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Saturday, November 17 2012
A Biography Of Jacob: Homeward Bound
Jacob went to Egypt knowing that he would not return, alive - but that he would return. The LORD (see Who Is The LORD?) promised Jacob "I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes."
"46:1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had [see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and A Biography Of Jacob: Speckled And Spotted], and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac [see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac].
Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years, where his family prospered; "they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly."
"47:27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen [see Paul's Geography Lesson]; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.
Jacob gave his son Joseph the instructions for his funeral - in the family tomb at Hebron, where "they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah."
"49:29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 49:30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan [see A Biography Of Abraham: Mamre in Hebron], which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth." (Genesis 49:29-32 KJV)
Jacob then died a peaceful death from old age, "and was gathered unto his people."
"49:33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost and What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?], and was gathered unto his people." (Genesis 49:33 KJV)
Joseph had his father "embalmed" by the Egyptian method of mummification i.e. a combination of drying, preservation with various plant and chemical substances, and wrapping.
"50:1 And Joseph [see A Biography Of Jacob: A Coat Of Many Colors] fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. 50:2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. 50:3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days." (Genesis 50:1-3 KJV)
Joseph then led a very large Egyptian funeral procession to the land of Canaan: "With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house."
"50:4 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 50:5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan [see also The Sin Of Canaan], there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.
Jacob's body was then placed in the family tomb at Hebron, where it remains to this day.
"50:10 And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 50:11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan.
As we have covered in this series, Jacob was born in the land of Canaan, lived in Syria for twenty years, returned to Canaan, and then moved to Egypt to escape a great famine. Jacob never knew the land of Israel in his lifetime, but Jacob did know when he would get there, "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
"11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10 KJV)
Jacob is yet today in his grave, along with everyone who has died through the ages. There are resurrections coming however, from which Jacob, and all who followed the LORD when they had the opportunity to do so, will arrive in the Promised Land (see the Fact Finder question below).
"8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Fact Finder: (a) When is Jacob going to be resurrected? (b) What is the other kingdom that the Messiah spoke of in the verses quoted above, whose "children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth"?
This Day In History, November 17
375: Valentinian, Emperor of the western Roman empire, died of apoplexy (a stroke) in Pannonia (a Roman province in central Europe) after being enraged by the insolence of "barbarian" envoys who were defeating Rome's legions in the forests of Germany (see also Hermann) and refusing to bow before the defeated "divine" Caesar.
1278: 680 Jews were arrested (293 were hanged) in England for counterfeiting coins.
1292: John Balliol became King of Scotland.
1539: Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto arrived at the location of what is today Mobile, Alabama.
1558: The coronation Queen Elizabeth I of England. She restored the Church of England, which had been established by King Henry VIII in 1534, after her half-sister Queen Mary (Mary Tudor) had turned England back under the control of the Church of Rome.
1636: Henrique Diaz, Brazilian general, won a decisive battle against Dutch colonial forces in Brazil.
1796: Napoleon defeated an Italian army near the Alpone River in Italy.
1855: Scottish explorer David Livingston discovered (for Europeans) Victoria Falls in Africa.
1869: The modern Suez Canal opened after 10 years of construction.
1903: The Russian Socialist movement divided into two factions, the Bolsheviks who supported Vladimir Lenin, and the Mensheviks who followed Georgi Plekhanov. By the 1980s the socialist economic system had proven itself to be a dismal failure.
1913: The first ship crossed through the Panama Canal.
1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby's troops entered the Jerusalem hills prior to the taking of the city (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration). That same day, German General von Falkenhayn left Jerusalem for Nablus, the Biblical Shechem, 40 miles to the north, while falsely assuring the Ottomans (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) that reinforcements would be sent.
1918: Influenza deaths in the U.S. were reported as higher than the number of U.S. troops killed in battle during the First World War (although the U.S. entered the First World War during only the last 18 months of the 4 year war that devastated Europe from 1914 to 1918; listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1919: King George V of the United Kingdom proclaimed Armistice Day. It was later observed as Remembrance Day, while a U.S. observance of Armistice Day became known as Veteran's Day.
1941: Less than a month before Japan's attack on the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Japanese Prime Minister General Tojo outlined a three-point plan he said was aimed at peace in East Asia.
1954: General Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egyptian head of state following the fall of President Mohamed Naguib.
1966: The Great Leonid meteor storm was observed in western North America, estimated at 144,000 meteors per hour / 40 per second - the most intense meteor shower ever observed. The meteor storm lasted less than 1 hour and was caused when the earth passed through a dense patch of the Leonid meteor stream. Leonids enter the atmosphere at 162,000 m.p.h., the fastest of any shower meteors, and burn up at an altitude between 80 and 55 miles.
1967: The U.S. unmanned Surveyor 6 spacecraft became the first man-made vehicle to land and take off from the Moon (the Russians were the first to land an unmanned vehicle on the moon).
1970: The Russian Luna 17 spacecraft landed an 8-wheeled lunar vehicle on the moon.
1973: During the Watergate break in investigation, Richard Nixon made his famous denial to the Associated Press, "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook." Nixon resigned the next year when he could no longer deny and impede his impeachment and criminal prosecution.
1997: Muslim terrorists disguised as police opened fire on tourists in Egypt, killing over 70 British, Swiss, German and Japanese people.