Genesis 30-31

October 25, 2015

Ch 30: Rachel is unhappy she hasn’t had a son so she asks Jacob to impregnate her maid in her stead. Leah did the same with her servant when she stopped bearing children in a sort of baby arms race. Finally Rachel has a boy, Joseph. Although Benjamin is born several chapters later in Genesis, let’s look at an interesting observation on the meaning of the names of the sons of Jacob, a.k.a. Israel, by ICA at Midnight Watcher:
jacob 12 sons

When we take the tribes as listed in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and then take the time to discover the meaning of and/or why those names were given, we get something very interesting after constructing it in the listed order. Here are all the verses with the names (KJV/NASB):

Judah – Gen 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.

Reuben – Gen 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.
Gad – Gen 30:11 Then Leah said, HOW FORTUNATE!” So she named him Gad.
Asher – Gen 30:13 And Leah said, HAPPY AM I for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
Nepthalim – Gen 30:8 And Rachel said, WITH GREAT WRESTLINGS HAVE I WRESTLED with my sister, and I have prevailed and she called his name Naphtali.
Manasseh – Gen 41:51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “FOR GOD HATH MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL and all my father’s house.”
Simeon – Gen 29:33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD THAT I WAS HATED, HE HATH THEREFORE GIVEN ME THIS SON also: and she called his name Simeon
Levi – Gen 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.
Issachar – Gen 30:18 Then Leah said, “GOD HAS GIVEN ME MY WAGES because I gave my maid to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.
Zebulon – Gen 30:20 Then Leah said, “GOD HAS ENDOWED ME WITH A GOOD GIFT; NOW MY HUSBAND WILL DWELL WITH ME, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.
Joseph – Gen 30:24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, THE LORD SHALL ADD TO ME another son.
Benjamin – Gen 35:17-18 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. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.Now, when we take them all and put them in the order that the tribes appear, we get the following:

“Now will I praise the LORD, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction, How fortunate!, Happy am I, With great wrestlings have I wrestled and I have prevailed, For God hath made me forget all my toil, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated he hath therefore given me this son, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, God has given me my wages, God has endowed me with a good gift; my husband will dwell with me, The LORD shall add to me, thou shalt have this son.”

The name Benjamin literally means “Son of My right hand” so another reading of the last portion could be “The LORD shall add to me the Son of [His] right hand.”

Let this sink in for a moment. The way that the 12 tribes are listed in Revelation 7 describes the Bride of Christ and the complete story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ marrying His bride after delivering her from her affliction. This is fulfillment of the prophecy regarding Israel in Hosea 2:

Hosea 2:14,16,19, “Therefore I am now going to allure her (Israel) … ‘In that day,’ declares the Lord, ‘you will call me ‘my husband‘; you will no longer call me ‘my master… [and] I will betroth you to me forever.’

Jacob grew rich by God’s hand when most of the sheep offspring were striped or spotted, meaning they belonged to Jacob rather than Laban. Jacob thought it was his cleverness but God reveals in a dream it was not.
Ch 31: Jacob with his possessions and family escapes to Canaan. He gets far into the desert before Laban catches up with him. There are many parallels to Israel leaving Egypt:

1. Israel went to Egypt poor and left rich–Jacob went to Iraq poor and left rich
2. Israel went to Egypt few and left as many–so too Jacob
3. Pharaoh/Egypt gave up much wealth to Israel–so did Laban to Jacob
4. Israel was blessed by God by his grace, not due to their righteousness–so too Jacob
5. Israel had to flee Egypt with the army pursuing–so too Laban pursued Jacob
6. Israel crosses the Red Sea on its way to the promised land–Jacob crosses the Euphrates River

Genesis 27-29

October 16, 2015

jacobrachelCh 27: Isaac is old, blind and close to death, and wants to bless Esau, his oldest son. He asks Esau to kill some game and cook it for him, and then he will bless him. Rebekah, the twins’ mother, hears this and has Jacob kill goats so Rebekah can prepare the meal. They dress Jacob in Esau’s clothes and put goat skins on this hands and neck to fool Isaac into believing its Esau. Isaac is suspicious, and although Jacob outright lies several times, receives the blessing meant for Esau. When Esau came in and found out what happened, he wept–Jacob had stolen both his birthright and blessing. Rebekah sent Jacob to Laban her brother to hide out because Esau was planning to kill him. She told Isaac it was to find a bride for Jacob from among their relatives. Esau heard this and quickly married a descendant of Ishmael since they were related through Abraham.

Ch 28: Isaac blesses Jacob again as he heads off to Bethuel. Jacob has a dream from YHWH who promises, just like to Abraham and Isaac, that all the families of the earth will be blessed thru him. Jacob anoints the rock that was under his head during his dream with oil–it became the eventual site of the Bethel temple. Jacob vows to give a tenth of everything to YHWH.

Ch 29: Jacob meets Rachel at a well, just as his father Isaac met his mother Rebekah at a well, but this time Jacob offers to water Rachel’s sheep rather than Rebekah offering to water Isaac’s camels. Laban agrees to let Jacob marry Rachel if he works for him for 7 years. After the wedding feast in the dark Laban gives Leah the older sister to Jacob–Jacob couldn’t see her due to the darkness, just as Isaac couldn’t see Jacob due to his blindness. (I have to presume there was some alcohol involved as well) Laban tricks Jacob just as Jacob had tricked his father. Jacob had chosen the younger daughter but was tricked into laying with the older daughter, whereas Isaac had chosen the older son to give the blessing to but was tricked into giving the blessing to the younger son. Many parallels and contrasts.

After the 1 week wedding feast Laban also gave Rachel to Jacob, since Jacob agreed to work 7 additional years for Laban. God blessed Leah since Jacob loved Rachel more; she had 4 sons.

Genesis 25-26

October 12, 2015

jacobesauCh 25: Abraham remarries and has a bunch of kids whose descendants eventually become enemies of Israel. Abraham dies at 175 and is buried next to Sarah. Ishmael has 12 sons as prophesied. Isaac has twin boys Esau and Jacob; a prophecy is given that the older will serve the younger. Jacob the younger manipulates starving Esau to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup.  How often we give up long term blessings for short term gain.

Ch 26: A famine causes Isaac to move to Gerar Valley, near Abimelech. Isaac, just like his father, passes off Rebekah as his sister rather than his own wife to protect his skin. This is third time this has happened in Genesis, twice with Abraham and once with Isaac!! I’d say this is a family problem–sins of one generation are visited on the next. Wow, God help us.

Isaac becomes rich, and there is conflict between his people and Abimelech’s, Isaac moves to Beersheba. He is constantly digging wells and finding water, not an easy thing to do in the desert. God is blessing Isaac.  Money often causes contention, doesn’t it?

Esau gets married to Judith and they are a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah–marriages of children do that to parents. Again, God help us.

Genesis 22-24

September 21, 2015

abraham-isaac-sacrificeCh 22: Abraham is told to sacrifice Isaac. While ascending Mt Moriah to do the deed (Father) Abraham lays the wood for the sacrifice on his son Isaac, the child of promise, just as Jesus, the promised Messiah, carried His own cross up the same mountain centuries later. The angel of YHWH calls to Abraham “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me. Two things to note: We see the angel of the LORD describing Himself as God (because this is actually preincarnate Jesus), and Isaac is called Abraham’s “only son” (even though he did have Ishmael, who was not the child of promise) just as the Father called Jesus his “only begotten son”.

Ch 23: Sarah dies when Isaac is 37 yrs old. Abraham buys a piece of land for 400 shekels of silver in Hebron and places Sarah in a burial cave.

Ch 24: Abraham sends his servant back to Iraq to find a relative for Isaac to marry but makes the servant swear, if Abraham dies, not to take Isaac back with him, even if he can’t find a bride. Abraham is very concerned that his son continues to walk in the calling of Abraham, which was to settle in a new land. The bride, Rebekah, is Abraham’s brother’s grand daughter, a humble and lovely servant.

Genesis 19-21

September 6, 2015

sodomCh 19: When two angels go to remove Lot from Sodom, they are threatened with rape by the men of that city. Lot, unbelievably, nearly gives his own daughters to the men instead, but the angels intervene. Leaving Sodom, the city is destroyed by God, but Lot’s wife by turning back dies. Lot then lives in a cave with his daughters. They get their father drunk and commit incest with him in order to become pregnant. Their sons become the fathers of two great biblical nations that would plague Israel for the rest of time, Moab and Ammon (the present day Amman, Jordan still carries the name).

Ch 20: Abraham again lies about Sarah being his sister rather than his wife in order to protect himself from Abimelech, although his excuse is that she actually is his half sister. Abimelech has a dream from God that he will die if he doesn’t return Sarah to Abraham. He does so, giving Abraham a bunch of livestock in the process. Abraham is called a prophet by God, and upon praying for Abimelech, he is healed (and his wives) of infertility.


Ch 21: Isaac is born when Abraham is 100. Hagar is sent away because Ishmael, Abraham’s first son through the slave woman, is seen mocking (presumably Isaac). In the wilderness, when Hagar and Ishmael are dying of thirst, the angel of God shows them a well at Beersheba.  Abimelech’s men and Abraham fight over presumably the same well in Beersheba and a covenant is made that the well belongs to Abraham, but the land beyond is Abimelech’s.

Genesis 16-18

August 29, 2015

Ch 16: Abram and Sarai were not able to have children, though God promised children from Abram’s body (though not explicitly from Sarai’s). Abram listens to the voice of Sarai, who tells him to impregnate Hagar her maid, so Abram can have a son through her. This is akin to Adam eating the forbidden fruit when Eve gave it to her–a man, or anyone, is responsible to do what the Lord commands and are not to be swayed by alternative voice. Once Hagar was pregnant, Sarai despised Hagar. The angel of YHWH (preincarnate Jesus, 2nd person of Trinity) appears to Hagar to comfort her and promises that a great nation will arise from her son, though his descendants will be violent and in much conflict with their neighbors. This prophecy has been borne out to a ‘T’, as we can observe in the Middle East today. Abram named the son “Ishmael”. Its interesting to note that Ishmael was named before Abram’s name was changed (Sarai too).

Ch 17: At 99 years old, YHWH appears to Abram, changes his name to Abraham and promises him that within a year he will have a son (through Sarai), who is to now be called Sarah. This chapter is significant. God promises Canaan to Abraham forever. He makes a covenant with Abraham, the sign of which is male circumcision. Circumcision is in itself a sign of our lives belonging to God. Later in Galatians we find the Jews making it a requirement of salvation under the new covenant, which it is not, and it becomes emblematic of the Law, which we are no longer under as new covenant believers (Gal 3:25).

I think Abraham doesn’t quite believe God yet about a son through Ishmael and begs that God allow Ishmael to be the heir to the promises God has made. God says no, the covenant will be with Isaac, a child of (God’s) promise. Abraham is then circumcised at 99 and Ishmael at 13.

3 visitorsCh 18: YHWH appears before Abraham in the form of three men (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and speaks to him. Sarah and Abraham invite YHWH in for a meal, making 3 cakes and slaughtering a “choice” calf, like a sacrifice. They again promise Sarah she will have a son and she laughs, just like Abraham when he was told. Isaac means “he laughs”. The men (YHWH in bodily form) tell Abraham they are going to destroy Sodom. Abraham negotiates (intercedes) with God to preserve Sodom if 10 righteous men are found in the city. Abraham began with 50, then 45, 40, 30, 20 and finally 10. He didn’t feel bold enough to go lower than that.

This episode, if I were a Jew, I would find very hard to understand. Jews believe God is invisible and not a man, and here we have YHWH clearly appearing as a man, in fact as 3. And in the previous chapter the “messenger of YHWH” appeared to Hagar, speaking as God.

Genesis 12-15

August 10, 2015

Ch 12: Abram called from Iraq to Canaan. He brings a lot of people, animals and possessions with him. Abram trusts God by following his call to move to Canaan. He sets up an altar near Jerusalem before heading down to Egypt because of a famine. He lies to Egyptians about his wife (calls her his sister; he’s afraid he’ll be killed and she stolen from him if he tells the truth) who is very beautiful. Judgment comes down on Egypt because Pharaoh is about to make her a concubine/wife. They get expelled back to Canaan.

Ch 13: Lot, Abram’s nephew, and Abram return to Canaan. The land can’t support both, so Abram gives Lot first choice of land. Lot chooses the Jordan river valley since its well-watered. YHWH has Abram look in all directions and is promised everything he can see and told that his descendants will be more than the dust of the earth. Abram trusts God by putting others before himself; he trusts that God will take care of him.
Ch 14: There’s a war, nephew Lot is captured. Abram assembles his men, goes after him and rescues him and takes much booty. Melchizedek, the king of Salem (Peace)and a priest of YHWH (Jesus is our high priest) comes and brings out bread and wine (body and blood of Christ); Abram gives him a tenth (a tithe). This is a Christophany, an appearance of Christ in the OT. King of Sodom says “keep everything, just give me back my people”. Abram says “no, you can have everything back; I will trust God to provide for me.”

Ch 15: Abram is worried that he doesn’t have an heir. YHWH tells him he will have an heir that comes from his own body. Abram believed/had faith in God and it was counted as righteousness.


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