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The “Beloved Sons” of Jubilees
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The “Beloved Sons” of Jubilees

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
This paper focuses on the Jubilean portrayal of Shem, Isaac, and Jacob as beloved sons. In all... mehr
The “Beloved Sons” of Jubilees
This paper focuses on the Jubilean portrayal of Shem, Isaac, and Jacob as beloved sons. In all three cases, their parents’ affection for their scions is modeled on Jacob’s favoring of Joseph, thus indicating that Shem, Isaac, and Jacob were loved more than their brothers. The themes of human parental love, divine election, birthright, and inheritance being interwoven in all threecases, human parental love functions primarily to signal the status of those sons who form the heirs through whom the Israelite line will be maintained. Their characterization as “beloved” also highlights Israel’s prominence amongst the nations – their siblings, in contrast, being destined to become the fathers of the gentile nations. On basis of the fact that the biblical texts relate the image of God as father to His love for and election of His children, Jubilees also presents human parental love as following (upon) God’s election of a favored son. The combination of the motif of God as a loving father with the verse that “Because He loved your fathers, He chose their heirs after them” (Deut 4:37) appears to have led the Jubilean author to assume that the Israelites’ ancestors were the object of divine parental love. He then takes this idea one step further, presenting patriarchal parental love as paralleling God’s love/election.