Yoram Hazony and the Deception of Isaac

A post of mine has just been published over on the Theopolis blog. Within it, I engage with part of Yoram Hazony’s superb The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, bringing him into conversation with James Jordan’s Primeval Saints on the question of the ethics of Jacob’s deception of his father Isaac. I outline Hazony’s approach to the interpreting of scriptural narrative and then bring those principles to bear upon the narrative of Genesis 27, calling into question Jordan’s reading of the passage (a reading I have advanced myself in the past):

However, if we are to perceive the meaning of the arguments being advanced in biblical narratives, Hazony maintains that we must first be disabused of our expectation that the viewpoint of the biblical authors is a simplistic one. This attitude is especially pronounced among those who approach biblical narratives seeking a tidy ‘moral of the story’, assuming that ‘the author’s view of what is taking place in a given passage must be locatable on a map of simplistic categories such as: (i) approves, (ii) disapproves, or (iii) is amused and intrigued but passes no moral judgment.’ Rather, we must recognize the sophistication and subtlety of the biblical authors. While we may discover a clear authorial standpoint, we should not expect it to be such a simplistic one.

Read the whole thing here.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in 1 Samuel, Bible, Genesis, Hermeneutics, OT, OT Theology, Scripture, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Yoram Hazony and the Deception of Isaac

  1. CW says:

    Congratulations, Alastair! This is fantastic.

    I have been listening to Jordan’s lectures on Jacob and Esau (on Theopolis Podcast) so this is very much on point. David as something of an antitype breathes a lot of meaning into the original account.

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