Not Convinced Tales Are “Parallel”
I am a new and avid reader of BAR. My background is in story and writing, and I study folktale and literary theory, which is why I really enjoyed Eckart Frahm’s article, “Surprising Parallels Between Joseph and King Esarhaddon” (BAR 42:03). But I’m not yet convinced (though I could be) that the parallels suggest that one story came from the other.
At present, I agree more with the author’s statement that “[o]ne could argue they reflect little else than the universal nature of the theme of fraternal rivalry.”
Too Many “Maybes”
In the May/June issue Eckart Frahm makes some interesting parallels between Joseph and Esarhaddon, except for:
1. Jacob, his sons and the rest of his family didn’t move to Egypt until after the sons went to Egypt to get grain for a starving family back in Canaan. In fact, he resisted going there all during the many times the brothers were going back and forth. Finally, when Joseph revealed his true identity, Jacob agreed to take the family to the land of Goshen (the northeast corner of Egypt).
2. Jacob didn’t work for Laban for 20 years to get Rachel as his wife, only 14.