Yahwist’s Parallel Formation Techniques

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Yahwist’s Parallel Formation Techniques

Post by klewis » Sat May 04, 2019 11:42 am

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.

Moses' Marriage Jacob's Marriage
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 Deceives Jacob Deceived
  • 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.

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