Patriarchy in the House of Jacob and PhaloPatriarchy in the House of Jacob and Phalo: Contribution to Contextual Hermeneutics
This study investigates the privileges and hermeneutical advantages enjoyed by a Phalo Phalo1 interpreter of practices in t he biblical text that are similar to or the same as those found in Phalo’s patriarchal culture. The study therefore probes the extent to which the Phalo interpreter could take advantage of these presumed similarities and sameness, the legitimacy and validi ty of claims of patriarchal bias attributed to the Phalo interpreter, and the extent to which such claims should be taken seriously by the house of Phalo. If the similarities place the Phalo interpreter in a position of advantage when dealing with the text , then, the interpreter should know where to draw the line between the similarities in the patriarchal practices of the two houses. Otherwise, a serious interpretative or hermeneutical crisis could ensue. The study argues that the advantages that the Phalo interpreter brings to the table should not be open open-ended or without restrictions. Since the house of Phalo and Jacob are unrelated in any way, the similarities need to be considered with great caution. The aim of the comparison in the study is not to dete rmine which house is more patriarchal than the other, but to advance contextual hermeneutics. We compare the various fragments of both works in order to ascertain the existence and direction of literary dependence , if any, between these fragments. In both houses, patriarchy and family stand at the centre of culture and religion. Therefore, the concepts of patriarchy in the two houses are crucial to this study. Both families operate under the assumption that the concept of family is strictly valued and that patriarchy is the essence of life and the basis for legal, religious and social construction. In the history of family practices in both the ancient house of Jacob and the house of Phalo, patriarchal laws were regarded as pillars of religion and culture. T he two houses operated a patriarchal system in which family decisions must have the endorsement of the father or the male family head, these being identified through the male bloodline. Thus, the image of religion, culture and the power and authority of th e society are fully patriarchal in both houses.