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Monday, January 8 2018
The Birth Of Israel: On The Run From Esau and Laban
"Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed"
Jacob and his fraternal-twin brother Esau were fierce competitors right from the womb (see The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah and The Birth of Jacob and Esau). The great trouble between them happened as a result of Jacob's lifelong habit of coming from behind and besting his brother Esau by any means.
"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.
After having taken advantage of starving Esau (Esau was the family hunter and provider, while Jacob liked to stay at home in the tent with his Mama i.e. "Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob") for the birthright, the final straw came when Jacob, with Rebekah's help, deceitfully obtained the blessing (see Esau's Blessing Taken By Jacob).
"25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
When the plot was discovered, both Isaac and Esau were enraged. Elderly and blind Isaac was left with little to do about it.
"27:30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Unlike his invalid father, the rage of young Esau the hunter was a lethal situation. In an attempt to save her favorite son's life, she had Jacob flee to her brother Laban in Syria.
"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.
Jacob remained with his uncle Laban in Syria for over 20 years - during which he greatly prospered in family and fortune. He arrived alone, but acquired four wives and many children there - who would become the Israelite tribal patriarchs, including Judah (see The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Leah and The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Rachel and The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Bilhah and The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Zilpah; also The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Asenath).
Jacob also prospered financially - so much so that he went from a poor employee of Laban to owning almost everything that Laban had possessed (see also Speckled and Spotted - How Did He Do It?). Once again, Jacob's success came at the devastating expense of a close family member.
"31:14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? 31:15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money. 31:16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
Laban pursued Jacob and caught up with him. The LORD however warned Laban not to harm Jacob (the LORD had not yet renamed Jacob as "Israel" - but the LORD was about to do so, with Jacob's conflicts with Esau and Laban among the glaring reasons that earned Jacob his new name) and so their parting was a "good riddance" rather than a slaughter.
"31:22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. 31:23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead. 31:24 And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
With Laban's wrath appeased, Jacob then continue onward, home to the land of Canaan (there was no "land of Israel" yet - there had even been an "Israel" for less than a day). Jacob / Israel then discovered that Esau, the reason that Jacob had fled to Syria over twenty years before, was coming straight at him with a force of four hundred men. It was during that frantic night, while awaiting the dawn meeting with Esau, that the LORD renamed Jacob as "Israel."
"32:22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
Fact Finder: What happened the next day when "Israel" met Esau?
This Day In History
This Day In History, January 8
307: Jin Huidi, Emperor of China's Jin Dynasty, was assassinated by poisoning. He was succeeded by his son Jin Huaidi (see also The Origin Of Gog And Magog and End-Time Gog And Magog; also The First Chinese American War).
871: Alfred the Great led a West Saxon army against an invasion of Danelaw Vikings.
1297: In Monaco, Franceschino Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, sneaked into the Genoese-controlled fortress, let in his own soldiers, and established the Grimaldi dynasty.
1499: Louis XII of France, after a papal divorce, married Anne, Duchess of Brittany, to keep the duchy for the crown.
1598: Jews were expelled from Genoa, Italy (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).
1656: The oldest surviving commercial newspaper began, in Haarlem, Netherlands.
1681: The treaty of Radzin ended 5 years of war between the Turks (i.e. the Ottoman Empire; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) against Russia and Poland.
1745: England, Austria, Saxony and the Netherlands formed an alliance against Russia.
1746: During the Second Jacobite Rising, Charles Edward Stuart (known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" or "The Young Pretender") occupied Stirling.
1780: A magnitude 7.7 earthquake killed 80,000 people and caused major damage to the city of Tabriz, Iran.
1806: Cape Colony, South Africa became a British colony.
1815: The battle of New Orleans between U.S. and British forces. It was the last battle of the War of 1812 (1812-1814), although the war was officially over when the battle was fought - a peace treaty had actually been signed in Europe 2 weeks earlier, but the news had not reached the armies of either side until up to a month later in some more remote areas.
1877: Crazy Horse led Sioux warriors in their last battle against the U.S. Cavalry, at Wolf Mountain, Montana Territory. Although Sitting Bull is popularly regarded as the native leader at "Custer's Last Stand," Sitting Bull was not present at the battle, which was led by Crazy Horse who proved himself a superior battle commander than the flamboyant George Custer (see The First Chinese American War).
1926: Abdul Aziz ibn Saud became the King of the Hejaz, which he announced would from then on be called Saudi Arabia (see Paul's Geography Lesson).
1941: Robert Baden-Powell died at age 84. The British army officer, hero of the South African (Boer) War of 1899-1902, was founder of the "Boy Scouts" - a movement that spread from its origin in Britain to countries all around the world.
1959: Charles de Gaulle became the first president of France's Fifth Republic. He took office for a second term on this day in 1966.
1964: President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty" in the U.S. (see also Guns Versus Butter).
From a speech by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower on April 16, 1953
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
1973: The Soviet Luna 21 was launched. The spacecraft landed on the Moon where it deployed the second Soviet lunar rover.
1973: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate began. The Watergate burglary eventually caused the resignation of Richard Nixon (see also The Impeachment Of The President).
1998: A quote from a pro-cloning scientist: "You can't stop science. God made man in His own image. God intended for man to become one with God. ... Cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming one with God."
2004: The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.