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Saturday, August 17 2013
Genesis 28: Jacob's Stairway To Heaven
According to the LORD's purpose, Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel, the wives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, were all unable to have children, until such time that the LORD (see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word) permitted and enabled it (for Sarah, see Genesis 18:9-14; for Rebekah, see below; for Rachel, see Genesis 30:1-2,22-24). In the case of Rebekah, Isaac's prayer for her was answered with twins - troublesome twins.
"25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated 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 enquire of the LORD.
Jacob had bested firstborn Esau for his birthright (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Birthright) and then his blessing (see Genesis 27: Esau's Blessing Taken By Jacob). The result was that "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."
"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.
With Rebekah's further manipulating, "Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother."
"28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. 28:2 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. 28:3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; 28:4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother." (Genesis 28:1-5 KJV)
Esau took the Canaanite explanation at face value. With no one else to marry (Jacob had headed north to their uncle Laban in Syria - and all of their cousins there), Esau married cousins from the family of another uncle, Ishmael, the half-brother of Jacob and Esau's father Isaac. The result was that Jacob married maternal cousins, daughters of his mother's brother, while Esau married paternal cousins, daughters of his father's brother.
"28:6 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; 28:7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram;
Esau did not pursue Jacob, even though he knew where Jacob had gone i.e. "Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram." While on the long journey north to Syria, from the southernmost area of what, over four centuries later (i.e. after the Exodus from Egypt), would be known as "Israel," Jacob stopped for the night and had a dream of "a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." Although the King James Version (and other translations) use the word "ladder," the actual Hebrew word, pronounced sool-lawm, means a mound with an upward path, as in a stairway. Interestingly, the word occurs only once in the entire Holy Bible - Jacob's "stairway to heaven."
"28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
When Jacob awoke, he knew that it had been more than just a dream. The next morning, Jacob "called the name of that place Bethel," dedicating himself to the LORD.
"28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
As we will cover in a subsequent study in this series, the LORD would rename Jacob as "Israel" upon his return to that same area.
"28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 28:21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." (Genesis 28:20-22 KJV)
Fact Finder: If the Israelites were to leave Egypt, "a land that is not theirs" ("And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years" Genesis 15:13 KJV) how could Abraham's "seed" possess the lands from the Nile River of Egypt to the Euphrates River of Iraq?
This Day In History, August 17
986: A Byzantine army was destroyed in the pass of Trajan's Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron. The Byzantine emperor Basil II narrowly escaped.
1424: The English fought the Scots and French at the Battle of Verneuil during the Hundred Years War.
1585: Spanish forces, led by Duke of Parma, took Antwerp after a 14-month siege in the Dutch War of Liberation.
1590: John White, the leader of 117 colonists sent in 1587 to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) to establish a colony, returned from a trip to England to find the settlement deserted. No trace of the settlers is ever found (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1743: The Peace of Abo was signed, ending the Russo-Swedish War of 1741-43.
1812: Napoleon Bonaparte's army defeated the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk during the Russian retreat to Moscow.
1833: The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic entirely on its own power, the Canadian ship Royal William, began its journey from Nova Scotia to The Isle of Wight.
1915: A Category 4 hurricane hit Galveston, Texas with winds at 217 km/hr (135 mph).
1915: Leo Frank, a Texas-born U.S. Jew, was lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia after the State Governor, believing that Frank's conviction was based more on racist anti-Semitism than factual evidence, commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment. Leading the frenzied lynch mob (the girl's actual murderer was very likely among those doing the lynching) were prominent "White Christian" citizens of the town, including a former Governor, the son of a Senator, a Methodist Minister, a State Legislator, and a former State Superior Court Judge. Frank was posthumously pardoned in 1986.
1918: Russian Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky was assassinated.
1943: During the Second World War, the U.S. Eighth Air Force lost 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt-Regensburg bombing mission.
1945: Indonesia claimed independence from the Netherlands with the setting up the Provisional Indonesian Republican Government.
1962: Peter Fechter, 18, was shot by East German guards as he attempted to flee across the Berlin Wall. Left to bleed to death, his case was the most notorious in the history of the Wall. In July 1996, two former guards were charged with manslaughter.
1969: A Category 5 Hurricane, named Camille, struck the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.
1969: Dr. Philip Blaiberg died in South Africa, 19 months and 15 days after receiving a heart transplant, a survival record at the time.
1970: The Russian Venera 7 was launched. It become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet - Venus.
1977: The Soviet icebreaker Arktika became the first ship to reach the North Pole.
1987: Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hess committed suicide by hanging with a lamp cord, at age 93, after 46 years in Spandau Prison. He had been the only inmate of the prison for the last 20 years of his life.
1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton testified before Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's grand jury regarding Clinton's sexual adventures with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. Clinton thereby became the first U.S. President to testify under oath (he had previously denied any adultery and fornication with the young assistant) before a grand jury.
1999: A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Izmit, Turkey; over 17,000 people were killed and 44,000 were injured.
2005: Over 500 terrorist bombs were detonated 300 locations across Bangladesh.