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V'YISHLACH; GENESIS CHAPTER 32: VERSES 25-31: AN EXPOSITION

The patriarchal period of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is located by some scholars as perhaps round about 1900 BCE - the beginning of the second millennium BCE - and occurs in Mesopotamia (Ur and Haran) and on the way to and from Canaan (W.F.Albright in Paul Johnson A History of the Jews p.11 fn18).

It occurs in Canaan - the Promised Land in places like Shechem, Beersheva, Jericho, Hebron and in Egypt where Abraham and Jacob's sons go to get grain when there is a famine in Canaan. Abraham lets it be known that his wife is his sister - fearing that he might be killed if the truth were known in Egypt that he is married to such a beautiful woman. He is banished from Egypt by Pharaoh after plagues occur. This is in some way connected by Pharaoh to Abraham's white lie.

This is but one domestic indication that Egypt is the hegemonic power in the patriarchal period. Canaan is Palestine/Israel but variously promised by God to the Chosen People as either from the Nile to the Euphrates or from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River going from the east to the west, and from about Lebanon in the north to the south including the Sinai Peninsula.

One critique of the current 'promised' land ideology of zealous Jewish settlers in the West Bank is that the promise varies as to which author or group of authors (J, E, P, D or R - see Johnson and The Oxford Companion to the Bible as to the Wellhausen hypothesis) is actually writing the Torah...

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