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Bolstering Ethnic Election: Sojourn In The Promise Speeches

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Chapter Summary

Genesis includes six references to sojourn in dialogue form, that is, in speeches or messages between characters in a narrative setting (19:9; 21:23; 23:4; 32:5; 47:4, 9). The sojourn references offer opportunities for reflection on the dynamics of interaction between the patriarchs as outsiders, or temporary residents, and the people with whom they come in contact. In each of the texts described in this chapter, sojourn is associated with a particular virtue exemplified by the actions of the patriarch. These 'sojourn virtues' are depicted in the context of interaction with outsiders to the ethnie. The chapter explicates the virtue depicted by each text in turn, teasing out in each case the relationship of this virtue to territoriality and election. It examines the ways in which sojourn contributes to both these elements, and thus works to bolster Israelite ethnic identity.

Keywords:Genesis; Israelite ethnic identity; sojourn



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