Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rebekah's blessing

Rebekah's mother and brother Laban are recorded in the story as giving Rebekah a blessing - may your seed possess the gate of those who hate them.

I've been wondering what this means in view of the daily news we receive - whether concerning a certain office holder who has no idea what truth is, but who sits at the gate of a major North American city, or concerning tribal warfare today, or concerning revenge as policy, or even concerning confusion that can arise in a local family group.

Is this reference in Genesis simply a tribal suppression of other tribes, creating the very hatred it might prefer to avoid?  Or is it an appeal to good governance?  The gate is a place where decisions are made. See for instance the story in Ruth 4 where Boaz makes his case for exercising the law of Levirate marriage. Speaking with enemies at the gate is a phrase in Psalm 127. I interpret this as confidence in governance.

The blessing is a repeat but with a variant (enemies, vs those who hate them) of the blessing to Abraham in Genesis 22:17.