It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cycles, Reflecting on Genesis 24:34-38, 42-29, 58-67

Genesis is a book of cycles--this generation will repeat what the previous generation has done. Yet, no generation repeats exactly. Watch for differences.

For example, compare how Genesis presents Sarah and then Rebekah. We are not told anything about Sarah's life before she married Abraham. We don't know how she reacts to the migration plans. We don't know whether Abraham told anything about his agreement to sacrifice Isaac or whether she was even told about it when Abraham and Isaac returned.

On the other hand, we are introduced to Rebekah even before Isaac is. Abraham sends his servant back to Haran to find a suitable wife for his son. When he sees Rebekah at the spring of water, the servant tells her how wealthy Isaac's father is. He tells her how she is the answer to his prayer. When she tells him who her family is, he gives her gifts of jewelry, and asks her to agree to marry Isaac.

The cycle of the next generation will have similarities and differences. Isaac and Rebekah's son, Jacob, will also marry a woman from Haran. The meeting will also be at a well, but Jacob will make the trip himself.

Another difference between the stories of Abraham and Sarah and of Isaac and Rebekah is the way they perceive God's directions to them. Abraham hears God directly. Genesis doesn't tell us whether Isaac does. Abraham's servant prays to God and feels assurance that God is directing things (Genesis 24:12-14, 21-27, 42-49). But, we are not told whether Rebekah herself heard God directly.


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