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Monday, August 19 2013
Genesis 30: Speckled and Spotted - How Did He Do It?
The original purpose of Jacob's journey to his Iraqi family in Syria (see Genesis 12: Abram's Mission; also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq) was to have been "a few days" of refuge: "27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee [see Genesis 27: Esau's Blessing Taken By Jacob]. 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 27:44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away." (Genesis 27:42-44 KJV). It turned out to be over twenty years, primarily because of marriage contracts made between Jacob and his uncle Laban.
The first children were born to Leah (see Genesis 29: Jacob In Syria), much to Rachel's dismay.
"30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
As childless Sarah had done with Hagar (see Genesis 16: The LORD's Seed Promise To Hagar and Genesis 25: The Birth of Jacob and Esau), Rebekah arranged for her handmaid, Bilhah, to become a surrogate wife and mother.
"30:3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
Leah also arranged for her handmaid, Zilpah, to become a surrogate wife and mother. Leah herself later had two more sons, and Jacob's only daughter, Dinah (see Dinah Of Israel).
"30:9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. 30:10 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son. 30:11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
The LORD later enabled Rachel to have a child as she wanted. Her firstborn son was Joseph. Her second-born, Benjamin, was born a few years later - the only son of Jacob not born in Syria, and with the tragic loss of Rachel's life (see The Rachel Prophecies; see also Jacob's Blessing Of Ephraim And Manasseh).
"30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 30:23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: 30:24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son." (Genesis 30:22-24 KJV)
When the obligations for the marriage contracts were fulfilled, Jacob told Laban that he wanted to return home to Canaan (see Camped Out In Canaan).
"30:25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country. 30:26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee." (Genesis 30:25-28 KJV)
Laban was understandably reluctant to let Jacob leave - with his daughters and grandchildren. Laban then offered to make Jacob, in effect, a partner ("Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it" is hardly an employee any longer). Jacob agreed, with a simple arrangement to divide the flocks and herds between them: "I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire."
"30:27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake. 30:28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
Under normal circumstances, it was a safe investment for Laban. He knew, as already proven, that Jacob's work would increase the stock, and he knew from experience what percentage of his stock had, and would have, the markings that defined their business arrangement.
"30:34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word. 30:35 And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 30:36 And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks." (Genesis 30:34-36 KJV)
Many have debated, even tried to repeat, what Jacob did that caused most of the stock to be born with the sort of markings that made them the property of Jacob.
"30:37 And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. 30:38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. 30:39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted. 30:40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle. 30:41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. 30:42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's. 30:43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses." (Genesis 30:37-43 KJV)
How did Jacob do it? Both men obviously had a good working understanding of genetics - the reason that both men felt safe with their natural markings of ownership deal. But it was not entirely natural. The LORD had made known to Jacob that He would cause the flocks and herds to be born with the sort of markings that would make them the property of Jacob - it didn't matter which man had chosen. Why did the LORD do it? Because "I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee."
"31:10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.
This Day In History, August 19
14: Octavian, later known as Augustus, the first Roman Emperor and adopted son of Julius Caesar, died (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). Augustus was the Emperor at the time of the Messiah's birth ("2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed" Luke 2:1 KJV). Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius, who was the Caesar at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
1099: The Church of Rome's armies of the First Crusade defeated the Saracens (a European term for Muslims) at the Battle of Ascalon, one month after they had captured Jerusalem (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad; also A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions and The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).
1477: Maximilian I, son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, married Mary of Burgundy and acquired the Burgundian possessions in the Netherlands and France (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1504: The Battle of Knockdoe in Ireland; the Hiberno-Norman de Burghs (Burkes) against the Anglo-Norman Fitzgeralds.
1561: Mary Queen of Scots arrived in Scotland to assume the throne after spending 13 years in France.
1587 Sigismund III, son of John of Sweden, was elected King of Poland.
1612: Three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury, known as the "Samlesbury witches," were put on trial for witchcraft. It became one of the most famous witch trials in English history (see also What Is Sorcery?).
1666: During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, Rear Admiral Robert Holmes led a raid on the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships. The foray later became known as "Holmes's Bonfire."
1692: During the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials, a woman and four men, including a clergyman, were executed after being convicted of witchcraft.
1768: The Saint Isaac's Cathedral was founded in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
1861: The first ascent of Weisshorn, one of the highest summits in the Alps.
1880: French acrobat Blondin walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls with his manager on his back.
1919: Afghanistan was granted full independence from the United Kingdom.
1934: Adolf Hitler became "der Fuehrer" of Germany after nearly 90% of voters gave him their support (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1942: The Dieppe Raid. During the Second World War, 4,963 Canadian and 1,075 British commandos, 50 U.S. Army Rangers, and 20 inter-Allied commandos launched a coastal attack on the heavily fortified German-held Dieppe. Of the 6,108 troops involved, only about 2,500 returned. The rest were killed or captured. Although the mission was a disaster, the lessons learned from it contributed to the success of the D-Day Normandy invasion that followed 2 years later.
1953: During the "Cold War" between Western fascism and Eastern communism, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Britain's MI6 ("Military Intelligence, Section 6") helped to overthrow the Soviet-allied government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and installed the dictator Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
1953: Israel's parliament conferred Israeli citizenship posthumously on all Jews killed by the Nazis during the years of the Holocaust (1933-45) in Europe.
1954: The U.S. Congress approved a bill outlawing the Communist Party.
1960: U.S. U-2 (a high-altitude spy plane) pilot Francis Gary Powers, who had been shot down by the Russians, was sentenced by a Moscow court to 10 years for espionage. He was later set free in exchange for a Russian spy who had been captured in New York.
1989: Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski nominated Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be the first non-communist Prime Minister of Poland in 42 years.
1991: The government of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was temporarily overthrown by a military coup.
2003: A Hamas terrorist suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem killed 23 Israelis, 7 of them children.
2009: Terrorist bombings in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 101 people and injured 565 others (see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).