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Sunday, November 4 2012

A Biography Of Jacob: The Second Twin

Studies in this complete series of A Biography Of Jacob:
1. The Second Twin 2. The Birthright 3. The Blessing 4. Stairway To Heaven
5. The Jacobites Of Syria 6. Speckled And Spotted 7. The Flight To Canaan 8. When Jacob Became Israel
9. Peace With Esau 10. The Return To Canaan 11. A Coat Of Many Colors 12. Israel In Egypt
13. Blessings And Prophecies 14. Homeward Bound

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.

1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren" (Matthew 1:1-2 KJV)

"1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." (Matthew 1:17 KJV)

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].

21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.

21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 21:7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age." (Genesis 21:1-7 KJV)

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).

Hagar and Ishmael

"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.

21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

21:15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

21:19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink [see The Wells Of Beersheba]. 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer." (Genesis 21:8-20 KJV)

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.

25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

25:7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. 25:8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 25:10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. 25:11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi." (Genesis 25:1-11 KJV)

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.

The Hills of Judea

"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.

25:21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.

25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them." (Genesis 25:19-26 KJV)

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)

"25:7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years." (Genesis 25:7 KJV)

"25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them." (Genesis 25:24-26 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?
(a) See A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan
(b) See Who Chose Rebekah?
(c) See The House Of Laban The Syrian

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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.


Copyright © Wayne Blank