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The Progression of Separation: Genesis 13 in the Hebrew Bible and Early Reception

RICKETT, DANIEL,JAMES (2016) The Progression of Separation: Genesis 13 in the Hebrew Bible and Early Reception. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 08 January 2021.


This present study seeks to answer three interconnected questions as pertains to Genesis 13 and the role and function of Lot: (1) Does the text necessitate a reading of Lot as being the first potential heir and/or as the unrighteous counterpart to righteous Abram? (2) If not inherently from the text, then where do these readings of Lot as the potential heir and as the unrighteous counterpart to righteous Abram originate and how can a study of the early reception of Genesis 13 aid in answering that question? (3) If these common assumptions are not derived inherently from the text, then how are Genesis 13 in general, and Lot and his purpose and function, in particular, to be understood? First, I examine the biblical text of Genesis 13 providing a close narrative reading which demonstrates that these common interpretations among modern readers are not inherently rooted in the text itself. On the contrary, the text appears to point to a different understanding of Genesis 13 in general and Lot in particular. Second, after demonstrating that these are not necessary conclusions, I propose that these readings originally developed out of concerns of ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters to safeguard Abram. Last, I provide, based both on my exegesis and reception analysis, a new reading of the place and function of Genesis 13 in general and Lot in particular both in the wider Abraham narrative and Genesis as a whole. I will demonstrate that Lot's relationship with Abram is set up, not within the context of sonship but rather in the context of brotherhood. Abram and Lot's separation not only solves the problematic issue of Lot's accompaniment but also foreshadows the subsequent tension in the patriarchal narratives about brothers being co-dwellers in the land. This tension requires separation, even if the relationship is amicable, and the necessity of the brothers to dwell in different places with only one occupying the land.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Jan 2016 09:41

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