By Keith Bodner
"An Ark at the Nile: the start of the e-book of Exodus is a close-reading of Exodus 1-2 that analyzes the tale as a pretty self-contained unit, yet suggesting that significant plot hobbies within the booklet of Exodus are foreshadowed and expected right here. making use of a few insights from literary thought, Keith Bodner deals an indication of extra integration of religious study with cross-disciplinary narrative interpretation." Read more...
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Extra resources for An ark on the Nile : beginning of the Book of Exodus
By way of background, we recall that the favoritism Jacob bestows on his young son Joseph does not have a salutatory effect in the narrative. On the contrary, combined with Joseph’s immature 22 Dozeman, “The Wilderness and Salvation History in the Hagar Story,” 33. 28 An Ark on the Nile temperament, the simmering rivalries are barely contained in the early part of Genesis 37. Comparable jealousy and resentment seem to reappear in Exod 2:14 with the accusation against Moses. 23 The brothers’ resentment reaches its culmination with a plot to destroy Joseph, as he is seized and thrown into an empty cistern presumably to die of starvation.
The pattern of anonymous minor characters who act on behalf of the sons of Israel certainly can be seen in Exodus 1–2. The midwives, for instance, fear God in Exod 1:17, and this quality leads to their intrepid and resourceful actions that sustain the people’s growth in a time of persecution. So, one might suggest that the words and actions of Joseph’s steward set the tone for these subsequent characters, as his surprising discourse about God’s involvement with the brothers and their silver is surely an intriguing element of the storyline.
Based on the confusion and vulnerability, a larger theme can be glimpsed: The dreams about reversal of position, about strength and weakness, about the mystery of human responsiveness to divine tides, though integral to the Joseph story and vital for building its particular potentate, 28 Greifenhagen, Egypt on the Pentateuch’s Ideological Map, 36. 32 An Ark on the Nile are challenging beyond it as well. If the story of the exodus from Egypt is arguably the fundamental pattern of the whole biblical narrative, then the Joseph story, its action propelled by the dreams, poses the question of why the going-out was necessary.