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Exegetical Essay: Jacob wrestles with God-by Maria Grace, Ph.D.

Exegetical Essay: Jacob wrestles with God-by Maria Grace, Ph.D.

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Published by maria7093
This is an exegesis of the passage in Genesis 32:22-32, in which Jacob wrestles all night with a stranger next to the river Jabbok. In the morning, the strangers lets him go after giving him a limp and changing Jacob's name to Israel. Implications for Christian theology and faith as well as the spiritual meaning of name-giving are explored.
This is an exegesis of the passage in Genesis 32:22-32, in which Jacob wrestles all night with a stranger next to the river Jabbok. In the morning, the strangers lets him go after giving him a limp and changing Jacob's name to Israel. Implications for Christian theology and faith as well as the spiritual meaning of name-giving are explored.

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Published by: maria7093 on Jan 04, 2010
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08/24/2010

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Exegetical EssayJacob wrestles with God (Genesis 32:22-32)Maria Grace, Ph.D.
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction: The story of Jacob (Genesis 25-36) 3Selected passage: Jacob wrestles with a Man (Genesis 32:22-32) 4Setting, genre, geography, and main characters 5Main themes revealed in the passage 7a.
 
The Man
ʼ
s Identity 7b.
 
Encounter with God 9c.
 
Jacob becomes Israel 10d.
 
Blessing and name-giving 12e.
 
Memory of the event in the following generations 13Conclusion 14Bibliography 15
 
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Introduction: The story of Jacob (Genesis 25-36)
 The story of Jacob, presented in chapters 25-36 of the book of Genesis, is anarrative of different episodes, tied together by itineraries or genealogical references.Written as family narratives, the individual stories betray diverse origins that leavescholars uncertain about their specificity.For the purposes of this essay, the Jacob story (Genesis 25:19-36:43) is read asa unity, and a literary entity with a life of its own. In this light, it is seen it as a story of aperson
ʼ
s journey, in which the main character, Jacob, flees from Canaan to Haran andfinally returns to Canaan. Within this journey, there is also a journey through the land ofpromise in 33:18-35:27, after the return. This itinerary presents Jacob as a person and afamily in constant movement, a theme anticipating the portrayal of Israel in the book ofExodus, as a peoples journeying out of Egypt through the wilderness to the promisedland.
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 Israel as a nation begins with Jacob. In the story, Jacob
ʼ
s character andpersonality develop throughout a series of events, until he becomes Israel. Jacob
ʼ
sbecoming Israel is the overriding theme in his story as it unfolds through the narrativesof four main themes, namely: a) the Divine Promise for land and descendants (28:3-4,13-14; 35:11-12), and for God
ʼ
s presence and care for Jacob (28:15; 31:3); b) the DivineBlessing from God to Jacob (32:29; 35:9); c) God
ʼ
s speaking to Jacob to promise(28:13-15; 31:3; 35:11-12), to command (31:3, 13; 35:1), to advise (31:12), to bless(32;29), and to name (32:28; 35:10), and; d) Conflict, which starts at the onset of the
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(The New Interpreter
ʼ
s Bible, 516)
 

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