Two Sons, Four Curses: The Parallels between Canaan and Esau in Jubilees

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This paper focuses on the analogy the book of Jubilees creates between Canaan and Esau. While the two figures are cursed to slavery in the biblical texts, the Jubilean author contends that this curse was already fulfilled in Jacob’s lifetime. He also posits that Canaan and Esau were the object of a further curse that decreed that their offspring would be annihilated in the ‘day of judgment/wrath.’ Both curses being due to their transgression of the oath they vowed to their grand/fathers, Jubilees hereby portrays them as rebellious sons who made vain vows. Esau’s conduct being depicted as parallel to Canaan’s evil ways, his own portrayal as a wicked/villian is thus accentuated. Moreover, similar behaviour on the part of the eponyms of the neighboring nations—who are also said to violate their oaths— justifies the interdiction against entering into any alliance with the gentile nations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-291
StatePublished - 2016


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