2004 05:08 am (UTC)
Do Not Mess With A Biblical Woman. :)
11th-Aug-2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
it's not that her cramps were so bad she couldn't stand up. it's that, under Hebraic law, any surface that a menstruating woman sits or lies upon is ritually unclean (for that matter, even her shadow makes things unclean). she would be dishonoring her father by exposing him to this uncleanliness.
11th-Aug-2004 01:53 pm (UTC)
Except that this incident took place before the giving of the Law, so either it refers to a custom that predates the Law of Moses, or Rachel really was pleading illness as an excuse for not rising respectfully in her father's presence.
11th-Aug-2004 03:02 pm (UTC)
i suspect that the custom was prevalent before the formal giving of the law. menstrual taboos are very common in tribal cultures.
11th-Aug-2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
Oh darn, there goes my joke too. :-)
11th-Aug-2004 05:23 pm (UTC) - The Eternal Laws...
Anonymous
According to Judaism the Laws espoused in the Torah are eternal. The Patriachs and Matriachs knew the Laws, they had just yet to be codified at Sinai. In fact, according to Midrash, Abraham (at the time known as Abram) spent years converting people to monotheism well before he was ordered by God to pack up his bags and his troubles and head to Israel.

So yeah, God gave those guys a sneak peek and they followed the Laws accordingly.

Seeya,

Mondy
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