Sunday, March 9, 2014

Genesis: Chapter 32

All the doubling
and redoubling

and divisions

merge within
till we see face to face

(For full text of chapter, click here
The duality that has haunted the text since the birth of the twins, Esau and Jacob, becomes almost dizzying here
the chapter opens with "Mahanayim"--lit. dual camp--of angels
the divine realm is soon reflected in the human as Jacob fears a dualized brother ( ("my brother...Esav"), splits his family into two camps; sleeps two nights, splits the second night in two, then moves his two wives and his two maidservants to the other bank of the river.
it is then that Jacob is left utterly "alone," not dualized for the first time since his birth. And at that moment the mysterious assailant comes--an assailant who fuses with Jacob, until it is unclear who is whom in the description. A merging multiplicity, that comes to a head when Jacob receives the second name Israel.
From duality, we come to complexity, internalized multiple names...)

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