Re: Jacob: Was Evolution & Identity of the ID designer

Date: Thu Dec 05 2002 - 07:50:10 EST

  • Next message: Robert Schneider: "Re: Jacob: Was Evolution & Identity of the ID designer"

    In a message dated 12/5/02 12:00:53 AM Eastern Standard Time,=20 writes:

    > Bob:
    > And further, it is not clear that "In fact the Lord has already predicted
    > that the older will serve the younger." The Hebrew of the oracle (Gen.
    > 27:40) is ambiguous (as ancient oracles often are): it can read either,
    > "the older shall serve the younger" or "the older, the younger shall serve=
    > And when did Esau in fact serve Jacob? Even if one thinks that the Lord d=
    > not condemn Jacob, it is certainly clear from his tragic and unhappy story
    > that Jacob paid plenty for his trickery, which suggests to me that cunning
    > is not favored in God's eyes. Isaac could not reassign the birthright,
    > because once the blessing was given it could not be retracted. If you rea=
    > carefully the episode of Jacob's return and meeting with Esau, Jacob
    > repeatedly addresses Esau as "my lord" and himself as "your servant;" and=20=
    > bestows upon Esau his blessing (Gen. 33:1-17). The oracle is fullfilled i=
    > unexpected ways.
    > Unfortunately, there is a widespread tendency to read these stories in
    > Genesis superficially and not give close attention to the complexities and
    > nuances of the narratives.

    St. Augustine disagrees with your translation:

    "That saying, "The elder shall serve the younger", is understood by our=20
    writers, almost without exception, to mean that the elder people, the Jews,=20
    shall serve the younger people, the Christians. And truly, although this=20
    might seem to be fulfilled in the Idumean nation, which was born of the elde=
    (who had two names, being called both Esau and Edom, whence the name=20
    Idumeans), because it was afterwards to be overcome by the people which=20
    sprang from the younger, that is, by the Israelites, and was to become=20
    subject to them; yet it is more suitable to believe that, when it was said,=20
    "The one people shall overcome the other people, and the elder shall serve=20
    the younger," that prophecy meant some greater thing; and what is that excep=
    what is evidently fulfilled in the Jews and in the Christians? [...] He=20
    [Christ] is the Lord of His brethren, because His people rules over the=20
    (The City of God, XVI:35, 37)=20

    Could it be that my interpretation of 'the elder shall serve the younger' is=
    correct and that historical context such as this interpretation from=20
    Augustine supports me in this regard? Augustine also remarks that 'our=20
    writers, almost without exception' interpret the lines the way he does and I=


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