In this section of Luther's Lectures on Genesis the subject is the mature child of God in the school of adversity. Says Luther, "We have seen the triumphs and glory of Jacob . . . let us now also descend with him into hell and see his sadness and terror." Eight events in this mounting series of afflictions come in for extensive treatment: (1) Breaking away from Laban; (2) Wrestling with God; (3) Enduring the defilement of Dinah and the "revenge" of Simeon and Levi; (4) Feeling the loss of the "prophetess" Deborah; (5) Suffering the death of "right-hand wife" Rachel at the birth of Benjamin; (6) Undergoing the shame of Reuben's incest with Bilhah; (7) Bearing the loss of Isaac; (8) Submitting to the crushing blow of Joseph's "death." In every affliction Jacob wrestles with great infirmity, and one trial may be termed light only by comparison with another. Luther asks us to remember that Moses narrates everything briefly and that many words, groans, and tears are not recorded. They must be understood from the context, and it is the task of the commentator to fill out the picture. Fortress Press.
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