Understanding Isaac’s Authoritative Character as Patriarch A Narrative Reading of Genesis 26:1-33
Cristino Robles Pine
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Gen. 12–50 is commonly regarded as the patriarchal narratives.Abraham is given a cycle (Gen. 12–25). Jacob is also given a cycle (Gen. 25–35). Gen. 37–50 develops into a kind of novel-la that tells the story of Joseph. However, Gen. 26,1-33 is the only narrative unit given to Isaac as patriarch. With this unit of only thirty-three verses, which at the same time appears to be composite, can Isaac’s authoritative character as patriarch be affirmed? Through a narrative analysis, beginning from an analysis of the text (linguistic benchmarks), and proceeding to analyses of the characters, time, discourses and plot, can the reader come to understand Isaac’s patriarchal character better? Can this analysis support the idea about the patriarchal narratives trying to legitimize returnees’ claim of the land, reflective of the land problem at that time of restoration? What makes Isaac’s character truly authoritative? What could be the theological-pastoral implications of this analysis to our present context, particularly in societies where inequality is widespread and violence has escalated?

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