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Sunday, November 4 2012
A Biography Of Jacob: The Second Twin
Much of the Holy Bible is about "Israel," a name that was given to Jacob by the LORD (see Who Is The LORD? and What Does Word of God Mean To You?), in preparation for the Messiah's own human ancestry.
"1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Providentially, while the other lines from Abraham were easily prolific in descendants, the wife of Abraham, Sarah, and the wife of Isaac, Rebekah, were unable to have children until the LORD endowed them to do so.
Sarah had been childless through her lifetime ("16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children" Genesis 16:1 KJV), plus she was then past the natural time of child bearing anyway ("18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women." Genesis 18:11 KJV). Nevertheless, according to the will of the LORD, "Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."
"21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken [see A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah].
Jacob had many cousins - the descendants of whom constitute most of the nations of the Middle East today (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches and Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates). Despite her harsh treatment and abandonment (by Abraham and Sarah, not, as we will read, by the LORD), from Hagar and her son Ishmael alone came twelve patriarchs of nations: "25:12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 25:13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 25:14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 25:15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations." (Genesis 25:12-16 KJV).
"21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian [see A Biography Of Abraham: Hagar And Ishmael], which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
Abraham remarried after the death of Sarah. From Keturah came more lines of Abrahamic cousins of Jacob / Israel.
"25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 25:2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 25:4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
Just as Isaac's mother Sarah had been, Rebekah "was barren," but "the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived." There was a major difference between Sarah and Rebekah however - while the LORD made Sarah able to have a child, the LORD enabled Rebekah to have twins, fraternal twins ("derived from two separate fertilized ova"), not identical twins ("twins developed from the same fertilized ovum, having the same genetic material"). Jacob was the second-born twin, beginning a struggle for preeminence and domination that would continue between the brothers long after they were born.
"25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: 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.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are frequently spoken of together. But how well did they personally know each other? Jacob knew his father Isaac for a long time ("35:28 And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. 35:29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him" Genesis 35:28 KJV), but how long did Jacob know his grandfather Abraham?
According to the Scriptures, Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Abraham died at age 175, when Isaac was 75 years old. Jacob was born when Isaac was 60 years old. Therefore, Abraham died when Jacob was 15 years old.
"21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him." (Genesis 21:5 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) Was Jacob's grandfather Abraham born in Iraq? (b) Was Jacob's mother Rebekah born in Syria? (c) Were Jacob's two wives and two concubines, the mothers of the twelve Israelite patriarchs, born in Syria? Were all but one (Benjamin) of Jacob's children born in Syria?
This Day In History, November 4
1307: The Swiss Confederation declared independence from Austria.
1493: Christopher Columbus "discovered" Guadeloupe (it wasn't a discovery to the native people who were already there) during his second voyage to the "New World" (for a map of where Columbus actually went on his voyages, see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1520: Christian II of Denmark was crowned king of Sweden.
1576: During the Eighty Years' War, the Spanish defeated the Walloons and took Antwerp (in what is today Belgium).
1605: "The Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the British Houses of Parliament was discovered.
1646: English colonists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a law making it illegal to deny that the Bible was the Word of God (see also What Does Word of God Mean To You?). The penalty for violators was execution.
1760: Frederick II of Prussia defeated Austrian forces at the Battle of Torgau.
1854: During the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale and a team of 38 other nurses arrived in the Crimea to set up a military hospital for British troops there.
1862: Richard Gatling patented the "machine gun," the hand-cranked "Gatling Gun".
1890: The first electrified underground railway was officially opened in London, England.
1922: British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of ancient Egyptian king Tutankhamen.
1942: British and Canadian forces under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery defeated German forces under Erwin Rommel after the 12-day Battle of El Alamein.
1956: Soviet military forces occupied Budapest and crushed the Hungarian uprising; over 10,000 Hungarians died in the brief revolution, and another 200,000 fled. Imre Nagy was ousted as prime minister and was replaced by Janos Kadar.
1966: A British newspaper quoted John Lennon as saying that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." The statement was regarded as arrogant blasphemy by many people (see also Blaspheming The Name Of God), resulting in worldwide protests where Beatle records were sometimes burned.
1979: In response to the Shah of Iran (a CIA-backed dictator) being given exile by the U.S. after he fled the country, Iranian militants invaded the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, beginning the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis. They demanded the return of the Shah in exchange for the hostages.
1995: Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah), was assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv by Yigal Amir, a young right-wing Jewish Orthodox (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism) extremist.
2008: Barack Obama became the first black man to be elected President of the U.S.