A Bayesian Blessing: A Biblical Decision Explained by Game Theory

Leah Dodell


This paper revisits one of the most debated tales from the Old Testament, Jacob’s deception of his father Isaac, and models it in the framework of a Bayesian game. Solving for the equilibrium that occurs in the Torah reveals what conditions must hold for biblical characters to be willing to make the decisions that they make. The paper also examines how the protagonists’ decisions would have changed if they had held different values. The analysis sheds light on which interpretations of the biblical story hold the most weight when its characters maintain consistent beliefs and act upon them in a sequentially rational manner.

Słowa kluczowe

Game Theory, Economics, Bayesian Games, Strategic Communication, Deception, Old Testament

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7206//DEC.1733-0092.113


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