Epistles of Thomas

January 12, 2009

Genesis 28-30

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 22:39
Tags: , , , ,

Rebekah hears that Esau has designs to kill Jacob after Isaac dies so she asks that Jacob be sent off to her brother in order to procure a wife from their own people. Esau sees that the Canaanite women displease his parents and immediately seeks to marry one! He is obviously not a people pleaser like his younger brother. When Jacob comes to Bethel he has the dream of “Jacob’s ladder.” When I was in Mexico they were selling these wooden trinkets called “Jacob’s ladder” that would roll up and down. The dream ladder was the means by which angels travelled from earth to heaven. God appears above the ladder and repeats the promise of land and descendants. The promise is again universalised: “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring” (28:14). Isaac promises God that if looks after him and he returns safely home after this trip he will worship him and “of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” In 14:20, Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth but this is the first instance of a tenth being promised to God.

Jacob arrives in Laban’s country and meets Rachel who is shepherding her father’s sheep. In a reversal of the discovery of Rebekah as a wife for Isaac, Jacob waters her sheep. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and made a deal with Laban in which he would work for seven years and then receive her as his wife. However, at the end of the period Laban tricked him and he slept with Leah instead. He then worked another seven years in exchange for also marrying Rachel. Jacob also ended up sleeping with his wives’ two servants Bilhah and Zilpah. The four women gave birth to twelve sons (six to Leah), who would become the twelve patriarchs of Israel. Jacob and Laban continued to conspire against one another in the bizarre story of the spotted animals. The end result was that Jacob gained large flocks of healthy animals whilst Laban’s became weaker.


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