The Forsaken Firstborn: A Study of a Recurrent Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives
by Roger Syren
JSOT Press 1993
This provocative book combines literary and historical methods to examine the phenomenon of the forsaken firstborn in Genesis. The dignity of the firstborn sons of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph—Ishmael, Esau, Reuben and Manasseh—is disregarded in the narrative and the rights inherent in their status are taken from them and conferred on a younger brother. One might easily compare this with the motif in many folktales of the youngest son outdoing his elder brothers in cleverness and skill. But unlike the folklore motif, in the book of Genesis the younger brother's success is not due to any courageous deed or heroic feat on his own part. Instead the displacement of the elder by the younger is usually the result of somebody else's initiative and achievement.
- Landmark scholarship on the book of Genesis
- All Scripture references are linked to the original language texts and English Bibles in your library
- Textual, linguistic, interpretive, and historical approach to studying Genesis
- Title: The Forsaken Firstborn: A Study of a Recurrent Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives
- Author: Roger Syrén
- Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
- Publication Date: 2009
- Pages: 159
About Roger Syrén
Roger Syrén is a Professor in the European Association for Jewish Studies.