Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Genesis: Chapter 33


And the final split

I see your face,
now pass my face

(For the full chapter, click here
the climactic, chiastic closing of Jacob's journey, the end of his second escape [barakh]
after the night's  aloneness, Jacob once again splits to duality: the two wives, the two handmaids, and of course, the duality with which he was born: his twin.
This chapter is dominated by the imagery of faces: it is introduced by Penuel [lit. God's face] "for I have seen God face to face, and my life is saved"; Jacob goes "before the faces" [lifnei] his family; he sees Esau's "face as one sees God" and is not only saved, but "finds favor, desire" [ve-tirzeni--first time this root appears in the Bible]. After this brief contact, the brother's once again split, as Jacob tells Esau to "go before my face" [le-fanai])

No comments:

Post a Comment