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Monday, July 4 2011

Jacob's Dreams

The English word "dream" originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word, dredem, which meant joy, or melody. It later came to be used to refer to "a series of mental images and emotions occurring during sleep" (WordWeb Dictionary by Princeton University). Perhaps as an indication that people in ancient times had more good dreams (i.e. because it originally meant joy, or melody), the English word "dread" (which means "causing fear or dread or terror") later originated from the same root word as dream. Apparently, "nightmares" (which originated from a curious combination of Anglo-Saxon and Greek words which mean night phantom) came later than "sweet dreams" (see also Is He Out Of Your Mind?).

"Dream" is used to translate a number of different Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures (keeping in mind that much of the New Testament was spoken in Hebrew, but recorded in Greek; see Translation Of Translations).

The Hebrew word pronounced khawl-ome means to dream, however it originated from a root word which meant swirling, as in sand (perhaps, a connection to the non-Biblical saying of the "sandman" bringing sleep). An example of where that original Hebrew word is used:

The Holy Scriptures

"20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream [i.e. khawl-ome] by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife." (Genesis 20:3 KJV)

The Hebrew word pronounced khay-lem means to dream, but originated from a root word meaning bind or to make dumb i.e. unable to speak. The word was very appropriately used (something that is missed entirely in translations from the Hebrew) when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon required his "wise men" to not only tell him the meaning of the dream (see Nebuchadnezzar's Dream), but to first prove their claimed power by telling the king what the dream itself was - according to the literal meaning of that word, the king did not speak it to them.

"2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream i.e. khay-lem], and we will show the interpretation. 2:5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream [i.e. khay-lem], with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill." (Daniel 2:4-5 KJV)

The Greek word pronounced own-ar means dream, from a root word that means message or gift. Example:

"1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream [i.e. own-ar; see also What Happened At Night?], saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 1:20 KJV)

The Greek word pronounced en-oop-nee-on, means literally something that is seen while asleep. In this example from Acts 2:17, it is used to quote, and to translate, Joel 2:28 which very appropriately used the Hebrew word khay-lem, as explained above, in which the "dumb" will be made to speak.

"2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams [i.e. en-oop-nee-on]" (Acts 2:17 KJV)

"This is none other but the House of God, and this is the gate of heaven"

Jacob, the grandson of Abraham (see What Made Abraham Righteous?), the son of Isaac and the (fraternal) twin brother of Esau, was a key personage in Bible History and Prophecy. While fleeing north to his mother Rebekah's hometown in Syria (where all but 3 of the Israelite patriarchs would be born - only Benjamin was born in "Israel"; Ephraim and Manasseh were born in Egypt, all of the others in Syria) to escape the wrath of his brother Esau (see Blessing The Favorites, Why Did Esau Lose The Blessing? and Cain and Esau), Jacob had his famous "ladder to heaven" / "stairway to heaven" dream at Bethel. The prophecy was given to Jacob, before "Israel" existed (the LORD renamed Jacob as "Israel" later, as explained below).

Jacob's Dream

"28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

28:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 28:21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." (Genesis 28:10-22 KJV)

Jacob's stay with his uncle Laban was extremely profitable for him. He arrived there with nothing, but left with two wives, two concubines, 11 sons and a daughter, and great flocks and herds.

"31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. 31:2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.

31:3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.

31:4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 31:5 And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. 31:6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 31:7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 31:8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstreaked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstreaked. 31:9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me." (Genesis 31:1-9 KJV)

While many have debated the methodology and genetics of Jacob's "ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled" breeding program that made him so wealthy, the key fact is that it was the LORD that made it happen - as the LORD instructed Jacob in a dream.

"31:10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled. 31:11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 31:12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred." (Genesis 31:10-13 KJV)

Along with Jacob's "ladder" dream, his being renamed as "Israel" is one of the most well-known events of the Bible. That is also appropriate because the LORD commanded Jacob to make that return journey by referring to where the "ladder" dream took place - in the land, and in the mind, of "Israel."

"32:22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. 32:23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh.

And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

32:27 And he said unto him, What is thy name?

And he said, Jacob.

32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name.

And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (Genesis 32:22-30 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did a dream make it possible for Jacob's son Joseph to become the Prime Minister of Egypt?
See Pharaoh's Butler and Baker and Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt

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This Day In History, July 4

1064: Chinese astronomers recorded what they called a bright new "guest star" in the constellation of Taurus. The results of that supernova ("a star that explodes and becomes extremely luminous in the process") can be seen today as the Crab Nebula.

1187: Saladin's Muslim forces defeated Church of Rome "Crusader" forces at Battle of the Horns of Hattin, overlooking the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias. The victory led to Saladin's capture of Jerusalem from the self-proclaimed "King of Jerusalem," Guy of Lusignan (France).

1190: Richard I of England and Philip II of France started on the Third Crusade.

1609: French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovered (for Europeans; the native people already knew that the lake was there) what was later named Lake Champlain in New York.

1634: The city of Trois-Rivières was founded in "New France" (Quebec, Canada).

1653: "The Barebones Parliament" began; a hand-picked legislative group of 140 men convened by Oliver Cromwell following the Puritan victory in the English Civil War. The name was derived as a mockery of one of its members, "Praise-God" Barbon.

1776: The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia by representatives of all 13 of the discontented colonies that had been created in the barren wilderness of "New England," beginning nearly two centuries earlier with the English settlement of Jamestown in 1607 (named after King James I; the King James Version of the Holy Bible was also named after him).

1831: Samuel Francis Smith wrote the lyrics for America (also known as "My Country 'Tis Of Thee"). Many historians find it very strange that the music that he used for his "patriotic" hymn was the very same as that already long-used for England's national anthem God Save the King - hence the reason that, to this day, God Save the King/Queen and America cannot be distinguished merely from the music.

1884: The Statue of Liberty was presented to the U.S. by the people of France.

1904: Construction of the Panama Canal began.

1918: Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI ascended to the throne (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1918: Bolshevik rebel forces in Russia seized and murdered Tsar Nicholas II ("Tsar" is the Russian form of Caesar, as is the German Kaiser) and his family. The revolution began 70 years of communism in Russia.

1946: After nearly 4 centuries of foreign rule by one colonial nation after another, the Philippines achieved full independence from the U.S.

1947: The British Parliament introduced the "Indian Independence Bill" to divide British India into two sovereign countries - India and Pakistan.

1987: In France, Hitler-era Gestapo (in German, "Gestapo" was an abbreviation for "State Police") chief Klaus Barbie (known as the "Butcher of Lyon") was convicted of crimes against humanity and was sentenced to life imprisonment (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1995: Canadian Navy submarines recovered the bell of the iron ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, that sank on November 10 1975 in Lake Superior with the loss of 29 men. The sinking was made famous by Gordon Lightfoot's The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.


Copyright © Wayne Blank