The Stories Of Joseph, Job, And Abraham Essay

1056 Words Dec 13th, 2016 5 Pages
Girard presents the following three examples of the scapegoat mechanism in his writings: the stories of Joseph, Job, and Abraham. Joseph grows up with twelve brothers who resent that Jacob, their father, treats Joseph as the favorite son. Joseph is victimized by his brothers as a result of Jacob’s favoritism and they sell him into slavery in Egypt. This demonstration of non physical violence towards Joseph characterizes him as a scapegoat— a sacrifice intended to bring temporary reconciliation for what is regarded as inequity amongst brothers. The sacrificial victim is chosen from a perceived injustice caused by the brothers’ fears and desires for respect.
In Egypt, Joseph rises through the ranks after being imprisoned, gaining a reputation for his dream interpretation. He reaches the pinnacle of his influence when he interprets Pharaoh 's dreams and warns of seven years of plentiful harvest that will precede seven years of famine. When the strain of poor harvests arrived and threatened Israel, eleven of Joseph’s brothers were sent to Egypt by Jacob to search for grain. There, Joseph recognizes his brothers who do not recognize him. Joseph offers to exchange food for the youngest brother, Benjamin. He does so to test the authenticity of their revelation, asking if they will “expel one of their brothers as they once expelled him” (29). Judah offers to be held as a prisoner in the place of his brother; thus he refuses the scapegoat mechanism which moves Joseph to reveal his…

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