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Sunday, September 16 2018
A Bible Journey, 31: Jacob's Flight Home
"He heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's ... the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred"
Jacob (the LORD hadn't yet changed his name to "Israel") had fled to his relatives in Syria to escape the deadly wrath of another relative, his brother Esau (see A Bible Journey, 28: The Stairway To Heaven Dream and A Bible Journey, 27: The Blessing And Birthright From Esau To Jacob). But after over twenty years of refuge in Syria, in which Jacob acquired the most valuable possessions of another family member, this time his uncle Laban, Jacob's welcome was gone again. The solution came from the LORD - it was time for Jacob to be gone too.
"31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. 31:2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
Jacob had arrived in Syria all alone. His flight back, although nearly as deadly-necessary, would not be so easy because of the large family and great numbers of livestock.
"31:4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 31:5 And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. 31:6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 31:7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 31:8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked. 31:9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.
Rachel (the only wife that he truly loved; see The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Rachel) and Leah (the wife that Jacob did not love, but nevertheless with whom he had the most children; see The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Leah) had no regard for their father Laban, with reasons of alienation of their own: "Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money."
"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.
Despite the cumbersome circumstances, always-sly Jacob was able to escape by awaiting for an opportune time when Laban was away. Nevertheless, when Laban discovered that they were gone, he was able to catch up with the slow-moving group.
"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.
Laban was an idol-worshiper, but so were his daughters still at that time - although Jacob was apparently not aware of it.
"31:33 And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. 31:34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.
Jacob then rebuked Laban for dealing with him in the hard way that he did - to which the LORD intervened with the "speckled and spotted" agreement that transferred most of Laban's wealth to Jacob (again, see A Bible Journey, 30: Jacob's Wages).
"31:36 And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? 31:37 Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.
Jacob and Laban then made an agreement that neither would ever again enter the territory of the other. Although it also meant that Laban would not likely see, or be able to defend, his daughters or grandchildren again ("If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee"), it was a treaty that was apparently never violated: "And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place."
"31:43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born? 31:44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
Fact Finder: How is it that Jacob had a large family base in Syria where he was immediately welcomed and taken in?
This Day In History, September 16
307: Western Roman Emperor Severus II was captured and imprisoned at Tres Tabernae. He was later executed (see Biblical Eras: The Roman Empire And The Church Of Rome and The Roman Border Walls Paradox; also The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus).
1620: The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World. On board the 15-year old cargo ship were 48 crew members and 101 colonists, including 35 Separatists from Leiden, Holland, known afterward as the Pilgrims. During the three-month voyage, two passengers died and two babies were born (see also The Pilgrims and Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1673: Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I declared war against France (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1701: James Francis Edward Stuart became the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland.
1736: German physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit died at age 50. The Fahrenheit temperature scale is named after him.
As of 2018, the U.S. is the only country that still uses the old system of pounds, miles and fractions (e.g. writing 9/10 instead of .9). While many regard the "miles and Fahrenheit" system to be an entirely-English creation, miles were actually invented by the ancient Romans and the Fahrenheit temperature scale was invented in 1724 by a German physicist, Daniel Fahrenheit. "Miles and Fahrenheit" are just as European in origin as the Metric System. Even the word "mile" uses the same prefix, "mill," meaning thousand, as the Metric System (see also Fahrenheit versus Celsius).
1810: A rebellion against Spanish rule broke out in Mexico when the priest Hidalgo y Costilla issued the grito de Dolores.
1812: The Great Fire of Moscow began. It destroyed 75% of the Russian city over the next 3 days.
1882: The Great September Comet of 1882 was so bright that it could easily be seen in the daytime sky.
1893: Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was born in Hungary. The Nobel Prize winning biochemist was the first to isolate vitamin C.
1920: A terrorist bomb exploded in the Wall Street district of New York City, killing at least 25 people.
1934: An anti-Nazi protest was held in Munich. Not all Germans believed Adolf Hitler's "patriotic" myths and excuses for doing Satanic evil (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1945: At the end of the Second World War (1939-1945; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), Britain took Hong Kong from the Japanese (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?). Britain surrendered political control of the wealthy island to the Chinese in 1997.
1947: Typhoon Kathleen killed over 1,900 people in Japan (see also The Origin Of Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons).
1955: A Soviet submarine became the first submarine to launch a ballistic missile (see also The Rockets' Red Glare).
1955: Argentine President Juan Peron was ousted by a military coup.
1959: The first operational photocopier, the Xerox 914, was introduced.
1975: Papua New Guinea became independent from Australia.
1978: A magnitude 7.9 earthquake killed 25,000 people in Iran.
1982: Lebanese Phalangist militiamen entered the Palestinian refugee camps at Saba and Shatila and slaughtered over 2,000 men, women and children. The Israeli military had unwittingly allowed the murderers into the camps.
1991: Despite worldwide protests that it violated established diplomatic and prisoner of war laws of civilized nations, prosecution under U.S. domestic law of captured Panamanian President Manuel Noriega began in a U.S. civilian court.
1997: Typhoon Oliwa hit southwestern Japan, killing 6 people and forcing 80,000 from their homes.
2007: Trigger-crazy mercenaries working for the "security" company Blackwater Worldwide shot and killed 17 unarmed Iraqis in Nisour Square, Baghdad. All murder charges against them were shortly afterward dismissed by the "free" puppet regime installed after the invasion.