This third volume of Westermann’s masterful commentary on Genesis offers a stimulating treatment of one of the most poignant and unified of the narratives in Genesis—the Joseph story. English-speaking readers now have access to Westermann’s thorough introduction to Genesis 37–50 as a whole, as well as treatments of the individual passages familiar from the first two volumes.
“God’s plan is rather to bring the evil devised by the brothers to good in such a way that there can be forgiveness.” (Page 205)
“The garment then is not only a fine present from the father to his beloved son; it also sets Joseph apart from his brothers; the consequence of predilection is preference.” (Page 37)
“ it is directed, therefore, not only to the family of Jacob, but also to the Egyptians” (Page 205)
“God’s action is set over against this with the same verb חשׁב, ‘God planned it for good’ (execution again included). This ‘for good’ includes God’s action in bringing guilt to forgiveness; for only then can the brothers’ fear be removed. It is only in this context that Joseph’s rhetorical question, ‘Am I in the place of God?’ can be understood.” (Page 205)
“In the patriarchal period when groups or parts of the family were away from the father, the eldest present took over the role of the father when it was necessary; he bore responsibility for this limited time.” (Page 41)
This work opens up dimensions of meaning which are not only relevant for theology but for human existence in the modern world.
—Bernhard Anderson, Old Testament Scholar