Rebekah The values in Genesis are disobeyed by yet another woman who does not conform to the female model of a fertile mother. While fertility is an overriding value in god’s human construct that women in Genesis threaten to undermine women also obstruct the “natural” course of history which god has set in motion as part of his ideal world. After god reconstructs the world through Noah and then Abraham, the divine element withdraws from the world slightly, and a natural historical course begins to play out through the momentum that god has initiated. The incident in Genesis in which a woman interferes with this momentum involves Rebekah, who intervenes on behalf of her second born son, Jacob. As a result of Rebekah’s manipulative orders, Jacob, the younger son, inherits the divine blessing from Isaac, though it is clear from the text that Jacob’s brother, Esau, had been Isaac’s favored child. Rebekah’s actions are rebellious because they result in the violation of the law of primogeniture that seems to have been the standard practice of inheritance in the book of Genesis.
And by reassigning the inheritance, Rebekah threatens to destroy the course of events god has anticipated en route to the creation of his select nation. While the text shows that Rebekah had received a prophecy that “the older would serve the younger” (25: 23), whenever women in Genesis take assertive actions that ramifications, conflict always ensues. Just because Rebekah received a prophecy, there is no indication that she was in any position to actively seek its fulfillment. Jacob, as a result of his mother’s initiative, is forced to flee his home for fear that Esau will kill him. The hate between the brothers endures, and just as Sara’s infertility caused family conflict, Rebekah’s actions likewise cause disruption in the house of Isaac and its descendents.
... violent act that results in the gods losing favor of Gilgamesh (This occurs in Genesis when Adam and Eve disobey God). Enkidu is then ... violent act that results in the gods losing favor of Gilgamesh (This occurs in Genesis when Adam and Eve disobey God). Enkidu is then ... Elish paints a polytheistic portrait of the Universe. The God of Genesis is fully in control of everything that occurs in the ...
Unlike the instances where the men in genesis take the fate of their family’s lives into their own hands under open direction from god, the rare occasions when women, such as Rebekah, take aggressive action, the result is battles and feuds. As in the case of infertility, a women’s inheritance with the divine scheme can be seen as a multiple threat to the thematic framework of Genesis. Rebekah takes assertive, independent action with regard to her family’s development, and this action clearly crosses over the rigid boundaries of the prescribed female role. She also threatens to shake the patriarchal foundations that are so essential to the divine value system in Genesis. Furthermore she does not act exclusively as a wife or mother, but as an agent of change, an actor in the course of history. The unfolding of gods plan depends on the male actors.
God reveals himself to humans and shares his vision of the world with humans. Rebekah steps outside her limited role, becomes a primary actor, manipulates the divinely initiated course of history, and causes fraternal hostility and the jealousy which becomes one of the ongoing plagues for her children and their future generations. As every phase in Genesis, women primarily serve as hurdles to be negotiated so that the texts values may be actualized. They destroy paradise, delay the propagation of the human species, resist the patriarchal structure, and endanger the construction of gods blessed nation.
With their actions, they draw attention to the Genesis value system, prevent its immediate success, and allow for eventual divine triumphs that dramatically reinforce those values and their consequences.