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Allusions of Exodus in Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

12 Tribes of Israel

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The Burning Bush
Baby in a Basket
Persecution in the Promised Land
Passing of the Elders
12 Tribes of Israel
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Allusions between the 12 Tribes and the 12 Joads

Simeon

From the Greek form of the Hebrew name Shim'on which meant "hearkening" or "listening".  He is the second son of Jacob and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Simeon can be related to Ruthie because she is listening to everything that is around her and then, sadly, repeating it for anyone who is within earshot.

 

Levi

Means "attached" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites (the tribe that eventually became the priests of the Israelites).

Winfield can be like Levi because he is very attached to his sister, Ruthie.

 

Judah

From the Hebrew name Yehudah which meant "praised". Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and the ancestor of the tribe of Judah in the Old Testament. This tribe led the Exodus from Egypt and eventually formed the kingdom of Judah in the south of Israel.

Judah is similar to Ma because she was in a way the family’s leader from “bondage” into the Promised Land

 

Issachar

Means "hireling" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Issachar is like Al because he does much of the hard work for the family.

 

Zebulun

Means "exaltation" in Hebrew. Zebulun was the tenth son of Jacob in the Old Testament and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Zebulun can be connected to Tom because when Tom arrives home from jail he is exhalted by his family.

 

Dan

Judge. Biblical fifth son of Jacob and founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Dan is similar to Pa because Pa is very judgmental of the family.

 

Naphtali

Means "struggling" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he was a son of Jacob by Rachel's servant Bilhah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel

Naphtali can be related to Grandma because she is struggling to survive the whole time just to stay alive.

 

Gad

Means "fortune" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Gad was the first son of Jacob by Leah's slave-girl Zilpah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.

Gad is similar to Noah, he was fortunate in being alive even though he feels that he is treated differently.

 

Asher

Means "happy" or "blessed" in Hebrew. Asher in the Old Testament was a son of Jacob and Leah's handmaid Zilpah, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Asher can be related to Rose of Sharon because she was blessed, even though he child died, with the transformation into a motherly figure who is kind and caring towards all.

 

Benjamin

From the Hebrew name Binyamin which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand". Benjamin in the Old Testament was the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews.

Benjamin can be related to Uncle John because his mother died while in labor with him, just like John’s wife died while giving labor.

 

Ephraim

From the Hebrew name Ephrayim which meant "fruitful". In the Old Testament he is a son of Joseph and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Ephraim can be related to Connie, even though he left his wife, it was an attempt to make a living for himself and become fruitful and prosper in the new land.

 

Menasseh

Means "causing to forget" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the oldest son of Joseph and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Menasseh can be related to Grandpa because he was drugged in order to forget what was happening when they left the farm.

 

 

http://www.behindthename.com/nmc/jew.html

All twelve tribes in one way or another, relate to a member of the Joad family, further connecting The Grapes of Wrath to the story of Exodus as these are the twelve tribes that left Egypt and the twelve members of the Joad family who left Oklahoma.

Created by Phil, Jesse and Ben