Old Testament

Genesis

Jacob – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. Is Jacob ultimately a sympathetic character?
  2. What about Esau?
  3. How does a family story become a national narrative?

Application Questions:

  1. What does it mean for the hero of the story, and the namesake of Israel, to be a trickster? What does it mean for God to have chosen the cheater to be the successful son?
  2. In Scripture, the people of Israel are never related to Canaanites or Egyptians.  Recent scholarship shows that Israelites were a specific group of Canaanites. Why was it so important that their stories differentiate them from these particular neighbors?
  3. Jacob ultimately wrestles with God – literally.  It can sometimes feel like we are wrestling with our faith. How can Jacob’s chosenness, cheating, and eventual wrestling help us think about how we relate to God?

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