Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919
SEIDL, Theodor. Conflict and conflict resolution: inner controversies and tensions as places of Israel's self-conception in the patriarchal traditions of Genesis. Old testam. essays [online]. 2013, vol.26, n.3, pp.840-863. ISSN 2312-3621.
One usually expects ethical themes in the Pentateuch's legal sections, for example in the Book of Covenant, the Holiness Code, Deuteronomy, and the Decalogue. However, one also encounters material for ethics in some narrative parts of the Pentateuch, first of all in the Patriarchal Traditions of Genesis. With this article, I would like to demonstrate the ethical value of the Patriarchal narratives by explaining three stories of conflict between the patriarchs and their brothers or relatives. Israel finds its identity and vocation very often in the Hebrew Bible when overcoming conflicts with inner or foreign rivals. Thus in three stories of conflict told in the Book of Genesis, I have tried to find how the narrators established moral standards for Israel and how they helped the people of Israel to find the right way of living together and the ideal way to resolve inner conflicts. In that respect Israel could find its position among the nations and its own identity.