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Abraham'S Blessing And Prayer

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Chapter Summary

Abraham’s blessing to Jacob was given in the general context of the covenant between God and Abraham’s offspring, and in the specific context of the election of Israel (Jacob) as opposed to other nations (Esau). Abraham’s blessing of Jacob is therefore part of the realization of God’s blessing to Israel in the first week of creation. The spirits in Abraham’s prayer are described as divine beings, and therefore Abraham is unable to withstand their machinations without God’s assistance. The “evil spirits” “rule the thoughts of people’s minds,” and therefore, human beings are unable to freely choose for them not to sin. The description of the actions of the spirits fits a dualistic worldview, but is still not a purely deterministic approach, because according to the story, Abraham’s prayer is effective.

Keywords: Abraham’s prayer; Esau; evil spirits; God’s blessing; Israel; Jacob

10.1163/ej.9789004150577.i-372.70
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