A board game about the book of Genesis? Yes. “Who Wants to Be a Tribal Heir?” is a game I developed as part of a Bible Study resource for young people about Children of the Bible. The resource was commissioned by the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. The resource has a strong focus on human rights and social justice. The book was published in 2005 and is now out of print, so I am making the game available here. The wonderful artwork is by Evan Polenghi.

The story of Jacob and his tribe in Genesis offered a way to explore what a biblical narrative about ‘family’ says and doesn’t say about children, their place in family life and their places in the eyes of God. The complex and disturbing narrative of partnerships, marriage, patriarchy, giving and taking, life and loss, truth and deceit, and so much more, invites us to explore who we are and who God is.

The game is designed for a small group of young people. It is designed to accompany study of the related narratives in Genesis 27-35. The game won’t make much sense without key texts being read. Anyway, I’m making the game available and leaving the rest to you.

Game Introduction
Today we’re playing a board game based on the stories of a tribe of families in the book of Genesis. You may have heard of Abraham and Sarah, their son Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and their twin sons Jacob and Esau. This game is based on the story of Jacob’s tribe.  In these old stories, the men seem to be the main characters. Women and children play secondary roles. This game will put you into some different characters in the story. It will invite you to ask how you are treated as that character and how you feel. In doing this, we’re going to get inside these stories and maybe see them differently.

Read Genesis 28: 1-5, 10-16.

The story continues. Read these for your own background.
Genesis 29 – the story of Jacob, Laban, Leah and Rachel
Genesis 30 – the story of Jacob, Rachel, Leah. Zilpah, Bilhah and Joseph
Genesis 31 – the story of Jacob, Laban and Rachel
This part of the narrative continues to chapter 35.

DOWNLOAD Instructions and Game Cards (850kb PDF)

DOWNLOAD Board Game (10mb JPG A2 size) – You can print this A3 but you’d be better to get it printed full size at somewhere like Officeworks.

DOWNLOAD Discussion Questions (1mb JPG)