Have a little fun this Friday night. Here are 3 quizzes. Without a doubt I know we have all learned something new in 2021. They are optional and anonymous. You can choose to put a nickname, initials, or be bold and put your name! (or leave it blank). You can take them as many times as you would like if you want to make it a family challenge. I will post an Exodus overview before bedtime. 😁
(This might be long BUT by far the best post this month. I have countless hours invested in research. I will try to be as concise as possible) 😉
I hear people say “I have read Genesis before”. Even if you have, I hope this was like it was brand new to you. There are chapters we tend to say “Ummm I have no idea why I have to read this” and we skip it. Chapter 49 is usually one of those chapters. But we are NOT skipping it.
First, Chapter 48: The Adoption! We already covered that Judah will get the Blessing (the Covenant), but now it is time for the birthright. This is a very important section because it explains how Joseph’s sons, born and raised as Gentiles (that’s you) are adopted into the Hebrew’s EQUALLY. Joseph does not become the head of a tribe, but Ephraim and Manasseh will have equal standing as Jacob’s other sons.
5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine.
Ancient Eastern adoptions exercised placing the adopted child on the knees of the adopting parent to symbolize giving birth to the adopted. In verse 12, Joseph removed the sons from his knees and puts them close to the adopter: Jacob. Joseph arranges the sons in birth order assuming the birthright will be chronological. This is actually the 4th consecutive generation where the prominence of the firstborn was reversed!
- Isaac over Ishmael
- Jacob over Esau
- Joseph over Reuben
- Ephraim over Manasseh
Looks like I am going to have to give Charlie more than Elliot, or at least a nicer car to keep the tradition going! LOL!!
Jacob, even though his health and eyes are failing, when Joseph said “You’re doing it wrong”, Jacob says in verse 19: “I know my son, I know”.
20 He blessed them that day and said,
“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”
Look at this map. The Amorites settled the land on the east side of the Jordan River. That is what we are going to call the “Transjordan” land.
Chapter 49. Are you ready to geek it out with me?? Read it once over BEFORE reading my notes. Now that you have hung on every word of the first 48 chapters I think you could probably do this chapter without me! Keep notes anyway that suits you best, I actually copy and pasted the scriptures in large print to write on them from bible gateway because I refuse to wear readers and look old like my husband.
Jacob will foretell what would become of each tribe and their descendants. We will see blessings, curses, judgments, and prominence. Jacob will draw on the past and look to the future. Here we go! For the super geeky like. click here for a map you can print to look at while we do this. ONE day they will be given the Promised Land, and it will be allocated to the 12 tribes. The map shows you what Chapter 49 is prophesizing! (does that make sense)
If anything, look at the east side of the Jordan river. Make sense? 🤓
Here are the notes to put next to the scriptures:
- Reuben- #1
- vs 3: firstborn, should have been given the birthright, blessing, double portion, leadership of the tribes.
- vs 4: tribe of Reuben produces no significant men, judges, kings, prophets, or priests (#truestory)
- vs 4: Gen: 35:22 he sleeps with Bilhah
- write in your margin:
- Transjordan tribe
- God saves Israel from reckless leadership
- Simeon and Levi #2 and #3
- vs 5: they are blood brothers born from Leah
- vs 6: Gen 34 Shechem- vengeance from Dinah’s rape
- vs 7: neither will be given land
- Simeon will be absorbed by Judah
- Levi dispersed in cities
- Levi WILL be blessed with the honor of priesthood when they sided with Moses at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 32:26-28
- Judah #4
- vs 8: Because #1.#2. #3 are disqualified, Judah will become the Covenant tribe.
- vs 9: compared to a Lion who is the king
- vs 10: Scepter: Royalty. The Messianic line. The Davidic Monarchy.
- vs 11: (I don’t know….) don’t write that. Is this end time? Can someone help me?
- vs 13: given the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee
- historical records show Zebulun shared a territory with Issachar
- vs 13: given the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee
- Issachar #6
- vs. 14: Submissive tribe to the Canaanites
- vs 15: farmers, agriculture
- become slaves
- Dan #7
- vs 16: Samson.
- vs 17: Judges 18- Led Israel into Idolatry
- Gad #8
- vs 19 gets attached my nomads
- write in the margin: Transjordan Tribe
- vs 19 gets attached my nomads
- Asher #9
- given the most fertile land
- Naphtali #10
- you may not want to write this BUT I wrote “My favorite Judge: Deborah!” Oh how I want to be her when I grow up
- Joseph #11
- vs 22 tribe grew fruitful in the land
- vs 22 Manasseh and Ephraim are the branches (grafted into the family)
- vs 23- his brothers, Potiphar’s wife, prisoners
- vs 24: God was with him
- vs 25 and 26: (circle the blessings)
- vs 27 produces many warriors
- 1st King (Saul)
- Ehud, Jonathan,
- Esther, Mordecai
- vs 27: 3 incidents, they plunder after a battle 😦
- vs 27 produces many warriors
CHAPTER 50– we close the book of Genesis with the death of Jacob and Joseph. Keeping with Egyptian customs both were mummified. Joseph is given permission to bury Jacob at the cave Abraham bought for the family to be buried in, back in Gen 23. Seems like forever since we read that Joseph’s remains are in a coffin in Egypt but his descendants promised to eventually bury him with the family.
THE END. WOW.
Trivia Question: When we turn the page, about how many years will have passed? (Clue: it was in chapter 15)
Tomorrow will be our LAST day in Genesis. Can you believe it! It started a little slow reading Job for 2 weeks but these past two weeks has been like the Bible on steroids! It was intense!
Chapter 46: God made a Covenant to bring the Hebrews to a specified land. Jacob is in that land. That was the plan after all. Jacob now has to leave the land to move to a foreign land, Egypt. This must have been the most difficult decision Jacob has had to make. Paraphrase: “Go live in a land that is foreign, oh and by the way, your people and your occupation are detestable to them”. So now what? Jacob goes to Beersheba. I know that sounds familiar to you, right? Beer in Hebrew means “well” (my husband would love a well filled with beer!), and Sheba means “seven” or “oath”. Jacob is at the very spot Abraham made an oath to Abimelech, where Hagar retreated to when she fled with Ishmael, where God appeared to Isaac and affirmed the covenant, and now where Jacob will build an altar to worship the Lord and hear from Him one last time:
“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”
The peace that must have washed over Jacob! Do not be afraid of this land and these people. I will be with you! You will see your son before your death.
We transition to a long list of names. Did you skim?? If you said no, just know that lying is a sin! 😉
If this is not your first read through the “priesthood” should have stood out to you:
- 11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
If you remember the Tamar/Judah incident (my contraception post!) this will make sense:
- 12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).
As a teacher this one made me laugh (I picture myself taking attendance…
21 The sons of Benjamin:…… Muppim, Huppim 😂😂😂
If you did skim make sure you did not miss each section was totaled subtotaled and then totaled 70 in all. Here is a cool fact: In chapter 10, the descendants that represented Adam were 70 and now we have 70 descendants representing the children of Israel. And the Sanhedrin in the NT will be comprised of 70 men using this number as a model.
Joseph plans a way for his family to live outside the city limits. Egypt, in the Delta, was an agricultural society. Herding was seen as cruel and disgusting to them. Living in Goshen will allow the Hebrews to have a distinct nation without the influence of the Egyptians. They can continue to worship their God without the culture of Polytheism in their mix.
Chapter 47: I wasn’t brought up Christian. My mom didn’t own a bible (she believed in Salvation through Catholic sacraments) and my dad is an atheist. I am telling you this because when I would refute there was a God, one of many comments would sound something like “If there is a God, why did he promote slavery???
You can’t defend the Word of God if you don’t know it. We are reading a chapter where it appears God promotes slavery. No. He. Doesn’t.
18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”
20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[c] from one end of Egypt to the other.
To be in bondage to Pharaoh is to be in servitude. This was a means to deal with poor and destitute people in bad times. To reduce someone to servitude meant that after they sold their land to survive and it would then become the buyer’s responsibility to provide food and shelter in order to save them. This action was to save lives, not to enslave them. Unfortunately, sinful humans created slavery all over the world in a different sense. God’s plan was ❤️.
23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”
25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”
The reading is long so I am going to keep this super short.
Chapter 43: Well, no one seems concerned that Simeon is in prison??? When the food ran out, Judah guarantees his life if their father allows them to bring Benjamin. The famine is 2 years in. They bring gifts with them that are not common in Egypt in order to gain favor (honey, balm, spices, myrrh, pistachios, and almonds) oh, yeah, and DOUBLE the amount of silver. When they get there…Joseph sees that Benjamin is alive…and weeps. Joseph, in keeping with Egyptian laws, eats separately but makes sure his brother Ben gets extra. (by the way ‘Ben’ is my favorite Michael Jackson song in case you were wondering).
Chapter 44: The silver cup is a test. Have the brothers changed? Joseph sets up a scenario where they can easily get Benjamin out of the family. The cup is found and they are brought back to Joseph.
HUGE moment!! JUDAH!! He told his dad that he would guarantee Benjamin’s life…but after all, Benjamin is the “favorite” now to Jacob…so will he really? Or will this be another plan to get rid of him? So what happens when the cup is revealed?
So Joseph tells the brothers to go back but LEAVE Benjamin…and Judah says to Joseph…’
33 “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”
Which brother will the Covenant bring the Messiah? Judah.
Jesus will come and offer himself in place of me. A substitute (innocent), offers to replace his life for mine. The Bible is filled with hidden promises of the Gospel.
Chapter 45: Do you remember the word Providence?
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
If you have a few hours we can break this down! 😂
- When we tell this story we say: “Joseph is the one the brothers sold into Egypt”.
- When God tells this story He says “Joseph is the one I sent to Egypt”.
- Why did God send him? Not to just save the family. God sent him to preserve a REMNANT on EARTH to save lives!
A remnant is ‘what remains’ or ‘what is left’. When speaking about a remnant after a catastrophe it is ‘what survived’.
The family will go through slavery, wandering, battles, cycles with judges, kings (mostly bad ones), a divided kingdom, and they will get captured and taken out of the promised land. So why do we know with confidence that there will be a remnant at the end for the purpose of saving lives? BECAUSE GOD PROMISED AND SEALED IT WITH A COVENANT in Chapter 15.
Take a moment to think about Providence. Can you see a situation in your life where God was behind the scenes the entire time?
Reflecting on it will let you trust that He is working in your life right now and you do not even know it. So let things go a little. He’s got you.
Joseph: his brothers abused him, Potiphar’s wife lied about him, and the cupbearer forgot him. There is a temptation to be resentful, angry, and depressed. Two years later…God’s plan, as always, is still in motion. The read is pretty clear so I will just bullet some thoughts.
- Pharaoh’s dreams were significant to him. The Nile River brought life. The god Hapi was the god of the Nile, who brought fertility and dominance. The second dream spoke of the East wind. This is called: Kadim . It occurs occasionally in the Spring and the Kadim can raise the temperature 60+ degrees on 1 day.
- Magicians: They are scholars that study sciences, reading the stars, interpreting dreams, seeing the future….and some magic. Yes, they were smart, yes they knew magic, they could even perform it with Satan’s help. BUT God is in control of Satan, and on this day he kept him on a short leash SO THAT Joseph can be lifted up.
- The dreams were interpreted, all credit going to the Lord.
- A plan was also stated (really from God)
- Joseph is the #2 in command of Egypt. Egypt is THE world power at the time.
- Joseph is given an Egyptian name (if he is in command of Egyptians), it would be important to them.
- At the age of 30….(if I have a trivia night, that might be a question). So how long has it been?? Joseph was sold at the age of 17!
50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
So does this mean we will have 13 tribes of Israel? Spoiler alert. No, Levi does not become a tribe…God has another plan for 1 of the sons. Levi is carved out for the priesthood. BUT wait, Manasseh and Ephraim are born from a Gentile woman. That’s right…we were always grafted into God’s love. Think about that for a moment.
Chapter 42: The 10 brothers did not recognize Joseph. Well, he has been in Egypt for 13 years…as an official he looks and talks like an Egyptian. They sold him as a ‘disabled’ slave, and they are looking at the #2 in charge in the world. It never would have crossed my mind either.
So why does Joseph send for the missing brother? (look at the genealogy above). And why is Jacob so distressed about this? Jacob LOVED Rachel. She gave him only 2 sons. Joseph and Benjamin. Have the brothers also abused Benjamin out of jealousy? Joseph wants proof that his only blood brother is ok.
Think back to the book of Job. The idea that bad things happen to bad people (Law of Retribution). 21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”
Rueben speaks in the end. Rueben’s brother (look at genealogy again, it will make sense as to why he is distressed about Simeon) in prison.
38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”
(I am not sure how I feel about Jacob this morning)
Trivia: What are the names of Joseph’s sons? Who was born first?
A biblical typology is where there is symbolism in the Old Testament that will represent something in the New Testament. Here is Joseph as a type of what is to come (not a comparison, there is none that compares), just a Typology. There are tons of these in the bible by the way. 😁. If you would like a copy for your folder, click here. I put it in the comments this morning but thought I would post in case you missed it.
|He was the favorite son of a wealthy father||Gen. 37:3||Matt. 3:17|
|He was a shepherd||Gen. 37:2||John 10:11-14|
|He was taken into Egypt to avoid being killed||Gen. 37:28||Matt. 2:13|
|He became a servant||Gen. 39:4||Phil. 2:7|
|He began his ministry at the age of thirty||Gen. 41:46||Luke 3:23|
|He was filled with the Spirit of God||Gen. 41:38||Luke 4:1|
|He returned good for evil||Gen.50:20||Matt. 5:44|
|He was humble and unspoiled by wealth||Gen. 45:7-8||John 13:12|
|He was taught by God||Gen. 41:16||John 5:19|
|He loved people freely||Gen. 45:15||John 13:34|
|He gained the confidence of others quickly||Gen. 39:3||Matt. 8:8|
|He gave bread to hungry people that came to him||Gen. 41:57||Mark 6:41|
|He resisted the most difficult temptations||Gen. 39:8-9||Heb. 4:15|
|He was given vision into the future||Gen. 37:6||Matt. 24:3|
|He tested people to reveal their true nature||Gen. 42:25||Mark 11:30|
|He was hated for his teachings||Gen. 37:8||John 7:7|
|He was sold for the price of a slave||Gen. 37:28||Matt. 26:15|
|He was falsely accused||Gen. 39:14||Mark 14:56|
|He was silent before his accuser||Gen. 39:20||Mark 15:4|
|He was condemned between two prisoners||Gen. 40:2-3||Luke 23:32|
|He was dead before his father||Gen. 37:33||Luke 23:46|
|He was held for two, and was free on the third||Gen. 41:1||Luke 9:22|
|He arose into a new life||Gen. 41:41||Mark 16:6|
|He was not recognized by his own brethren||Gen. 42.8||Luke 24:37|
|He returned to his father||Gen. 46:29||Mark 16:19|
|He became a lord / Lord||Gen. 45:8||Rev. 19:16|
We are going to talk about Judah and Tamar. If you get nothing out of this read here is a free parent lesson. There is a contraception method called Onanism. You think I am kidding?? Google it! The proper term is coitus interruptus. I am a pretty real mom and bring it on their level, I call it “pull and pray” (my kids want to die when I have these conversations when their friends are over) Hashtag true story…the other day a bunch of high schoolers were at my house and I said “gather around, grab my pen and paper to draw this, we are going to talk about pre-ejaculation and the facts about it”. Charlie said “mom…don’t”. Fine…”gather around girls, we are going to talk about Onanism”. Charlie still wanted to die! 😂😂😂😂😂
Chapter 38. I know many of you are not interested in genealogies. But it is important to at least get the ‘general’ idea of them. Every once in a while review one you printed and if you are confused, PLEASE ask. If you don’t want to ask on the site, text me at 615-418-9377.
To understand the background on this you need to know WHY Judah is giving the instructions to his son Onan. If you turn to Deuteronomy 25 you will read what is called the Levirate Marriage (levir meaning “a husband’s brother”):
5 If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. 6 The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.7 However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.” 8 Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,” 9 his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.” 10 That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.
(There is a deeper meaning…but I must move on)
The point of this commandment was to have the surviving brother produce an heir to continue the name of the dead brother’s family. It would not be “blotted out of Israel”. The child born would be named in the dead brother’s memory however, Tamar was the widow to the deceased OLDEST brother and there was a question in Onan’s head about “who would get the inheritance”. So he ignored the commandment (well, not the fun part) to ensure that he himself would get the birthright. That would leave Tamar without a husband nor a child to take care of her. (Put this in your pocket for later because JESUS will be tested on it by the Sadducees!!) Back to Genesis:
7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death.
- Er was greedy, thinking only of the money. In the Lord’s eyes that was wicked.
- Judah instructed Tamar to wait until the next brother was old enough to build her family line but in verse 12 it says “After a long time…” JUDAH never fulfilled the commandment of the Levirate marriage by giving her the next son. This family line continually goes from deceiving to being deceived. Now Judah is deceived by Tamar.
Tamar now holds:
- the “rod”- a symbol of power,
- the “seal”- maybe a signet ring showing family name
- and the “Crimson Cord!” -a scarlet rope that holds things together. Stop!! This is too Good!! Let’s follow this to the pregnancy.
When a woman gives birth to twins it was so important not to mix them up because of birthright (firstborn) and blessings. At first, Baby Zerah was about to be firstborn so the thread was tied to his wrist. However, Baby Perez said, “Heck no! I want that thread taken off him and put on my wrist, you can follow that thread to the Messiah, I am breaking out of this womb”. And he does! So the crimson cord…the scarlet thread…that holds things together…that identifies the family name….that will carry the rod…is passed to Perez.
We could follow the Scarlet Thread from the garden to the manger ❤️. Perez is listed 19 times in the Bible in genealogies. If you want to circle them, click here for references. The only two I circled were Matthew 1:3 and Like 3:3.
We have to move on or this post will be longer than the Bible!
Chapter 39-I think this story is clearer than most (or at least the chapter before it) so this was a great read. Pay attention to Joseph’s Character (he is a Typology of Christ) and keep the word Providence in mind. 😁
This should have been a death sentence. But he was put in the King’s Prison.
Pharaoh did not have anything to worry about except…in Chapter 39:6…..the food he ate! It is evident that this Pharaoh lived in the Capitol, which would be very protected from an attack, so how does one overthrow an empire at such a high level such as Kings or Pharaohs? Well, you can poison them? So whether there was a plot or not, the highest workers in the kitchen are put in prison. Clearly, the baker was guilty of something because chapter 40 it says:
16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream:
The chief baker did not get good news. On Pharaoh’s birthday he does not blow out his birthday candles, but instead of “wishing something would happen”, they actually get to do one thing they wish for. In this case, he hangs the baker. (again, put this in your other pocket because party ritual will, unfortunately, come up again and the party entertainment that will put John the Baptist to death too.
23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
Have a great day! I have a feeling some may have paused on the Typology comment so I will post a handout later for you.
Jacob is called back to Bethel-back? Yes. This is where he wrote the Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven”😂 (Genesis 28)
Chapter 34 was God was not mentioned once. In chapter 35 He is mentioned 11 times in name and 11 more times in place. After the incident in Shechem, Jacob cleans house of the pagan world that rubbed off on them. God reminds Jacob of the covenant, and that he is a new creation, his name will be Israel.
Israel is not having a good season of his life:
- Rebekah’s nurse dies
- Rachel (the wife he loved) dies giving birth to Joseph’s brother, Benjamin.
Remember to take notes on your genealogy You will want them when we get to chapter 49:
21 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.
Issac dies. (I guess he wasn’t on his deathbed after all when Jacob deceived him years ago). I never noticed that before.
29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. ❤️
Chapter 36 begins… took his wives from the woman of Cannan….well, this can’t be good. The structure of this chapter is very much like ch 25. After Abraham died there was an account of Ishmael’s genealogy (I truly believe to show us the love and grace given to a child even born in circumstances). Here Isaac’s death is followed by Esau’s genealogy.
There are over 200 names mentioned: Esau may not have cared about God (not valuing his birthright, But God still cared for him) If this chapter bored you, something is wrong with you. JUST kidding, I was just seeing if anyone read this far. Of course it was boring BUT go back and circle the word Edom (Edomites). Just in this chapter, you will read it 10 times, and 131 times in the entire Old Testament.
Edom is Southeast of the Promised Land. I know this does not mean a whole lot to you now, but it will 😁. The Edomites make their home in the Sier Mountains. Geography will play a big part in their battles and success. Who can win fighting up a mountain?? Oh, yeah…God can.
The book of Obadiah would not have been written without Edom, and HEROD THE GREAT is an Edomonite!! Not to get ahead of myself BUT if the Blessing was given to Jacob (not Esau), imagine when we get to the New Testament and Herod calls himself “king of the Jews”. Oh no he di’int! Yes, he did! (we will call them Jews not Hebrews after the captivity). This Herod even refurbished the entire Temple before Jesus was born in an effort to get the Jews to forget he was from the line of Esau (it didn’t work).
Did you recognize any names? No? Then you didn’t pay attention in the book of Job. 🤓
I have to tell you this. I grew up outside of NYC. Seeing or hearing about Broadway shows was common. Did you know that I have heard the phrase Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat all my life and it wasn’t until recently that I knew it was from the Bible!
Chapter 37: Joseph is 17, and lacks social skills (hmmm, like many today I guess). His brothers hate him, and I don’t blame them.
- He is 17…why is he not working hard in the field??
- In verse 2 he “tattles” on his brothers.
- Verse 3-4 we see that he is babied and loved more than the others
- He can be ‘seen’ as arrogant or egotistical when discussing his dreams.
Joseph has two dreams:
11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. (of course, he did. He too was spoken to in dreams at Bethel)
I don’t care if you have never read this chapter or if you have read it 10 times. Look for the details. Joseph travels from Hebron to Shechem to Dotham: over 100 miles. Of course Israel is going to worry about them in Shechem…last time they were there it did not turn out so great!
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
Who saves him? Rueben! Is he trying to get back into good graces with his father after the ‘concubine incident’? Look at the map above. Dothan is on the trade route that heads to Egypt. Coincidence or Providence??
Do you know what Providence is? Providence is when God takes ordinary events and arranges them for a predetermined outcome.
If you are wondering what a cistern is: it is like a rock well that holds water:
20 Sheckles of Silver was the price for a handicapped slave. 😢
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
Oh! Jacob deceived his Isaac with a slaughtered goat. Now it happens to him by his sons!
I really hope being in the Bible 24 days is making a difference in your daily walk.
It has been about 20 years since Jacob has seen his brother Esau, the last time they were together we read in Genesis 27:14
“Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
Esau has an army of 400 men with him. Jacob, scared to death, sends ahead a fortune in gifts to pacify Esau. Take note that Jacob says he is coming behind. If the camp is attached, Jacob has no intention of going! In 32:21 it states
So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.
Jacob wrestles with God
That night Jacob wrestles with God who has taken on flesh. Until this point Jacob has referred to God as “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac…But does not refer to him as HIS God. Part of our walk with the Lord is confession. We must confess we are a sinner, we require a blessing: a promise of a covenant (Jesus on the Cross) to seal that God is MY GOD, not just your God. In Genesis 32:26-27 Jacob confesses who he is in God’s eyes
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
I am Jacob! “I am a deceiver, a heel grabber, a sinner”. Jacob becomes a new creation with a destiny! Just like Abraham and Sarah, he is given a new name: Israel “Struggles with God”.
25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
Not only will his walk never be the same (pun intended), but God will make it so that Jacob cannot flee or run from Him anymore (like he always has). But like all of us at the beginning of our walk, we are still infants in Christ and our “trust” has not developed yet. (I am still working on it 😞). We will see this “lack of trust” as Jacob (Israel) goes to meet Esau…
He still has a fear of Esau, and lines up his family in the least loved to most loved just in case they are attacked (chapter 33):
Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
But wait….did you see it!! God has changed him: “He himself went ahead and bowed down to the ground…” He received new courage. He went from fear “staying behind” to courage “went on ahead”. Insert smiley face with heart eyes! Time has healed all wounds for Esau.
I think it is fair to say that very few people have read the parts of the Bible “in-between” the stories that pastors talk about at church. So when I say:
- “you know the part where Noah gets drunk and naked…” or
- “Lot’s daughters have sex with their dad to get pregnant” or
- “Rachel says she has her period so her dad doesn’t find the hidden idols she is sitting on”
people think I am kidding! Who needs Netflix when you have the Bible! Chapter 33 is one of those stories people think I am kidding when I say:
- “One of Jacob’s daughters gets raped and 2 brothers concoct a plan to have them circumcised and on the third day when the pain in their…is at it’s worst they can pounce on them and kill them!!”.
You can’t make this stuff up!!
Jacob’s sons (but not Jacob himself) are furious when their sister Dinah is violated by a prince in Shechem. This horrible man now wants her to be his. Jacob does nothing!.
Look at who Dinah’s biological brothers are: Simeon and Levi (take notes on your Genealogy). They are ringleaders on a vengeful attack. They lie and say: “Sure you can have her and we can ignore all the rules about intermarrying if you circumcise ALL your men. The men say “Let’s snip! It’s a “win-win” situation! Our ruler gets the girl and we will share in their livestock and wealth” (The Shechamites thought they would gain wealth, and the Hebrews through they would gain wealth. Lots of deception. Hmmm, I wonder of the boys learned this from Jacob?).
Well, the story turns out in a “lose-lose” situation. Just when the pain was at its highest from the circumcision, Simeon and Levi lead an attack on them. They kill ALL the men! THEN plunder the land! What was Jacob’s reaction? read the end of Chapter 34. SMH!!
Taking notes will help when we get to Chapter 49 and land is distributed to the 12 tribes or why the Covenant gets passed to Judah.
(Handwrite it or edit your PDF….it’s all the same.)😁
If you did not look at the post from last night you may want to. I have a choice of cheat sheets. These are good to write notes on as you read. Did anyone notice that the line of Jesus comes from Judah and not Reuben? It is not just because singing the “The Lion of Rueben” is awkward, some stuff is going to happen with Reuben, Levi, and Simeon that will push the blessing all the way to Judah.
Here are his 12 sons: Spoiler Alert: Jacob is going to have a name change: Israel. You may have heard of the 12 tribes of Israel. Well, we are reading the birth of the nations. So here is another fun fact: Levi does not become a tribe…so how do we still get 12? Oh I am unglued with excitement!
So let’s have this conversation- What is a concubine and why did God allow this? A concubine is:
“woman acquired by a man as a secondary wife. Her purpose was to provide a male heir in the case of a barren wife, to provide more children in general to enhance the family’s workforce and wealth, and to satisfy the man’s sexual desires. A concubine was endowed with rights and protections by Hebrew law but was not equal in status to a wife. Although God provided rights and protections for concubines in the Law of Moses, God did not introduce or approve of this marital model.” (It was in the code of Hammurabi)
Leah: Reuben (see, a son) Simeon (one who hears), Levi (attached), Judah(praise), Issachar (reward), Zebulun (honor)
Rachel: Joseph(God has added), Benjamin (son of my sorrow, it changes)
Zilpha: (Leah’s maidservant) Gad (good fortune), Asher (happy).
Bilhah: (Rachel’s maidservant) Dan (vindicated) Naphtali (struggle)
Leah did have a daughter: Dinah. 12 boys, 1 girl. “Bless her heart” (In my head I tried my southern voice…it didn’t work.)
The two names you need to circle are Levi and Judah. From these sons come two of the most crucial institutions of the old testament.
Let’s talk about the “weird” stuff and clarify it.
- Pay attention to Leah-she just wanted Jacob to love her 😢
- Mandrakes-these are a Mediterranean herb that grows flowers and small orange fruit. When pulled out of the ground, the root can often look like a human. These were thought to be an aphrodisiac, as well as, an aid for conception. (My mom is a Catholic Italian woman=superstitious, I am shocked she didn’t sneak these into my Sunday dinners since I didn’t start having kids till later than she preferred!)
- Jacob’s mating rods-this too was a “theory” like the mandrakes but for animals. It’s been studied that some of the chemical properties of poplar bark and almond bark when steeped in water,(it says Jacob put the stick IN the watering trough) have been shown to raise the reproductive rate of ewes. So again, it was like he was giving fertility medicine to the stronger animals. Chapter 31 will tell us Jacob had some advanced knowledge of which animals would be born due to him knowing which animals were breeding when he struck the deal. (Yet, Laban thought the deal favored his side).
Let’s clarify: neither the mandrakes nor the rods blessed Rachel or the flock. God did!
Ch 31: Jacob Flees:
Vs:19 Rachel stole the household gods, called Teraphims. These gods were idols, little statues, that the family leader possessed.
Having them around the house gave them a sense of security, spiritual significance, as well as, social/monetary meaning. They were thought to advise them in times of need but also they were a part of the family inheritance. Back in vs 14, Rachel, when told by her husband that they were leaving Laban, the first thing she said was: “What about the money I am to inherit” (paraphrase) So did she take the idols because she was:
- mad at Laban
- because she believed in their power
- for the inheritance.
?? Either way, for the men out there….woman are smart…we use our menstrual cycle as an excuse for many things! LOL.
Laban and Jacob make a Peace Treaty. Did you catch the difference in their God(s)?
53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.”
So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.
Jacob took an oath to God
Laba took an oath to God, and Nahor’s God, and their father’s God. Ok, let me explain. Do you remember when Abraham got called out of Ur of the Chaldeans? He came from a pagan culture. His family worshipped many gods. Nahor was Abraham’s brother. He was raised polytheistic by Terah, his father.