Notes on Genesis (xix)

‘You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.’ (Gen 50:20). After a series of well-nigh comic incidents, the plots of Joseph’s brothers are defeated, exposed and forgiven. Commenting on these words, John Chrysostom quotes the Apostle, ‘All things work together for those who love God’ (Rom 8:28) and observes that ‘opposition and apparent disappointment – even these things are […]

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Two Helpers

We seem to be living in a world that is changing quickly. I remember reading once that there may be an error of vision that leads us to see things this way; in a row of telegraph poles, the distance between the two nearest us seems larger than the distances between all the other poles combined.  Nevertheless, it looks as though we […]

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Notes on Genesis (xviii)

‘Come therefore, now let us kill him and cast him into this pit; and we shall say “Some wild beast has devoured him.”‘ (Gen 37:20) Angered by his dreams, Joseph’s brothers plot a terrible revenge. In some ways their handling of Joseph anticipates the treatment Christ receives: the ‘casting down’ into a pit the casting down of Jonah into the depths […]

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Entering into Judgment

The recent rioting in Britain is hard to account for. Doubtless poverty and racial tension have played a part, and further in the background such intangibles as social deprivation and alienation, although these are fuzzy concepts that cry out for definition. And there is also the moral failure of people who chose to steal and, apparently, commit murder. Such actions must be […]

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Notes on Genesis (xvi)

‘Then Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.’ (Gen 32:24) After an absence of many years Jacob, accompanied by his two wives, two maidservants and the eleven sons these four women had by then given him, headed off to meet his estranged brother Esau. (The daughter Dinah, mentioned at 30:21, seems to have been forgotten.) […]

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Jane Austen’s Mr Bennet

Among the inexhaustible pleasures of Pride and Prejudiceis the character of Mr Bennet. Married to a vulgar drama queen and the father of five daughters, three of them deeply disappointing, he passes the time reading in his library, from which he emerges to savour the foolishness of those around him, willfully fail to communicate with his wife, and utter unforgettable lines: ‘You […]

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