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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Gen. 41-42 (immigrants)

This is more of the big story of Joseph in Egypt.  Joseph's dream interpretation is a fascinating episode in an era when intellectualism is so under attack.  The story also seems to challenge nationalism.  Joseph adapted the ways of his new country.  He was an immigrant and because the country where he was brought as a slave allowed him to exercise his exceptional skills, the county prospered and avoided catastrophe.  Seems like a nice lesson.

Fashion plays a bigger part in chapter 41 than in many books of the Bible.  In 41:14 before bringing Joseph to Pharaoh "afeitarse y cambiarse de ropa/shave him and change his clothes".  In 41:42, after he is a place of authority he get "ropa de lino fino/fine linen clothing."  He also gets a wife, a couple of kids--who will be important for keeping the 12 tribes thing going later--and otherwise seems to assimilate into Egyptian culture very well.

In Genesis 42 we get back to trickery to screw with his brothers, but the did sell him into slavery. So ...

3 comments:

Matt Dick said...

The story also seems to challenge nationalism. Joseph adapted the ways of his new country. He was an immigrant and because the country where he was brought as a slave allowed him to exercise his exceptional skills, the county prospered and avoided catastrophe. Seems like a nice lesson.

Nationalism is natural to challenge when you're the outsider looking for a home. When you're the majority, it's not so easy.

JimII said...

It is so not easy, that people who claim to profess a religion in which the sacred text is written exclusively by beaten down oppressed outsiders manage to find a way to merge that religion with nationalism. #impressive

Matt Dick said...

yep... and it's so basic to the text that even the Christians who are using it to bludgeon the oppressed use the language of the oppressed to do it. It's amazing.