Genesis 38/Judah's Repentance?

Clayton Javurek javurek at
Fri Aug 13 16:39:21 EDT 1999


Clayton Javurek

javurek at <mailto:javurek at> 

Does anyone have any ideas on the logic
of Genesis 38 being sandwiched in between
the selling of Joseph into slavery (Gen 37) and
the activity of Joseph in the house 
of Potiphar, the Egyptian (Gen 38)?
One idea might be that Genesis 38 follows the
thread of thought by focusing Judah who
in Genesis 37 saved Joseph from dying
of exposure in a pit by having Joseph
sold into slavery instead.
Another idea might be the Genesis 38 shows
the woes that happened to Judah and thus
led to Judah's repentance about his abuse of Joseph.
Judahs' repentance
is demonstrated by his own willingness to be
the surety to his father and to Joseph should any thing
evil befall Benjamin as recorded in Genesis 43, 44.
Question: Since Judah and his brothers
already show themselves penitent before Joseph
in the Egyptian royal court, did Judah's own repentance
previously trigger some kind of chain-repentance in the
rest of his brothers about their maltreatment
of Joseph long before they ever appeared in the
Egyptian royal court, face to face with Joseph?
I know that nothing is said about this in the text,
but is this repentance on the part of Judah's
brothers something to be inferred?
I would like to hear any proposal about the reasons for the placement of
Genesis 38 focusing on Judah right in the midst
of the section about Joseph in Egypt. Thanks.

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