Genesis 50:26 – Exodus 1:6

Note: we have had a few examples of chiasms that link books of scripture.  Is this one valid?

A. (Genesis 50:26) So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old:

B. and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

C. (Exodus 1:1) Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.

D. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

C’. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls:

B’. for Joseph was in Egypt already.

A’. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.

2 thoughts on “Genesis 50:26 – Exodus 1:6”

  1. C. (Exodus 1:1) Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.

    The interest in this chiasm was in the featuring of a connection or there being continuity between Genesis and Exodus.

    It is good to see this, since it combines with how the opening of Exodus by the word ‘and’ points to linking and continuity. The English version ‘Now’ [these are the names…] hides the conjunction ‘and’ by this nuance.
    This ‘and’ is the first to link the Pentateuchal books.
    Subsequently, Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers are joined by this ‘and’, as if continuing a sentence, or being a marker of ‘further to’. I have a piece almost ready to be published in the Christadelphian ejournal of Biblical Interpretation on this book-binding, or marking continuation, role of ‘and’ in the Hebrew Bible . This ‘and’ at the start of the book of Exodus is also present in the fragmentary Hebrew Exodus remains at Qumran.
    Understandably, ‘Genesis’ did not begin with an ‘and’ as no book and no human history was before it.
    Also, consistently, ‘Deuteronomy’, does not begin with an ‘and’, since it is not about continuing but is about repetition -whence this Greek given name – of previous aspects of the preceding books, about Israel exiting Egypt, being in the wilderness, and receiving the Torah.
    (Each of the five books of the Pentateuch in our English versions has a Greek Septuagint derived uninspired title.
    The incipit-based Hebrew name for each of these books is different, but this is another subject.)

  2. Topic: Torah, Vav at Section Beginning

    It’s no coincidence. Starting each column with the letter ‘vav’ is a custom some scribes follow when writing a Torah scroll. It is mentioned in the Zohar and the Shulchan Aruch.

    This custom is reminiscent of the courtyard surrounding the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the desert. Tapestries held in place by little hooks stretched from one upright column to another. The Hebrew word for a ‘little hook’ is ‘vav’; hence, each ‘column’ had a ‘vav’ on top.

    As a prefix, the letter ‘vav’ means ‘and’ – hence it is the letter of ‘connection.’ The ‘vav’ on top of each column hints to the Torah’s unity. Torah is our ‘connection’ to the spiritual.


    Yoreh De’ah 273:6, Rema
    Ibid., Shach, Birkei Yosef
    Tikunei Zohar Parshat Terumah

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