Updated March, 2016
When Jacob was yet in his mother’s womb God prophesied that Jacob would excel over his brother Esau. Now Rebecca loved Jacob more than Esau and one can only imagine how much the prophecy played in her actions of favoritism in helping Jacob defraud his brother.
Yet the event of the selling of the birthright contained no deceit and Esau clearly did not value his birthright, but the taking of the blessing was by obvious deceit and the blessings were for all practical purposes stolen by Jacob. Although the method was wrong, the lesson is that Jacob valued the blessings and strove to gain them.
As a young man Jacob acted to obtain the promises of God by deceit and through his own ways; which was a great sin. It is a great sin for us to seek to obtain God’s promises of eternal life and a kingdom by our own ways as well.
We obtain the birthright of our calling; by our merciful calling from God; and by our diligently seeking to please and to become like God: NOT by grasping for it in our own ways as Jacob did.
We have been called by God’s mercy as Jacob was; and we are to seek to learn to keep the whole Word of God; that we might receive the promises which are given to those who please and obey God.
Romans 9:10 “And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Each of the called out brethren have been called to a birthright promise of eternal life and many blessings IF we remain the faithful sons of God; but if we seek our own ways and not the will of God our Father we become spiritual bastards and lose our birthright as Esau lost his birthright and blessing.
Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement [refuse the correction and teaching of God] , whereof all [the called out] are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Now this Jacob was called and given the birthright promise and blessings from the womb, yet he did not trust in God and tried to seize then from his brother by his own ways. Yet over his life Jacob learned his lesson and repented of this sin and turned to serve the Eternal.
In our own lives many of us who have been called to the birthright and blessings of eternal life in the spiritual Promised land of God; also make the same mistake and rush off to seek God by doing what we think is right, and failing to seek out and do what God commands is right.
Isaac is near death and prepares to give his blessing to Esau.
Genesis 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. 27:2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
Rebecca hears Isaac and tells Jacob to obey her in deceiving her husband. This was a conspiracy against Esau initiated by Rebecca. Jacob sinned by obeying his m deceiving his father; we also sin when we obey anyone contrary to God our Father in heaven.
27:5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 27:6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 27:7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. 27:8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. 27:9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: 27:10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
Jacob is quick to join the conspiracy to deceive his father and steal the blessing from his brother Esau.
27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
Jacob fears that the deception will be found out and he will be cursed and not blessed. In this he knows that the deed is worthy of a curse and not a blessing; yet he is willing if not eager to be convinced by his mother and to go ahead with the wicked deed. Even so many in the Ekklesia are often all too eager to obey men, who deceive us with promises of blessings for obeying them contrary to the Word and Will of God.
27:12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
Rebecca believing the Promise of God and trying to fulfill it by her own methods [as Israel would later try to enter the land after they had been forbidden] asked that any curse be upon her and not on Jacob.
27:13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
Then the conspiracy was decided and began. Rebecca made Isaac’s favorite food and dressed Jacob up in Esau’s clothing and covered him with hairy skins.
27:14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: 27:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 27:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
Jacob then goes to his father with deception and even invokes God to his father.
27:18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. 27:20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
Isaac has his doubts and asks to feel Esau who had hairy body while Jacob was smooth skin.
27:21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 27:22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 27:23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.
Jacob lies to his father. At tis point I must say that we cannot deceive our Father in heave to steal any blessings from him! He KNOWS whether we are faithful to him and are zealous to please him; or if we are lying to him and doing our own ways instead of living by every Word of God,
27:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
Isaac eats the venison [young goat or deer are of the same family and very much alike.]
27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.
27:26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27:27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment,
The blessing that Jacob stole:
. . . and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: 27:28 Therefore God give thee of the [good watered land] dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn [grain] and wine: 27:29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee [we should not assume that Rebecca remained barren after the twins were born]: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
As Jacob left Esau comes into the room with his savoury meat. What a shock this must have been to Isaac and Esau for this was outright theft from his brother and a betrayal of the trust of his father.
27:30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me. 27:32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
Isaac shook with rage at this theft of his son’s blessings. Almighty God is also extremely angry with us for our rejection of any zeal to live by his Word while being zealous to follow men into sin like Jacob followed his mother.
27:33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
Esau was also outraged at this betrayal by his brother.
27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
Isaac responds to Esau’s request:
27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
Then Esau cries out, and asks for a blessing also.
27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
Isaac laments that he has given all to Jacob.
27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
27:38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
Isaac then blesses Esau also, with deliverance from Jacob; this is a reference for the time when all flesh shall be grafted into the New Covenant of Israel.
27:39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
Esau decided to wait for the imminent death of Isaac and to then kill his brother that he might retain the physical birthright and the physical blessing for Jacob would be dead.
27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning [the death of] for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
Esau’s word’s were overheard and told to Rebecca who warns Jacob to flee.
27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 27:44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; 27:45 Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
Rebecca devises a stratagem to entice Isaac to send Jacob away. She tells him that Jacob should marry in the family, and not into the Canaanites as Esau had done. So Isaac allows Jacob to depart to Haran.
27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?
This entire episode is about brothers fighting over the physical birthright and physical blessing instead of waiting on God to work things out. This is a lesson for us that we cannot achieve the spiritual birthright of our calling by our own methods. We must repent of our own ways and go on to sin no more, becoming zealous to please God.
Did Isaac delight in this quarreling between his son’s? I dare say NO! Does God our Father in heaven take delight in our seeking his blessings by doing our own ways and not by fulfilling his Word? I dare say NO!
God cannot be deceived and his eyes are not dim that he cannot see! Our Father in heaven knows what we do to each other in our strife to have the chief seats; he knows that most leaders seek the chief seats by whatever means and are not zealous to learn and to keep the Word of God the Father.
Right now the church of God is no better than Jacob and Esau fighting over the chief seats by our own ways, and not being zealous to please and live by every Word God of our Father in heaven!
The story is not yet over and BOTH Jacob and Esau eventually learn their lesson and repent before God and before each other! Jacob repents of his wickedness and Esau repents of his envy and hatred!
Even so it shall be that in the end of things; the vast majority of the truly called out will also learn to reject their own ways for a true passionate exuberant zeal to live by EVERY WORD of GOD our Father!
Brethren, when we mourn over all the evils within these organizations: Remember also that we are all unfinished products in the Master Potter’s hands! and the day will come when we learn our lessons like Jacob and Esau did!
God speed that day!
Isaac then sends Jacob to Haran to take a wife from among his cousins there, as Rebecca had insisted. While this was a stratagem to save Jacob from the wrath of Esau it also saved Jacob from marrying into Canaan.
Genesis 28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 28:2 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughers of Laban thy mother’s brother.
In spite of everything Isaac again is inspired to bless Jacob, and to confer upon him the promises made to Abraham; this because of the prophecies made by God to Abraham..
28:3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 28:4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.
Esau then took wives of Ishmael Abraham’s son, to seek to please his father Isaac.
28:6 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughers of Canaan; 28:7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; 28:8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 28:9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
Jacob journeys to Haran
28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones [he took a stone from among the stones] of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
At that time Jacob must have been filled with fear for his life over his theft of the blessing from his brother Esau, he must also have been very lonely and more than a little discouraged in spite of his father’s blessings. Here he was, forced to flee from the very land he had been promised by his father’s blessing.
Then God appears to him in a dream and blesses him; this because God has faith that Jacob will learn his lesson and repent of his evil deeds.
Before Jacob had believed his parents concerning the prophecy and sought to fulfill it by his own methods; this speaks to the Ekklesia today, who seek to gain eternal life through man devised methods and tries to obtain the blessings by following idols of men, instead of through zeal to live by every Word of God.
Suddenly God appears to Jacob personally and blesses him according to what his parents had told him. This must have been an incredible shock for Jacob to hear the voice of God and God’s blessings for himself! At this time Jacob was in a sense converted, as he stooped seeking to gain advantage for himself by his own ways, and pledged to obey God to receive the birthright and blessings for real.
God had begun to work with Jacob humbling him and teaching him that his own ways bring sorrow and it is God’s ways that are righteous. That ONLY through the zealous keeping of the whole Word of God, both physically and spiritually, can we be blessed and inherit the birthright of eternal life.
During the years since he fled from Esau, God worked with Jacob to humble him. Jacob went to Laban as a wicked self centered man; and he left the house of Laban having experienced the same treatment that he had given to his brother Esau, and having been humbled and taught to live by every Word of God and not by his own methods.
28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Jacob awoke, deeply moved at the appearance of God to him and God’s blessings, and he set up a stone and anointed it with oil; which stone is figurative of the Rock of our Salvation, even Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone of Salvation!
Let me add here that some have taught that this stone was brought by Jeremiah and is the stone of Scone today. That is totally false, and that error has brought great damage to the understanding of the latter day identity of Israel, as it is well known that the ancient kings of Ireland, Scotland and Britain were crowned over a piece of stone taken from their own countryside’s. as a statement that they sat over the land of their kingdoms.
The stone of Scone is a piece of Scottish sandstone of great political significance [The stone, weighing 336 pounds (152 kg), is a rectangular block of pale yellow sandstone (almost certainly of Scottish origin) measuring 26 inches (66 cm) by 16 inches (41 cm) by 11 inches (28 cm). A Latin cross is its only decoration. of great significance]; since figuratively anyone crowned while sitting on that stone would be sovereign over the land of Scotland.
This is why the English kings were crowned over that stone; it represented their sovereignty over Scotland as well as England. In 1996 the British government returned the stone to Scotland.
Jeremiah would never have supported any such idolatry as carrying about a very heavy stone; we know this because God permitted the staff of serpents to be destroyed and even the Ark of the Covenant to be lost; even the Temple was destroyed TWICE.
These things were merely symbols of a far greater spiritual reality and we are to focus on that spiritual reality and not on the symbols. Focusing on the symbols and not on the spiritual reality is IDOLATRY! A sin that Jeremiah would have [and did] condemned to the utmost.
This fact does not disprove British Israelism; it merely demonstrates that some of the “proofs” have been in error.
28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. 28:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
Jacob called the place Beth-El meaning the house of God.
28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
Jacob then vowed that he would give a tenth of all his increase to God, if God would fulfill his promises. The tithe is in acknowledgement of ALL the blessings of God upon his people, an acknowledgement that the Eternal is God and the Creator and Great Provider of all things.
28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Jacob finds his family in Haran.
Genesis 29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east. 29:2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth. 29:3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place.
Jacob meets Rachel.
29:4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we. 29:5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him. 29:6 And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
The herdsmen were waiting for the flocks to come to remove stone so that the sheep could be watered.
29:7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them. 29:8 And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.
Jacob seeing Rachel was struck with her and fell in love at first sight; he leapt up to roll away the stone and water her flock.
29:9 And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them. 29:10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.
Jacob ran to Rachel and kissed her, probably on the hand, cheek or neck as was the custom of greeting a relative. It is from this custom that Paul tells us to greet our brethren with a “holy kiss” (1 Thess 5:26, 1 Cor 16:20, 2 Cor 13:12, Romans 16:16).
29:11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
29:12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother [near kinsman], and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.
Laban receives Jacob with joy
29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.
Laban proposes to pay Jacob for any help he gives and Jacob asks for Rachel and not for money.
29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother [kinsman], shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? 29:16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
The first stage of the humbling of Jacob was when he was forced to flee before his bother, when it was understood that he was to be exalted over his brother; doubtless Jacob would have felt superior to Esau and thought that he was justified in doing what he did to Esau by the prophecy told to him.
Jacob would now be taught to serve the Eternal and not to seek to exalt himself by his own ways; a lesson that most of us still need to learn!
Jacob offers to serve for seven years for Rachel and Laban accepts. This begins the trial of patience and the intermediate stage of the humbling of Jacob.
29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. 29:19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
Jacob fulfilled his service for Rachel.
29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. 29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. 29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Jacob was caused to drink wine and then in the darkness Leah was brought to him instead of Rachel. By this time we can surmise that Laban had thought of his sister Rebecca being taken away and that his daughter Rachel was also to be taken far away; and also that he could get another seven years service from Jacob.
29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 29:24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid
for an handmaid. 29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? 29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
Then Jacob serves seven more years for Rachel; for a total of fourteen years service to Laban. Oh how much he loved that lady; and how long he was humbled for his wicked deeds of deception and theft from his brother.
29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this [Rachel] also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. 29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. 29:29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. 29:30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
God then gave Leah a child because she was not loved by Jacob. This consoled Leah and may have caused Jacob to appreciate her more as the mother of his firstborn.
Leah had four sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; all brothers by the same parents.
29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. 29:32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. 29:33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. 29:34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. 29:35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
Rachel jealous of her sister Leah, then insists that Jacob take her maid to bear children for her. This is an almost duplicate of the story of Sarai and Hagar with Abraham. Rachel had never known Sarai but would likely have heard the story.
Genesis 30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. 30:2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? 30:3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. 30:4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
When Bilhah had produced a son Rachel misinterpreted this as God blessing her [Rachel] when God had blessed Bilhah. Rachel called the boy’s name Dan “God has Judged” with the idea that God had judged between Rachel and Leah.
30:5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. 30:6 And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan. 30:7 And Bilhah Rachel’s maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.
Rachel called the second child of Bilhah, Naphtali “wrestling”. At this point the contention in the family of Jacob is obvious and God sees that the jealousy between sisters is aroused by competing for the affections of the same husband. Ultimately this leads to the commandment not to marry sisters during the lifetime of both [or more].
30:8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
Then Leah decided to follow the example of her sister Rachel and insisted that Jacob also taker her maid Zilpah. When Zilpah bears a son; Leah is full of joy, that through the surrogate Zilpah she may have many more sons, and names Zilpah’s firstborn Gad “a Troop” or throng of sons.
30:9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. 30:10 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a son. 30:11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
A second son is born to Leah by her maid Zilpah and she calls his name Asher “happiness.”
30:12 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a second son. 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
Reuben went out and found some mandrakes in a field and Rachel desired some of them from Leah Reuben’s mother.
30:14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.
Leah shows her jealousy of Rachel and refuses to give any mandrakes to her. Rachel then offers Leah her turn with Jacob for some mandrakes. Here we begin to see some of the issues with polygamy and the contentious jealousies and unhappiness that can rage within a polygamous family. It was certainly possible that Jacob preferred his favorite Rachel and that he had been neglecting his duty to Leah v 15. This would have been the root of God’s command at Sinai that all wives must be treated equally.
30:15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.
Leah then went to Jacob and demanded sex of him, openly telling him that she had bought his services for that day from Rachel.
30:16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
God heard the prayer of Leah and she conceived a fifth son.
30:17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
The child was named Issachar meaning “my reward” for purchasing the services of her husband for that day.
30:18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.
Leah then bore a sixth son and called his name Zebulun “a habitation.”
30:19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. 30:20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.
Of Jacob’s daughters (others are noted in Gen 46:15), only Dinah [meaning “vindicated”] is mentioned by name.
30:21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
After Leah has bourn six sons God opens the womb of the barren Rachel and she names her firstborn sin Joseph “increase” because she has finally become a mother and is beginning to increase..
30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 30:23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: 30:24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
Joseph the firstborn of Jacob’s favorite beloved Rachel becomes the favorite of Jacob. Jacob then seeks to return home to Canaan and Laban finding much increase and blessing in his services begs him to stay and asks Jacob what wages he wants to make him stay.
30:25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country. 30:26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
30:27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake. 30:28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
30:29 And he [Jacob] said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
Jacob replies that he must think about caring for his own family and no longer about enriching Laban.
30:30 For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?
Jacob then demands the wages of all the streaked, spotted and speckled cattle and sheep of Laban.
30:31 And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock. 30:32 I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle [lessor cattle; goats and sheep, see v33] , and all the brown [discolored] cattle [Sheep are often called cattle as in lessor cattle, this refers to brown (discolored) sheep not cows] among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
30:33 So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown [discolored] among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
NOTE: The word cattle throughout this story refers to “lessor cattle”, as in sheep and goats; not to bulls and cows.
30:34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
30:35 And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked [streaked] and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white [were mottled] in it, and all the brown [discolored] among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 30:36 And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
This is an amazingly knowledgeable technique of influencing the color of lambs and kids.
By stripping some of the bark from sticks [especially hazel and chestnut] and placing them in the water, tannin is leached into the water. Regular drinking of this tannin water resulted in a discoloring of the coats of the developing lambs and kids.
This was clearly wrong on Jacob’s part and Laban was well within his rights to change the deal when he caught Jacob cheating.
30:37 And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes [peeled them into dark and light stripes] in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. 30:38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. 30:39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle [lessor cattle; sheep and goats] ringstraked [streaked], speckled, and spotted.
Jacob separated out the discolored lambs of the sheep and goats, into flocks of his own; and he brought the strongest of Laban’s flocks to conceiver before his stripped sticks that the lambs of the strongest might be his.
30:40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked [striped peeled sticks] , and all the brown [discolored] in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban’s cattle.
30:41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did [come to reproduce] conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. 30:42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 30:43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.
Genesis 31 is the story of Jacob departing from Laban with his possessions.
Then as Jacob had taken most of Laban’s wealth, he overheard Laban’s sons complaining about him. Jacob also noticed that Laban was getting more and more unhappy with him. Then God intervened to tell Jacob that it was time to return home.
Genesis 31:1 And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s hath he gotten all this glory. 31:2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. 31:3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
Jacob then communed with his wives in the fields.
31:4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 31:5 And said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.
Now we have things revealed that were not covered previously in detail.
31:6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 31:7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
It is now said that Laban agreed the speckled should be Jacob’s wages and when many were born speckled Laban changed Jacob’s wages to the streaked and so on.
31:8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked [streaked] shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked. 31:9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle [lesser cattle; ie goats and sheep] of your father, and given them to me.
Jacob tells his wives of his dream and how the angel of God promised him that the kids and lambs would be his, because of Laban’s deceit against Jacob. Jacob was beforetime deceitful against his brother Esau, and now had to suffer the deceitfulness of Laban to learn his lesson. My point about the lesser cattle being sheep and goats is also confirmed, since rams do not procreate with cows.
31:10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.
31:11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 31:12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
Then Jacob’s wives whom he had consulted, agreed to go with him.
31:14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 31:15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money. 31:16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels; 31:18 And he carried away all his cattle [flocks of sheep and herds of goats], and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
Rachel steals the idol of her father; whether this was for its value, or in spite, or because she thought it a god is not revealed.
31:19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.
Jacob slipped away in secret.
31:20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. 31:21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.
After three days Laban pursues Jacob.
31:22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. 31:23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.
God warns Laban to be careful with Jacob.
31:24 And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
31:25 Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.
Laban then seeks an opportunity to say good bye to his children and to Jacob.
31:26 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword? 31:27 Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp? 31:28 And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
Laban then informs Jacob about the warning from God and insists that he intends no hurt to Jacob.
31:29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
Laban then makes it clear that he wants his idol back.
31:30 And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father’s house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?
Jacob says that he left secretly because he was afraid of being prevented and that he knows nothing of Laban’s idol.
31:31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me. 31:32With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou [take what you think is yours] what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
Laban searches but does not find what Rachel has hidden.
31:33 And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 31:34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture [saddle], and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not. 31:35 And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images.
Jacob is angry with Laban, not knowing the deceit of Rachel, and remonstrates with him.
31:36 And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? 31:37Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.
31:38 This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. 31:39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. 31:40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
31:41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle [Sheep and goats]: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. 31:42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
Laban answers Jacob, saying that his family is also Laban’s family, and he has no evil intent towards them.
31:43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
Laban makes a covenant with Jacob before God.
31:44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
They set up a heap of stones to represent God as their witness.
31:45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 31:46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. 31:47 And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. 31:48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; 31:49 And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
Laban demands that Jacob take no other wives or afflict his daughters in Canaan; then pledges that he will not pass beyond the pillar and stones to come unto Jacob in anger.
31:50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee. 31:51 And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee: 31:52 This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
31:53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.
31:54 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren [of Laban to eat with his own family] to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
In the morning Laban said his good byes and went back to his home.
31:55 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.
Jacob had left his family and his brother Esau, fleeing alone and penniless from the just wrath of his brother, after he had bought the birthright and stolen the blessing from his brother Esau.
As a young man Jacob must have heard of God’s prophecy regarding himself from his mother and had sought its fulfillment by his own worldly dishonest ways, instead of obeying the word of God and waiting on God to bless him in God’s own way and time.
Today the called out mainly rely on their own ways and traditions, instead of learning and living by every Word of God. Like Joseph we are trying to achieve eternal life in the spiritual Promised Land by our own ways, by doing what we think is right and following our own false traditions; instead of trusting and faithfully keeping the whole word of God.
Yet after 20 years Jacob had been humbled and been made rich through many trials, and it is through many trials that the spiritually called out are humbled and made spiritually rich.
Most of spiritual Israel is now about to go into a grave trial that will humble us and teach us to exalt the whole Word of God above all else. As Jacob learned during his trials, I am quite certain that most of us will also be humbled and learn; and that we shall become rich with the spiritual gold tried in the fire.
Certain angels from God met Jacob on his journey.
Genesis 32:1 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 32:2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
Jacob sends messengers to his brother Esau: this time he calls Esau his lord and calls himself the servant of Esau. Jacob has grown up and learned many lessons over his twenty years with Laban!
Brethren, we are all unfinished products who still have much to learn to become truly godly people; as we approach the Passover let us examine and correct ourselves so that we might spiritually grow to become ever more like God our Father in heaven and like the Son, by zealously keeping the whole Word of God.
32:3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 32:4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: 32:5 And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.
The messengers returned to Jacob and told him that Esau was coming with 400 men. Now Esau went forth to greet and welcome Jacob, but Jacob because of his guilt was terrified and took steps to save at least half of his family.
32:6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. 32:7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 32:8 And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
After doing what he could physically, Jacob then calls out to God in real sincere repentance as he remembers his guilt against his brother. Jacob at last was humbled and understood his true personal wickedness and need for God. Jacob deeply repented and began to rely on the eternal instead of living by his own ways.
Jacob finally learned that he could not inherit the birthright or the blessings by doing his own ways, and that only by being zealously faithful to God and God’s Word would he be saved and inherit the promises.
Brethren, we also need to learn this lesson to exalt the Eternal and live by his Word, above our own leaders and our own ways. God’s promises are conditional on our faithfulness to do his will and to live by every Word of God.
32:9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. 32:11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
Jacob then sends presents of peace and repentance to go before him to Esau; as is fitting for a godly person. Physically Jacob repented and gave gifts to his brother who he had sinned against.
Spiritually we are to likewise humble ourselves before God against who we have sinned and sincerely repent; and then to give God the gift of faithful loving obedience to our Awesome Father and his Son.
32:13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; 32:14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, 32:15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
32:16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove [flock] by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.
Jacob had divided each gift so that they reached Esau one after the other and not all together.
Spiritually this represents the continual giving of the gift of our passionate love and wholehearted faithful life long [eternal] keeping of the Word of God.
32:17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee? 32:18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us. 32:19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
As the heart of Esau was melted by the display of humility and generous love form Jacob; so we shall be found acceptable to our Father; through our sincere repentance, the application of the Passover sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and by our personal loving gift of continual HOT ZEAL for all God’s Will and Word to learn them and to keep them.
Brethren, God has given us more that we could ever even begin to repay; all He asks is that we return his love by doing what he has recorded in his Word for our own good.
32:20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me. 32:21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
Jacob then sent his most precious possessions ahead of himself, and in doing this trusted in the mercy of God to motivate reconciliation with his brother Esau.
We are also to seek the precious pearl of great value, which is internalizing the very nature of God the Father and the Son; through the diligently living by every Word of God in its letter and spirit.
32:22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives [Rachel and Leah] , and his two womenservants [Bilhah and Zilpah], and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. 32:23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had
When Jacob was alone in the night an angel came to him and wrestled with him.
32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
As Jacob would not let go; we are never to let go of our zeal for the whole Word of God! for therein lies a great blessing! IF we are faithful to cleave with all our hearts and minds and all the strength that a merciful God gives us; then we shall inherit the birthright and promises of our calling!
32:27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
The name “Jacob” means usurper or supplanter and refers to the evil nature of Jacob when he trusted in himself and his own ways, before he learned to be faithful to God. The word “Israel” means to be strong with God; as in trusting and obedient to, and so having power [influence] with.
32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
No man ever prevails OVER God; we prevail over evil with God’s help
The word “power” is not best translation. Best translation is “as a prince you have persevered [and not given up]”. Jacob was no quitter.
32:28 And he said 559 8799, Thy name 8034 shall be called 559 8735 no more Jacob 3290, but Israel 3478: for as a prince hast thou power [properly persevered] 8280 8804 with God 430 and with men 582, and hast prevailed 3201 8799.(Israel: that is, A prince of God)
The meaning is that by cleaving TO God and not letting go of God [never quitting] he has prevailed; and received a blessing.
This being an allegory that we are to cleave to God and never let go of God; so that WITH God’s help we can prevail against Satan and sin like true prince of God, and so receive God’s blessing.
This is a marvelous example of God’s ability to perform his will and mold us into the vessels he wants us to be.
This man Jacob left his home a selfish usurper, liar and thief and returned home a humble godly man.
Having learned perseverance through his dedicated love for Rachel, and through that perseverance he learned humility, and through humility he learned godliness. God provided the lessons and Jacob persevered and would not give up. Then on his return to his own land God met with Jacob and tested him one last time to see if he was a quitter of if he would remain in his newfound commitment to godliness.
Jacob sought the name of the angel [messenger], who refused to reveal his name; he was likely the Elohim who became Jesus Christ.
32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Jacob limped as he journeyed in the morning.
32:31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted [limped] upon his thigh.
32:32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.
Jacob divides his family up by their mothers as Esau approached.
Genesis 33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. 33:2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
Jacob came before Esau and bowed seven times in a mark of the greatest respect and submission. So too, we are to totally submit to and respect our heavenly Father and his Son.
33:3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
Esau forgave and accepted Jacob and welcomed him with joy!
When we have acquired the humility and sincerely repentant attitude of Jacob; when we have turned from our own ways to faithfully obey God our Father and do HIS will: Then we shall be accepted by our merciful Father and welcomed into his spiritual family with great joy!
33:4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
Jacob presented his family to Esau.
33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. 33:6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. 33:7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
Then Esau gave back to Jacob his gifts, but Jacob insisted and so Esau took them. Even so, if we give to our Father in heaven the spiritual gift of faithful service, and HE will bless us beyond our present comprehension.
33:8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. 33:9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
33:10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. 33:11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
Esau then wanted Jacob to rush home to see the family and Jacob needed to go slowly for the sake of the young in the flocks. This lambing seems to put the time as before Passover
33:12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. 33:13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. 33:14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
Esau offers help but it is not needed and Esau returns home.
33:15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord. 33:16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
33:17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
Shalem [safety] probably the village of Salim some 2 miles east of Jacob’s well at Succoth. A place with abundant water.
33:18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
33:19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money. 33:20 And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael [“God, the God of Israel”].
The tragedy of Dinah who is the only one of the daughters of Jacob mentioned by name.
Genesis 34:1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
Shechem saw Dinah and loved her and took her without the proper approvals of her father and mother.
Our children are to keep the age old and honorable custom of seeking parental approval for marriage, for this is one of the Ten Commandments: Honor thy father and thy mother; and marriage is one of the most important decisions that we can make.
34:2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. 34:3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. 34:4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
Shechem wanted to marry Dinah and his father sent emissaries to Jacob for that purpose. Jacob waited for his sons to come so as to have a family discussion of the matter for Shechem was a Canaanite.
34:5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
34:6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. 34:7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter: which thing ought not to be done.
Hamor did his best to arrange a marriage between Dinah and Shechem and he sought to unite his clan with Jacob’s clan through marriages.
34:8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife. 34:9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. 34:10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein. 34:11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give. 34:12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
Then the sons of Jacob agreed to blend their family with the family of Hamor and then demanded that Shechem be circumcised. They offered to agree to marry into the family of Hamor to become one family with them, if all his family were circumcised. This was a great enticement to Hamor for Jacob was very rich.
At this point we must ask: What is the value of being circumcised or baptized for the wrong reasons; for some personal reason and not as a real commitment to live by every Word of God?
I must also point out that circumcision means nothing if the person does not keep the whole Word of God. Baptism also means absolutely NOTHING; if we are not zealous to fulfill our baptismal commitment and passionately live by every Word of God. Do not rely on lies saying I am baptized I have it made; which is a lie! We will never have it made it made and must continually WORK HARD to be counted worthy to receive the birthright of our calling.
Philippians 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Genesis 34:13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister: 34:14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us: 34:15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised; 34:16 Then will we give our daughters [plural] unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. 34:17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
Shechem had himself circumcised with alacrity, to gain the hand of his beloved, This act had nothing to do with conversion and was for a perceived personal gain.
34:18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son. 34:19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
Then king Hamor and his son the prince Shechem, encouraged all the men of that city to be circumcised with reports of how rich they would become. This was a false conversion and was only agreeing to circumcision for monetary gain.
34:20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, 34:21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. 34:22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised. 34:23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of their’s be our’s? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
Then were all the men of the city circumcised because of the word of Jacob and his sons.
34:24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
Then when the men were still not recovered Simeon and Levi; crept into the city and killed all the males.
34:25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. 34:26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out.
Then all of Jacob’s sons seeing the deed done, came and spoiled the city.
34:27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. 34:28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, 34:29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
Then Jacob rebuked them for he feared that all the Canaanites would turn on him for vengeance.
34:30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
They justified themselves before their father. Later the law would state that in this circumstance of rape within the Mosaic Covenant; the father could allow the marriage and if they married the man could never divorce her but must support her all of her life.
However, the father could also refuse the marriage, and must refuse his daughter to marry with any unconverted person, as should have been done in this case. Then a large sum of money was to be paid by the perpetrator to support her for the foreseeable future.
34:31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
This is a false claim since Shechem was not treating her as a harlot but was deeply desiring to marry her and the deal had been made. There is much left unsaid here like the desires of the maid.
I was initially mistaken in thinking this was about intermarriage with the Canaanites, when in fact the sins of the Canaanites had not yet come to the full and other children of Jacob like Judah married Canaanites.
This was a horrible situation and it appears that the incident was recorded to illustrate the cruelty of Simeon and Levi.
The Elohim who became Jesus Christ, then appeared to Jacob and called his family to put away all strange gods and go to Beth-El [the House of God] to appear before him. It is therefore self evident that the sons of Jacob did have false gods among them, perhaps taken from the family of Hamor and kept by them.
Brethren, it is time that we also put away our strange gods; the idols of men, corporate entities, past traditions, physical wealth, social man pleasing and ANYTHING that comes between us and our zeal for the whole word of our Mighty One!
Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
God caused the Canaanites to fear Jacob and his family for their deed against Hamor and Shechem and their city; so that instead of seeking vengeance the Canaanites shook with fear.
35:5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
35:6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. 35:7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother. 35:8 But Deborah Rebekah’s nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth [the Oak of weeping].
We now learn that this was the very place where Jacob had his name changed to Israel when he was returning from Laban.
35:9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. 35:10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.
God appeared again to Jacob and repeated his promises to Israel.
35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 35:12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 35:13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
Then Jacob sets up a pillar as he had many years ago when he was leaving his father’s house, and poured wine and oil upon it.
35:14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. 35:15 And Jacob [Israel] called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
Then Rachel had a second son in her old age, dying in the birth.
35:16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. 35:17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
35:18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni [son of sorrows] : but his father called him Benjamin [son of my right hand].
35:19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. 35:20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day [that this was written]. 35:21 And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar.
Reuben defiles himself with his father’s concubine.
35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
35:23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
35:24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
35:25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
35:26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid: Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.
Jacob came to his father Isaac who died at 180 years old.
35:27 And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 35:28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. 35:29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Now details the offspring of Esau who lived in the south east of Palestine and how Mount Seir came to be, and came to be called Edom.
Eventually after many generations many of the descendants of Esau left Palestine and migrated into central Asia where they live today as the republic of Turkistan.
When Islam swept through the region, a large number of the Othmani Turks [Esau’s descendants in Turkmenistan] migrated to modern day Turkey where they formed the Ottoman [Othmani, Uthmani, Osmani] Empire. Here is a short overview of the migration into Turkey by the Osmani from their own historians.
Genesis 36:1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
36:2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; 36:3 And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
The sons of Esau.
36:4 And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel; 36:5 And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
36:6 And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. 36:7 For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
A key to understanding prophecy:
Scripturally the term Mount Seir, or Edom always applies to the sons of Esau; after Esau went there; previous to Esau, Mount Seir belonged to the Horites.
Mount Seir was named for Seir, the Horite, whose offspring had inhabited the area (Genesis 14:6, 36:20) until the children of Esau (the Edomites) completely destroyed or integrated the Horites and took possession of the city (Deuteronomy 2:4-5, 12, 22).
From that time Seir has become synonymous with Esau who took possession of Seir and destroyed the Horites living there. (Genesis 32:3; 33:14, 16; 36:8; Joshua 24:4).
36:8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.
36:9 And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: 36:10 These are the names of Esau’s sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.
A few words about Eliphaz [also called duke Timnah, v 40]: One of the leader dukes [princes] of Esau was Eliphaz.
The biblical account of Job records an interesting proof of Job. One of Job’s friends is mentioned in Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz [also called duke Timnah, v 40]: the Temanite—This Eliphaz was the son [mentioned first, indicating he was the first born] of Esau! Who dwelled in Temen [the southeast, ie a village of Mount Seir] and named his land and his son Temen after himself.
Eliphaz [Timnah] was the firstborn son of Esau; and Shuach, the sixth and last of Keturah’s sons was the father of Bildad. Both of Job’s friends dating Job to the era of the sons of Esau.
The first proof of the date of Job is Shuah in Genesis 25:2. [Also called Shuach, this sixth and last of Keturah’s sons has a name meaning wealth (Strong: SHD 7744). He was the progenitor of the Shuhites, the most notable of whom was Bildad, son of Shuach, and one of Job’s ‘comforters’ (Job 2:11).
In our careful study of Genesis we have now found two proofs that Job was real and not simply an instructive story, and have dated his life to the period of Esau’s children.
36:11 And the sons of Eliphaz [Timnah] were Teman [named after his father Timnah (Eliphaz)], Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
Amalek was the grandson of Esau and was a vicious people, famous for cutting off arms and legs and many other tortures. They became the enemy of Israel who fought with Israel from the time they sought to enter Canaan until Saul and David largely defeated them. These were the people about which Saul sinned by leaving the animals alive.
36:12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.
36:13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.
36:14 And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
The names of these son’s of Esau are repeated for emphasis and can be traced to modern times.
36:15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz, 36:16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah. 36:17 And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife. 36:18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife.
36:19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.
Seir was the father of the Horites and the city of Mount Seir long before Esau.
The first mention of the Horites was when they were defeated by a coalition of Eastern kings led by the Chedorlaomer of Elam. These kings had come through the Horite territory to subdue a rebellion by a coalition of other ‘kings’ of peoples in Sodom and the surrounding area whom they had ruled for twelve years, who were living near the Salt Sea (the Dead Sea) and Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:1-12).
The Horites were among the people rescued by Abraham when he rescued Lot. Their country was called Mount Seir after their father Seir and was a hill top village near to Sodom in the south.
Later, according to Genesis 36, the Horites co-existed and inter-married with the family of Esau, grandson of Abraham through Isaac (Genesis 25:21-25). They were eventually integrated and brought under the rule of the descendants of Esau, then becoming known as Edom.
These are the dukes [princes, rulers] that came of the Horites
36:20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, 36:21 And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom. 36:22 And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna.
The family of Shobal.
36:23 And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
The family of Zibeon.
36:24 And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father. 36:25 And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
The family of Dishon
36:26 And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
The family of Ezer
36:27 The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.
The family of Dishan
36:28 The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.
36:29 These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah, 36:30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.
Abraham rescued these Horites and they lived in Mount Seir near Sodom. Later Abraham’s grandson Esau went to live with his family in the south by Mount Seir and intermarried and became mixed with the Horites as one people.
Hence Esau gained the name of Mount Seir, added to his own name. Esau had a certain darkness or copperness of skin and that earned him the appellation Edom meaning red. This attribute would have been reduced by intermarriage of the family of Esau with the Horites.
The kings of the children of the Horites and Esau in Edom, before Saul reigned in Israel.
36:31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel. 36:32 And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
36:33 And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. 36:34 And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.
36:35 And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith. 36:36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
36:37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead. 36:38 And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
36:39 And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
Again the sons of Esau were
36:40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah [Eliphaz is not named here but the firstborn who was Eliphaz, is named as Timnah] , duke Alvah, duke Jetheth, 36:41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon, 36:42 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar, 36:43 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.
This is a story about how Jacob sinned by playing favorites with his children, and Joseph was molded unwittingly by his father into a spoiled selfish Papa’s boy, who earned the hatred of his brothers. It is also a story about how all things work together for good in the hands of God and how God used this situation to fulfill his prophecy to Abraham that his descendants would be afflicted in Egypt for 400 years.
First Joseph was imprisoned wrongfully and humbled for seven years, transforming him from a spoiled child into a man of character fit to rule a kingdom. While his imprisonment was wrongful it was necessary for his character development.
That is the key lesson of Job; that God performs his will for his greater purposes even though sometimes it may appear to us that we suffer wrongly. The reason why the “righteous” suffer, is to prune them, build them and perfect them; so that they become MORE righteous and bear much fruit, John 15.
This whole situation in which Joseph appears to suffer wrongfully and then Israel suffers wrongfully as slaves in Egypt, and then God himself hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that he could afflict Egypt; was to establish the lesson and allegory for us about the slavery of sin and the deliverance from Egypt by God, of physical Israel as a lesson for us about God’s deliverance and the need to faithfully follow the whole Word of God by spiritual Israel. It is also a lesson that God is the Master Potter who uses his tools as he sees fit, to form us into the beings he desires.
As you read these things please consider this lesson on the greatness and incredible wisdom of God, and how God works things out to fulfill his own purposes in spite of the failings and desires of men.
The story of Joseph begins with his reporting on his brothers to Israel [Jacob]. This added to the natural animosity against him for being his father’s favorite and Papa’s boy.
This family rivalry goes back to Laban and his substituting Leah for Jacob’s beloved Rachel. Rachel had only two sons and after her death Jacob loved her first born Joseph, as he had loved Rachel.
This playing of favorites among his sons brought about a deep family rivalry which God used to fulfill his prophecy to Abraham that his family would be afflicted for 400 years in Egypt.
Genesis 37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Israel made Joseph a multi colored coat in a time when dyes and colors were rare and expensive; and did not honor his other sons in this way, playing favorites.
37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
This favoritism by Israel for Joseph above his other sons, produced a natural strife in the family and a strong upset between Joseph and his brothers.
37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
Then Joseph had a dream that he was exalted above his whole family; which of course added to the anger of his brothers. The dream was fulfilled in Egypt but Joseph did not keep his mouth shut and so offended his brothers all the more.
37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
When told the dream the brothers and parents well knew its meaning.
37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
Joseph had a second dream with the same meaning as the first and did not have the good sense to keep his mouth shut.
37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed [thought about the dream] the saying.
37:12 And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
Israel sent Joseph for news from his sons and flocks.
37:13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. 37:14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 37:15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 37:16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 37:17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
The son’s of Israel then decided to do away with this arrogant little Papa’s boy who had vexed them all his life.
37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
Then Reuben the first born, insisted that they only teach Joseph a lesson and not kill him.
37:21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
Reuben counselled them to cast Joseph into a pit, that Reuben might secretly return later and save Joseph. In doing this he showed promise as a good man, yet his adultery with his father’s concubine was evil; and this confusion of character was later mentioned in the prophecy about Reuben.
37:22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
When Joseph came they took off his coat which they hated as the symbol of their father’s favoritism and cast Joseph into a pit [perhaps a dry well].
37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
Then Judah suggested that they sell their brother Joseph as a slave to be taken to Egypt. In this Judah sought profit but he also sought to save the lads life and to deliver themselves from the wrath of their father, if Joseph should escape and relate the story to Israel.
37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver and was taken to Egypt.
37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
When Reuben returned he was greatly vexed for his brother Joseph and for his father Israel.
37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 37:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
The brothers then decided to claim that Joseph was dead.
37:31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
Jacob was devastated; for his son, his firstborn son by his beloved deceased Rachel, was thought dead.
37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
Here Jacob is said to have daughters in the plural as well as sons.
37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
Joseph was sold to a senior official in the court of the king.
37:36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.
Judah and the royal line; Judah marries a Canaanite.
Genesis 38:1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. 38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. 38:4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. 38:5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.
Judah has three sons by Shuah; Er, Onan and Shelah.
Judah then gave his son Er; Tamar to wife; but Er was a wicked man and God killed him.
38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 38:7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
Then Judah called on Onan to raise up a son for his dead brother in Liverate Marriage.
38:8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
Onan knowing that any child would be considered his brother’s and not his, obeyed his father and took her but withdrew in birth control, spilling his seed to avoid impregnating her. He took Tamar under false pretenses and defrauded her and his brother of a son.
Taking ones brother’s wife is forbidden except it be to raise up a son for the childless dead. Therefore Christ killed this man for his sin against his brother and his brother’s wife.
38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
Then Judah feared for the life of his remaining son Shelah and kept Tamer as a widow refusing to give her a husband.
38:11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.
Over time Judah’s wife Shuah died and Judah sought comfort and visited his friend.
38:12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
Tamar was told and she went to meet Judah because Judah’s son was older and able to marry her and give her a son and he was not given to her.
38:13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath [Timnah of Esau of Gen 36] to shear his sheep. 38:14 And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
Judah seeks consolation because of the death of his wife and takes Tamar for a harlot. She demands a token of his pledge until lambing time, when she should receive a kid as her gift.
38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. 38:16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? 38:17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? 38:18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
Tamar was no real professional harlot and did what she did for the sake of a child by the family of Judah. She returned home and had no other.
38:19 And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.
Judah sought to pay his pledge but the woman was not found.
38:20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand: but he found her not. 38:21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. 38:22 And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place. 38:23 And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.
Judah is told three months after that Tamar was pregnant and said that she should be brought to him to be burned in the fire. So we see that Tamar took a considerable risk and did this neither for money nor for lust.
38:24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.
Tamar then gives her evidence of the tokens left to her by Judah.
38:25 When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
Judah acknowledged her and his sin in withholding his son from her, and he kept himself from her from that time, having produced a son for his dead firstborn son Er.
38:26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
As Jacob and Esau were twins, the second being born before the first; so Tamar also had twins, the second being born before the first.
38:27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. 38:28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.
38:29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. 38:30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.