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Sunday, October 22 2017

The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Zilpah

Studies In This Series:
The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Leah
The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Rachel
The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Bilhah
The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Zilpah
The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Asenath

"And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher"

Zilpah, from the Hebrew name pronounced zeel-paw, was a servant of Laban (see Jacob In Syria) who was given to Laban's daughter Leah as a wedding present.

As with Leah's sister Rachel's servant Bilhah, who was given by Laban in the same way, the "gifts" provided unintended consequences later - even though both Rachel and Leah wanted their servants to become mothers of some of Jacob's children (the LORD had not yet renamed Jacob as Israel - that happened when the family group was leaving Syria for the land of Canaan; see The Origin Of Israel).

For Zilpah, it meant that she eventually became the mother of two of the Israelite patriarchs - Gad and Asher.

Woman

"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)

The formal order of Jacob's marriages to the four women were:

They had their first children in a slightly different order - which in itself was the cause of converting two servants into two more wives:

  • Leah (Genesis 29:32)

  • Bilhah (Genesis 30:4)

  • Zilpah (Genesis 30:9-11)

  • Rachel (Genesis 30:22-24)

It was Leah's choice to make her servant Zilpah into another wife of Jacob.

"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.

30:12 And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son. 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher." (Genesis 30:9-13 KJV)

Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah each gave birth to two Israelite patriarchs, while Leah was the mother of six Israelite patriarchs, plus Israel's only daughter, Dinah (see Dinah).

"35:23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:

35:24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:

35:25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:

35:26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher:

these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram." (Genesis 35:23-26 KJV)

There was a span of over twenty years from the oldest (Reuben) to the youngest (Benjamin) of Jacob's children, but their conflicts were based most-often on who their mother was e.g. "Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report."

"37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

37:2 These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him." (Genesis 37:1-4 KJV)

By the time that the Israelites entered Egypt to begin their 400 year stay (see Biblical Eras: 400 Years Of Israel's Prosperity In Egypt), Zilpah was a grandmother - her two sons Gad and Asher had over a dozen children of their own.

"46:16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

46:17 And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.

46:18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls." (Genesis 46:16-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who will be the prophesied 144,000?
See The Mystery Of The 144,000 Revealed


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This Day In History, October 22

362: The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside Antioch (there were many others in other cities throughout the ancient Mediterranean area), was destroyed by fire (see also Paul's Letter To The True Church Of Rome).

741: Charles Martel died at age 53. The rulership of Gaul was divided between his two sons Pepin III and Carloman (see map below). Pepin became the first of the Carolingians, the family of Charles Martel, to become king. Martel's grandson, Charlemagne, extended the Frankish dominions to include much of the West, and became the first Emperor since the fall of Rome (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). The Islamic prophesied "King of the South" already existed in the time of Charles Martel (see map above and The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).

Frankish Kingsoms

794: Emperor Kanmu relocated the capital of Japan to Heiankyo, now known as Kyoto (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).

Japan

1633: The Ming dynasty of China (1368-1644) defeated the Dutch East India Company in the Battle of Liaoluo Bay.

China

1707: The Scilly naval disaster. Four British Royal Navy ships ran aground near the Isles of Scilly because of faulty navigation. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and thousands of sailors were drowned.

1721: Peter the Great became czar (czar is the Russian form of "Caesar," as is the German kaiser) of all Russia.

1764: The Battle of Baksar, fought between the East India Company's forces and those of the Mughals. The decisive battle confirmed the British control of Bengal.

1784: Russia founded a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Russia sold Alaska to the U.S.A. in 1867.

Alaska

1797: The first successful parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin, from a balloon over Paris, France.

1836: Sam Houston became the first "President of the Republic of Texas" (unlike the "New England" States, Texas, which remained part of Mexico in 1776, rebelled against Mexico about 50 years later).

Mexico

1844: The date predicted by religious leader William Miller (Ellen White's "Seventh Day Adventist" organization, Herbert Armstrong's "Worldwide Church of God" and the present-day "Sacred Name" movement were among a number of early 20th Century offshoots of the Miller movement) when the Return of Jesus Christ would occur. Among the many thousands of his followers, the day became known as the "Great Disappointment." Miller and his followers chose to ignore the only Biblically-stated proof that Christ's return would soon happen - the beginning of the 42 month miraculous ministry of the "two witnesses," immediately after which Christ's return will happen (see The Two Signs Of Christ's Return; also Could Christ Return Tonight?).

Miller's Mistakes

1859: Spain declared war on the Moors in Morocco.

1952: The complete Jewish Torah was published in English for the first time.

1954: West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

1954: After Geneva accords conceded Communist control over North Vietnam (Vietnam was divided into North and South by France in its failed effort to make Vietnam a French colony), U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower authorized U.S. training of the South Vietnamese Army (the U.S. replaced the colonial involvement of France in Vietnam). The U.S. "advisors" soon became the primary combatants in that Vietnamese civil war; it ended in the 1970s with North and South Vietnam re-unified into a single nation that had existed for centuries before French and U.S. interference.

Vietnam

1966: The Soviet Union launched Luna 12 to orbit the moon.

1975: The Soviet unmanned spacecraft Venera 9 landed on Venus.

Venera

1979: The exiled Shah of Iran (a brutal, undemocratic dictator who had been supported by the U.S. for decades because he was "pro-western") arrived in the U.S. for medical treatment. In response, Iranian revolutionaries invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran, thereby beginning the Iranian Hostage Crisis, demanding the return of the Shah in exchange for the U.S. diplomats/CIA agents.

2008: India launched its first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1.


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