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Negotiations in the Joseph Narrative / משא ומתן בסיפור יוסף

פרנק פולק and Frank H. Polak
Beit Mikra: Journal for the Study of the Bible and Its World / בית מקרא: כתב-עת לחקר המקרא ועולמו
כרך נה‎, חוברת א‎, The Joseph Story in the Bible and Throughout the Ages / סיפור יוסף במקרא ובראי הדורות‎ (תש"ע / 2010), pp. 31-45
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23511497
Page Count: 15
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Negotiations in the Joseph Narrative / משא ומתן בסיפור יוסף
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Abstract

The negotiating theme fulfills a central role in the Joseph tale, from the narrative of his dreams until the settlement of his father and brothers in Egypt. Joseph's mastery of negotiation tactics, demonstrated by the instructions he gave Jacob about the interview with Pharaoh, stands out in the scenes describing how his clever and yet balanced moves forced his brothers to acknowledge their guilt and to act in full moral responsibility. Reuben's moral stature is recognized, but he is portrayed as lacking the power to convince his brothers and his father. Where Reuben fails, Judah succeeds. He persuades his brothers to sell Joseph into slavery rather than killing him, and convinces his father to send them for a second time to Egypt. In the end it is Judah who shows Joseph that he has learned to act morally and thus brings about the reconciliation.

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