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Sunday, January 1 2012
The House Of Laban The Syrian
Abraham was born in what is today Iraq (see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees). The journey that he made to what became known as the land of Israel (named after Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel') was accomplished in two stages, with a stop in what is today Syria.
"11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran." (Genesis 11:31-32 KJV)
Not all of the family group moved on from Syria; some remained and settled there as their new homeland. Years later, Abraham sent a servant back to Syria to find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac (see Who Chose Rebekah?). It was at that time that Laban was first recorded in Bible History i.e. 24:29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well" (Genesis 24:29 KJV).
"24:21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
Laban was then just the brother of Rebekah (both yet living in the house of their father), but by the time that all was done, Laban would be the brother-in-law of Isaac, the father of Rachel and Leah, the father-in-law and uncle of Jacob / Israel and the grandfather of most of the children of Israel from whom the Israelite tribes originated. It all began however with his sister Rebekah leaving to marry Isaac - as Laban permitted, after Rebekah agreed i.e. "And she said, I will go."
"24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 24:51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
"Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian"
Isaac and Rebekah were married. They eventually had fraternal twin sons, Jacob and Esau.
"25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
As written in the verses above, the strife and competition between Jacob and Esau began before they were even born - with Jacob almost always winning over Esau, culminating in the famous incident of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of pottage (see Pottage).
"25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
It was the same spirit of jealousy and rage that caused Cain to murder Abel (see The Sins Of The World's Oldest Profession), but the difference was that, apparently unlike Adam and Eve, Rebekah heard of Esau's plan to murder Jacob and did something to prevent it - she had Jacob return to her home town and live with her brother Laban "a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away" (that part was not known to her; as it turned out, Jacob didn't return until over twenty years had passed). That time began however in the same way that his mother Rebekah's time there ended - a meeting at the family well.
"27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
Fact Finder: When Jacob returned from the house of Laban in Syria, after twenty years, during which all but one of his children was born (only Benjamin was born in the land of Israel; see Bethlehem In History And Prophecy), what happened when he met Esau?
This Day In History, January 1
42 BC: The Roman Senate posthumously deified Julius Caesar - an irony and/or a hypocrisy, considering that he had been assassinated by Roman Senators in the Senate itself (see The Politics Of Rome).
193: The accession of Pertinax, the 19th Roman emperor (see New Testament Roman Emperors).
990: Russia adopted Rome's "Julian" Calendar (named after Julius Caesar; see Caesar).
1500: Portuguese explorers landed on the coast of South America; they named the place Rio de Janeiro ("River of January").
1502: Portuguese explorers landed on the coast of South America and named it Rio de Janeiro (River of January).
1515: King Louis XII of France (1498-1515) died at age 52. Francis, Duke of Angouleme, succeeded Louis as Francis I.
1583: Rome's Gregorian Calendar was adopted in Belgium (see Pope Gregory's Calendar).
1651: Charles II, son of Charles I, was crowned king of Scotland.
1773: In Olney, England, the hymn "Amazing Grace" was first played, by John Newton.
1785: London's oldest newspaper, The Times, began publishing as the Daily Universal Register.
1801: The Act of Union of England, Scotland and Ireland formed the United Kingdom.
1804: After leading a rebellion against the French colonial forces, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti independent of France.
1833: Britain claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
1863: Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that formally freed all slaves in the U.S.
1871: While German armies besieged Paris, a new German Reich, with the king of Prussia, Wilhelm, as its inaugural emperor, was proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.
1877: Queen Victoria of England was proclaimed empress of India.
1894: The Manchester Ship Canal in England began operation.
1901: The Commonwealth of Australia began with Edmond Barton as its first Prime Minister.
1912: China became a republic following the Wuchang Uprising.
1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German submarine U-24 sank the British battleship Formidable in the English Channel, near Plymouth.
1925: The capital city of Norway, known as Christiana since 1674, resumed its name of Oslo.
1934: Alcatraz became a U.S. Federal prison. The U.S. today has the highest civilian incarceration rate in the world, with 737 U.S. citizens in every 100,000 behind bars; the U.S. has only 5% of the world population, but its citizens compose 25% of the world's incarcerated (apart from the many military and "secret" political prisons that are operated by the U.S. military and CIA around the world).
1946: Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced that he was not a god.
1947: The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 came into effect, thereby converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen.
1950: In sovereign defiance to United Nations and Vatican pressure to make Jerusalem an "international city," nearly the entire Israeli government was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).
1956: Sudan gained independence from Britain and Egypt.
1958: The 1957 Treaty of Rome took effect, establishing a six-nation European Economic Community among West Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
1959: Cuban communist forces under Fidel Castro overthrew the CIA and Mafia-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista and took control of the government of Cuba. The people of Cuba went from being ruled by a fascist dictator to being ruled by a communist dictator.
1973: Britain, Ireland and Denmark entered the European Economic Community, now called the European Union.
1975: During the "Watergate" criminal investigations, John Ehrlichman (Counsel and Assistant to the President), John Mitchell (United States Attorney General) and H.R. Haldeman (White House Chief of Staff) were found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury.
1981: Greece was admitted as the 10th member of the European Economic Community.
1992: Boutros Boutros Ghali of Egypt succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru as United Nations Secretary General.
1993: Independent Czech and Slovak Republics were established from the former Czechoslovakia.