We ask the following database query:
When our brother-sister genealogies used?
The reader is encouraged to perform the query using a standard Biblical Konnkordance or search engine.
This database query yields the list below.
The list justifies the inference that
Most genealogies are parental. Brother-sister
sibling genealogies indicate a special relationship
such as protection or assistance in marriage.
The list below presents the results of the database query
and provides examples.
|| Brother Sister
|| Suggested Reason
|| Textual Support
|| Tuval-Kayin and Naamah
|| Tuval-Kayin, a tool provider, undoubtedly assisted
Noach in the ark construction. Noach then married
Naamah, Tuval-Kayin's sister.
|| Nevayoth and Machalath
|| Nevayoth helped arrange marriage of Esauv and Machalath
|| The verse mentions the marriage of Esauv to
Machalath, the sister of Nevayoth
|| Nachshon and Elisheva
|| Nachshon resembled Aharon whom Elisheva married
|| The verse mentions the marriage of Aharon to
Elisheva the sister of Nachshon
|| Aharon and Miryam
|| Aharon interceded to protect Miryam when she
was punished with Leprosy (Nu12-10:12)
|| Nu12-10:12 explicitly mentions Aharon
interceding on behalf of Miryam
|| Shimon and Levi, Dinah's brothers
|| They fought to protect Dinah
|| Gn34-25 explicitly mentions
that Shimon and Levi declared war on an entire
city where Dina's rape took place.
Advanced Rashi: Rashi at various points adds further
details. For example on Ex06-23 Rashi states A person who
wants to marry a woman should see if he is compatable with her brother
since sisters resemble brothers closely. Our main goal here is to
show the database aspect of these Rashis.
These Rashis do not appear that strong. In the last two examples
we have explicit textual references to the brothers protection of the
sister. Of the remaining three cases, two involve an explicit mention
of marriage while one simply reports the brother sister relationship.
Thus the Rashi-midrashic suggestion that the brothers helped marry the
sisters is seen as a reasonable generalization of the verses but certainly
not explicitly indicated. This type of logic is a characteristic flavor of
the database method. The strength of the derivation is based on the
aggregate totality of examples most of which show the
marriage-protection aspect underlying the database examples.
The serious student of Rashi should carefully study the above examples
and convince themselves that the Rashi-midrash approach was the most reasonable.