Gordon again, on Jacob’s return to Bethel (Genesis 35) and the command to change garments: “Jacob’s return to Bethel is an example of the homecoming, or nostos, motif common in ancient Near Eastern literature. In the Odyssey, Odysseus changes his clothes upon returning home to Ithaca; Sinuhe does likewise in the Egyptian tale bearing his name; and Gilgamesh also changes his clothes upon returning to his hom in Uruk. . . . this small detail in the story is a clue to the reader that Jacob has come home to Canaan, the land of the Israelites.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm
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