Chapter 6: The Patriarchs - Midwest Theological Forum

Report
Chapter 6: The Patriarchs
UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Read the Catechism, no. 218 (p. 126).
Then, take part in a class discussion using the following question:
Why did God choose the nation of Israel, reveal himself to her, give
her the Law and the prophets, and never cease to forgive her?
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
BASIC QUESTIONS
Why did Abraham arrange for a wife for Isaac from among his own
kin?
How did Jacob become patriarch instead of Esau?
KEY IDEAS
Abraham had a wife found for his son, Isaac, from among his own
relatives to prevent his son from marrying a pagan Canaanite woman
and risk falling into idolatry.
With his mother Rebekah’s connivance, Jacob gained Esau’s
birthright and Isaac’s blessing.
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why did Abraham want Isaac to avoid marrying a Canaanite woman?
He was afraid Isaac and his descendants would become idolaters, worshiping
the false gods of the Canaanites.
Why are many of the most important women in the Bible found at a
well?
Wells were important gathering places, especially for women, as the source of
water for a community.
How was the choice of Isaac’s wife the result of prayer?
Abraham’s servant asked God to show him the maiden he should find for
Isaac by having her give him a drink and then offer to draw water for his
camels as well.
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
GUIDED EXERCISE
A think / pair / share using the following question:
Why did Abraham’s servant think it good the maiden he met not
only gave him water to drink but also offered to draw water for his
camels?
GUIDED EXERCISE
Describe your relationships with older or younger siblings.
Discuss ways siblings can reduce or eliminate discord among them.
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why did Esau give up his birthright?
He was hungry, and Jacob offered to give him bread and lentil soup in
exchange for his birthright.
Extension: in common English parlance, Esau “sold his birthright for a
mess of pottage.”
What did Esau give up?
He gave up the right to become head of the family after his father and a
double share of the inheritance.
How did Jacob trick his father into giving him Esau’s blessing?
He dressed in Esau’s clothing and wore goatskin to simulate Esau’s hairy
hands.
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What blessing did Jacob receive from Isaac?
Isaac handed on the covenant God made with Abraham.
What was Isaac’s reaction to the deception?
Isaac was shaken and “trembled violently,” but he maintained the blessing
stood.
How was Esau’s prophecy fulfilled?
The nation Esau founded, the Edomites, came under the yoke of Israel
but eventually broke free.
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
CLOSURE
Free write for five minutes about how, from a human point of view,
deception played an important part in Jacob becoming the patriarch
of Israel.
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Study Questions 1–5 (p. 125)
Practical Exercises 1–2 (p. 126)
Workbook Questions 1–15
Read “Jacob’s Ladder” through “Wrestling with God: Jacob Named
Israel” (pp. 113–118)
1. Isaac and Jacob (pp. 108–112)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
In their covenant, God promised Abraham land, dynasty, and
universal blessing through his descendants.
Conduct a think / pair / share using the following question:
What was the status of the fulfillment of Abraham’s covenant upon
the death of Isaac?
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Read Genesis 28:10–15.
What is the nature of the ladder?
According to a note in the St. Joseph Edition of the New American
Bible, ladder is actually a mistranslation for a ziggurat with steps
leading up to a Temple where God dwells.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
BASIC QUESTIONS
 When did God renew the Abrahamic Covenant with Jacob?
 What is the origin of the Twelve Tribes of Israel?
 What is the significance of the name Israel?
KEY IDEAS
 During the vision of the ladder, God renewed the Abrahamic
Covenant with Jacob.
 Jacob founded the Twelve Tribes of Israel through his twelve sons.
 After wrestling with an angel of God, Jacob was given the name Israel,
which means he who strives with God. This is an apt description of Jacob
himself and the history of the nation he founded.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
GRAPHIC ORGANIZER
Complete the following table to show the connection between the
covenant promises God made to Abraham and those he made to
Jacob.
Jacob’s Ladder as a Renewal of the Covenant of Abraham
Promise to Abraham
Promise to Jacob
Land
A Dynasty
A Universal Blessing
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
Jacob’s Ladder as a Renewal of the Covenant of Abraham
Promise to Abraham
Promise to Jacob
Land
“The land on which you lie I will give to
you and to your descendants.”
A Dynasty
“Your descendants will be like the dust of
the earth and will spread abroad t o the west
and to the east and to the north and to the
south.”
A Universal Blessing
“By you and your descendants shall all the
families of the earth be blessed.”
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Write a paragraph about Laban having given Jacob a taste of his own
medicine.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What was the usual result of polygamy in the Bible?
It almost always led to misery. Jacob loved Rachel, but she was barren. Leah was
hurt because Jacob loved Rachel more than her. Rachel was jealous because Leah
bore Jacob four sons.
Who named Jacob’s sons?
Each was named by his mother.
How many mothers did Jacob’s children have?
They had four: Leah, Rachel’s maid, Leah’s maid, and finally Rachel.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How did Jacob outsmart Laban and grow rich?
Jacob and Laban agreed Jacob would get the spotted animals and Laban would get
the solid ones. Jacob selectively bred the animals so more spotted animals would be
born.
Why did Jacob return to Canaan?
He had a dream in which an angel told him God wanted him to return to the land
of his birth.
What problem did Jacob face in Canaan?
He had to face his brother Esau, who had been furious with him when he had fled
twenty years earlier.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Large families are not as prevalent in the modern Western world as in the past.
Discuss your thoughts on family size using the following questions:
What experiences have you had with large families?
Is there a perfect family size?
What sacrifices do large families require?
Does faith in God play a part in the size of a family?
What obligations flow out of being a member of a family?
GUIDED EXERCISE
Conduct a focused reading of the Catechism, no. 2573, using the following question:
How is prayer like a wrestling match with God?
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What did Jacob fear from Esau?
Jacob feared for his life and the lives of his wives and sons; he had received
word Esau was coming to meet him with four hundred armed men.
What blessing did the angel, with whom Jacob had wrestled, give
Jacob?
He gave Jacob a new name, Israel, which means he who strives with God.
What is the significance of being given a new name?
It is like being created anew.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
GRAPHIC ORGANIZER
Complete the following table to organize the meanings of the
blessings God gave Adam, Noah, and Jacob (Israel): “Be fruitful
and multiply.”
“Be Fruitful and Multiply”
Person to whom the blessing was given
Meaning of the blessing
Adam
Noah
Jacob
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
“Be Fruitful and Multiply”
Person to whom the blessing was given
Meaning of the blessing
Adam
He was to be the father of all men.
Noah
He was to repopulate the earth.
Jacob
He was to be the origin of the nation of God’s
own people, Israel.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
CLOSURE
Free write for five minutes about the extent to which Jacob can be
called a saintly man.
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Study Questions 6–10 (p. 124)
Workbook Questions 16–30
Read “Joseph’s Brothers Sell Him as a Slave” through “God Turns
Evil into an Instrument of Salvation” (pp. 119–123)
2. Jacob Renamed Israel (pp. 113–118)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
A class discussion about the name Israel:
 Though Israel was the name given to Jacob, it came to be applied to his
descendants. How is Israel just as much an apt description of the
history of his descendants through the ages?
 How have people striven with, or fought against, God from the
beginning?
 Why do you think God does not use his superior power to win such
fights?
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Genesis on Joseph’s two dreams and his family’s reactions (cf. Gn 37:1–
11).
Discuss how understandable but blameworthy his brothers were.
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
BASIC QUESTIONS
Why did Joseph’s brothers hate him?
How did Joseph save his family?
How did God bring good out of the evil Joseph’s brothers did?
KEY IDEAS
Joseph’s brothers hated him out of envy and sold him into slavery.
Joseph rose to a position of great authority in Egypt and was able to save
his family from starvation, becoming a type of Christ.
God made it possible for Joseph’s slavery to be the cause of Israel’s
survival during famine; Joseph’s brothers did evil to him, but God guided
events so they turned out unexpectedly well.
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What kind of coat did Jacob give Joseph?
The kind of coat has been translated as a robe with long sleeves; a full-length coat;
and, probably most accurately, a coat of many colors.
What did Joseph’s two dreams symbolize?
Joseph’s brothers—and even his father and mother—would be subject to him.
Why did Joseph’s brothers resent him?
Joseph was their father’s favorite son, the firstborn of their father’s favorite wife;
this meant none of his older brothers was their father’s favorite son and none of
their mothers was Jacob’s favorite wife. In addition, Joseph told them he had
dreams that prophesied he would rule over them. His father gave him an expensive
and luxurious new coat, which his brothers coveted.
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What plan did Joseph’s brothers devise to do away with him?
They planned to kill Joseph and throw him into a pit.
What was Reuben’s plan to save Joseph?
He persuaded his brothers to throw Joseph into a pit but not shed his
blood. He hoped to come back later to rescue him.
Why did Reuben’s plan fail?
To get rid of Joseph and make some money at the same time, his brothers
sold Joseph to a caravan of slave traders on their way to Egypt.
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
GUIDED EXERCISE
What would be your reaction if you were treated in the same manner
as Joseph?
Brainstorm reasons forgiveness can be so difficult.
For your eyes only, write about an experience that has left you
unwilling to forgive.
Discuss successful approaches when you have given or sought
forgiveness.
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Who was Zaphenathpaneah?
Zaphenathpaneah was the Egyptian name given to Joseph in his
capacity as Pharaoh’s chief minister, the second most powerful man
in the known world.
How did Joseph’s dreams come true?
His brothers came to Egypt to buy grain during the famine and,
without recognizing him, bowed down before him.
How did Joseph explain his brothers’ evil deed?
Joseph explained, “[God] sent me before you to preserve life.”
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
GUIDED EXERCISE
A focused reading of the paragraph “God had managed...” (p. 122)
using the following question:
How is Joseph a type of Christ?
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
According to the Catechism, no. 312, what can God do with evil
actions?
He can bring good out of them.
Does God’s ability excuse evil acts?
No; an evil act can neither be defined as nor some time later become a good.
How did God bring the greatest good out of the greatest evil?
The greatest moral evil ever committed was the rejection and Crucifixion of
God’s only Son. This brought about the greatest good, the Resurrection and
glorification of Christ and the Redemption of all people.
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
CLOSURE
Write a paragraph about Joseph as a rejected savior of Israel and,
thus, a type of Christ.
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Study Questions 11–15 (p. 125)
Practical Exercise 3 (p. 126)
Workbook Questions 31–42
3. Joseph, the Rejected Savior of Israel (pp. 119–123)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Work with a partner to create a bullet-point list about the greatness
of Joseph based on the Commentary on Genesis 45:1–28 (p. 124).
The End

similar documents