7/15 Reading (Genesis 34-36; Psalms 6-9)

Genesis 34: This chapter focused on the rape of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. She was attacked by Shechem, the son of the prince of the region they were in. When Jacob found out, he waited for his sons and then talked with Shechem and his father, Prince Hamor. Shechem wanted to marry Dinah. They made an arrangement. If all the men of their region agreed to be circumcised, then they would agree to arranged marriages (i.e. Jacob’s sons daughters would be given to these men and their daughters would be given to them). My thought while reading this was “wait, what?” I’d be beyond furious. However, after the all of the men went through the circumcision, Simeon and Levi, two of Dinah’s brothers, attacked and killed all of the men of the city because of the attack on Dinah. The other brothers plundered the city. Jacob got angry with his sons and was afraid they would be attacked by larger armies. I think their response was good: “But they said, ‘Should our sister be treated like a whore?’” (Gen. 34.31)

Genesis 35: Jacob and his family continued on in their journey. God visited Jacob and told him to go to Bethel and make an altar there to God. This is where Jacob first went when he fled his brother, Esau. On their journey God protected them. The next part of this chapter confused me:

⁹ God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and he blessed him. ¹⁰ God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall you be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he was called Israel. ¹¹ God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall spring from you. ¹² The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.”

I’m confused because God had already renamed Jacob Israel in Genesis 32. However, the Bible still referred to him as Jacob for a few more chapters. Perhaps it didn’t stick the first time. Not too sure why the repeat. Unless it was because of the priestly and non-priestly sources. Another thing was the message of procreation. Israel already had a bunch of offspring. The notes shed light on this repetition. This was from the priestly source. The story in Gen. 32 was from the non-priestly source.

Finally, near the end of this chapter, Rachel, Israel’s first wife (she was supposed to be), died during labor. Jacob honored her. The chapter ends with Israel, although the text still refers to him as Jacob periodically, arriving back home right before Isaac, his father, dies.

Genesis 36: This chapter outline the Esau and his descendants. The text mentions that he was also called Edom. Nothing much to say about this.

Psalm 6: To me this reading is about asking God for help during a time of fear and terror. The author is afraid and is struggling. They are asking God for his mercy. The author grows weak and needs help. It ends with the author telling his enemies to beware because God has heard his/her plea for help: “All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame” (Psalm 6.10).

Psalm 7: The author is asking God to saved him from his pursuers. He tells God that if he has done evil things to his pursuers, then allow him to be caught. But he continues to ask God to pretty much come and fight the sinners and evil people. It ends with the author expressing his appreciation.

Psalm 8: The author is praising God for all of creation. It references the moon and stars (Psalm 8.3) and humans (Psalm 8.4). It then proceeds to talk about all of the things that humans are higher than, such as sheep, oxen, beasts of the field, birds of the air, and fish of the sea. This one is a little hard for me because I don’t think this is actually how it worked. This is a good religious explanation, but I accept the scientific explanation.

Psalm 9: This one just seems like the author is praising God for his help. He is thankful for God’s destruction of his enemies. It ends with the author saying this: “¹⁹ Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail; let the nations be judged before you. ²⁰ Put them in fear, O Lord; let the nations know that they are only human.” The author is thankful for God’s destruction of his enemies.

I gotta admit, reading the Psalms is tough. For some reason I don’t get a lot out of them. I feel that I’m not appreciating them. Although, looking back at my thoughts on the Psalms from last week, I did appreciate them.

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