Throughout the book of Genesis we see through various characters, events, and patterns “pre-capitulations” of the entire narrative of the Torah – or we can look at it as the patterns established in Genesis replaying themselves throughout the Torah. The Creation narrative is replayed in the Flood account; for just as Adam was put in the Garden and had animals brought to him by God so likewise Noah had the animals brought to him by God and he entered into the Ark. At the end of the flood narrative we see God giving the Noah practically the same commission that He had given to Adam following his creation. The story of the flood also anticipates the story of the Exodus; the ark passes through the waters of the flood, comes to Mount Ararat, then Noah offers sacrifice to God and receives a law from Him just Israel passes through the waters of the Red Sea, comes to Mount Sinai, offer a sacrifice to God, and receive the Law. Recognizing that the stories, patterns, and characters of Genesis serve as the foundation for reoccurring patterns, types, and people throughout the Torah (and the rest of the Bible in general) it’s not surprising that many characteristics of the major figures in Genesis summed up in the central figure of the Torah; Moses.

One of the most important associations the Torah makes with Moses is the figure of Jacob. Early on in Exodus we see Moses in a similar situation that Jacob found himself in. In Genesis 27 Esau wants to kill Jacob so he’s forced to flee his home and finds refuge with his relative Laban. On the way he stops at a well and meets his future bride Rachel at the well. After the meeting with Rachel he’s brought to Laban, welcomed, and then stays there in Mesopotamia. In Exodus 2 the Pharaoh of Egypt is seeking to kill Moses so he’s forced to flee Egypt and heads for the land of Midian. On his way he stops at a well and meets his future bride Zipporah, who brings him to her father Jethro. Jethro welcomes Moses, gives him Zipporah to be his bride, and takes Moses into his own home. Likewise in Exodus 4 we see Moses returning to the land of his birth where he meets his brother Aaron, who he hasn’t seen since his flight from Egypt; just as in Genesis 31-33 we see Jacob returning to the land of his birth where he meets his brother Esau. Another significant connection the Torah makes between Moses and Jacob is found in the literary echoing of Genesis 49-50 by Deuteronomy 33-34. The significance of this connection is heightened by the fact that both sections of Genesis and Deuteronomy serve as the ending of their respective books; Deuteronomy (and thus the entire Torah) ends the same way as Genesis. In Genesis 49-50 we see the aged Jacob, having traveled into the land of Egypt, pronouncing his final words upon each of his sons; followed by his death and burial in Egypt. Deuteronomy 33-34 shows the final blessings of Moses upon each of the tribes of Israel before his own death and burial in the wilderness.

This connection between Moses and Jacob exemplifies to what degree the people of Israel find their identity in Moses. Jacob was himself given the name Israel; which would become the name used by the nation composed of the tribes originating from his sons. Israel’s national identity is inextricably connected to Jacob since they are both the sons of Jacob as well as a corporate Jacob. Moses likewise provides sources of national identity to Israel by the role he played in Israel’s Exodus, wilderness wanderings, and entrance into the Promised Land. Moses is the father of the delivered Israel; born out of the womb of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the wilderness. Through Moses the Law is given to Israel; the observance which distinguishes the identity of the People of Israel from the other nations. Israel’s identity is that of being the children of Jacob and the keepers of the Law of Moses; exemplified in the typological and literary connections between Jacob and Moses as fathers and heads of the people and therefore serving as the marks of identity.

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