Essay on Brothers of the Bible

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Brothers of the Bible

The Old Testament sibling rivalries between Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, and Joseph and his brothers were similar in some ways and different in others, but they all hold lessons for us today, for brothers today still face many of the same problems in life that challenged brothers thousands of years ago.

Cain and Abel were in a situation much more unique than Esau and Jacob, and Joseph and his brothers faced, for the society they lived in was extremely small, and they each had a direct relationship with God. As the book of Genesis tells us, Cain was the first born son of Adam and Eve. Their next son was a boy whom they named Abel. As Cain and Abel grew up both took responsibilities for making a living. Abel
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Cain takes the road of denial rather than hiding from God; even more, he turns the question back to God implying impropriety in God?s question. ?Keeping? is not something human beings do to one another in the Old testament; only God keeps human beings; hence God should know the answer to the question. (Abingdon, 373)

Another unique element of the Cain and Abel rivalry and its tragic aftermath is that God personally punished Cain for the murder of Abel, and sent him into exile. But God also showed some mercy to Cain which protected him from harm at the hands of others by putting a mark upon him. The narrator leaves him as one who has been placed under the very special care of God. Hence, the story ought not to be interpreted in basically negative terms, but rather as the activity of one who lives under divine protection and care. (Abingdon, 375)

The sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau didn?t result from envy due to God?s reaction to their sacrifices, but from envy over parental favoritism. In addition to this, the rivalry also involved a number of other factors and began even before they were born. As God explained to Rebekah when the twins were still in her womb, ?the two children inside you will become the fathers of two nations. Just like the two are fighting with each other now, the two nations will struggle with each other. One will be stronger than the other. and the older will serve the younger.? (Genesis 33) God explains to her the reason

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