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The Yahwist in Genesis-Exodus formed his stories by using a three step process process.
Step 1: The creation of a story that has two parts to it, such as the marriage of Moses.
Step 2: Through parallel formation create a second story. In this case it is the marriage of Moses and the marriage of Jacob.
|Prior to Moses’ Marriage
||Prior to Jacob’s Marriage (Jacob Deceives -- see below)
* Moses kills an Egyptian (Exod 2:12).
- Moses tries to hide his crime from the Hebrews, his brothers (Exod 2:11-13).
- Moses fails to hide his crime from Pharaoh (Exod 2:14).
- Moses flees to a far away land so that Pharaoh does not kill him (Exod 2:15).
- Jacob swindles Esau into giving him his birthright (Gen 25:27-34).
- Jacob swindles Isaac into giving Esau’s blessing to him (Gen 27:1- 40).
* Isaac Dies (Gen 27:41).
- Jacob flees to a far away land so that Esau does not kill him (Gen 27:42-44).
|Moses Encounters is Bride To Be
||Jacob Encounters His Bride To Be (Jacob Deceived -- see below)
- Moses ends up at a well (Exod 2:15).
- Shepherds try and stop the seven daughters from watering their goats (Exod 2:16-17).
- Moses defends the daughters and help them water their goats (Exod 2:17).
- The daughters went home and did not tell their father (Exod 2:18).
- Their father sent his daughters to invite Moses to dinner (Exod 2:19).
- They had a meal – implied (Exo 2:20-21).
- Moses marries Zipporah (Exod 2:21).
- A statement about Moses’ son (Exod 2:22).
- Jacob ends up at a well (Gen 29:1-5).
- Shepherds wait for Rachel so that they can water their sheep (Gen 29:6-9).
- Jacob assaults (kisses) Rachel (Gen 29:10-11).
- Rachel returns home and tells her father (Gen 29:12).
- Laban, Rachel’s father, ran out to meet Jacob (Gen 29:13).
- There was a meal (29:22).
- Jacob marries (29:23-28).
- A statement regarding the naming of Jacob’s sons (Gen 29:32:-35).
*Parallel elements out of order.
Step 3: Expand the second story, the marriage of Jacob, by parallel formation between the first half and the second half of the story.
- Jacob trades a cup of soup for Esau’s birthright making him the first born son (Gen 25:27-34).
- Isaac cannot see well (Gen 27:1).
- Rebekah, the mother, enlists the aid of the youngest son to take the eldest son’s blessing (Gen 27:5-25).
- Isaac gives Esau’s blessing to Jacob (Gen 27:26-29).
- Isaac realizes he has been deceived and Esau demands another blessing (27:30-41).
- Isaac gives Esau a second blessing which he did not like (Gen 27:39).
- Laban trades Jacob seven years of labor for Laban’s second born daughter (Gen 29:18).
- Jacob did not see that he married Leah (Gen 29:22-25).
- Laban, the father, enlists Leah, the eldest daughter, in tricking Jacob into marrying her (Gen 29:22-25).
- Jacob consummates the marriage with Leah (Gen 29:23).
- Jacob realizes he has been deceived and demands the youngest daughter (Gen 29:25-27).
- Laban gives Jacob his second daughter with the condition that he works another seven years (Gen 29:27-30).
Parallel formation shows us how the marriage of Jacob is larger than the marriage of Moses.