Notes on Genesis (xxvi) Cain, his parents and God

In many ways the story of Cain and Abel looks back to the preceding narrative in Genesis. God’s assertion that Abel would have recourse to Cain, who would rule over him (4:7) reproduces his statement that after the fall Eve would have recourse to Adam, who would rule over her (3:16). Similarly, his question to Cain, who had just murdered Abel, ‘Where is Abel […]

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Notes on Genesis (xxii)

‘Let us make him a help appropriate to him.’ (Gen 2:18) With  these words a period of activity on the part of God that culminates in the creation of the woman is introduced. While translations into English generally follow the Hebrew and provide for the opening ‘I will make’, the Greek text of the Septuagint goes for a first person plural subjunctive present, […]

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Notes on Genesis (xx)

‘Then Joseph said to his brethren, “I am about to die; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land God swore to our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”’ (Gen 50:24) The promise of a land has been a theme for most of Genesis. An initial promise that Abraham would be given the land of Canaan (12:7, […]

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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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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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