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.


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