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Thursday, August 18 2011

The Rachel Prophecies

Jacob and Syrian-born Rachel were married and lived together in Syria (see The Syrian Marriage Wells) for twenty years before they made their journey to what is today called the land of Israel.

"35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. 35:5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

35:6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. 35:7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

35:8 But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died [see also Who Chose Rebekah?], and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.

35:9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. 35:10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 35:12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 35:13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.

35:14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. 35:15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel." (Genesis 35:1-15 KJV)

Of all of the Israelite patriarchs (e.g. from Levi came the Levites, from Judah came the Jews etc.; see Are Levites 'Jews'?), only Benjamin, the youngest son of Rachel, was born in Israel. It was not a joyous birth - having just arrived, Rachel died, near Bethlehem, giving birth to Benjamin. Rachel's tomb has become one of the most well-known places in Israel (even appearing on bank notes and postage stamps, as shown in the illustration below).

"35:16 And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. 35:17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. 35:18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, for she died that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

35:19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. 35:20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day." (Genesis 35:16-20 KJV)

"Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD"

Many years later, when Jacob's own life was nearing an end in Egypt (see The Exodus Into Egypt), Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Rachel's firstborn son Joseph, as his own - in effect promoting them from grandsons to sons ("thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine"). Why? He did it in order that he could have more sons with Rachel, by means of Rachel's son Joseph. The many prophecies that were thereafter made about Ephraim and Manasseh were made possible by means of the memory, the memorial, of Rachel.

Rachel's Tomb

"48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 48:2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

48:3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 48:4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. 48:6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. 48:7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.

48:8 And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these?

48:9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place.

And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. 48:10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.

48:11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath showed me also thy seed.

48:12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 48:13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, 48:16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

48:17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. 48:18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

48:19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 48:20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

48:21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers." (Genesis 48:1-21 KJV)

The memory of Rachel was again used in a prophecy when Boaz of Bethlehem married Ruth of Moab ("The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel). From their line came King David.

"4:9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.

4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. 4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. 4:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him.

4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. 4:17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David." (Ruth 4:9-17 KJV)

Rachel was again spoken of in prophecy at the time of the birth of the Messiah - regarding the slaughter of the innocents by Herod (see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

The Holy Scriptures

"2:11 And when they were come into the house [see Why Did The Magi Come?], they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night [see also What Happened At Night?], and departed into Egypt: 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." (Matthew 2:12-18 KJV)

Many have debated the meaning of the prophecy from Jeremiah, as quoted in Matthew. If one reads the entire prophecy however, in context, directly from Jeremiah, it becomes obvious that is was not spoken of as a matter of dead-end hopelessness and grief, but of a future time in which the birth of the Messiah will bring about the end of grief - when even Rachel herself will be resurrected i.e. finish "31:15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not" (Jeremiah 31:15 KJV) with what was said with it in the very next verses: "31:16 Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. 31:17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border." (Jeremiah 31:16-17 KJV)

"31:7 For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. 31:9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn [see The Gathering of Israel and Judah]. 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. 31:11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. 31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all [see Moriah: Separating The Wheat From The Chaff]. 31:13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. 31:14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.

31:15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

31:16 Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. 31:17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. 31:19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.

31:21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities. 31:22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man." (Jeremiah 31:7-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why was the Messiah born in Bethlehem?
See Why Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth And Capernaum?


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This Day In History, August 18

293 BC: The earliest known Roman pagan temple was founded, to Venus. Most of the ancient Babylonian/Roman idolatry has been perpetuated by the Church of Rome (and her "Protestant daughters"), including their Ishtar ("Easter") festival and worship on their "sun day" (see The Antichrist Calendar and Why Observe The True Sabbath?; also Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope? and Born In The Tabernacles Season).

1227: Mongol emperor Genghis Khan died.

1503: Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) died. His corrupt behavior contributed to the Protestant Reformation (although the "Protestant" churches have maintained almost all of the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines right to this day; see Antichristians).

1559: Pope Paul IV, pope from 1555 to 1559, died. His reign was marked by his implacable opposition to Spain, renewing the war between France and the Hapsburgs.

1587: Virginia Dare became the first recorded child of English parents to be born in New England. She, along with the rest of the early settlement at Roanoke, later disappeared without a trace.

1698: After invading Denmark and capturing Sweden, Charles XII of Sweden forced Frederick IV of Denmark to sign the Peace of Travendal.

1759: A French fleet was destroyed at Lagos, Portugal, by the British under Admiral Boscawen.

1825: Scottish explorer Alexander Gordon Laing became the first European to reach Timbuktu, now in Mali. He was murdered there the following month.

1917: Fire destroyed nearly half of the city of Thessaloniki, Greece (known in the Bible from the Thessalonians who lived there). Over 70,000 people were left homeless.

1932: Scottish aviator Jim Mollison made the first westbound transatlantic solo flight, from Portmarnock, Ireland, to Pennfield, New Brunswick, Canada.

1943: The Royal Air Force Bomber Command completed the first major strike against the German missile development facility at Peenemunde.

1961: Construction of the Berlin Wall was completed.

1969: The first commercially-produced oral contraceptive, Enovid 10, was launched in Skokie, Illinois.

1971: Australia and New Zealand announced that they were withdrawing their troops from the Vietnam civil war.

1983: Hurricane Alicia killed 22 people and caused 1 billion dollars of damage in Texas.

2005: An electrical generation failure affected nearly 100 million people on the Indonesian island of Java.






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