The Book of Genesis shares many realistic and sacred obstacles experienced by Jacob and Joseph. Jacob spends his early life fleeing from his family. Jacob’s son Joseph is forced to begin a new life in his early years because he is traded by his brothers. After they begin their new lives and have their goals in mind, they are betrayed and forced to find a different approach. These behaviors are looked at from modern readers as being both humanistic and non humanistic. Jacob and Joseph are similar because they both have goals, obstacles that hindered them achieving their goals, and they both used honorable and dishonorable means to reach their goals.
Inside the womb Jacob knew the obstacles he would face in order to reach his goals in life. The Lord said to Jacob’s mother Rebekah, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger (Genesis 25:23, NRSV).” The elder and stronger son was Esau; he was a skillful man of hunting and favored by his father (Genesis 25:27). Jacob, the younger brother, was born into the world clutching the heel of Esau, encountering his first blocked goal: the birthright (Genesis 25:26). In Israel, the birthright was very important; it determined who would inherit the wealth and honor of the family. For Jacob’s family this was a prestigious honor because Isaac, their father had a covenant, which was a union between the Lord and man (Genesis 24:2). One day after Esau came in from the field he begs Jacob for some of the stew that he is cooking (Genesis 27:29-34). Although it was not honorable, Jacob gave Esau a cup of stew in return for his birthright. When Esau begged him for food, Jacob should have given it to him instead of being selfish and taking advantage of his brother. The fight between Jacob and Esau is also similar to Joseph and his brothers. Unlike Jacob, Joseph is favored by... [continues]
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