Today’s passage has another example of two stories where the editor couldn’t decide which to keep. The ancient Biblical editor I mean. Genesis 35:9-10 has God coming to Jacob and renaming him Israel, but this already happened when Jacob wrestled with God, Gen. 32:22-31. These aren’t major contradictions, but just evidence of the Scripture’s formation.
We also get a similar motif with Esau returning to bury his father, Gen. 35:29, as when Ishmael did the same, Gen. 25:9. Like Ishmael, Esau is the father of a great nations. Reviewing the lineage, chiefs and kings of Edom–Esau’s people–it is interesting that the kings are not the children of other kings. Gen. 36. So, for those keeping score, Esau hunted and was a man’s man. But, he married took Hittite wives, and may have given rise to a meritocracy. Hmm.
We finish up with the story of Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. Curiously, Genesis 37:2 starts off listing the age of the son, not the father to put the story in context. Joseph’s mother dies in childbirth a few verses before. His dad loves him better, and he is kind of a pill to his brothers. Seriously fascinating story telling beginning and I understand why it’s a favorite.
Interesting note: Reuben. What to think of him. On the one hand, he slept with his father’s concubine, Gen. 35:22. Not his mother, by the way. On the other hand, when the brothers decide to throw Joseph in a well and let him die, Reuben actually has a plan to go get him, Gen. 37:29. Complicated character I guess, but particularly when you figure he represents a tribe of Israelites.