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Sunday, August 18 2013

Genesis 29: Jacob In Syria

Jacob (the LORD hadn't changed his name to "Israel" yet - that would happen on the return journey, two decades later; see Where Jacob Became Israel) arrived in Syria as a fugitive, seeking refuge from the deadly wrath of his brother Esau (see Genesis 27: Esau's Blessing Taken By Jacob and Genesis 28: Jacob's Stairway To Heaven). It was nevertheless no accident that he immediately came into contact with his relatives of the family of Abraham that the LORD had chosen to fulfill the Messianic branch of Abraham's seed (see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq, Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates and Genesis 22: Isaac's Burnt Offering). Although Jacob didn't realize it when he arrived, it would be his home for the next twenty years. While he arrived poor and alone, he would return home as a wealthy patriarch with two wives and two concubines with eleven sons (of all of the Israelite tribal patriarchs, only Benjamin wasn't born in Syria; see The Rachel Prophecies) and one daughter (Dinah; see Dinah Of Israel).

"29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.

29:2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth. 29:3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in his place." (Genesis 29:1-3 KJV)

The meeting of Jacob and the family of his wives was similar to the centuries-later meeting of Moses to the family of Zipporah in the Sinai (see also Moses And Zipporah).

Jacob and Rachel at the Well

29:4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye?

And they said, Of Haran are we.

29:5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor?

And they said, We know him.

29:6 And he said unto them, Is he well?

And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.

29:7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.

29:8 And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep. 29:9 And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep: for she kept them.

29:10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. 29:11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 29:12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father." (Genesis 29:4-12 KJV)

There is no way that Rebekah could have told her brother Laban that Jacob was coming beforehand - there was no means of communication, other than the first to come with the news. The running-for-his-life Jacob was himself the first arrival.

"29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh.

And he abode with him the space of a month.

29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?" (Genesis 29:13-15 KJV)

As was customary of the time, Jacob made a formal agreement with Laban for the marriage of his daughter to Jacob.

"29:16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

29:19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her." (Genesis 29:16-21 KJV)

Jacob's mother Rebekah had been the mastermind of Jacob's elaborate posing as Esau to get Esau's blessing. It seems that Rebekah and Laban were a brother and sister of similar manipulative character. Laban concocted a similar switch in the darkness, but this time, it was Jacob who was deceived. When the ruse was discovered the next morning, Jacob hypocritically protested what had been done to him.

Rachel and Leah

"29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.

29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

29:24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.

29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

29:29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.

29:30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years." (Genesis 29:22-30 KJV)

Although Jacob agreed to the marriage, there was no love from him for Leah, emotionally or physically, at the beginning. "And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren." The great irony of that, in the end, was that Leah became the mother of more children of Jacob/Israel (including Judah) than any of the other three women - and she is today the only wife of Jacob buried with him in the family tomb at Hebron (see also Jacob's Mummy).

"29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

29:32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

29:33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.

29:34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.

29:35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing." (Genesis 29:31-35 KJV)

Fact Finder: Judah was born in Syria, as a son of Jacob, before the LORD changed Jacob's name to Israel. Who were the first "Jews"?
See Who Were The First Jews?


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This Day In History, August 18

684: Umayyad partisans defeated the forces of Ibn al-Zubayr at the Battle of Marj Rahit, thereby bringing about Umayyad control of Syria (see also Damascus In History And Prophecy).

1304: The indecisive Battle of Mons-en-Pevele was fought between armies of the French and the Flemish.

Thessaloniki 1503: Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) died. His corrupt behavior contributed to the Protestant Reformation (although the "Protestant" churches have maintained almost all of the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines right to this day; see Antichristians).

1559: Pope Paul IV, pope from 1555 to 1559, died. His reign was marked by his implacable opposition to Spain, renewing the war between France and the Hapsburgs.

1572: Huguenot King Henry III of Navarre married Margaret of Valois, in an attempt to make peace between Protestants and Catholics in France.

1634: Urbain Grandier, a priest accused and convicted of sorcery (see also What Is Sorcery?), was burned alive in Loudun, France. Most historians believe that Grandier was the simply victim of a politically motivated persecution led by the powerful Cardinal Richelieu.

1698: After invading Denmark and capturing Sweden, Charles XII of Sweden forced Frederick IV of Denmark to sign the Peace of Travendal.

1759: A French fleet was destroyed at Lagos, Portugal, by the British under Admiral Boscawen.

1783: A massive fireball meteor was seen over the east coast of Britain.

1825: Scottish explorer Alexander Gordon Laing became the first European to reach Timbuktu, now in Mali. He was murdered there the following month.

1868: The French astronomer Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen discovered helium.

1917: Fire destroyed nearly half of the city of Thessaloniki, Greece (known in the Bible from the Thessalonians who lived there; see 1 Thessalonians: Prove All Things, Hold Fast What Is Good and 2 Thessalonians: The Falling Away Of The Son Of Perdition). Over 70,000 people were left homeless.

1932: Scottish aviator Jim Mollison made the first westbound transatlantic solo flight, from Portmarnock, Ireland, to Pennfield, New Brunswick, Canada.

1943: The Royal Air Force Bomber Command completed the first major strike against the German missile development facility at Peenemunde.

1961: Construction of the Berlin Wall was completed.

1969: The first commercially-produced oral contraceptive, Enovid 10, was launched in Skokie, Illinois.

1971: Australia and New Zealand announced that they were withdrawing their troops from the Vietnam civil war.

1983: Hurricane Alicia killed 22 people and caused 1 billion dollars of damage in Texas.

2005: An electrical generation failure affected nearly 100 million people on the Indonesian island of Java.





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