Jacob wants to head home, but is worried Esau is still sore [Ed: you’ve used this one before]
Jacob reminds God of His promises of safety, sends a big fat bribe
Verse 24-5 “Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams. Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals”. And a partridge in a pear tree.
And Jacob sends his two wives and two womenservants and eleven sons (the daughters aren’t mentioned) over some ford and is All Alone.
And Jacob does some Greco-Roman wrestling (alright, that’s anachronistic) with an evenly matched stranger. It’s a stalemate until Jacob blesses the guy, who says “Now you’re called Israel”
Verse 28 “… for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men and hast prevailed.”
Anyhow, because these two were touching each other up at the hollow of the thigh, this is why
Verse 22 “Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.”
[Of course, for the really loopy dietary restrictions, wait till Leviticus, some time in February]
Esau ain’t sore [Ed: what did I just tell you? You’re fired] and
Verse 4 “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him: and they wept.”
He tells Jacob/Israel to keep his prezzies. “No, I insist.” says Jake.
Esau heads home,leaving some of his flock. Jacob heads of to “Succoth” and builds himself a house, then to Shalem where he buys some land and builds an altar.
Doesn’t he worry about all the work he is creating for Biblical scholars and archaeologists? His carbon dating footprint must be massive!
Dinah, Leah’s daughter went out to see the daughters of the land.
Verse 2 “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw here, he took her, and lay with her, and he defiled her.”
Not clear if she’s a willing participant (see this great column by Dan Savage about rape), but he loves her and wants her as a wife. So his dad Hamor meets Jacob and asks for her hand (well, all of her actually) in marriage for his son. And wider than this-
Verse 9 “And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you: dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.”
So, straightforward exchange-of-women-as-foundations-of-civilisation stuff. Stops you from splashing around in the shallow end of the gene pool.
No can do, says Jacob’s lot, cos you have foreskins, and our kinship possibilities are quite circum… scribed.
So these clowns have a big spokescouncil/Samoan circle
Verse 20 “And Hamor and Schehem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed ith the men of their city, saying…”
Jacob and his lot are so worth having around that (male readers of a nervous disposition may want to look away now. Everyone will unconsciously cross their legs…
Verse 24 “And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.”
And you feel like yelling out, “It’s a trick, don’t do it”, like in a horror movie “Don’t go down there!!”
And sure enough
Verse 25 “And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city bold, and slew all the males.”
It’s nice to know that such barbaric collective punishment isn’t done anymore by soi-disant Chosen People of God. Oh, wait….
Anyhow, they go on a looting binge
Verse 28 “They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city ,and that which was in the field. And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.”
Because two wrongs make a right, you see.
And Jacob worries about the perception management dilemma they know face
Verse 30 “…You have troubled me to make me stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites, and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me and slay me: and I shall be destroy, I and my house.”
“WTF, pa” say Simeon and Levy;
Verse 31 “Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?”