Genesis Great Patriarchs

Topics: Jacob, Isaac, Ishmael Pages: 6 (1392 words) Published: December 9, 2012

• Theology – “words about God”

• Philosophy – “love of wisdom”

• Covenant – an agreement between two parties where each promises to do their part no matter what the other party does

• Drama – stories with dialogue, action, and characters that represent groups or types

• Ancestor – a family member from the distant past

• Descendent – a family member from a future generation

• Patriarch – “father,” male leader or head of the family

• Abrahamic Faiths – name given to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam who all claim Abraham as an ancestor

• Zionism – 19th/20th Century movement to reestablish a Jewish state in Palestine

• Circumcision – surgically removing a male’s foreskin, especially as a religious practice

• Well of Zamzam - in Mecca, thought by Muslims to be the well God showed to Hagar and Ishmael, the ancestors of Muhammad

• Dramatic Irony - where the audience knows more than the characters

• “Fear of God” – phrase in the bible that means obedience or respect more than being afraid of God

• Edom – represented by Esau, a country neighboring ancient Israel that was often under Jewish control

• Primogeniture – “first born,” leadership of the family and extra property rights given to the firstborn son

• Mandrakes – a root used as a fertility drug in the ancient world

• “Israel” – “one who wrestles with God,” name given to Jacob after his encounter with the angel

• “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” – a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that tells the story of Joseph from Genesis 37-50.

Character Identifications

• Abram/Abraham – “the father is exalted,” husband to Sarah and Hagar, father of Ishmael and Isaac, forms a covenant with God where he is promised land, a nation, and a blessing

• Sarah – “princess,” Abraham’s wife, Isaac’s mother, thought to be sterile, encourages Abraham to take Hagar as a second wife and then kicks Hagar out of the household

• Hagar – Abraham’s second wife, Ishmael’s mother, God shows her a well in the desert to keep her son alive

• Ishmael – Abraham’s oldest son, considered an ancestor of Muhammad and the link between Muslims and Abraham

• Isaac – “laughter,” Abraham’s son, Rebekah’s husband, father of Jacob and Esau, nearly sacrificed by Abraham, fooled into blessing Jacob instead of Esau

• Rebekah – Isaac’s wife, Jacob and Esau’s mother, thinks up a plan to fool her husband into blessing Jacob instead of Esau

• Esau – Isaac’s oldest/favored son, Jacob’s brother, described as a strong but unintelligent, a skilled hunter, foolishly trades his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup

• Jacob/Israel – “leg-puller,” Isaac’s younger/Rebekah’s favored son, Esau’s younger brother, described as soft but smart, known for his trickery, born gripping Esau’s heel, buys Esau’s birthright for a bowl of soup, fools Isaac into giving him Esau’s blessing, marries four women (Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, Zilpah), has twelve sons and one daughter, tricked by Laban into marrying Leah, wrestles God to a draw but is injured, favors his son Joseph with a special robe, tricked by his sons into thinking Joseph is dead

• Leah – “weak, cow,” Jacob’s first (mostly unloved) wife, Rachel’s sister, mother of 6 of Jacob’s sons and his only daughter Dinah, trades her son’s mandrakes to Rachel for a night with Jacob

• Rachel – “pure one,” Jacob’s second (favorite) wife, Leah’s sister, mother of Joseph and Benjamin, thought to be sterile but desperate for children, encourages Jacob to marry her servant Bilhah, trades one night with Jacob for Leah’s mandrakes

• Bilhah – Jacob’s third wife, Rachel’s servant, mother of two of Jacob’s sons

• Zilpah – Jacob’s fourth wife, Leah’s servant, mother of two of Jacob’s sons

• Reuben – Jacob’s oldest son (by Leah), collects mandrakes for his mother, convinced...
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