Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Going Up and Going Down: A Key to Interpreting Jacob's Dream (Gen 28.10-22)
Peleg, Yitzhak
Rozen, Betty, translator

London: Bloomsbury, 2015 pp. 312. $120.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 609


Description: In Going Up and Going Down Yitzhak Peleg argues that the story of Jacob's dream (Genesis 28.10-22), functions as a mise en abyme ('as a figure, trope or structure that somehow reflects in compact form, in miniature, the larger structure in which it appears', Greenstein). Close examination reveals that focusing on the vision of Jacob's dream and understanding it as a symbolic dream facilitates an explanation of the dream and its meaning. Scholars have historically classified the dream as theophany, the purpose of which is to explain how Beth-El became a sacred place, and as such the vision in Jacob's dream is generally accepted as merely ornamental, or even lacking a message in itself. Whilst Peleg does not contradict or seek to go against identification of the dream as theophany, he sees a more nuanced purpose behind its presentation. Peleg's proposal is that the description of the vision, and especially that of the movement of the angels, is not embellishment, supplementation or scenic background, of God's message, but that it directly symbolizes the path taken by the Patriarchs to and from the Promised Land. Furthermore, the narrative context and visual description in the dream in which 'Angels of God were going up and down it' appears when Jacob is on his way to Harran, that is to say, when he is about to leave Israel.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Genesis, Ancient Near East, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Literary Approaches, Source Criticism

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.


Email Address
SBL Password
 
  
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership


Review by Karolien Vermeulen
Published 10/27/2016
Citation: Karolien Vermeulen, review of Yitzhak Peleg, Going Up and Going Down: A Key to Interpreting Jacob's Dream (Gen 28.10-22), Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us