2.28 Summary of the Racial Teachings of Jacob's Life
The final subject of the Book of Genesis is Joseph. Before considering his life, we need to summarize the racial teachings from the life of Jacob:
a. God's plan among men transfers from one generation to the next.
b. Likewise, family and national conflicts are also passed from one generation to another. Jacob's rivalry with Esau was replicated between his wives Leah and Rachel, and among his 12 sons.
c. Jacob's reconciliation with Esau is a model for racial peacemaking.
d. Jacob's conflict with the Canaanites is a failure of racial peacemaking, but exposes the two imperatives: the need to maintain the boundaries of one's own family (ethnic identity), the need to co-exist and cooperate with outsiders. This will prove to be the enduring dilemma throughout the history of Israel.