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Bibil Identifier bibil:224524
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Structure of Genesis 38: A Thematic Reading
Author Kim, Dohyung
Journal Vetus Testamentum (Volume: 62, Issue: 4)
Year (Publication) 2012
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2012
Year (Copyright) 2012
Year (Reference) 2012
Language English
Pages 550-560 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The relationship of the Judah-Tamar story in Genesis 38 to the so-called Joseph story in Genesis 37-50 has been much discussed. In this article, I am attempting to suggest a new perspective on the structure of Genesis 38. Through a narrative approach, I argue that this chapter can be understood according to Binary Thematic-Symmetrical Patterns and posit what I call the Bucket-Shaped Structure of the Judah-Tamar Story. The story consists of two main episodes (Episode I, vv. 1-19; Episode II, vv. 20-30), which are divided into six smaller sections (vv. 1-5, 6-11, 12-19, 20-23, 24-26, 27-30). It presents two leading characters: Judah and Tamar. Together they experience three common themes; these are, building up a family, shame and deceit. To the reader, the first theme looks positive (+), but the second and the third appear negative (-). In both Episode I and Episode II, the character of Judah enters early in the scenes (vv. 1-5, 20-23) and Tamar's character occupies the ends of the episodes (vv. 12-19, 27-30). The narrator presents Tamar's shame in section two (vv. 6-11) and her deceit in section three (vv. 12-19). Judah's character is also shown in the same way (deceit, vv. 20-23, shame, vv. 24-26). These two episodes can be read as reflecting a dialectic process and could be represented as: Thesis (Episode I) + Antithesis (Episode II) = Synthesis (Establishing a Family). This symmetrical structure in the story of Genesis 38 highlights the significance of childbirth to both Judah and Tamar for securing the next generation within the larger Primary Narrative (Genesis-2 Kings).
DOI 10.1163/15685330-12341083
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Bible (as a whole) : Bible (as a whole) -- Hermeneutics - Methods : Methods : Synchronic Methods
Pericopes Genesis 38
Last modification 2017-10-27