Joseph’s Food Politics as Life-Keeper of Many People: A Close Rereading of Genesis 47:13–26

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36421/veritas.v20i2.481

Keywords:

slavery, Joseph, food politics, life-keeper, Egypt, famine, profit sharing, perbudakan, Yusuf, politik pangan, pemelihara hidup, Mesir, bala kelaparan, bagi hasil

Abstract

The Septuagint reading predominantly influences the interpretation of Genesis 47:13-26 (primarily v. 21). Despite a positive portrayal of Joseph, he is also seen as Pharaoh’s accomplice to enslave the Egyptian people. This connection with slavery activities contradicts the traditional image of Joseph as the life-keeper of many people. Solution for the negative portrait of Joseph usually refers to the Masoretic Text, although it is not a reference to many modern Bible translations and commentaries. The Septuagint as a reference, in this case, is indeed difficult to reject. However, that does not mean that Joseph promotes the slavery of the Egyptian people throughout the land, but rather an ancient form of state capitalism. This article draws on textual criticism, word studies, form criticism, and agricultural knowledge background in the ancient Middle East. The contribution of this research is to show that, instead of enslaving, Joseph formulated an Egyptian food politics in the larger context of Joseph’s narrative reality as the life-keeper of many people. 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis. Interpretation. Atlanta: John Knox, 1982.

Calvin, John. Commentaries on the Book of Genesis. Vol. 2. Translated by John King. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948.

Cha, Kilnam. “Joseph’s Unjust Economic Policies in Genesis 47:13–26.” Leaven 24 (2016): 190–193.

Coats, George W. Genesis: With an Introduction to Narrative Literature. The Forms of the Old Testament Literature Vol. 1. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983.

Fretheim, Terence E. “Genesis.” In The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 1: Genesis to Leviticus, edited by Leander E. Keck. Nashville: Abingdon, 1994.

Fuller, David J. An Examination of Joseph’s Enslavement of the Egyptians in Gen 47:13–26 in light of Relevant Slavery Texts across the Tanakh. Thesis, McMaster Divinity College, 2013.

Hamilton, Victor P. The Book of Genesis: Chapters 18-50. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.

Hoffmeier, James K. “Egyptians.” In Peoples of the Old Testament World, edited by Alfred J. Hoerth, Gerald L. Mattingly, and Edwin M. Yamauchi, 251–290. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.

Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. The Pentateuch. Commentary on the Old Testament. Vol. 1. 1885. Reprint, Peabody: Hendrickson, 2006.

Kubo, Sakae, and Walter F. Specht. So Many Versions?: Twentieth-century English Versions of the Bible. Revised edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983.

Lempp, Walter. Kejadian 37:1–50:26. Tafsiran Alkitab. Jakarta: Gunung Mulia, 1977.

Lust, Johan, Erik Eynikel, and Katrin Hauspie, eds. Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint. Revised edition. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2003.

McCarter, P. Kyle. Textual Criticism: Recovering the Text of the Hebrew Bible. Guides to Biblical Scholarship. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986.

Mendelsohn, Isaac. “Dream.” In The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Vol. 1, edited by George A. Buttrick. New York: Abingdon, 1962.

Rad, Gerhard von. Genesis. Old Testament Library. Translated by John H. Marks. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1972.

Sarna, Nahum M. Genesis. JPS Torah Commentary. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1989.

Sheridan, Mark, ed. Genesis 12–50. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament. Vol. 2. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2002.

Skinner, John. Genesis. International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1917.

Snell, Daniel C. Life in the Ancient Near East: 3100–332 BCE. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.

Speiser, E. A. Genesis. Anchor Bible Vol. 1. New York: Doubleday, 1962.

Strine, Casey A. “The Famine in the Land Was Severe: Environmentally Induced Involuntary Migration and the Joseph Narrative.” Hebrew Studies 60 (2019): 55–69. https://doi.org/10.1353/hbr.2019.0020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/hbr.2019.0020

Wenham, Gordon J. Genesis 16–50. Word Biblical Commentary 2. Waco: Word, 1994.

Westermann, Claus. Genesis 37–50. A Continental Commentary. Translated by John J. Scullion. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1986.

Seters, John Van. Prologue to History: The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1992.

Vaux, Roland de. Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions. Translated by John McHugh. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.

Würthwein, Ernst. The Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Biblia Hebraica. Translated by Erroll F. Rhodes. Second edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.

Youngblood, Ronald F. The Book of Genesis: An Introductory Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991.

Downloads

Published

06-12-2021

How to Cite

Karman, Yonky. “Joseph’s Food Politics As Life-Keeper of Many People: A Close Rereading of Genesis 47:13–26”. Veritas: Jurnal Teologi dan Pelayanan 20, no. 2 (December 6, 2021): 161–173. Accessed January 29, 2022. https://ojs.seabs.ac.id/index.php/Veritas/article/view/481.

Issue

Section

Articles