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Scripture

Patriarchal Era – Genesis 31

Genesis 31

Jacob Flees from Laban

31:1 Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all this wealth.” And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”

So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 12 And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’” 14 Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. 16 All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20 And Jacob tricked1 Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21 He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the Euphrates,2 and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

25 And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28 And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your3 father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house, but why did you steal my gods?” 31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.

36 Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”

43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? 44 Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.” 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha,4 but Jacob called it Galeed.5 48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed, 49 and Mizpah,6 for he said, “The LORD watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. 50 If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.”

51 Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, 54 and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.

55 7 Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.

Footnotes

[1] 31:20 Hebrew stole the heart of; also verses 26, 27

[2] 31:21 Hebrew the River

[3] 31:29 The Hebrew for your is plural here

[4] 31:47 Aramaic the heap of witness

[5] 31:47 Hebrew the heap of witness

[6] 31:49 Mizpah means watchpost

[7] 31:55 Ch 32:1 in Hebrew

(ESV)

Categories
Scripture

Patriarchal Era – Genesis 31

Genesis 31

Jacob Flees from Laban

31:1 Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all this wealth.” And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”

So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 12 And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’” 14 Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. 16 All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20 And Jacob tricked1 Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21 He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the Euphrates,2 and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

25 And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28 And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your3 father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house, but why did you steal my gods?” 31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.

36 Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”

43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? 44 Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.” 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha,4 but Jacob called it Galeed.5 48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed, 49 and Mizpah,6 for he said, “The LORD watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. 50 If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.”

51 Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, 54 and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.

55 7 Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.

Footnotes

[1] 31:20 Hebrew stole the heart of; also verses 26, 27

[2] 31:21 Hebrew the River

[3] 31:29 The Hebrew for your is plural here

[4] 31:47 Aramaic the heap of witness

[5] 31:47 Hebrew the heap of witness

[6] 31:49 Mizpah means watchpost

[7] 31:55 Ch 32:1 in Hebrew

(ESV)

Categories
Scripture

Going Deeper

Genesis 26-30 (10-16-21)

In Genesis 26:3-5, we read thatGod re-affirms the covenant He made with Abraham with Isaac:

“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Though there are no overwhelming achievements to speak of concerning Isaac’s life, it was Isaac that God chose to continue the covenant line, the same line that would produce our Messiah, Jesus. And for many generations, the Jewish nation described their God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But today, I want to focus on Isaac’s children, for how God ordained to use them is a super important thing for us to understand and submit ourselves to, because our flesh can tend to wrestle with this in our sin.

Genesis 25:21-23

Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

Jacob and Esau’s lives and testimonies highlight is a very important work of God that often is misunderstood: God is free to choose and do what He wills. Everything God does is perfect and good and right. We see this unfold in how God ordained these two lives to happen.

The Bible says the following:

Psalms 139:13-14 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made …

Job 14:5 “Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass”

Such teaching is also affirmed by Paul when he says, “In him we live and move and have our being …” (Acts 17:28).

God continues to give us breath each moment. Elihu says of God, “If he should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust” (Job 34:14-15; cf. Ps. 104:29).

God is the one who wills to give us life, both physically and spiritually. He is also the one who determines our days and our end. This is a massive truth about the sovereignty of God that all too often is misunderstood or thought of in unbiblical ways. The truth is, the sovereignty of God over our lives is a great comfort to us and source of our praise when we rightly understand it. I pray today’s study stretches you and shapes in you a biblical view of God that brings about this comfort and praise.

In Genesis 25, we read howIsaac conspired to thwart the Lord’s intent to bless Jacob (Gen. 25:19-28; 27:1-4), and we see in chapter 27 how Rebekah and Jacob lied, cheated, and stole to get what God said belonged to Jacob anyway (27:5-29).

Even though the blessing went to Jacob as it was ordained by God, all the human players suffered for their sin: Jacob went into exile as a result of the trick he and his mother played on Isaac, and Rebekah died without ever seeing her favorite son again (Genesis 27:41-45; 28:1-5; 49:31).  

Just because the means to the “end that God wanted” involved sin and dishonesty, it does not mean God approves of evil or directly ever does evil, but He does work in spite of the sinner to achieve His good ends.

A great example of this is captured in Joseph’s words to his brothers who sold him into slavery: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20).

While Genesis 28 (Jacob’s ladder/blessing) and Genesis 32:22-32 (Jacob wrestles with the angel of the Lord)are amazing stories and worth your study, I want to get to Romans 9 this morning, as it sheds a great deal of light on God’s sovereign choice over mankind, of which Jacob’s testimony so importantly testifies.  

Look with me again at Romans 9:6-11:

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”  And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad–in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls

Did you notice that God’s choice for whom He loved and whom He hated is not because anything they did, good or bad? It was not because of their works or their foreseen faith but instead based solely on the purpose of God’s sovereign election.

Romans 9:11 reveals the reason for announcing Jacob’s election before his birth: “… in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls.”

We need to feel the weight of this sentence. When God tells us why He does something as eternally fundamental as unconditional individual election, He is giving us information about the nature of ultimate reality–namely His reality–that is more foundational and more important than all other human knowledge or understanding.

Nothing is greater to know about God than why He does His most fundamental acts. And here is one of these massively important sentences: Why, God, do you do this great work of unconditional election?

Answer: “In order that [My] purpose of election might continue, not because of works, but because of [Me] who calls.”

Paul makes a huge affirmation here! God did not choose Jacob because of works he had already done, nor did He choose him because of works that he would do later. In other words, here Paul is ruling out foreseen good deeds or faith in Jacob and foreseen evil deeds or lack of faith in Esau, and he is saying, “God’s election is not based on deeds in any way—not deeds already done and not deeds undone and not foreknown. God’s election is free. That is God’s glory and right as God. Therefore, His purpose in His election is to be known and enjoyed and praised as infinitely glorious in His free and sovereign choice.”

Romans 9:12 says, “she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’” These words were spoken while the kids were in the womb, as we read in Genesis 25:23.

Romans 9:13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

For many people, they get hung up on these words … that God would hate anyone. I contest this is only because of a small view of the depth of our depravity and a man-made diminishing of our sin before a holy God. Because with the wretchedness of our sin in full and right view, it is not “Esau I hated” that would trip us up, but instead the words “Jacob I loved” that should seem outrageous. That God would put His love on any of us wretched sinners is the unbelievable thing here, not that He would hate the sin that stands against His holiness and worthiness. 

Now, the question that always comes up when studying this topic is the very question Paul poses himself in order to be very clear about what he is saying about God here. That question is, “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part?”  (Romans 9:14). His answer: “By no means!”

Before we read on, we must hear with great clarity what Paul is saying here. If you feel the doctrine of God’s election seems unjust or makes God look unloving or not worth following, Paul’s words to you here are clear: That is not the case. By no means is there “injustice” on God’s part. In other words, we have to correct our skewed view of God that causes our hearts not to like His sovereign work in this area.

Next, Paul gives an example:

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” This is a quote in Exodus 33:19.

In Exodus 3:14, we read the following:

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

In other words, God explained His name here as “I am who I am.” And in Exodus 33:19, God explains His name as “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy.” The structure is the same, and the meaning is simply expanded. God’s name, the essence of His glory, is that He is absolute and without cause or constraint from outside Himself. He is who He is. 

Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

Again, God’s SELECTION of whom He gives mercy is first HIS choice—NOT OURS. Additionally, the receiving of mercy is NOT based on “human will or exertion.”

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

What is God’s priority in doing these things? The demonstration of His power and the proclamation of His name in all the earth!

Romans 9:18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

Is this saying that man is the one who decides if he receives mercy unto life and/or if he receives a hard heart unto destruction? NO. It is by God’s will, God’s decision, for God’s purposes, for God’s fame. God is purposeful in everything. 

Romans 9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”

Again, Paul is addressing this argument of the flesh from back then, and that same argument remains today. Look at Paul’s answer:

Romans 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?  Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

By what authority does the created tell the Creator what He should have done in creation? Paul makes this point, as he specifically describes God’s sovereignty in unconditional individual election. Look:

Romans 9:21-23 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory

So again, God’s purpose is to show His wrath (one of His divine attributes), make known His power, and make known His glory. Then Paul brings it back to who we are talking about:

Romans 9:24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

This is in reference to His saving love for Jacob (and Jacob’s descendants) as opposed to Esau (and Esau’s lineage). God’s electing prerogative is clearly displayed here. God chose Jacob over Esau, not on the basis of anything Jacob or Esau had done, but according to His own free and uninfluenced sovereign purpose. To those who might protest, “That is unfair!” Paul simply responds by asking, “Who are you, O man, who answers back to God?” (v. 20).

In order to help round out our view of God’s work in this way, we can see that the truth of God’s election is seen all throughout Scripture. Out of all the people in the world, God chose Abraham and removed him from Ur of the Chaldeans and made him the father of a great nation. That’s why Israel is called”His chosen ones” (Psalm 105:43).

Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (cf. Duet. 14:2).


The Lord your God chose a people for His own possession out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. And God said it wasn’t because they were better than any other people. It wasn’t because they were more attractive than any other people. God said it was because of His own free, predetermined will to set His love upon them and for no other reason.

God works His sovereign election in the New Testament era as well.

A few examples of God’s election in the New Testament:

In the New Testament, the redeemed are those who were “chosen of God” (Col. 3:12; 1 Cor. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1; 2:9; 5:13; Rev. 17:14), meaning that the church is a community of those who were chosen or “elect.”

When Jesus told His disciples, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16 NASB), He was underscoring this very truth. In the New Testament, the Church is called the elect or the chosen. 


In his letters to the Thessalonians, Paul reminds his readers that he was thankful for them because God had chosen them from the beginning for salvation.

1 Thessalonians 1:4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

Today’s study of Jacob and Esau serves a great truth to our souls that God is over all things. He chooses whom He will. He gives life to whom He will and calls our days to an end when He chooses. This is a huge foundation under our feet and basis for our faith in God. He will not be thwarted, and He will not lose any of His people. God’s purpose in election is put on display in a great way through the life and testimony of Jacob. 

The next time you face life’s biggest storms or insurmountable odds, know who breathed life into you, who chose you, and who has your days numbered. Know that God’s plan and ways are best, and He will see His perfect plan through for His glory and our good.  

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

Chaplain Council

Categories
Scripture

Patriarchal Era – Genesis 30

Genesis 30

30:1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf,1 that even I may have children2 through her.” So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.3 Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings4 I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.5

When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad.6 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.7

14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17 And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.8

19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.9 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24 And she called his name Joseph,10 saying, “May the LORD add to me another son!”

Jacob’s Prosperity

25 As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that11 the LORD has blessed me because of you. 28 Name your wages, and I will give it.” 29 Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30 For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 He said, “What shall I give you?” Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and they shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” 34 Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” 35 But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36 And he set a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock.

37 Then Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43 Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

Footnotes

[1] 30:3 Hebrew on my knees

[2] 30:3 Hebrew be built up, which sounds like the Hebrew for children

[3] 30:6 Dan sounds like the Hebrew for judged

[4] 30:8 Hebrew With wrestlings of God

[5] 30:8 Naphtali sounds like the Hebrew for wrestling

[6] 30:11 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for good fortune

[7] 30:13 Asher sounds like the Hebrew for happy

[8] 30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for wages, or hire

[9] 30:20 Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew for honor

[10] 30:24 Joseph means May he add, and sounds like the Hebrew for taken away

[11] 30:27 Or have become rich and

(ESV)

Categories
Scripture

Patriarchal Era – Genesis 29

Genesis 29

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.

Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak,1 but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave2 his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.

Jacob’s Children

31 When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben,3 for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 33 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon.4 34 Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.5 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah.6 Then she ceased bearing.

Footnotes

[1] 29:17 Or soft

[2] 29:24 Or had given; also verse 29

[3] 29:32 Reuben means See, a son

[4] 29:33 Simeon sounds like the Hebrew for heard

[5] 29:34 Levi sounds like the Hebrew for attached

[6] 29:35 Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise

(ESV)