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Featured Kicking Off With Genesis

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Webers_Home, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 26:5

    Gen 26:5 . . inasmuch as Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge:
    My commandments, My laws, and My teachings.


    Some construe God's statement to indicate that Abraham was included in
    the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus,
    Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. But the statement below excludes
    him.

    "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our
    forefathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, we, all of whom
    are here alive today." (Deut 5:2-3)

    Were Abraham included in the Jews' covenant; God would have placed
    Himself in a serious dilemma.

    The problem is: Abraham was married to a half sister (Gen 20:12)

    The covenant prohibits marrying, and/or sleeping with, one's half sister. (Lev
    18:9, Lev 20:17)

    Under the terms and conditions of the Jews' covenant; men who sleep with
    their sisters are cursed the moment they do so because "cursed be he" is
    grammatically present tense; no delay and no waiting period; viz: the curse
    is immediate.

    "Cursed be he who lies with his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's
    daughter." (Deut 27:22)

    Cursed be he who does not uphold the words of this Torah, to fulfill them.
    (Deut 27:26)

    Well; were God to slam Abraham with a curse for sleeping with his sister,
    then God would be obligated to slam Himself with a curse in return.

    "The one who curses you I will curse" (Gen 12:3)

    Abraham enjoyed quite an advantage. He had a certain kind of immunity. In
    other words, seeing as how Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
    were instituted long after Abraham passed away; then none of the curses
    listed at Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69 applied to him.

    Abraham complied with God's requirements; His commands, His decrees and
    His laws voluntarily rather than by compulsion because he wasn't in a
    covenant with God that demanded him to do so like his posterity would be in
    the days of Moses. (Deut 5:2-3)

    The promises God made to Abraham as per Gen 12:2-3 and Gen 17:8 were
    not sustained by Abraham's piety. In other words: once God made those
    promises, neither Abraham nor his posterity can ever lose them because
    they are unconditional

    "The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant
    previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the
    inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has
    granted it to Abraham by means of a promise." (Gal 3:17-18)

    The "promise" in question reads like this:

    "And I will give you and your seed after you the land of your sojournings,
    the entire land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and I will be to them
    for a god." (Gen 17:8)

    That should be really good news to Abraham's posterity because although
    the law has a marked effect upon their occupation of the land, it has no
    effect upon their entitlement to it.

    /
     
  2. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 26:6-14a

    Gen 26:6 . . So Isaac stayed in Gerar. When the men of the place
    asked him about his wife, he said "She is my sister" for he was
    afraid to say "my wife" thinking: The men of the place might kill me
    on account of Rebecca, for she is beautiful.


    NOTE: The thing about human beauty is that it's subjective, i.e. only
    humans can appreciate it. A big ape like King Kong would not be attracted to
    a cute blonde girl because his chemistry isn't mixed right. For example;
    meerkat boys no doubt think that meerkat girls are sexy little hotties. But I
    seriously doubt that meerkat boys feel the same way about human girls.

    The Hebrew word for "sister" is 'achowth (aw-khoth') and has very wide
    application. It can mean an actual biological sister of the same parents as
    the brother, or it can just mean female kin, either near or far. I'm guessing
    that Isaac and Rebecca were far enough apart in age that she could easily
    pass for his niece.

    'achowth is very much like the New Testament Greek word suggenes
    (soong-ghen ace'). For example Luke 1:36, "Even Elizabeth your cousin is
    going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in
    her sixth month." The word "cousin" is an arbitrary choice of words.
    Suggenes could just as easily been translated "aunt", or just simply "kin"
    and/or "relative" and/or "sister".


    NOTE: Translating suggenes as "cousin" in Mary and Elizabeth's case is
    appropriate seeing as how both women were biologically related to Leah via
    Judah and Levi.

    Suggenes and 'achowth are ambiguous words, and unless there is some
    additional clarification in the surrounding text, it is just about impossible to
    know precisely in what manner the female kin is related; for example in Gen
    24:59-60, Rebeca's family called her a sister.

    Isaac's response was semantic double-speak. In other words: he didn't tell
    an outright bald face lie; what he said was true; from a certain point of
    view-- he and Rebecca were related. But nevertheless, his response was a
    half truth meant to deceive.

    I just have to wonder sometimes about the IQ of some of the patriarchs.
    God had just reaffirmed Abraham's covenant with Isaac; guaranteeing He
    would bless him on account of his father Abraham's righteousness (not
    Isaac's righteousness). Yet now he's worried about being murdered in Gerar?
    I'd hate to think that Isaac didn't believe God. I'd much rather reckon he
    wasn't paying attention.

    Gen 26:8 . . When some time had passed, Abimelech king of the
    Philistines, looking out of the window, saw Isaac sporting with his
    wife Rebecca.


    Sporting with one's wife is far and away different than sporting with one's
    sister. The way those two were horsing around was unmistakably the
    behavior of lovers.

    Gen 26:9-10 . . Abimelech sent for Isaac and said: So she is your
    wife! Why then did you say "She is my sister". Isaac said to him:
    Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her. Abimelech
    said: What have you done to us! One of the people might have lain
    with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.


    I'm not surprised that Abimelech was frightened. It hadn't been all that long
    ago when his predecessor had a run-in with Isaac's god, That incident
    involving Abraham undoubtedly went down in the castle records.

    And to top it off, out there grazing on Gerar pastures was a special breed of
    sheep that bore a witness for Abraham too (Gen 21:27-32) and their story
    was very likely woven into Gerar folklore. Oh yes. They knew about Yhvh
    alright; and they all knew what could happen to them if any of the local men
    messed around with Rebecca, the wife of Abraham's son.

    Gen 26:11 . . Abimelech then charged all the people, saying:
    Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall be put to death.


    It is most encouraging to note that God is disposed to protect his own from
    the perils they bring upon themselves by the stupid blunders of their own
    self reliance. That's a tremendous advantage to have in life.

    The Hebrew word for "molest" is from naga' (naw-gah') which means: to
    touch, i.e. lay the hand upon (for any purpose; euphemistically, to lie with a
    woman); by implication, to reach (figuratively, to arrive, acquire); violently,
    to strike (punish, defeat, destroy, etc.)


    NOTE: A popular euphemism in our day relative to men and women is so
    and so are "sleeping together" which means of course that they do naughtier
    stuff than merely slumber.

    So Abimelech was not just talking about sexual molesting; but mandated
    that his people not even so much as lay a finger upon Isaac and Rebecca in
    any way at all. Isaac, of course, is getting by on his dad's influence. But
    what the hey, it doesn't hurt to be connected.

    Gen 26:12-14a . . Isaac sowed in that land and reaped a
    hundredfold the same year. The Lord blessed him, and the man grew
    richer and richer until he was very wealthy: he acquired flocks and
    herds, and a large household,


    Quite a bit of the land down around Gerar was public, sort of like our own
    American frontier in the days of Lewis and Clark; and was up for grabs by
    whoever had the wherewithal and the moxie to take it. In fact, the
    Philistines really weren't even a country of their own at this time, but more
    like a colony clinging to the sea coast of Palestine, with the majority of them
    still living on the isle of Crete. They would migrate and settle en masse
    centuries later.

    Farming may seem like a switch from animal husbandry, but the
    combination was common among pastoral peoples those days for two good
    reasons. For one; Isaac's herds needed pasture. And two; man can't live on
    meat alone; he needs fruits and vegetables too.

    And Isaac needed bushels and bushels of those items to feed his immense
    community. He inherited at least a thousand people from his dad. By now,
    those have multiplied well beyond that. I think if you'd have encountered
    Isaac's outfit in those days it would have resembled an Iowa town rather
    than a simple camp of Bedouins.

    Rates of increase varied from thirty to a hundred (cf. Matt 13:8, Matt
    19:29). Sixtyfold is very good, and wasn't unusual in Palestine back in those
    days. A hundredfold was rare, and occurred only in spots of extraordinary
    fertility.

    The region of Babylonia, however, yielded two-hundred and even three
    hundredfold, according to Herodotus (I.193) and all without genetically
    modified seeds. Just exactly what those fold numbers indicate is uncertain.
    Perhaps they were similar to a modern term relative to bushels per acre.

    /
     
  3. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 26:14b-20

    Gen 26:14b . . so that the Philistines envied him.

    Some feel that the Philistines' envy was rooted in anti-Semitism. Well . . .
    there are always those seeking to enhance their own image as a victim; and
    this chapter would certainly seem a good source of propaganda for that
    purpose.

    Envy is a normal human emotion that is typically blind to racial and ethnic
    identities. Envy isn't restricted to anti-Semitism, nor does it serve to identify
    it. Envy is a powerful passion; destroying friendships, fueling fierce rivalries,
    generating strong desires for revenge, and fracturing solidarity.


    NOTE: Madison Avenue typically combines envy with gloating; which
    Webster's defines as to show in an improper or selfish way that you are
    happy with your own success or another person's failure. Whenever
    someone's goods and/or services in an ad are superior to others, there's
    usually no sympathy shown by the one with the superior stuff; only gloating
    over those less fortunate with no concern at all for their feelings. Thus
    advertisers encourage consumer rivalry and smug satisfaction. It's very
    common in TV ads.

    Just watch the ads on TV, and the ones in magazines and you'll see. They
    constantly provoke us to keep up with our peers in clothing, cars, physical
    appearance, business success, and popularity. Envy is a powerful, negative
    feeling that overwhelms us whenever others are doing better than ourselves.

    Gen 26:15 . . And the Philistines stopped up all the wells which his
    father's servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, filling
    them with earth.


    You would think the Philistines would value those wells and put the water to
    use for themselves. But actually, there weren't really all that many
    Philistines in the Gerar area at the time. They didn't need the water; and
    they sure didn't want any squatters to discover the wells and thus be
    encouraged to settle down in their region.

    Abimelech forbade his citizens to harm Isaac; but that didn't preclude
    harassing and annoying him. Cutting off his water supplies was very serious
    because Isaac needed them to irrigate crops and water the livestock.
    Without adequate water supplies, Isaac Enterprises was doomed. He had a
    right to file a complaint. But Abimelech felt it best for all concerned to run
    Isaac out of the country.


    NOTE: I've a suspicion that the rural Philistines had become territorial; which
    can be roughly defined as an assumed property right due to long-time
    occupation; whether legal or otherwise. In other words; Isaac's rivals
    probably felt that although they didn't actually own the countryside, they
    had been there longer than Isaac so they had a preemptive right to dictate
    its use. It's a Neanderthal's way of thinking, but goes on all the time;
    commonly in work places where senior employees are inclined to dominate
    new hires.

    Gen 26:16 . . And Abimelech said to Isaac: Go away from us, for
    you have become far too big for us.


    Just exactly what Abimelech meant by "far too big for us" is hard to know for
    sure. But it looks suspiciously like a cowardly act of favoritism; pure and
    simple. Instead of being fair and equitable with Isaac, Abimelech, like a
    cheap politician, ignored the vandalism his citizens had done against Isaac
    and made it look like this whole nasty business was his fault; vz: he was just
    getting too greedy and beginning to crowd everybody else out.

    Was this maybe the first antitrust suit in history? Antitrust laws, in reality,
    put a limit on prosperity. They say that the principles of life, liberty, and the
    pursuit of happiness are okay as long as you don't pursue them to an
    extreme. People often believe in a free enterprise system; but typically only
    up until somebody else's enterprise is having much better success at it than
    theirs.

    Gen 26:17 . . So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the
    wadi of Gerar, where he settled.


    A wadi named Nahal Gerar is on modern maps of the Gaza region. Whether
    or not that was Isaac's wadi I don't know. Wadis are basins in which brooks
    flow, and therefore, were the well-watered and fertile parts of the country.
    In times of scant rain up in the highlands, the brooks in many wadis dry up,
    and then it becomes necessary to dig wells down into the subterranean
    water table.

    According to
    ERETZ magazine, issue 64, the Gerar river draws its waters
    from tributaries that run along the slopes of the rain-swept Hebron
    mountains. Enormous amounts of water flow through it in winter, flooding
    the channel an average of seven times a year.

    Gen 26:18 . . Isaac dug anew the wells which had been dug in the
    days of his father Abraham and which the Philistines had stopped up
    after Abraham's death; and he gave them the same names that his
    father had given them.


    Those wells were dug nearly a hundred years prior to this event; and makes
    one wonder how Isaac knew where they were and how he knew the names
    his dad had named them. The Gerarians probably waited until Abraham was
    dead to plug them up because they feared him. He had a reputation as a
    military leader and he also had a pact with the king Abimelech of Abraham's
    period.

    Gen 26:19-20 . . But when Isaac's servants, digging in the wadi,
    found there a well of spring water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled
    with Isaac's herdsmen, saying: The water is ours. He named that
    well Esek, because they contended with him.


    Isaac was much too affable. He didn't have to let those guys buffalo him;
    after all, Isaac had a pretty good sized army of his own; left to him by his
    dad. He could easily have posted an armed platoon by the well to keep the
    local cowboys away from it. But no, he chose rather to condescend and let
    them have their own way. Isaac was truly a "turn the other cheek" kind of
    guy who was willing (maybe a bit too willing) to bend over backward to
    accommodate people and prevent violence and ill will.

    Esek was a new well; not one of Abraham's. The herdsmen were motivated
    by envy so they were reluctant to share the regions resources with the likes
    of Isaac because they hated his success. They didn't contest Isaac's access
    to the water in Abraham's wells. They probably felt he had a right to use
    those; but the men would not tolerate Isaac taking any more water than
    that; and most especially water of this quality. It was literally living water--
    viz: artesian.

    Urban dwellers really don't appreciate their water and typically haven't a
    clue where it comes from nor how it gets into their homes. But in Isaac's
    day, people couldn't live too far from a natural source of water. Many of the
    ancient cities and communities were located adjacent to rivers for that very
    reason.

    /
     
  4. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 26:21-25

    Gen 26:21 . . And when they dug another well, they disputed over
    that one also; so he named it Sitnah.

    The Hebrew word for "Sitnah" is from sitnan (sit-naw') which is the very
    same as sitnah (sit-naw') which means: opposition (by letter).

    Apparently the herdsmen were filing formal complaints against Isaac like the
    enemies of Ezra did when he was attempting to rebuild the temple in
    Jerusalem. (Ezr 4:6-7)

    Gerar County's Water Board must have ruled in favor of the herdsmen
    because Isaac had to keep moving around until they finally left him alone.

    Gen 26:22 . . He moved from there and dug yet another well, and
    they did not quarrel over it; so he called it Rehoboth, saying: Now at
    last the Lord has granted us ample space to increase in the land.

    Rehoboth first appeared in the Bible at Gen 10:11 as the name of an ancient
    city. It appears two more times in the Bible after here as the name of a city
    (Gen 36:37, 1Chrn 1:48) and means pretty much what Isaac said, i.e. lots
    of room to maneuver and/or spread out.

    The herdsmen had, by this time, probably pushed Isaac way out to land that
    nobody wanted. But God was with Isaac. Even the deserts produce when His
    hands are in it. (cf. Isa 35:1-4)

    With those pesky herdsmen out of the way, the road, or rather, roads ahead
    were wide and clear; and Isaac could put the pedal to the metal and go full
    speed ahead and not worry about hitting an iceberg; viz: the sky was the
    limit.

    Isaac was a very patient man, and affable too. But push him too far, and he
    might show his teeth. In a bit, Abimelech is coming calling and Isaac is going
    to confront the obtuse monarch about the way he was treated by the County
    Water Board.

    Yes, Isaac Enterprises was a huge, going concern that spread over many
    acres of land. But he didn't obtain his wealth by dishonest means. All of
    Isaac's business was conducted legally and above board. And he complied
    with all of the Gerar County rulings concerning disputes over the water
    rights even though their rulings were undoubtedly biased in favor of Gerar
    citizens. Isaac didn't deserve to be treated so unfairly.

    Gen 26:23 . . From there he went up to Beer-sheba.

    Exactly where the boys Jacob and Esau were during this era in Isaac's life
    isn't stated. They may have remained in the highlands to protect Isaac's
    interests while he was out of town, but then again, they may have been with
    him in Gerar: it's impossible to tell.

    Genesis doesn't say exactly how long Isaac and Rebecca lived around Gaza.
    Isaac's usual haunts were Beer-lahai-roi, about 50 miles further south. Beer
    sheba was Abraham's zone on oath between him and an earlier Abimelech.
    The Gerarians could be expected to leave Isaac alone there. The first night,
    God showed up.

    Gen 26:24a . .That night the Lord appeared to him and said: I am
    the god of your father Abraham.

    In what manner, or by what method, God appeared to Isaac isn't stated. It
    could have been in a dream, it could have been as a traveling man, or a
    close encounter of a third kind: nobody knows for sure.

    Gen 26:24b . . Fear not, for I am with you,

    It's reasonable to assume it was unnecessary for God to reassure Isaac, but
    Abimelech is on the way. He won't come alone either. He was a king; and
    kings travel with an armed retinue. So when news of this comes to Isaac, he
    would have good cause to become alarmed. I think God is just giving him a
    pep talk to prepare him for the meeting. Like they say: one with God is a
    majority; and a man who fears God, has no man to fear.

    Gen 26:24c . . and I will bless you

    Isn't that what He promised earlier, when Isaac moved down into Gerar?
    Yes. And just in case Isaac thought that was a one time deal, and he would
    never be blessed again, God reaffirms his commitment to blessing
    Abraham's progeny.


    NOTE: The Bible's readers aren't all that privy to what went on in the minds
    of the patriarchs. It could be-- and this is only a guess --that Isaac was
    feeling a bit guilty about his attempt to deceive Abimelech regarding the
    nature of his relationship with Rebecca. Because of that; his humanistic
    sense of justice may have suggested that his mistake cost him the previous
    blessing: or possibly future ones.

    Gen 26:24d . . and increase your progeny for the sake of My
    servant Abraham.

    If I were a Hebrew man-- not a pseudo Jew like Gentiles who become Jews
    by conversion --but a real Hebrew man by blood, I would make a point of
    remembering that God will honor His commitment to Abraham. He hasn't
    preserved the people of Israel because they are Jews nor because they are
    so faithful to God. No, far from it. It's solely because of His personal
    commitment to Abraham-- period. (cf. Ex 32:9-14)

    Gen 26:25 . . So he built an altar there and invoked the Lord by
    name. Isaac pitched his tent there and his servants started digging a
    well.

    Speaking to God by name is different than addressing Him officially as a
    deity or a monarch. Not that there's anything wrong with addressing the
    Bible's God officially as a deity or a monarch; but speaking to Him by name
    implies familiarity; which is a lots cozier than official protocol.

    For example: If I were to meet with US President Donald Trump, I would
    address him as Sir or Mr. President. It would be very presumptuous and
    disrespectful of me to address him by his name Donald because we have
    never associated on that level; nor do I expect to.

    /
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  5. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 26:26-30

    Gen 26:26 . . And Abimelech came to him from Gerar, with
    Ahuzzath his councilor and Phicol chief of his troops.

    Well, well, well; look what the cat dragged in. There were a whole lot more
    than just those three men; you can bet on that. Phicol is the Army chief of
    staff. There is no way he escorted the king of Gerar without bringing along a
    fair-sized contingent of Gerar's trained fighting men as body guards.

    But who is Ahuzzath?

    The Hebrew word for "councilor" is from merea' (may-ray'-ah) which, in the
    sense of companionship, means: a friend

    An earlier Abimelech, back in Abraham's days, practically kidnapped Sarah
    for his harem. But this one showed no interest at all in Rebecca, who was
    just as much a stunning ten as Sarah. In point of fact, when Abimelech
    complained that one of the people might have slept with Rebecca (Gen 26:9
    10) he didn't complain that he himself might have.

    Just between you and me: I suspect Mr. Ahussath was Abimelech's boy toy,
    if you know what I mean. It really wasn't unusual for ancient monarchs to
    have male lovers; and nobody thought too much of it at the time.

    Gen 26:27 . . Isaac said to them: Why have you come to me, seeing
    that you have been hostile to me and have driven me away from
    you?

    Normally, kings in that day did not call on people. If they wanted to see
    somebody, they sent a summons to appear and dispatched an escort to
    make sure you didn't refuse. Isaac knew something was up because 'ol
    Abimelech was treating him as an equal; if not a superior. Isaac had by this
    time become strong enough to crush Abimilech's community, and the old
    boy very well knew it too.

    I can't help but like a man like Isaac. He was so direct. Not really what one
    might call an in-your-face kind of guy; but transparent and unequivocal.

    Gen 26:28a . . And they said: We now see plainly that Yhvh has
    been with you,

    As long as they thought Isaac was a nomadic farmer it was okay to dump on
    him? And now that they know he's connected with a supernatural being,
    they want to be his friend? But our man is cool. He won't let that get to him.
    You know what's going on here? Abimelech is holding his hat in his hand.
    And he is going to eat that hat too before it's over.

    Gen 26:28b-29a . . and we thought: Let there be a sworn treaty
    between our two parties, between you and us. Let us make a pact
    with you that you will not do us harm,

    You know, it is just amazing how nice people can be when they realize
    they've bitten off more than they can chew. The Gerarians had sorely
    underestimated Isaac and thought they could push him around because he
    was an affable immigrant. Big mistake.

    As time went by, they perceived that his prosperity could only be explained
    in a supernatural way. If it came to a fight, Isaac was allied with a powerful
    spirit being whom they all knew for a certainty from past experiences could
    not be defeated. Yes. Isaac was well able to totally clean their clocks and
    nail their hides to the barn door. (Isaac was only just recently visited by that
    Being back in verse 24 who encouraged Isaac to be brave, and also
    promised Divine assistance.)

    Isaac was holding all the aces and didn't have to make a pact with anybody.
    He could have stood right up, lectured their derrieres soundly for the way he
    was treated in their country, and ordered them out of the house. They really
    had some chutzpah coming to him with a proposition like that. But Isaac was
    indeed a peaceable man; well in control of his tongue, and of his passions. If
    those crumbs were ready now to promise to leave him alone, well, then,
    okay, he was for it.

    Gen 26:29b . . just as we have not molested you but have always
    dealt kindly with you and sent you away in peace.

    Was that true? Some of it. It's true the Federales didn't raid his camps, nor
    plunder his goods, nor rough anybody up. He wasn't subjected to
    unreasonable searches and seizures. And he wasn't forcibly deported like an
    undesirable, or an enemy of the state, or a criminal.

    But still; they didn't deal fairly with Isaac. He never trespassed on private
    property, but dug his wells and settled on open range managed by the BLM;
    viz: public lands. Yet the county water commission always ruled against him
    even though his men dug those productive wells fair and square.

    Gen 26:29c . . From now on, be you blessed of Yhvh!

    Haw-Haw-Haw-Haw-Haw! I just love it when the bad guys wish me the best
    from my god. "God bless you" they say. Oh sure; God bless me. As if they
    really give a hoot how the Bible's God feels about anybody.

    Gen 26:30 . .Then he made for them a feast, and they ate and
    drank.

    The wicked often feel they won because their opponents are so civil and so
    agreeable. Isaac had plenty of good reason to be indignant. But he held his
    peace. That could be construed as weakness. Mistake! (on their part) You
    think Isaac consented to their crappy defense? No way.

    Isaac was a shrewd diplomat. He picked his battles. Some things merit
    contention. But this incident didn't. Those guys were in his home with hat in
    hand and he took advantage of it to secure a non-aggression pact that
    benefited both communities: Isaac's and Abimelech's. If Isaac were to let his
    passions dictate the terms, then he might jeopardize his family and his
    servants. Isaac had his weak points, but political strategy wasn't one of
    them.

    There are those in life whom we appropriately label thin skinned, reactive,
    and defensive. You know who they are. They sit still for nothing, take
    nothing lying down: they're stand up fighters; always ready to give others a
    piece of their mind and set them straight.

    These contentious folk drain all the enjoyment out of social contact.
    Everybody has to walk on egg shells and be careful what's said around them
    so they don't explode. Too easily provoked, indignant and quarrelsome,
    these people will be excluded from Messiah's kingdom because his domain is
    characterized as a place of peace rather than strife.

    "Give up anger, abandon fury, do not be vexed; it can only do harm. For evil
    men will be cut off, but those who look to the Lord-- they shall inherit the
    land. A little longer and there will be no wicked man; you will look at where
    he was-- he will be gone. But the lowly shall inherit the land, and delight in
    abundant well-being." (Ps 37:8-11)

    /
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  6. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 26:31-35

    Gen 26:31-32 . . Early in the morning, they exchanged oaths. Isaac
    then bade them farewell, and they departed from him in peace. That
    same day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they
    had dug, and said to him: We have found water!


    Ah, yes. It is always so pleasant to cap a victory with a good ending. Isaac
    had a perfect day.

    Gen 26:33 . . He named it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is
    Beer-sheba to this day.


    The word for Shibah is from Shib' ah (shib-aw') which means: seven(th)

    The new well is sister to a well Abraham dug many years previously in an
    unspecified region of Gerar. He, and the then Abimelech, settled ownership
    of that one with those seven ewes in chapter 21. So this is puzzling-- shib'
    ah is not the same word as sheba'. Sheba' means oath. Shib' ah means
    seven. Seven what? I don't know; Genesis doesn't say.

    But the number 7 is often used in the Bible like we use the number 10
    today. If we want to say something is perfect, we give it a ten. Isaac gave it
    a seven; so I think it's safe to assume that the water in the new well was
    really exceptional. (compare Rev 13:17-18 where the number of a man is
    given as 666, which is imperfection three times over. In other words: man is
    not only imperfect; but he's really imperfect.)

    Gen 26:34 . .When Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith
    daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the
    Hittite;


    There seems to be some confusion concerning the names, and the number,
    of Esau's wives. Here are their names according to Gen 36:2-3.

    "Esau took his wives from among the Canaanite women-- Adah daughter of
    Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah daughter of Zibeon the
    Hivite --and also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth."

    There were two girls named Basemath-- Adah, the daughter of Elon the
    Hittite, was also known as Basemath. Adah may have been surnamed to
    avoid confusing her with the other Basemath: Ishmael's daughter. The
    Oholibamah of 36:2 is the Judith of 26:34. She was the offspring of a mixed
    marriage between Beeri and Anah. She too may have been surnamed to
    avoid confusion.

    Gen 26:35 . .And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebecca.

    In other words, those two girls made life miserable for Isaac and Rebecca
    and caused them a great deal of mental, and emotional anguish. Some feel
    that they were also a source of spiritual friction because they were infidels
    who worshipped the gods of the Canaanites. No doubt they did. But how
    would that come into play? Well; their religions permitted the practice of
    some vile social customs.

    Canaanite religions didn't forbid such things as wife swapping, promiscuity,
    adultery, sex with women in their period, burning children to death in
    sacrificial ceremonies, sleeping with close blood relatives, gay and lesbian
    love, bestiality, nudity, astrology, divination, voodoo, magic, communication
    with the spirit world, witchcraft, drunkenness, and wild parties; including
    cult prostitution where women devotees sold themselves to support their
    "church" (cf. Gen 38:13-23)

    So you can easily see just how vexing that women like that might be. How
    could Esau even trust them while he was away on safari? Lacking his
    companionship, they would either turn to each other for sensual comforts or
    seek out lovers among the servants. They might even hit on Rebecca and
    Isaac; and maybe even hit on their co-husband's third wife; Ishmael's
    Basemath. And the girls would have no qualms about walking around the
    house scantily clad or even in the nude; so you never knew what to expect
    when they invited you over.

    Those two women were very definitely not the PowerPuff Girls-- the
    wholesome little kindergartners who make the world safe before bedtime.
    No; they were the PantyHose Girls who seanced, Tarot carded, and Ouija
    boarded their way to new excitements.

    As bad as all that stuff was, it doesn't hold a candle to the danger of those
    women influencing Isaac's grandchildren. And that is a very real threat in
    mixed marriages. Men especially are susceptible to letting their wives guide
    the home's religious training. I've seen it often enough to know what I'm
    saying.

    And with a man like Esau, a secular man who had no interest in religion to
    begin with, the kids had no hope at all of turning out right. They will grow up
    to scorn and ridicule Abraham's religion; and his god too. They will pick up
    the most abominable habits, and see nothing wrong in them.

    There is one thing our kids can do for us that is unquestionably the most
    important thing they will ever do-- pass on our religious beliefs on to our
    progeny. No one else is going to do that for us. And we can't stay behind
    and make sure it happens. So if we leave our kids without a solid religious
    heritage; then their own kids-- our grandchildren --are doomed to return to
    secular concepts. And maybe worse.

    Esau's side of the family went bad, that's for sure, just like Cain's did. And I
    believe it started on it's downhill slide right with his union to those two
    impious women. At Esau's age, and in that kind of home and upbringing; he
    should have known better. But in spite of his parents' protests; in spite of
    his parents' fears regarding their grandchildren; in spite of his parents'
    feelings about those women coming into their home; in spite of God's
    feelings regarding His religion; and in spite of his birthright; Esau forged
    ahead and married those two filthy women.

    You know why? Because it was his life; and nobody was going to tell him
    how to live it. Some people, like the pharaoh that resisted Moses; are just
    defiant to the bone and they'll do things wrong just to stand up to you and
    assert their independence.

    /
     
  7. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:1a-1b

    Gen 27:1a . .When Isaac was old

    Just precisely how old Isaac was at this time, is difficult to tell. But I think
    we can come close enough for government work.

    Jacob spent 20 years with Laban. (Gen 31:41a)

    Joseph was born during that time. (Gen 30:22-24)

    At just about the time Joseph was born, Jacob and Laban worked out an
    arrangement concerning shares of the livestock to compensate Jacob's
    labors. (Gen 30:25-34)

    That deal with the livestock went on for six of the twenty years Jacob served
    Laban. (Gen 31:41b)

    Joseph was 30 when he became prime minister of Egypt. (Gen 41:46a)

    When Joseph went to work for Pharaoh; a 14 year period began, consisting
    of two divisions-- seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine. After
    the seven years of plenty, and two of the years of famine, when he was
    about 39, Joseph brought his dad down into Egypt. (Gen 45:6-9)

    When Jacob arrived, he stood before Pharaoh and told him he was 130 years
    old. (Gen 47:7-9a)

    Now we can do some arithmetic.

    Jacob arrived in Egypt at 130. Subtracting Joseph's age of 39, we get 91;
    which was Jacob's age when Joseph was born. After subtracting 14-- the
    years Jacob worked for Laban up to the deal they made concerning the
    livestock --we're left with 77; which is Jacob's approximate age when he
    indentured himself to Laban.

    Allowing for a generous intermission of 2 years-- encompassing Rebecca's
    scheme, Jacob's flight to Haran, and his eventual indenture to Laban
    Jacob's age in the section of Genesis we're in today, can very reasonably be
    put at 75.

    Isaac was 60 when Jacob was born. (Gen 25:26)

    So adding 75 to 60, puts Isaac somewhere in the neighborhood of 135 years
    old at the beginning of chapter 27.

    Everyone involved in this next episode was getting up in years and thus
    quite mature. Jacob and Esau, though 75 years old, were, nonetheless,
    vigorous men and, gerontologically speaking, relatively young in terms of
    the aging process as it existed in those days. Even Isaac wasn't as near
    death as he feared since he lived another 45 years to be 180 when he died.
    (Gen 35:28)

    Gen 27:1b . . and his eyes were too dim to see,

    The word for "dim" is from kahah (kaw-haw') which means: to be weak; viz:
    to despond and/or grow dull.

    So Isaac wasn't actually blind, as some have proposed. It's far more likely
    he was stricken with cataracts, macular degeneration and/or some other
    vision condition very common among people his age even today.

    /
     
  8. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Woo there comrade, your maths is based on false premises and assumptions.

    The first assumption is that the seven years of plenty began when Joseph was given ruling status second to the Pharaoh at the age of 30 years old, whereas the bible is actually silent as to when the years of plenty began with respect to the age of Joseph.

    Also, we have the dilemma of the children of Judah to consider in this equation. Just after Joseph is sent packing off to Egypt at the age of 18 years old, Judah take a wife and has three sons. He marries the first son off to Tamar but he displeased God and God caused him to died. When the second son came of marrying age he took Tamar as a wife but he too also displeased God and he too died. Judah then told Tamar to wait for the third son to become a man of marrying age, but as the years passed, Judah did not push his third son into marrying Tamar.

    So Tamar took matters into her own hands and after Judah's wife died, during his period of grief, Judah went into a woman who he thought was a prostitute, but was in fact Tamar. Out of this union Tamar became pregnant, and Judah was upset with Tamar but Tamar returned his ring and his staff to him and he realised that he had gone into Tamar himself. Tamar had twins sons, and Perez married and also had a son, named Hezron and Hamul who became two of Jacob's descendants who went down to Egypt with him.

    Genesis 46:12: - 12 The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

    Now with your maths, only 27 years passed but the above verse would suggest somewhere between 30 - 38 years passed between when Joseph was sent down to Egypt by his brothers and Jacob actual when down to Egypt with his extended family.

    The second assumption that you made was that Jacob spent only 20 years in Haran with Laban. The verses used to justify this is: -

    Genesis 31:38-42: - 38 These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young, and I have not eaten the rams of your flock. 39 That which was torn by beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it. You required it from my hand, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was! In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes. 41 Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night."

    The above passage, actually tells us that Jacob was 40 years in Haran, with 20 of those years living in Laban's house and the rest of the time living apart from Laban.

    The next piece of evidence which you ignore was the twelve or so years between when Jacob left Haran and when Joseph was taken down to Egypt.

    So adding these time periods together, we have 40 + 12 + around 30 to 38 which is equal to around 82 to 92 years which makes Jacob around the age somewhere between 40 and 48 years old which means that Isaac was around 100-108 years old when he gave Jacob the blessing that isaac intended to give to Esau.

    The evidence that Jacob spent around 40 years in Haran can be found in the record of the births of Jacob's children and the fact that his only recorded daughter, Dinah, was a presentable young woman when she was taken into the princes' household at Chechem. Dinah, was the last child born to Leah, after the birth of her six sons. The maths of this exercise, is that Leah began having children in the 8th year that Jacob was in Haran and allowing for another six pregnancies after this, Dinah was born at least 9 to 12 years after Reuben. Given that Joseph was born after Leah had stop bearing children, then doing the maths of this time period ignoring other evidence, we have a time period of 7 + 9 + 6 = 22 years which means that Jacob did spend more than 20 years in and around Haran.

    I would humbly suggest to you that Isaac was closer to 100 years old when he sort to give his blessing to Esau and which his wife Rebekah, remembering God's word to her where the older would serve the younger, sort to stop Isaac from sinning by going against what God had decreed before the twins were born. Your suggestion that Isaac was around 135 years old when he decided to give Esau his Blessing is based on false parameters.

    Shalom
     
  9. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:1c-4

    Gen 27:1c-2 . . he called his older son Esau and said to him; My
    son. He answered; Here I am. And he said; I am old now, and I do
    not know how soon I may die.


    It's common for older men to feel that not only is their time running out, but
    also their luck. I've dodged several bullets in my 72 years; two of them
    literal; and can't reasonably expect to live too much longer before the law of
    averages catches up to me either by accident, crime, or natural causes.

    Gen 27:3-4 . . Now then, please take your gear, your quiver and
    your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me; and prepare
    a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may
    eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.


    The part about "my soul" is a curious statement. The Hebrew word is
    nephesh (neh'-fesh) which is a very common word for all creatures great
    and small in the Old Testament beginning at Gen 1:20. Nepesh never refers
    to unconscious life; viz: it only refers to fauna, never to flora.

    But the interesting thing is: man not only is a soul (Gen 2:7) but according
    to Gen 27:4, Gen 34:2, and a host of other passages, man also has a soul;
    so it turns out that nephesh is a bit ambiguous.

    A pretty good paraphrase of that portion of the passage would be "that I
    may bless you from the core of my being". (viz: the bottom of his heart)

    Esau was Isaac's favorite and I don't think he ever did care too much for
    Jacob. If he had purposed to bless Jacob, I think it would have been done
    with a very grudging spirit. This particular blessing regards Esau's
    inheritance. He already sold the patriarchy to Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup.
    Whether or not Isaac was aware of the deal the brothers struck, is not said.

    What takes place next in chapter 27 is difficult to believe. To think that two
    grown-ups, one at least 75 and the other very likely 115 years old, took part
    in this incredibly clownish deception. I could understand young,
    inexperienced kids doing something so stupid. But it is difficult to understand
    how supposedly mature adults like Rebecca and Jacob could ever seriously
    ponder such a silly scheme.

    It is simply moronic that Rebecca would even remotely consider that her
    crafty little plan had even the remotest chance of success. Conducted under
    false pretenses, and a fake ID; it would only be a matter of hours before the
    scam was uncovered, the ill gotten blessing of course annulled, and the
    perpetrators soundly excoriated . . unless . . unless there is more to this
    incident than meets the eye; and there most certainly is.

    Ninety-five years prior to this point in time, God personally selected a
    vibrant water girl up in Haran to be Isaac's spouse. The wisdom of that
    selection is now going to become apparent as we begin to realize who
    actually wore the spiritual pants in Isaac's house. If spirituality were a
    martial art, Rebecca would be a black belt. Her discernment regarding
    matters of Heaven is just incredible. Was she really a silly female? Far from
    it.

    In spite of God's mandate in chapter 25 concerning Jacob, and in spite of the
    plainly obvious superiority of Jacob's character, and his spiritual
    discernment, and his convictions, and in spite of Esau's blatant indifference
    to his birthright, and to his spiritual heritage, and to the mind of God; Isaac
    was nevertheless apparently determined to give both the patriarchy and the
    inheritance to Esau-- clearly the wrong choice; not to mention a direct
    affront to God. The inheritance was one thing, but the patriarchy was a
    whole other matter altogether.

    Esau even married impious women from among the pagan Canaanites. A
    horrible choice considering the repercussions of such spouses upon the
    future of Abraham's covenant. And Esau no doubt made that choice against
    the counsel and consent of his parents; proving all the more just how head
    strong and self-willed the man really was. Motivated by the gain of temporal
    advantage, and the gratification of carnal appetites; Esau had no spiritual
    vision at all. Well; Rebecca is fixin' to give Mr. Isaac, and his secular son Mr.
    Esau, the wake-up call of their lives!

    Esau was a man's man. I think if any of us met him, we would be instantly
    drawn by his charisma and virility. And I think that Isaac saw in him the kind
    of man he always wished he was himself. But in the coin of heaven, Esau
    had no more worth than a dilapidated old shoe.

    It's difficult to comprehend how favoritism, on the part of such a presumably
    spiritual man as Isaac, could be based upon such a carnal motive as the
    taste of venison. But it wasn't just the meal, but rather the way it was
    obtained.

    We get runs of Salmon up here in Oregon's rivers at various times of the
    year. Last time I checked; you could buy fresh Coho Salmon in local
    supermarkets for about $12 a pound. But no; guys prefer instead to spend
    all day on a river shivering in the freezing cold just to catch one Salmon in
    the wild.

    But the river fish means something that the supermarket fish can never
    mean. Yes, both are edible and both make great eating and honestly you
    can't tell the difference. But one is obtained with a shopping cart. The other
    by a man's own bare hands: with fishing tackle, by personal energy
    combined with risk, skill, and cunning. All those are important to a "real"
    man's feelings of personal worth.

    It was customary in Jacob's day to mark solemn occasions with a feast; like
    the one Isaac prepared for Abimelech when they swore an oath together in
    chapter 26. And since the blessing Isaac resolved to bestow upon Esau was
    such an important one, it seemed appropriate that the solemnities should be
    marked by a feast of wild meat provided by Esau's own personal hunting
    skills.

    However, father and son didn't reckon on the God factor, and they surely
    didn't reckon on black ops Rebecca. Their little party is not going to happen
    because this sharp gal from up north anticipated this very day and is all set
    to implement a little fiesta of her own.

    /
     
  10. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:5-13

    Gen 27:5a . . Rebecca had been listening as Isaac spoke to his son
    Esau.


    We might ask: Why was Rebecca so concerned anyway? Didn't God decree
    the firstborn's rights to Jacob? Then Jacob will get them anyway; won't he?

    Yes. Jacob would eventually end up with the firstborn's rights anyway; but
    the problem was: the outgoing patriarch had to impart the blessing and
    obviously Mr. Isaac wasn't inclined to do so. It appears to me that Isaac was
    actually going to attempt to circumvent God's wishes and I honestly think it
    was because he was afraid of alienating his favorite son.

    Rebecca wasn't stupid, nor inclined to superstition. I seriously doubt she was
    silly enough to believe the words of the blessing themselves held sufficient
    magic to confer the firstborn's rights upon Jacob just because he happened
    to be in the room and hear them as they were spoken in his direction. After
    all, it was all done under false pretenses and a fake ID. No court in the land
    would uphold anything obtained by a fraud like that. But her scheme was
    designed to do something else entirely.

    I believe her intent was to wake Isaac up and make him return to his
    senses. The man did fear God. That much is beyond question. But he was
    lax in his patriarchal duties. Before this is over, he will regret his laxity very,
    very much.

    Gen 27:5b-7 . .When Esau had gone out into the open to hunt game
    to bring home, Rebecca said to her son Jacob: I overheard your
    father speaking to your brother Esau, saying: Bring me some game
    and prepare a dish for me to eat, that I may bless you, with the
    Lord's approval, before I die.


    That's not really what Isaac said. It appears that Rebecca embellished a little
    and added "with the Lord's approval." Compare Gen 3:3 where Eve
    embellished God's testimony in Gen 2:17 where He didn't forbid them to
    "touch" the fruit; no, only to eat it.

    Gen 27:8 . . Now, my son, listen carefully as I instruct you.

    Cool as a vice cop, Rebecca executes Plan A with the step by step precision
    of a well arranged sting. I can just visualize her grip upon Jacob's arm,
    gazing up into his face with a most intense look, as she gears him up to get
    started on his part of the scheme.

    Gen 27:9a . . Go to the flock and fetch me two choice kids,

    Why two? Well, for one thing: deer produce a much larger quantity of meat
    than a little bitty kid. It's true Isaac couldn't possibly eat a whole deer at one
    sitting, but Rebecca can only use parts of the kids that best resemble the
    venison cuts Isaac prefers. And Esau more than likely cooked up a whole lot
    more than just one serving. I think he typically brought his dad a heaping
    buffet and let him pick out what he wanted; and anything left over was kept
    as victuals for the rest of the house; which of course included Esau himself.

    Rebecca is going to have to duplicate that setting as best as she can. And
    she will too. After all, who was it taught those two boys how to cook in the
    first place? None other than Becky Crocker.

    Gen 27:9b . . and I will make of them a dish for your father, such
    as he likes.


    This is additional evidence that it wasn't merely the flavor of Esau's cooking
    that made Isaac love him. Rebecca could duplicate the taste of venison with
    goat meat so that you couldn't tell the one from the other.

    Gen 27:10a-11a . .Then take it to your father to eat, in order that
    he may bless you before he dies. Jacob answered his mother
    Rebecca: But....


    Jacob straight away sees where his mom is going with this and likes it.
    However . . there's just one problem: Rebecca can duplicate Esau's cooking;
    but how will Jacob duplicate Esau? They didn't have the benefit of slick
    Hollywood make-up artists in those days so how are they going to make
    Jacob look (or rather, feel) like his brother?

    Well, they have Isaac's poor eyesight to their advantage; so Jacob's
    appearance won't have to be all that accurate. But they will need at least
    one prosthetic: body hair.

    Gen 27:11b-12 . . my brother Esau is a hairy man and I am
    smooth-skinned. If my father touches me, I shall appear to him as a
    trickster and bring upon myself a curse, not a blessing.


    Isaac might get the wrong idea and think that Jacob is poking fun at his bad
    eyesight by playing a dumb trick on him. That would hurt the old boy's
    feelings a great deal to think that his 75 year-old son thought so little of him
    as to perpetrate such a cruel prank; which of course would warrant a curse;
    because it is not only cruel to play tricks on the blind, but, even worse, to be
    cruel to one's parents.

    Gen 27:13 . . But his mother said to him: Your curse, my son, be
    upon me! Just do as I say and go fetch them for me.


    That's the oldest ploy in the book. It's the very same reasoning the German
    military guards used to justify their duties at Auschwitz and Dachau. "You
    can't blame us" they said; "We only did what we were told." That seems
    reasonable enough. After all, the ones in charge are really responsible;
    right?

    Wrong. The midwives of Ex 1:15-17 could have used the very same excuse;
    but didn't. And God commended them for fearing Him. If they had obeyed
    Pharaoh, they would have received condemnation instead. Everyone bears
    their own personal responsibility and has a duty to raise conscientious
    objections.

    In other words: it is a sin to violate your conscience. Yes, soldiers and minor
    children are to obey their superiors-- but to the point of sin? Never! Besides,
    Jacob was no minor child. He was a grown man.

    But Rebecca needed some leverage to keep Jacob in the game. By playing
    the "filial authority" card, she persuaded Jacob to stay on track. Luckily, he
    wasn't too bright at the time and failed to appreciate his own personal
    accountability. After all, the man was at least 75 years old; not just a little
    kid.

    But then again, I think Jacob the supplanter really wanted to pull this thing
    off and just needed a way to appease his own misgivings about it; so it
    wasn't too difficult to win him over.

    /
     
  11. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:14-25

    Gen 27:14-15 . . He got them and brought them to his mother, and
    his mother prepared a dish such as his father liked. Rebecca then
    took the best clothes of her older son Esau, which were there in the
    house, and had her younger son Jacob put them on;

    The word for "house" is from bayith (bah'-yith) which means: a dwelling (in
    the greatest variation of applications), including family.

    Does that mean Rebecca lived in a permanent structure? I don't think so.
    Bayith doesn't always mean what we think. In Gen 6:14 it implicates the
    interior of the ark. At Gen 7:1 it implicates Noah's family, and quite possibly
    even all their belongings-- a regular Noah's Family Robinson. At Gen 15:2,
    bayith implicates Abraham's entire estate: his tents, his livestock, and his
    servants.

    Some have proposed that Esau's best clothes were special-- for religious
    observances --like the garments that priests might wear. But that certainly
    doesn't fit Esau's character. I think it was just a nice outfit of some sort,
    maybe even the one he got married in. But anyway, they sure didn't get
    washed often because his clothes usually smelled like the outdoors-- and
    that could mean anything from plain old dirt to wild flowers and meadow
    grass.

    But why were those clothes (viz: his cleanest dirty shirts) in Rebecca's
    home? I believe it was because Rebecca anticipated this very day and kept
    them right there handy so she could put them on Jacob when the time
    came. And that is why she never washed the smell out of them. Jacob of
    course was very likely a tidy sort of guy and kept his clothes clean. But Esau
    was a rugged outdoor type who's clothes you would expect to have an odor.

    Gen 27:16 . . and she covered his hands and the hairless part of his
    neck with the skins of the kids.

    Those hides would still be raw and untreated. So Rebecca had to scrub and
    scrape to get all the fat and blood off so they wouldn't have a visceral smell
    to them. Yuck! That's reminiscent of scenes from Silence Of The Lambs.

    Gen 27:17 . .Then she put in the hands of her son Jacob the dish
    and the bread that she had prepared.

    Yummy. From the kitchen of Becky Crocker; with biscuits and gravy too.
    Well, this is as far as Rebecca can go. Now it's all up to Mr. Jacob to pull this
    off. Good luck dude. Don't chicken out now. HWUAH! (Navy SEAL cheer)

    Gen 27:18-19a . . He went to his father and said: Father. And he
    said: Yes, which of my sons are you? Jacob said to his father: I am
    Esau, your first-born; I have done as you told me.

    That man makes me proud. No mumbling, no stuttering, no hesitation--
    right to it. Yes; he is a big fat liar. But I love it. You watch. Any day now he'll
    get a letter in the mail from CIA recruiters praising his moral flexibility.


    NOTE: When Jacob called out to his dad; he used what is known as a
    "vocative" which Webster's defines as: of, relating to, or being a
    grammatical case marking out the one addressed. In other words: a
    vocative is intended to get the attention of a specific person in a room rather
    than everybody in the room.

    This may seem superfluous, and I guess it isn't germane to the study of
    Genesis; but the principle has an important application in Christianity.
    Compare Rom 8:15 and Gal 4:6 where the Aramaic vocative Abba indicates
    that the Father's children don't call out to Him as merely a clan's
    paterfamilias, but rather, like Jacob did with Isaac: as one's very own papa.

    Gen 27:19b-20 . . Pray sit up and eat of my game, that you may
    give me your innermost blessing. Isaac said to his son: How did you
    succeed so quickly, my son? And he said: Because the Lord your God
    granted me good fortune.

    What did he say!? My golly that man had chutzpah! He actually dragged the
    name of God into the lie. Now Jacob will be condemned to the lower regions
    for sure; or will he?

    "I say unto you: that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit
    down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt
    8:11)

    Gen 27:21-23 . . Isaac said to Jacob: Come closer that I may feel
    you, my son-- whether you are really my son Esau or not. So Jacob
    drew close to his father Isaac, who felt him and wondered: The voice
    is the voice of Jacob, yet the hands are the hands of Esau. He did not
    recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his
    brother Esau; and so he blessed him.

    So then, in spite of their twin-ness, there was enough of a difference in the
    brothers' voices to be discernable. However, Rebecca somehow attached
    size-cut pieces of young goat skin on the backs of Jacob's hands and fingers
    with some sort of toupee adhesive so it would feel to Isaac as if it were a
    man's natural hairs. That was a pretty good trick; and would probably land
    her a job as a Hollywood make-up artist.

    Gen 27:24 . . He asked: Are you truly my son Esau? And when he
    said: I am,

    Some people are of the opinion that Jacob was a mama's boy. Well, maybe
    he was. But one thing he had that most mama's boys don't; and it's a level
    head under stress. Jacob was as calm and calculating as a test pilot all
    during this incident.

    I tell you, that man amazes me. I bet Rebecca was just outside the door
    sweating bullets while all this was going on; hoping and praying that Jacob
    not lose his cool and bolt out of the room in a panic. This is just the kind of
    cool under fire that the Secret Service looks for; but then, you need a pretty
    high IQ to work with those guys.

    Gen 27:25 . . he said: Serve me and let me eat of my son's game
    that I may give you my innermost blessing. So he served him and he
    ate, and he brought him wine and he drank.

    The wine was probably out in the kitchen. When Jacob went back to get it,
    don't you think Rebecca hugged him and gave him a great big thumbs up? I
    do. Those two were a team! The original Mission Impossible task force.

    While Isaac was eating, he and Jacob probably chatted. About what; I don't
    have a clue. But Jacob managed to pull it off like a pro. Isaac really thought
    he was talking with Esau.

    /
     
  12. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Oh, the question that I would ask, is, "Did God have a hand in the Blessing of Jacob by Isaac?

    I believe that he did. But we seem to go and look for the touch of a human hand in these events rather than for the hand of God.
     
  13. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:26-29b

    Gen 27:26-27 . .Then his father Isaac said to him: Come close and
    kiss me, my son. And he went up and kissed him. And he smelled his
    clothes and he blessed him, saying, Ah, the smell of my son is like
    the smell of the fields that the Lord has blessed.


    Esau probably always smelled like that and Rebecca took full advantage of it.
    He should have washed his clothes once in a while. Good grief the man had
    two wives. What the heck did they do all day? Neglect their chores to watch
    Oprah, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, and the Soaps?

    I bet if you visited Esau's home the kids were running around in dirty
    underwear and snotty noses all the time. You probably had to kick a path to
    walk and wouldn't dare sit down because something might stick. Poor
    Rebecca. What a pair of daughters-in-law. I bet when they all got together
    on holidays, Judith and Basemath sat around on their tushes and gossiped
    while Rebecca and Jacob did all the dishes.

    Gen 27:28 . . May God give you of the dew of heaven and the fat of
    the earth, abundance of new grain and wine.


    The Hebrew word for the "fat" pertaining to Abel's offering is cheleb (kheh'
    leb); or cheleb (khay'-leb) which don't always indicate fleshly fat, but mostly
    mean the richest or the choicest parts.

    The Hebrew word for the "fat" pertaining to Isaac's blessing is mashman
    (mash-mawn') which, again, doesn't always indicate fleshly fat; but also
    richness; e.g. a rich dish, a fertile field, and or a robust man. In other
    words; Isaac's blessing is agricultural.

    The benediction, first of all, regards things in nature necessary for prosperity
    in an agrarian economy-- rain, fertile soil, and abundant yields. Rain is an
    especially precious resource in the country of Israel where today it's confined
    to just one season a year lasting only three months. In the old days, they
    had two rainy seasons; the early rains and the latter rains.

    City slickers hate rain. It's so inconvenient. It gets their hair wet; they have
    to run the wipers; it floods their streets and storm drains, their gutters
    overflow from clogged downspouts, they can't wear flip-flops-- caring little
    that the foods available in the supermarkets and convenience stores are
    utterly dependent upon adequate rain. I think that some people actually
    think their foods are manufactured in sweat shops rather than grown in the
    dirt. They just can't make the connection.

    Gen 27:29a . . Let peoples serve you, And nations bow to you;

    Jacob's progeny has exercised dominance over many nations in the past,
    most especially during Solomon's period. Today they're in a slump. But that
    benediction isn't dead yet; no, not by a long sea mile. In the future, Israel
    will be the seat of world power and the center for religious studies. You'd
    never know it to look at Jacob's condition today; but it's going to happen.

    Gen 27:29b . . Be master over your brothers, and let your mother's
    sons bow to you.


    The magic words! --and the very ones I'm sure Rebecca was anxiously
    waiting to hear. His "mother's sons" right then only amounted to (in Isaac's
    mind) just one: Mr. Jacob. But Rebecca became a grandma and today her
    sons can't even be numbered. Every one of them are supposed to honor
    Jacob and bow in respect because he, along with Isaac and Abraham, is a
    member of the elite league of senior patriarchs.

    The bestowal of the patriarchy upon Jacob was done with God as a witness,
    who has, so far, neither interfered nor intervened; nor has He seen fit to
    alert Isaac to Jacob's deception, nor said a single word about the whole
    fraudulent business.

    In short, the Almighty God, of all people, is apparently condoning Jacob's
    funny business. It seems to me, that the only way to understand this
    situation is to conclude that, whatever may be wrong with the stratagem
    and deception of Jacob and Rebecca, the sin of Esau and Isaac was infinitely
    more grievous.

    Yes, it's true that God doesn't usually condone lies; and I'm sure Jacob and
    his mom well knew it. They were spiritual people; both of them. But I really
    think that as bad as deception might be in God's sight, it had become a
    desperate necessity in this case to prevent a much worse sin: that of
    blasphemously presuming to impart the most holy of God's offices to a man
    who neither appreciated its depth, nor would honor it-- and to do so directly
    in the face of God's commandment against it.

    Such an eventuality surely would have incurred God's most severe discipline
    upon both Isaac and Esau; and I am convinced that Rebecca felt she must
    prevent that occurrence at all costs, even if it meant alienating her husband
    and infuriating Esau to the point of seeking Jacob's death.

    Isaac, because of the solemn nature of what he was doing, (conveying holy
    covenant promises and blessings to a son, who in turn would be responsible
    for their transmission and implementation in his own family) was no doubt
    under the influence of the power of God that day and was carried along in
    the scheme even though he half suspected the son in the room with him
    wasn't Esau. No. Jacob was getting that blessing, and there was nothing
    short of Heaven and Hell themselves that could prevent it.

    The Almighty Himself, who had made His solemn covenant with Abraham,
    and renewed it with Isaac, certainly was present in that room during the
    whole affair. What would have happened if Esau was instead standing there
    that day we can only surmise.

    But it seems highly probable that the consequences would have been tragic
    for both father and son. The Almighty God's holy promises and covenants
    are never to be dispensed as trifles, subject to the whim and preference of
    self centered mortals who are swayed to make important decisions simply
    upon the taste of their favorite foods.

    /
     
  14. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:29c

    Gen 27:29c . . Cursed be they who curse you, blessed they who
    bless you.


    That the blessing upon Jacob was definitely the same as the blessing given
    to Abraham and Isaac is clear from the words spoken here in the final part.

    First, Isaac conferred the material aspects of patriarchal life: prosperity. I
    am sure that Esau would have loved that part of it. However, there is
    nothing in the wording of the blessing to suggest that it included an actual
    bequeathal of Isaac's assets. Isaac's closing statement echoes God's own
    words to Abraham in Gen 12:3

    Some have wondered why Isaac didn't include the balance of the Gen 12:2
    3 blessing at this time; which goes like this:

    "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your
    name great, and you shall be a blessing . . and all the families of the earth
    shall bless themselves by you."

    Sad to say, I think Isaac knew very well it would be like blessing a beast.
    Esau would never become a great nation, and especially ever become a
    blessing to all the families of the Earth; nor that they would bless
    themselves by him.

    Yet even knowing that, Isaac, for all intents and purposes, was still
    determined to confer the patriarchy upon Esau, the secular son. I hate to
    say it, but I strongly suspect Isaac was becoming somewhat deranged;
    especially because he displayed a gross lapse in judgement by blessing Esau
    at all.

    Anyway, he did pronounce the blessing upon Jacob; and did so under the
    very inspiration of God, though Isaac himself was trying to thwart the will of
    God all the while he was speaking.

    Just so, many years later, the infamous prophet for profit, Balaam, in
    Numbers 22, 23, and 24, was forced to bless Israel even against his own
    will.

    And in the days of Jesus of Nazareth (John 11:49-52) the high priest spoke
    prophetically of the meaning of Jesus' death; though the priest himself did
    not understand the real import of what he was saying; nor even put any
    stock at all in his own words.

    The blessing which, by God's edict, should have gone to Jacob in the first
    place, was indeed finally pronounced upon him by his father in spite of
    Isaac's lack of willingness to do so. He was tricked into it, yes; but by
    thunder that shouldn't have been necessary.

    /
     
  15. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:30-38

    Gen 27:30-33a . . No sooner had Jacob left the presence of his
    father Isaac-- after Isaac had finished blessing Jacob --than his
    brother Esau came back from his hunt. He too prepared a dish and
    brought it to his father. And he said to his father: Let my father sit
    up and eat of his son's game, so that you may give me your
    innermost blessing. His father Isaac said to him: Who are you? And
    he said: I am your son, Esau, your first-born! Isaac was seized with
    very violent trembling.


    According to Jewish folklore, Isaac's first impulse, upon realizing he blessed
    the wrong son, was to retract the benediction from Jacob and give it to the
    son for whom it was intended; and would have except at that moment he
    saw Hell open beneath his feet, thus signifying that God was very displeased
    with his intentions; and if he persisted any longer to bless the wrong boy, he
    would suffer dire consequences. I would not be one bit surprised if that were
    true.

    It began to dawn on Isaac what had happened. The truth suddenly came
    home to him like a frigid blast of icy wind. In spite of all his intentions, God
    overruled Isaac, and he blessed the younger instead of the elder; like he
    was supposed to do in the first place.

    Furthermore, he realized he had been deceived by his true love Rebecca,
    and by his faithful son Jacob, whom he really hadn't appreciated very much
    up until now. I think he realized, that they, level-headed and sensible people
    that they were, deceived him in order to prevent the head of the house from
    doing what he very well knew he had no right to do. And God was in on the
    whole scheme, and had blessed Jacob through Isaac in spite of himself to
    the contrary. Jacob would indeed be blessed, just as he should have been all
    along.

    Gen 27:33b . .Who was it then-- he demanded --that hunted game
    and brought it to me? Moreover, I ate of it before you came, and I
    blessed him; now he must remain blessed!


    This was clearly the will of God and there was nothing Isaac could do to
    change it. He had tried to, but God stopped him. As the impact of these
    thoughts came over him, Isaac became very shaken. Emotions of all sorts
    must have overwhelmed him-- anger with Jacob, concern for Esau's future,
    heartbreak over Rebecca's treachery, resentment at having his own plans
    thwarted, and shame for having played the fool in such an important
    spiritual matter. All those feelings surely contributed to his trembling.

    Isaac quickly realized God had spoken to him in judgment, and that he had
    incurred great peril to himself in so ignoring the will of God. He had betrayed
    the trust of his father Abraham and had practically destroyed his own home;
    all because of a carnal appetite and parental adulation of a favorite son's
    physical exploits. No wonder the poor man was shaking so badly.

    Gen 27:34a . .When Esau heard his father's words, he burst into
    wild and bitter sobbing,


    The word for "sobbing" is wayits'aq which is from tsa' aq (tsaw-ak') and
    means: to shriek.

    I have a feeling the shriek that wrenched up out of Esau's lungs is the very
    same hysterical emotion that millions of damned will feel at The Great White
    Throne judgment of Rev 20:11-15 when the grim reality of their fate finally
    sinks in that they have lost Heaven forever. It's beyond words.

    At the first, Esau entered his dad's room with cheerful anticipation. Then
    quite bluntly, Isaac blurts out that someone beat him to it. Watching his dad
    shivering, and seeing the look of fear wash over the patriarch's face, the
    awful truth became only too apparent and Esau gave vent to his
    disappointment with a dreadful scream.

    Gen 27:34b . . and said to his father: Bless me too, Father!

    In Esau's mind, his dad really hadn't intended to bless Jacob; and was
    actually hoodwinked into it; so surely God couldn't possibly honor the
    fraudulent blessing. Isaac could just simply retract his words and bless the
    older son like he wanted to. But no. It was far more serious than either Esau
    or his dad imagined; which by now, via God's Spirit, Isaac was fully aware.

    Gen 27:34c . . But he answered: Your brother came with guile and
    took away your blessing.


    That was really only a half truth; no doubt told with the intent to prevent
    alienating his eldest son. The fact of the matter is: Isaac couldn't change
    anything now even if he wanted to; and he knew it too because by now he
    was fully reminded of God's original mandate regarding the two boys even
    before they were born. Hardly knowing how to explain his wanton error to
    Esau, he simply blamed Jacob for it. But it was Isaac's fault all along. He
    should never have led Esau to believe he would get the blessing. So many
    dads cannot admit they made a mistake in the way they raised their kids.
    Isaac was certainly no better.

    Gen 27:36a . . [Esau] said: Was he, then, named Jacob that he
    might supplant me these two times? First he took away my
    birthright and now he has taken away my blessing!


    Esau bitterly recalled that Jacob had taken away his birthright-- of course
    conveniently forgetting that he saw no value in it and traded his privilege for
    a measly bowl of porridge.

    Gen 27:36b-38 . . And he added: Have you not reserved a blessing
    for me? Isaac answered, saying to Esau: But I have made him
    master over you: I have given him all his brothers for servants, and
    sustained him with grain and wine. What, then, can I still do for you,
    my son? And Esau said to his father: Have you but one blessing,
    Father? Bless me too, Father! And Esau wept aloud.


    It must have been a strange sight to see such a virile, strong, athletic he
    man screaming like a woman and bawling like a little girl. Agonizingly, he
    begged his dad for a blessing of some kind for himself, probably hoping that
    somehow God, through his father's intercession, could be persuaded to
    change His mind. The portion of the blessing, which no doubt appealed to
    Esau the most-- that of political superiority and material security-- had been
    irrevocably given to Jacob; and all the blubbering in the world couldn't
    change the situation now.

    /
     
  16. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:39-42a

    Gen 27:39-40 . . And his father Isaac answered, saying to him: See,
    your abode shall be [away from] the fat of the earth and [from] the
    dew of heaven above. Yet by your sword you shall live, and you shall
    serve your brother; but when you grow restive, you shall break his
    yoke from your neck.


    The words in the brackets don't actually appear in the Hebrew text. But
    according to a foot note in the 1985 JPS Tanakh; the meaning of the Hebrew
    is just what you see. Jacob's side of the family was granted the best water,
    fertile soils, and abundant yields. In contrast, Esau's side of the family would
    live in regions plagued with geological shortages of water, arable land, and
    natural pastures.

    Isaac's prediction was fulfilled by the very nature of the rugged region that
    came to be known as the land of Edom. The Edomites, in general, lived in
    violence and subjection to Israel; remaining essentially independent until
    David's time, but then were subjugated permanently after that in spite of
    frequent rebellions and temporary partial freedom. Finally, Edom
    disappeared as a nation by that name: the little prophecy of Obadiah
    explains why.

    Esau's life of indifference to spiritual matters-- in spite of being born to one
    of the most privileged heritages possible --had finally caught up with him
    and it was too late even for regrets.

    Gen 27:41 . . Now Esau harbored a grudge against Jacob because
    of the blessing which his father had given him, and Esau said to
    himself: Let but the mourning period of my father come, and I will
    kill my brother Jacob.


    Well, he had a long wait ahead of him. Isaac lived another 45 years.

    But isn't it odd how the human spirit desires to kill-- not just desire for harm
    and misfortune; but to the gravest extreme?

    A few years ago, out here on a highway in Oregon, traffic was slowed. So a
    man tried to get ahead of it by driving on the shoulder to pass everyone up.
    As he went by a pick-up truck with some men in it, one of them threw a
    paper cup at him. He dropped back and fired a gun into the pick-up, killing
    one of the passengers.

    That is so typical of the feelings that overwhelm human beings when they're
    angry. They want blood, and no other form of revenge will satisfy. Is it
    possible that there is anybody out there who has never wished that
    somebody would die?

    Esau's personality changed dramatically. He went from an indifferent,
    carefree outdoor sportsman to a bitter, vindictive neurotic. The thought of
    his sissy brother ruling over him-- the superior son who was always admired
    and idolized for his strength and prowess --was just too much for Esau to
    bear.

    Gen 27:42a . . When the words of her older son Esau were reported
    to Rebecca,


    You know, if criminals would just keep their mouths shut they might get
    away with a whole lot more crimes. But no, they just have to tell somebody
    about it. Esau must have vented his bitterness to some of the servants who,
    in turn, leaked it to Rebecca.

    /
     
  17. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:42b-45

    Gen 27:42b-43a . . she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to
    him: Your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you.
    Now, my son, listen to me.


    Again showing herself to be a woman of quick decision, Rebecca called Jacob
    and told him exactly what to do. Not wishing for a war between her sons,
    she thought it best to send Jacob away for a while.

    Gen 27:43b-45 . . Flee at once to Haran, to my brother Laban. Stay
    with him a while, until your brother's fury subsides-- until your
    brother's anger against you subsides --and he forgets what you have
    done to him. Then I will fetch you from there. Let me not lose you
    both in one day!


    The word for "fury" is from chemah (khay-maw') and/or chema' (khay
    maw') which means: heat. The word for "anger" is from 'aph (af) which
    means: the nose or nostril; hence, the face, and occasionally a person; also
    (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire.

    (chuckle) Ol' Esau was indeed a passionate man. But his was not the
    lingering passion of a scented candle, or of a Yule log, which burn slowly for
    a long time. His rage burned more like a tumbleweed; a flashing,
    momentary flame that would soon pass. Esau might hold a grudge, but he
    wouldn't go on red faced and breathing heavy about it for very long.

    Moody, introspective people, often stay upset for long periods of time; which
    really exasperates the Esau types who usually get over things quickly. The
    Esau types are happy to let personal conflicts blow over and then move on.
    But the moody types are always wanting to dredge up unresolved hurts and
    argue about them again and again for the Nth time until someone finally
    listens.

    Some lawsuits, like the one between President Clinton and Paula Jones,
    often cannot be settled out of court because personalities like hers want an
    admission of guilt and an apology. Money is out of the question, and an
    insult to boot, because people like Paula Jones are never satisfied with
    anything less than a public hanging.

    Knowing Esau's nature, Rebecca figured his rage would pass away quickly
    and he would soon return to his typical carefree ways. Unfortunately, it was
    past twenty years before Jacob came back home, and there is no record that
    he ever saw his mom again.

    Rebecca's stratagem was indeed costly, but it could have gone much worse
    if Jacob had stayed home. Surely any attempt by Esau to kill Jacob would
    have resulted in Esau's death; the Lord protecting Jacob for future use. But I
    think Rebecca feared Esau might succeed and then become permanently
    alienated from the family like Cain was after killing his brother Abel. So she
    would, in effect, lose both boys in one day just as grandma Eve did.

    Rebecca-- the bright, discreet lass that she was --no doubt had counted all
    the costs of her scheme; and believed the issue was vital enough to require
    her to do what she did. As a matter of fact, later events proved that she was
    correct. Esau did soon get over his rage, and he prospered quite adequately
    in a material sense. Jacob never did really lord it over him, which was
    probably all Esau really cared about anyway.

    Both boys survived this calamitous event: hubby Isaac too. And Jacob went
    on to spawn the people of Israel, thus making a line to Messiah; by whom
    the Serpent's head would be crushed, and the entire world blessed beyond
    measure.

    They say all's well that ends well. Maybe. Rebecca's family was fractured,
    and she lost the companionship of a really good son. Hers was a sacrifice of
    the heart. I would really like to see Rebecca compensated for that some day.

    /
     
  18. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, your understanding that Jacob spent only 20 years in Haran does not stack up if we consider the scriptural record. If the first born to Jacob arrived 8 years after he arrived in Haran and Joseph was born six years before Jacob leave Haran then Lear only has seven years in which to have another six children, five sons and one daughter, which is highly unlikely, even if it is possible. As I have pointed out previously, Jacob spent 40 years in Haran before he return to see his father.

    Jacob goes to Haran when he is around 41-43 years old, probably within one year of receiving Isaac's blessing, and returns 40 years later.


    Shalom
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  19. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 27:46

    Gen 27:46 . . And Rebecca said to Isaac: I am weary of living
    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, I might as well die.

    Abraham purchased a cemetery plot from Heth's clan back in chapter 23.

    I think Rebecca was becoming very lonely for the company of daughters-in
    law of a kindred spirit. Christians considering marriage should really give
    some serious thought to how their parents feel about a prospective spouse.
    It's just not fair to force your choice down there throat with the haughty
    protest: It's MY life!

    No man is an island, entire of itself;
    Every man is a piece of the continent:
    A part of the main.

    -- John Donne, 1624 --

    All that people do, everything they say, every decision they make; has a
    ripple effect.

    You know, Isaac really wasn't a bad man. But something happened to him
    that made him lose interest in his patriarchal duties. I really do think the
    man was having problems with depression; which may have been associated
    somehow with his eyesight.

    What if you could never again see Orion and the Milky Way, nor a sunset,
    nor the colors of the rainbow, nor watch the flight of migrating geese or a
    buzzing humming bird, nor see the bees busily collecting their pollen, nor
    the wind shaking the trees, nor the fluorescent colors of Autumn foliage, nor
    the splendor of the Grand Canyon, nor a spider's web illuminated from
    behind by morning sunlight, nor the ocean's waves, nor fireworks on the 4th
    of July? And what about all the things you haven't seen yet? Defective
    eyesight would prevent you from ever seeing the things that you missed.

    There is a well known syndrome that occurs in men called male menopause;
    and also known by it's other name: andropause. Although male menopause
    is related to the aging process-- with resultant hormonal reductions --men's
    problems aren't caused by the very same kinds of changes that occur in
    women. Women's menopausal difficulties are chiefly chemical. But with men,
    it's mostly psychological.

    One of the primary symptoms of andropause is depression. Not just bouts of
    depression that come and go, but the chronic kind. Every day, every night:
    feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness plague men afflicted with chronic
    depression. They feel useless, they feel they'll never be any good again,
    they feel expendable; and they feel unnecessary. But worse, they feel
    unlovable; viz: not only do they feel like no one cares whether they live or
    die, but they feel it is impossible for anyone to care about them at all.

    It isn't unusual for men to rapidly deteriorate and die during the first
    eighteen months of their retirement years. Why? Because their jobs, and
    their careers, made their lives meaningful and worthwhile. It gave them a
    reason to live. It gave them strong feelings of value, it made them creative
    and gave them feelings of self worth and self esteem, and feelings of
    belonging in a man's world. At career's end, they feel expended and
    expendable; actually losing interest in living and it's almost as if they will
    themselves to pass away because there's nothing left to live for, and people
    begin treating them like children instead of mature adults.

    When we're young and spry, we look forward to the future with optimism
    and anticipation. But when we're older, there is nothing in life to look
    forward to anymore but falling apart and leaving it. All the good stuff is over.
    And it doesn't help having our bodies deteriorate along the way.

    I really think that Isaac's handicap robbed him of all reasonable optimism;
    and he saw no reason to go on living; especially at his age. Because of that,
    he had no spirit for patriarchal duties. When the boys brought him food that
    day, both of them asked their dad to sit up and eat. Sit up!? What the heck
    was he doing lying down? Well, I think he was lying around all day feeling
    sorry for himself, that's what. Life had become uninteresting to Isaac, and
    he was no longer one tough cookie; but rather, one whipped puppy.

    But not so Rebecca. No, No; not that quick-legged Aquarian. She was a
    fighter, she was a Rocky Balboa. Becky had a head on her shoulders. Ever
    the strong decisive woman, she put a bug in Isaac's ear to send Jacob away
    to find a spouse. Yes, she was being cunning again; but in the right of it too:
    as usual. It was a whole lot better for Jacob to depart with his dad's good
    will than running away from home without saying good-bye.

    Now that the blessing had actually been dispensed, and it was very clear to
    Isaac that Jacob was God's choice to perpetuate Abraham's covenant, there
    was no excuse to delay any longer in the matter of finding his son a suitable
    wife because men don't live forever, Their children have to take up the flame
    and carry it forward. Jacob was a virile man at this point in his life; but
    that's getting ready to change. This fact, combined with the immediate
    danger of another Cain-and-Abel episode, was more than enough reason for
    Isaac to send Jacob away.

    Rebecca's personal desire for Jacob to have a wife from her own people, one
    with whom she could have fellowship rather than the continual friction she
    experienced with Esau's Hittite wives, compelled her to convince Isaac that
    her own life wouldn't be worth living anymore if Jacob married the same
    kinds of impious women as his brother's.

    Was Rebecca a good wife? Even though she tricked her husband? And even
    though she was strong and decisive? I really believe she was because even
    in the US Navy, sometimes a captain needs his first officer to take over and
    run the ship till he's better.

    "The Lord God said; It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting
    helper for him." (Gen 2:18)

    Isaac benefited from his dad Abraham's wisdom; and he had the providence
    of God to thank in the selection of his wife. Rebecca really saved the day,
    and got Isaac back up on his patriarchal feet. If it wasn't for her, nothing
    would have turned out right. She was indeed the perfect mate for that
    particular man. Unlike Eve who brought her man down; Becky propped her
    man up. Some women, infected with misandry, are pleased when their man
    goes down.

    /
     
  20. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    -
    Genesis 28:1-5

    Gen 28:1a . . So Isaac sent for Jacob and blessed him. He
    instructed him:


    This is the first time, at least on record, that Isaac has shown any real
    interest in Jacob's spiritual condition. You just have to wonder if Jacob
    received any religious instruction at all from his dad. I would not be
    surprised if Rebecca has been Jacob's only tutor up to this point.

    Isaac went through a very traumatic experience. I think he was shaken, and
    it appears to have succeeded in bringing him back to his senses. Now he
    renders upon Jacob the full extent of Abraham's blessing; which he really
    should have done a long time ago.

    Gen 28:1b-4 . .You shall not take a wife from among the Canaanite
    women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your
    mother's father, and take a wife there from among the daughters of
    Laban, your mother's brother. May El Shaddai bless you, make you
    fertile and numerous, so that you become an assembly of peoples.
    May He grant the blessing of Abraham to you and your offspring,
    that you may possess the land where you are sojourning, which God
    assigned to Abraham.


    It would have been much wiser of course, if circumstances had permitted, to
    keep Jacob at home and dispatch a trusted servant up to Haran to fetch a
    wife back down to Canaan like Abraham did for Isaac. But at this point, I
    guess that option was out of the question. Isaac's patriarchal laxity is having
    quite a domino effect upon Jacob's future. He's going to be tricked into
    taking two wives, sisters at that, and squander twenty years of his life
    indentured to a very crafty, dishonest man.

    Gen 28:5 . .Then Isaac sent Jacob off, and he went to Paddan
    aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of
    Rebecca, mother of Jacob and Esau.


    I just have to wonder if Isaac would have thought of Laban at all if not for
    Rebecca putting a bug in his ear.

    Not only was Laban an Aramean, but so were Abraham, Lot, Sarah, and
    Rebecca. The boys (Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and Esau) were born in Canaan.
    So of what country were they? Canaan wasn't a united sovereignty like the
    USA. It was a frontier territory. Along the coast were Philistine colonies; the
    remainder populated by many communities scattered all over the place
    much like Native American peoples were in America's early days.

    I don't know about Ishmael and Esau, but Isaac and Jacob looked ahead to a
    future country that they would call home. That country didn't exist just yet
    in Jacob's day, but it would eventually, and he would be a somebody there--
    Abraham's covenant guarantees it. Those men haven't missed out on
    anything. According to the New Testament's Jesus, they will all return some
    day and live in that land as citizens in land promised to Abraham.

    "I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take
    their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of
    heaven." (Matt 8:11)

    The writer of Hebrews said, that although those three men were pilgrims in
    Canaan, they will one day live inside it as citizens in a town of their own.

    "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his
    inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was
    going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a
    foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs
    with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with
    foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Heb 11:8-10)

    I don't know exactly how much detail those men knew in their day; but that
    "city with foundations" is going to be some piece of work. (cf. Rev 21:2-27)

    /
     
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