The issue of consent has been much discussed in the wake of, among other things, the #MeToo movement, and I was wondering how we can relate that to the types of marriage practices that we see in the Bible, where consent really is not at the forefront, if relevant at all. What are we to make of concubinage, war brides, bride kidnapping (in Judges), rape laws (where unbetrothed virgins may be given in marriage to their rapists) or just the fact that Mosaic law seems to place a daughter’s choice of spouse entirely in her father’s hands? Many have highlighted that what David did to Bathsheba was most likely rape, but do we also change the way we speak about, say, Abraham and Hagar? As a concubine/slave, was Hagar in a position to consent? How do we speak honestly and forcefully about the evil of forced marriage and the importance of consent, considering that the Bible does not seem to condemn these things in a straightforward way? The Church has historically held that mutual consent is necessary for marriage, but was that arrived at independent of the biblical witness or in proper extrapolation from it? I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue.
Today, I discuss a few of the echoes of the Genesis narrative in later stories in Scripture.
In part 27 of Abraham’s story you started to talk about the ‘random man’ who gives Joseph a lot of information in 37:15-17. Could you say some more about this odd character?
On this episode of the Theopolis podcast, both Peter Leithart and James Jordan are away, so I discuss themes of resurrection in the story of Joseph by myself.
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A discussion of parallels between Judah’s story in Genesis 38 and the story of Samson in Judges 14-16.
Today, I discuss Genesis 39, the story of Joseph in Potiphar’s house and Joseph’s resistance of Potiphar’s wife.
Today, I discuss Genesis 38 and the story of Judah and Tamar.
Today, I discuss the abduction of Dinah in Genesis 34 and the violent response of Levi and Simeon.
I discuss Genesis 31, where God appears to Jacob, Jacob flees from the house of Laban, Rachel takes Laban’s teraphim, and Laban and Jacob make a covenant.
What were the purposes of levirate marriage? I can see that it would help to provide for widows, but its described purposes appear to go beyond that. In our culture, if a brother dies, he and his brother already share a name and his nieces and nephews by a brother will carry on the family name. My understanding is that the Israelites did not have family names in the same manner as modern English-speaking cultures. What was different about Israelite culture that causes the first child born of a levirate marriage being described in Deuteronomy 25 as assuming the name of the dead brother (and what does such a taking of the brother’s name mean, in cultural context)? Also, does levirate marriage imply polygamy because of how, with regard to the levirate marriage, it apparently contains an increased risk that the surviving brother will not have a child from that marriage to succeed him (if, for instance, he only has one son by that wife)?