The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)
The current post follows up on this one. My friend Heath asked the following question:
I am not sure about the pattern. Seems to prove true in these cases. Is it just in Primeval History or does it continue throughout Genesis? Cain and Abel? I see the division and judgement in Babel. How do we know what sections to look for this theme? Is there a structural clue? I see this theme tying to Moses’ purpose in showing Israel what God is doing with them.
Heath, I want to just put some verses out for more reflection:
22But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”‘ (Ex 8.22-23 ESV)
3behold, the hand of the LORD will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. 4 But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.”‘” 5And the LORD set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land.” (Ex 9.3-5)
4So Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, 5and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 6 There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. 7But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. 9Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” (Ex 11.4-9)
Consider also Gerazim and Ebal – Judgment of Blessing and Curses. Consider the sheep and the goats.