I’ve heard they’re making a movie about Noah with Russel Crowe. Why? The flood myth is short, confusing, and features very little human action. Forget Noah. Make a movie about Jacob.

Chapter 33 can be your big climactic finale if you want, though the story of both he and his family continues on for the rest of the book. The final reconciliation between Esau and Jacob is very moving given how succinctly it’s written. I can easily envision a big cinematic sweeping scene to finish a movie chronicling Jacob’s journey.

But you might want to leave out the part where Jacob divides up his family (v 1-2). Jacob bravely puts himself in the front, hoping that if Esau wants to kill somebody it will be him, and the rest of his family can escape. But it’s the order that he then arranges everyone that’s so disturbing. First behind him are his handmaids and his semi-legitimate children. Next is Leah and her children. Last is Rachel and Joseph. Clearly he wants the people he loves the most to have the best chance, and uses everyone else as buffer. That’s cold.

It’s not bad to be reminded that, even after having a radical moment of self-doubt and humbling, people don’t come out the other side perfect saints. It’s a helpful thing in scripture – but it’s not so good for a Hollywood ending.

The Japanese: jisan suru “to bring, to take (polite),” osame-kudasai “take what has been delivered” (v 11), sendou suru “to lead the way” (v 12), oitateru “to uproot, to pack off” (v 13). Just a few this time – I was able to read a passage ridden with very formal Japanese without looking up more than a couple of words. Awesome!