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I introduced a section within my first post in this series, as one of the most unbelievable scenarios you could read. In that section you have Rebekah and Jacob pulling off the deception of a lifetime, as Isaac is tricked into believing that Jacob was Esau merely by strapping a piece of sheepskin on Jacob's arm. I have to ask, have you ever seen sheep? They exceed the hair of man about 100 to one. While most would have run for their lives but not Jacob; and, I cannot give you any good reason why? As you see in Genesis 28:6-7, Isaac, after the deception, has instructed Jacob not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. After hearing this Jacob leaves toward Haran in order to comply and his mother goes with him. What just happened? Watch what Esau does. Genesis 28:6-7 NASB Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take to himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he charged him, saying, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan," 7) and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram. This is the first time I noticed this aspect of the story. Note how it says, “and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.” When you think about the reality of the situation and how furious Isaac should have been at Rebekah, then it makes all the sense in the world for her to with Jacob. Besides that, she may need to make the introductions and marriage arrangements for this favorite of sons. Esau, on the other hand, seeing how irritated his mother became about the women he married, (This is the same mother who deceived Isaac his father, and helped to cheat him out of his rightful inheritance,) went out and found himself a few more. Genesis 28:8-9 NASB So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; 9) and Esau went to Ishmael, and married, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth. This next section focuses entirely on a dream that Jacob had. Indeed, it was a very vivid dream, in a manner similar to the dream that Abram had, it was as close to reality as you can come. You have to wonder how much understanding Jacob had about God, or where he got that understanding. The only thing we see is Isaac praying to the Lord in chapter 25. Isaac, being the son of Abraham, I can understand how and where he learned of the Lord, but the apparent influence on Jacob is not seen. Genesis 25:21-23 NASB Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23) The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger." Jacob's Dream - Genesis 28:10-22 But first Jacob has to kneel before his father, apparently at his father's demand. Genesis 28:1 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. This is the second time Jacob has been blessed, however, Isaac is well aware of the deceitful methods that were used on him. Without going any farther, I already see a prime example of the nature and character of God, as Isaac overlooks the “sin” and bestows a purposeful blessing upon Jacob. Blessed is the Hebrew word bāraḵ: A verb meaning to bless, kneel, salute, or greet. The verb derives from the noun knee and perhaps suggests the bending of the knee in blessing. Would we expect to see Isaac kneeling before Jacob at this point? Not a chance, so it is Jacob, this time with intention, kneeling before his father. Do you think it is possible that Isaac could bring some punishment upon this son? No, and again, this is an example of God's grace, as we too, caught in our sins, deserved punishment, but what happened? The Son Jesus took all punishment on our behalf. I am well aware that I have no key character, in this scenario, that takes the punishment for Jacob. What I do see, is Jacob suffering abuse, at not only the hand of Laban but his own sons when we get to them. Pay attention to what Isaac tells Jacob. Perspective: The flood has come and gone, and, with it, should have been the giants and the evil and violence that were associated not just with them, but people in general. And, secondly, this has taken place before Moses and prior to the law. Is that what happened? Not exactly, for men still had the right to choose how they would live, and the giants returned. Genesis 6:4 tells us that afterward, they showed up again. After what? The flood. “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4 NASB Two pieces of evidence for giants after the flood comes from Numbers 13:33 and 2Samuel 21:16, both of which speak of giants still permeating the land. Canaan was one of those places and we learn of it when Israel sent 12 men to spy out the Land of Canaan. “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.” Do a word search and the first place Canaan shows up is in Genesis 9. Genesis 9:18-27 NASB Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20) Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21) He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22) Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23) But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness. 24) When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25) So he said, "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers." 26) He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27) "May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant." Notice how Canaan is pointed out as the son of Ham; this is not a favorable distinction. Genesis 28:2 NASB "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. The town of Bethuel gained it's origins in a man, as was the case with every city. Genesis 22:20-23 NASB Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21) Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel." 23) Bethuel became the father of Rebekah; these eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. So here is your ancestry moment, It was told, Abraham: Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel." Kemuel produces a son Aram. Note the similarities to Paddan-aram! The son to be born to Nahor is Bethuel. Bethuel became the father of Rebekah Rebekah is the wife of Isaac, the mother of Esau and Jacob. This also means that Bethuel became the father of Laban. Jacob, still kneeling before his father Isaac, receives all these instructions and blessings; as though what he stole was not enough. Genesis 28:3-5 NASB "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. “ May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.” “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” What were the blessings of Abraham? Genesis 12:1-3 NASB Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Genesis 17:6-8 NASB "I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7) "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8) "I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." I will make you a great nation I will bless you and make your name great I will bless those that bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. In you, all the families of the earth will be blessed. I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you kings will come forth from you I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you … for an everlasting covenant. Be a God to you and to your descendants. And, I will give you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. So, tell me, is this what you say to someone who has just deceived you? And yet, this is exactly what Isaac just did. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” Genesis 28:10-11 NASB Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11) He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. Haran, isn't that the place where Abram was and God told him to go to a land that He would show him? Yes, it is. But it is also the place where so many things will take place, and now Jacob is going there to find himself a wife. Fortunately, Jacob has his mommy with him to make the introductions; although we are not told that, it works for the moment. Genesis 11:26-31 NASB Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. 27) Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28) Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29) Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30) Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31) Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. Note this: “Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. It seems God has His hands in everything, doesn't it? “He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set;” Genesis 28:19 NASB He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. “And he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.” Genesis 28:18-22 NASB So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19) He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20) Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21) and I return to my father's house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. 22) "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You." God's house? This statement is immensely significant, and so is this, “and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Without any motivation of “law,” Jacob has made a commitment to tithe.
This entire blog was spawned from a sermon entitled, What about Jacob? Or, can a man find healing in a woman? To make this brief, I did not understand, nor was I able to track with what the pastor said, as he tried to prove his point about Jacob. Sorry, I can't really see it but I am enjoying the study, as usual. As we finished part one of our look at Jacob, the grand deception was complete. Do you think Rebekah and Jacob gleefully danced around the campfire that night as they celebrated how well they pulled it off? Hardly, for Esau, as you will see, has every intention of killing Jacob once Isaac is dead. Notice how there is no concern on the part of Esau for how this will affect his mother. And, all this evokes another question, is it possible for Esau to regain his birthright? I don't think so, at least not in God's eyes. Cheating not only Esau but your father as well, you would think that Jacob would be gone already, but only minutes from now Issac calls Jacob before him and commands him to not a wife from the same cluster of women that Esau had chosen from. Isaac directs Jacob to Laban, Rebekah's brother. Maybe, Isaac knows full well what kind of man Laban can be considering the backhanded maneuver Rebekah has just pulled on Isaac. With that said, let's continue on. I mentioned in the previous post, that Esau did not take this selling of the birthright serious. If he had Wouldn't it seem logical to say something to Isaac? Wouldn't Isaac have known? Why would Esau bother to respond Isaac as though there was not a problem? “As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting.” Jacob logically only has seconds to get out of Esau's presence, and, his fathers. Genesis 27:30-37 ESV As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me." His father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" He answered, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau." Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed." As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, O my father!" But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing." Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." Then he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?" The deception is pulled off, and now you would think that Jacob has to flee, an exile. And Esau is the reason. Genesis 27:38-41 NASB Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father." So Esau lifted his voice and wept. 39) Then, Isaac, his father answered and said to him, "Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, And away from the dew of heaven from above. 40) "By your sword, you shall live, And your brother you shall serve; But it shall come about when you become restless, That you will break his yoke from your neck." 41) So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob." So Rebekah calls Jacob in once again. Genesis 27:42-45 NASB Now when the words of her elder son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she sent and called her younger son Jacob, and said to him, "Behold your brother Esau is consoling himself concerning you by planning to kill you. 43) "Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise, flee to Haran, to my brother Laban! 44) "Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury subsides, 45) until your brother's anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?" But Jacob still hasn't left. To make matters worse, we now learn of Esau's wives and what grief they are causing Rebekah. Genesis 27:45 NASB until your brother's anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?" In response to Rebekah, Issac calls Jacob in once more. Genesis 28:1-5 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. 2) "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. 3) "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. While Isaac's command is that he get a wife from Laban's daughters, we don't see anything that tells us he knows what he is looking for. Jacob, in a sense, stumbles upon Rachel, and she is a vision of how a girl should look. He wants her and is willing to work for her to get her. There is an irony here in that Rachel, is not an accident by any means, for Laban, her father is Jacob's uncle. (Consider: If Rebekah knew how to be devious it only makes sense that Laban, Rachel's father, would also know how to be underhanded.) Jacob makes no effort to negotiate for her but tells Laban that he will work seven years for her. (That timeframe may be significant on several levels. Seven is the number of perfection, redemption, and a theme that recurs throughout scripture.) It may be essential to consider Rachel's age at this time. I doubt he would have pursued her if he did not think she was old enough to marry. “Joseph married at about age 30 (Gen_41:45). This was old by Egyptian standards, since most males were still only boys when they married. Yet it is clear that a boy had to be not only sexually mature but also able to provide for his wife and thus settled in his occupation before he married. Girls seem to have married between about twelve and fourteen. They did not have to wait until established in a career. Some royal marriages, occurring for dynastic or other political reasons, took place when the individuals were very young. For example, Tutankhamen died at the age of eighteen or nineteen after a nine-year reign and marriage, so he must have been nine or ten when married.” NELSON'S Bible Manners & Customs, How the People of the Bible Really Lived, Howard F. Vos, THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS Jacob does not do what many desperate men would do, and rape her, he waits the seven years. He then goes to Laban and demands that she be given to him for he has paid for her. Laban deceives Jacob just as Jacob had deceived Esau and gave him Leah. Laban makes a statement here, in response to Jacob's shock and disappointment, that I never noticed before. And Laban answered It is not done thus in our country, to give the younger before the elder. Genesis 29:26 Brenton) As that particular pastor exclaimed: "this had to cut Jacob like a knife, as this is precisely what Jacob and his mother had done to Esau.” And, Uncle Laban may well have been told of it. If not, it is amazing how the Holy Spirit puts words in your mouth. According to the pastor, the premise behind all this is that Jacob, a broken man, (I am not so sure he could understand that for a long time,) pursues Rachel, the vision of perfection, in hopes that she would heal him and make him a better man. I am not sure I see all that, but it makes sense, as most men do just that. While the hope of finding something that calms the inward brokenness he feels may be going on in the back of his mind, it is not directly noted in scripture; many things aren't, and yet the more in-depth answers and subjects are there if we pursue them. One of the things that I see in scripture is that God is in control, regardless of how lousy the circumstances seem to be. The pastor said, “that God gives us examples of people who are messed up so that we can know what not to do.” If that theory is correct, then why would God tell Israel, explicitly, not to learn from the surrounding nations, for the surrounding nations were doing everything wrong, worshiping idols, and sacrificing their children to gods. While I might argue that learning from my neighbor how to work with Iron could be a necessity that would allow a civilization to create water pipes. However, there is often a hazard in close associations, especially with those not so grounded, as it can cause us to be drawn away by the deviant and those used by Satan. Along with that, I have had several acquaintances that claimed to be Christians. One, it turns out, was in a men's home (the men's home is somewhat irrelevant except that you can make an obvious assumption - and that is that the person from the home has had some mighty struggles in the past.) While the leadership of the men's home had mandated church services and Bible studies they had to attend, they could not seem to get the world out of this brother. He, in a short period, took a job on the night crew, and I rarely saw him after that. His reattachment to the world seemed to grow and he left the group home he was a part of. You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you. (Exodus 23:32-33 AMP) And you shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will give over to you; your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. (Deuteronomy 7:16 AMP) You didn't merely live by their ways and act according to their disgusting practices, but in a very short time, you acted more corruptly than they in all your ways. (Ezekiel 16:47 CJB) Is it the person becoming the snare? Perhaps, but what we do know is that Satan will deceive you through any means possible. In some cases, it might be an innocent but attractive looking woman. Yes, Jacob's life is one huge psychodrama. He is a liar, a cheat, and a general a mess; he does not even seem to slow down all those years later when he meets Esau again. But there is a method to God's madness. God seems to use broken people; he even seeks them out. He seems to find pleasure in lifting them up and healing them. On the plus side, our savior is a descendant of the line from Jacob. My point: That no matter how messed up the narrative, or, our story is, we can and should glean as much as we can from each one, for it is God's story. Sure, you think it is all yours, but it is never anything less than God's plan, you merely get to be a part of it. "For I know what plans I have in mind for you,' says Adonai, plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. " (Jeremiah 29:11 CJB)
This article was first posted on 05/09/2011. It has been edited, and, it still covers a lot of ground. The story is found in Genesis 25-31. One of the churches we were going to at the time had Saturday night services. The pastor was talking about relational issues between husbands and wives, and this night he threw Jacob into the mix. He, of course, had to do a quick overview in an attempt to explain what interactions "created" this man Jacob we read about. In other words, what were the family dynamics that made him respond to situations the way he did? I remember thinking, some are blatantly obvious, what else can there be? The pastor opened with, “The story equates to a broken man. A man that looks to a woman, Rachel, to bring him wholeness.” I did not take the best notes as my mind went racing off to find the origins of some word the pastor had focused on. You may not be into humor, but this transition about words reminds me of a movie I watched years ago called, The Three Amigos. The movie is about three comedic American actors around the 1940's, finding themselves in old Mexico. There was a point in the film where the bad guys were sitting around the fire while trying to assess the situation; when one of them says, Mi Jefe, I have seen them, and there is a plethora. To which the jefe responds, I do not think you know what plethora means. Do not use words for which you do not know the meaning. What am I trying to say here? I listen to pastors, and teachers espouse words as though what they are saying is the definitive answer. I am frequently disappointed, for as you look into a good concordance, you usually find that there are multiple meanings to the word, proving that maybe they should not use words for which they do not know the meaning. Occasionally, you find that the word they chose is in opposition to the context. I will simply say, that I can't wholeheartedly see the association between Rachel and Jacob's so-called search for wholeness if that is what he did; and yet, as I edited this post for readability, I found so many fascinating things that comprise this family. Things that many would bring little more than reproach in most peoples eyes. Essentially, I keep seeing that God is in control. If you take one thing away from this, I hope it is that God is in control. Let's start off this look at Jacob with a strong shocker! We are all broken, and though we may not want to admit to it, most of us are looking for something that dulls the pain and takes our mind off of it for at least a few moments. Sometimes that thing that dulls the pain takes the form of a woman. Why, because, for several reasons we won't talk about, she quiets the storm momentarily? If a man were honest, he would tell you that there is little that removes all the hurt inside. It is moments like this you need to get real. You know the moment - it's those times you stand there looking at yourself, and you see the pain. Scripture itself tells us that all of creation is crying out for redemption, so how can you be excluded; you can't. Romans 8:22-23 NASB For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23) And not only this but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. What do we know about Jacob? Esau, the first-born becomes a man, a very hairy man. Jacob, of course, was born second. When you are young, this second child thing is not that important to you. But, depending on how you were treated in the home there may be a massive sibling rivalry problem, that in some cases lasts a lifetime as a result of the favoritism was shown toward the elder brother in this case. For example, your father makes sure that you understand the position that you do not hold, and it's not first-born. You are taught that the older will rule the family when the father is gone, and the eldest son will get the lion's share of any inheritance; this being born first could work in the opposite as well, as oftentimes the eldest is held to a higher standard and takes more punishment for mistakes they did not make (I speak from experience on this one.) Whatever the case is with these two we do not know, but there are clues. Genesis 25:23-26 NASB The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger." 24) When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25) Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. 26) Afterward, his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them. Esau was first-born, but then there is this prophecy given in a dream, how the older will serve the younger. Gen 25:27 NASB tells us: “When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.” What does Gen 25:27 mean when it comes to Jacob? While one was always outdoors and active, the other seems to be busy cooking and cleaning the tent. In the eyes of a father that wants to pass on the family business, Esau is the boy you want to brag about in the marketplace. If this was the case, this incessant bragging has to play a role in the character of Jacob. Outside of speculation, we do not know, at this point, what made Jacob such a conniver. Some would begin an argument at this point, and to a degree, they would be correct, but then, who do we have as a deceiver in this family? Issac is one of those who described his wife as his sister. For the sake of space, I have not included the full text here. I suggest you look it up. Genesis 26:7-13. Genesis 25:28 LITV And Isaac loved Esau, for game was in his mouth. And Rebekah loved Jacob. Here is what we have next. One day, Jacob was cooking some stew, when Esau came home hungry and said, "I'm starving to death! Give me some of that red stew right now!" That's how Esau got the name "Edom." Jacob replied, "Sell me your rights as the first-born son." "I'm about to die," Esau answered. "What good will those rights do me?" But Jacob said, "Promise me your birthrights, here and now!" And that's what Esau did. (Genesis 25:29-33 CEV) While you probably do not pick up on a dominant attitude with most translations, there is no doubt that it is there. Interpretations range from a polite please; to I am starving give me, or feed me. Here is an example of a similar attitude that Jesus spoke of. The parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. Both characters have died. However, Lazarus is now comforted, and the rich man is now demanding, pretty much just as he had always done, that Lazarus is sent back to warn his family. This parable is an example that probably escapes most people, because the interpreters inserted the word please, as though the rich man was now polite when it was his custom to order people around; and, he still thinks that he can order Lazarus around. And he said, Father, it is my request that you will send him to my father's house; (Luke 16:27 BBE) Esau, though probably not on the verge of death, is hungry enough sell his birthright to Jacob. Doesn't this imply that the birthright issue has been part of Jacob's thinking for a long time? If you felt confident that you were going to be taken care of by your father then why would you steal what was not meant to be yours? Apparently, Jacob did not feel very confident. So Esau sells his brother his birthrights. Sure he did (in a sarcastic tone,) apparently Esau believed these were meaningless words and had no intention of giving up what was his. Besides that, how do you enforce an illegal sale (where are the witnesses,) with a father who is the only one who has the right to give it, and who is probably not that fond of Jacob anyway? Genesis 27:1-4 LITV And it happened when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim for seeing, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, My son! And he said to him, Behold me. 2) And he said, Behold! Now, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3) And now please lift up your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go to the field and hunt game for me. 4) And make for me delicious things, such as I love, and bring to me, and I will eat; so that my soul may bless you before I die. If Esau had thought he had thrown away his birthright, why did he act like nothing was wrong when his father said, “that I may bless you before … my death.? He knew what those words his father would speak meant; and, he knew what they meant to Jacob. Now we add Rebekah into the mix. Genesis 27:5-6 GNB “While Isaac was talking to Esau, Rebecca was listening. So when Esau went out to hunt, 6) she said to Jacob, "I have just heard your father say to Esau,” It would seem that she knew about the deal that Jacob had made with Esau, and, she has decided that she is going to make this deception happen. The turmoil that was about to begin started long ago with these words: Genesis 25:23 LITV And Jehovah said to her, Two nations are in your womb; even two peoples shall break from your body. And one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. Under the category of things we don't know: Does she remember those words Jehovah spoke to her all those years ago? Are those words the motivation for what she is about to do? Or, is she merely a player in this plan God has, where we do what we think is beneficial for the moment, and yet God is directing every move regardless of how it looks? Do you suppose that she is aware of the grief she is about to cause, or the humiliation Issac is about to face as he is tricked into blessing the wrong son, according to tradition? Rebekah makes her move to protect Jacob. Genesis 27:8-10 NET. Now then, my son, do exactly what I tell you! 9) Go to the flock and get me two of the best young goats. I'll prepare them in a tasty way for your father, just the way he loves them. 10) Then you will take it to your father. Thus he will eat it and bless you before he dies." Sometimes, even the best of schemers forget a detail and so Jacob includes that possibility. Genesis 27:11-12 NASB Jacob answered his mother Rebekah, "Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man. 12) "Perhaps my father will feel me, then I will be as a deceiver in his sight, and I will bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing." Rebekah is willing to bear the blame. Genesis 27:13 NASB But his mother said to him, "Your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me." There is little about what happens next that is believable, and yet it does. Sheepskin, with all that hair, a voice had to be decidedly different, and Esau was not the cook. The trap is set, and the deception works. Genesis 27:14-29 NASB So he went and got them, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savory food such as his father loved. 15) Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16) And she put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17) She also gave the savory food and the bread, which she had made, to her son Jacob. 18) Then he came to his father and said, "My father." And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?" 19) Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that you may bless me." 20) Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have it so quickly, my son?" And he said, "Because the LORD your God caused it to happen to me." 21) Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come close, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22) So Jacob came close to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau." 23) He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24) And he said, "Are you really my son Esau?" And he said, "I am." 25) So he said, "Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son's game, that I may bless you." And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank. 26) Then his father Isaac said to him, "Please come close and kiss me, my son." 27) So he came close and kissed him; and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he blessed him and said, "See, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed; 28) Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine; 29) May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you." While the premise is that we are supposed to be looking at Jacob, we have spent a lot of time on Rebekah. However, taking a serious look at what makes us dysfunctional forces us to consider background information; Rebekah and Issac play a huge role in that background. Consider how much dysfunction a child, up to about the age when they learn to say NO, has buried within them. It would seem none, as they have to learn to be liars, and deceivers, as Jacob did. And his parents taught him. Consider another huge factor, sin. I bring this up because of the legalists among us, as they try to tell you that sin pushes you to do what you do. But consider, in the garden did Satan push Eve? No, he deceived. So, when Adam then partakes, was he pushed? No, and neither was he deceived, he merely followed his wife's lead. Sin is little more than missing the smallest of bullseyes as you go through your day, the process of which is a perpetual task that sometimes borders on the impossible. Sin then is that motivation to do what we want to do, and sometimes I grow weary of trying hit the bullseye on targets that seem to be several hundred yards away and no bigger than the head of a nail. Stay tuned as part two has Jacob getting out of the house and headed toward Laban's, as he looks for nieces he has never seen so that he can marry one of them.
Daily Reading 17 If you prefer, you can look up the following verses in your own Bible, of by whatever means and in whatever version you choose. Luke 13:18-35 Genesis 24 Psalm 17 Audio 5:03 Audio 9:42 Audio 1:58 The above addresses are linked to Bible Gateway. That is an easy way to read (or listen to) the Bible verses, and choose your version. Personally, I prefer written, that way I can go at my own pace, on think about it, before moving on. Nothing wrong with doing either or both. The Bible says faith comes by hearing. See the picture below to get an idea of what to expect if you follow the above links. Thank you Lord for making the your word so accessible for us in these times. Amen