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Family Strife Essay, Research Paper

The Family Strife and Forgiveness Themes in Genesis

The book of Genesis expresses the themes of family strife and forgiveness through the stories of the characters. Starting with Adam and Eve and continuing through the story of Joseph, readers can relate that the results of all their actions consist of the Lord s displeasurement and anger. Their punishments are similar in the sense that God makes them suffer and eventually forgives them. There are questions that arise in midst of these stories that require the reader to read between the lines and make inferences upon what they have read.

The first characters that are presented are Adam and Eve. Living in the Garden of Eden, and being the first man and woman ever their minds are simple and guillable. Upon God s command to not eat from the tree of knowledge, Eve does just that. It is clear that God is angry with them when he banishes them from the garden. Cain and Abel are the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was a farmer and in an attempt to please God, he brought forth an offering of his flock. However, God having no interest in this offering, sent Cain into a rage causing him to murder his brother Abel. The story is concluded with Cain s punishment sent forth from God to wander the Earth for the rest of his life. The fact that God forgave Adam and Eve for eating of the tree of knowledge and his forgiveness of Cain s actions upon his own brother, reveal that the Lord is a loving God. Even though he still punishes them, God does not take their lives, yet sets them on a lifetime of wondering. I can forsee that through this strife and forgiveness that a hermenuetic message is made clear: those that go against God s word still can be redeemed through his forgiveness.

Abram, the son of Terah, who lived in the land of Canaan, had set out from Egypt. As they settled there, Abram experiences strife with his brother s son, Lot. The land to which they arrived at was not capable of providing food and land for the flocks of both men, so the two split apart. Upon hearing that his nephew Lot had been captured in his land, Abram comes to his aid and rescues Lot from slavery. The Lord found favor with Lot and allowed him to flee to safety before his land was to be charred. Also, after Lot s wife had been turned to a piller of salt, his two daughters seduced him to preserve the family name. This to was forgiven in God s eyes.

Abram had his own family problems as well, because his wife Sarai cannot bear him any children. However, as the story is told, Abram has a son with Sarai s maid, Hagar. This son, Ishmael, in contrast to his son with Sarai, (as she is able to concieve later) Isaac, is not as important in Abram s life, as Isaac is to be his heir. The fact that Abram has a son by both women causes Sarah (the name that God gave Sarai later) to grow incontempt with Ishmael and Isaac being together, and told Abraham to banish both Hagar and Ishmael. After much journeying, God came to Abraham to sacrifice his real son, Isaac, as an offering to him. Abraham had no problems in obeying God s command, but God pleased to see such obediance stopped this from happening, and Isaac fled from his father in great fear.

Isaac who lived in Canaan with his wife, Rebekah, had two sons named Jacob and Esau. Due to Esau having the birthright of his father s legacy, Jacob grows envious and obtains the birthright by trading it for food with Esau as he is on the verge of starvation. As a result of Rebekah s plan for Jacob to be blessed instead of Esau, Esau grew very angry at his brother for impostering him in the presence of their father and planned out Jacob s murder. Perhaps the best known example of forgiveness, is shown here. Upon reuniting with his brother, he no longer possesses the hatred for stealing his bithright and sends forth offerings and conveys this to Jacob by giving him a brotherly hug.

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