Bible study of Genesis 21-30 verse by verse
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Genesis 21 - The birth of Isaac
Verses 1-3 The fulfillment of God's promise in Genesis 18:10 and 14.
Verse 4 In obedience and in accordance with God's covenant and command in Genesis 17:10, Abraham circumcises his son Isaac on the eighth day after his birth.
Verses 5-6 The birth of Isaac is a gift from God. Abraham is hundred years old when his son Isaac is born. Sara was infertile and she no longer menstruated, nevertheless she had become pregnant of her husband Abraham at the age of ninety.
Y cualquiera que lo oyere, se reirá conmigo. Laughing for joy that Sarah still received a son out of God's hand. Receiving and having a son is something very important in Jewish life, as witnessed by the incest of Lot's daughters and their pregnancies.
Verse 7 Not only had Sara been allowed to give birth to a son, God would let nature complete herself. Sara can also breast-feed her own son. What a joy, getting pregnant yourself, giving birth to a healthy son and then breastfeeding. Abraham and Sara have been very tempted and now after 70 (?) years of waiting, a healthy son who will become a great people.
Verse 8 The meaning of this verse is unclear. Did it take a while before Sara was able to breastfeed? And was there great joy when the day was reached that Sara was able to breastfeed? On that day, Abraham and Sarah were so happy that Abraham invited their friends (and servants) to celebrate it?
Verses 9-10 The slave woman had not learned her lesson from 13 years ago. Then she had to leave the tent of Abraham and nearly died her son. Again she makes fun of Sara. How is this possible? Her son was out of the flesh. Through adultery with the husband of Sarah, a purely natural course of affairs. Now she sees God's miracle, the birth of her owner Sarah in old age, who was also infertile. In short, she is making fun of God. Sarah has NO choice but to ask her husband to send the mocking slave away again. Although woman must be submissive to her husband, this was undoubtedly inspired by God's Spirit to ask her husband to send the mocking slave away. The brother born out of the flesh was not allowed to stay with the promised son by God.
Verses 11-13 God had clearly told Abraham that the promised son was Isaac, and NOT the son of Ishmael born out of the flesh. Which was conceived by own strength (and adultery). Abraham had no reason to be displeased. Pure humanity, purely because he was the father of this son Ishmael. Unfortunately God must intervene and call Abraham to the order. Yes, God goes so far as to say: WHATEVER SARAH SAYS TO YOU, do as she tells you. Here we clearly see the significance of the submissiveness of the woman to the man. Man and woman should consult and seek the WILL of GOD. God repeats His promise that Ishmael will become a great nation, but will NOT share in the promise of Isaac.
Verses 14-16 Abraham waits until the morning. Possibly a night of emotional tensions and reflections. Abraham only gives a loaf of bread and a skin of water. Not a donkey laden with food and drink. Not accompanied by one of his many servants to assist the slave woman. Was his goal that the slave and his son remained close? So that he could visit them? No answer is giving in the Bible why Abraham gave a bread and a skin of water. Soon the bread and water are finished. The slave woman sits at a distance in order not to hear the crying of her child. She had not learned her lesson from thirteen years ago and the promise that God had given her at that time.
God had commanded her to be submissive to her owner Sarah. Again the slave woman had disobeyed. Had she herself elevated above her mistress. Again God had to punish her for her haughtiness. Again she had to face the death of her child. How foolish she was. Making mockery with God. She had seen the fulfillment of God's promise that Sarah begot a son. Totally forgot that God had promised her thirteen years ago that her child would become a great nation. She had to suffer for her own sin.
Verses 17-18 God does not listen to the slave's voice. The circumstances were a consequence of her own disobedience, her pride and no trust in God. God hears the voice of her son of thirteen years old. Why the child did not go after his mother, is a mystery. Was he already exhausted from hunger and thirst? But he too had no faith in God. A child of thirteen years is already responsible for his actions and faith in God.
The angel of God calls to the slave woman: God has heard the voice of your child. A clear reproach, not your voice, God has heard, BUT to the voice of your child. Again the promise is repeated: God will make him a great nation.
Verse 19 The slave woman was disobedient, so she was blind and rejected. Thereby she did not see the nearby well. When the believer walks in disobedience, he or she no longer sees things sharply. Yes, God closes the eyes and let the believer walk in blindness. It is only after repentance and confession of sins that the believer can think again and act clearly.
Verses 20-21 God remembers that this is a son of Abraham and His promise to Abraham. The boy grows up and his Egyptian mother chooses a woman for him from her native Egypt.
Verses 22-24 King Abimelech had allowed Abraham to live in his country. Now the king sees that God has given an own son to Abraham. No wonder the king is worried. Because now the habitation does not end at the death of Abraham. His son will continue to live in the country. A son who was not present when the king and Abraham made a covenant. Therefore, the question of swearing that Abraham will not act deceitfully with him NOR WITH HIS DESCENDANTS. The king knows that he is going to die as well. He wishes peace between his children and the descendants of Abraham. The king and Abraham make a new covenant under oath.
Verses 25-26 Now that promises have been given, Abraham makes the king aware of the fact that the king's servants had appropriated a well that had been dug by him. Water is an absolute necessity for his household and livestock.
Abimelech answers that he is ignorant of this fact and reproaches Abraham why did you not report this to me before? I am unaware of this fact. You should have told me earlier. Lesson for the believer, if wrong things happen, one should soon report this to the elders or pastor of the church. One cannot let things go its own way. Everyone is responsible to Jesus Christ and the elders and pastors are the people who represent Jesus Christ on earth.
Verses 27-30 It can be disputed whether Abraham had the right to dig a well on a piece of land that was not his. However, the king had promised Abraham that he could live anywhere in his country. Now in the presence of the king, the matter has been settled, and before all the inhabitants the permission of the king has been obtained, in fact Abraham buys the rights of his well with the sheep and cattle. The assumption of the seven lambs is evidence of the purchase price.
Verses 31-34 Beerseba means "well of the oath" or "well of the seven". The Hebrew word can be translated both with oath and with seven. Often an oath was sworn in the presence of seven witnesses.
Now that a clear covenant has been made, the commander Phicol leaves the area of Abraham.
Beersheba was on the southernmost border of Palestine, on the edge of the desert, about 50 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Abraham feels more comfortable and safer and begins now to plant trees (tamarisk).
Genesis 22 - Isaac as a burnt offering
Verse 1 Finally, Abraham and Sarah had received their long-promised son. God had fulfilled His promise. Now the faith of Abraham will be put to the test, or after everything that God had shown to Abraham, he really trusted God. God had promised him that Isaac would become a great nation. Would Abraham believe this and trust in God? Would he have the force to kill his own son and trust God and sacrifices him to God? Or would he doubt? Would there have been inner struggles of how can I sacrifice my son and having the promise of God that he will become a great nation?
If your son is killed by an accident, illness or in battle, that is a difficult time. But killing your own son and burning it with fire as a sacrifice to God must be difficult. It is a heavy trial of Abraham's faith. Isaac was no longer a young boy, because he must have been strong enough to walk three days (verse 4) and carry the wood (verse 6).
James 1:13 says that no one can be tempted by God, but in the context of James we must think that God allows sin to test. God allowed satan within limits to test the faith of Job. Here the faith of Abraham is tested. God had given Abraham the victory and deliverance of his nephew Lot. Twice the deliverance of his wife Sarah, after Abraham had lost her to Pharaoh and Abimelech. His wife was barren but had a son in her old age. Now God will test his faith. A test without sin, without satan's influence, for God knew that He would prevent Abraham from offering his son Isaac. God would give salvation in verse 13.
It is a personal conversation and direct command from God. God spoke to Abraham and he answered: Here am I. Abraham is sure that GOD spoke to him. He knows that it is not satan, and therefore does not have to carry out the assignment. For the believer this is the lesson from James 1:13. The believer may not fall into the trap of satan by saying: It was by God that I was tempted. Satan is insidious and tries to deceive the believer on all sorts of ways. To mislead with false commands. To send to (dangerous) places so that the believer will be wounded or killed. A few examples: A pastor who goes to work in the red district, while he knows that he has sexual thoughts quickly. Logically that he falls, that is not a test and no commission from God. An eldest who is going to work in a drug district. He must be sure that it is God's Will. If not, the drug leaders will kill him.
Note the assignment and test that is to come. It is a contradiction. Abraham is asked to kill his own son. While God forbids to kill someone. God had promised Isaac would become a great people. For Abraham this must be like a stratagem and an assignment from satan, and therefore not to obey! That is why it was necessary for God to speak directly with Abraham.
Hebrews 11:9 shows another light, Abraham had faith in God, that God was able, after sacrificing Isaac, to raise his son from the dead.
Verse 2 Abraham is heavily tested. God emphasizes with the words: "Your only son" and "The son you love". Travel for three days so that you are aware of what you are going to do and have time to think about. Not an immediate obeying and not an immediately killing, but a well-considered decision. The wound is made heavier, a heavier test.
The Jews say that the mountain of Abraham's sacrifice, is the Mount Moria of 2 Chron. 3:1 is the temple mount in Jerusalem, on the east side of Jerusalem, on which Solomon built the temple. We do not know for sure, however. The Samaritans and others claim that it was Mount Gerizim, where Abraham built an altar to sacrifice his son.
Verse 3 Here one can draw the conclusion that God spoke to Abraham in the night. The night is ideal for praying and speaking with God. Then it is silence and quietness. No disturbance by noise from outside and the possible interruption by children.
The night might have been a bitter torment for Abraham with all kinds of temptations of satan. But Abraham in faith and steadfastly rises early in the morning. He saddles his ass with food and firewood. Cut wood for the burnt offering. He goes well prepared on his way. Takes two of his servants with him.
Verses 4-5 Abraham sees the place that God has shown when He spoke to him in verse 1. Abraham leaves his servants behind, so that they will not be able to prevent him from sacrificing his son Isaac. In faith he says that he will come again with his son. We are going to worship God.
Verse 6 Abraham laid the wood on his son. Abraham was over a hundred years old and could not possibly carry the wood himself, and Isaac must have been sufficiently old to carry the wood, but also to understand things. He takes fire with him. Was that burning fire or flints to make fire? In any case to light the wood.
Verse 7 Isaac asks a painful and heavy question to his father: Behold, we have fire and wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? A logical question from a boy who is already mature to understand things. They are travelling, take wood and fire with them, but where is the lamb?
Verse 8 Abraham holds the answer for himself, does not wish to burden his son with the fact that he is the sacrifice. His son does not ask any further. It may seem strange, seeming that his old father is forgetful and has been forgotten the lamb. He settles for the answer that God Himself will provide in the lamb. Or had Isaac already learned to trust in God?
Verses 9-10 How long and far they traveled together, the Bible does not mention. But enough to be out of the sight of the servants. Possibly a silent journey and they had to climb up the mountain.
On the mountain, there were sufficient stones with which Abraham could build the altar. That building must also take time. A time of questioning of Isaac. Abraham lays the wood on the altar and binds his son. The author Moses does not make any statement. Was the boy strong enough to resist his weaker old father? Did God give sufficient power to Abraham to be stronger to bind his son? Isaac became aware that he was the sacrifice that his life was coming to an end. Was there enough experience and faith from Isaac that he trusted God and allowed himself to be bound voluntarily? In that case, why the need to tie him? To prevent him from jumping from the altar when the fire was lit and crackled?
Still, Abraham must have been strong, for he lifts his bound son and puts him on the altar. In Exodus 27:1, the height of the altar is three cubits, about 5 feet high.
What must have gone through Abraham and Isaac when Abraham took the knife to slaughter his son. Abraham certainly did not want Isaac to find death by fire, as in the case of death at the stake. First he would kill his son with the knife. A quick death and not slow down by burns and suffocating.
Verse 11 The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven. Abraham must have recognized the Angel's voice from the previous conversations with the Angel. For it could also be the voice of satan, to prevent him to obey the command of God.
Verse 12 God asks the first love of the believer. If necessary, to resign your children, parents, friends to serve God. Separated to live from loved ones. Some lose their husbands or wives through their work on the mission field. Here, however, God brings the salvation and prevents the death of Isaac. The proof is completed, Abraham gives God the first place and has not withheld his son. In the past, he asked his wife to lie to Pharaoh and the King Abimelech, there was insufficient trust in God. Now his faith had grown and fully trusted God that He would give salvation.
Verses 13-14 How the ram suddenly caught in the bush, that must be by God's disposal. A miracle by God. Abraham takes Isaac from the altar, kills the ram and lays it on the altar. As Abraham believed, God will provide for Himself. At the time of Moses, the name of that mountain had been changed to: "The Lord will provide". Faith is confirmed by works. Faith without works is dead faith.
Verses 15-17 The Angel of the Lord calls again from heaven. It is generally assumed that the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus took the place of the believer to die in his/her place for sin. Isaac was richly blessed and his descendants shall be as numerous as the stars of heaven. Jesus, as the Son of God, became the foundation of a great people. A people of faith who believe in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. That brings salvation from the eternal punishment and death of sin. A new and eternal life without sin through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Isaac received new life and the ram took its place. The lamb (the ram), Jesus Christ takes the place of the believer. The believer receives new life (born-again). The Church of Jesus Christ is also numerous as the stars of heaven.
Verse 18 All the nations of the earth will be blessed. Here is already the prediction that it is not limited to the Jews and Israelites (God's people). By faith in Jesus Christ it will be extended to the Gentiles, all the nations of the earth. It was the commission to the God's people to make their God known to the nations of the earth. Through their serving of idols and their unbelief, they lost their task temporarily. Now it is the Church's duty to proclaim God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, however, the Church engages itself in the selfishness of wealth, personally selfishness and weakness of the gospel proclamation. The task will return to the 144,000 Jews and Israelites to proclaim the WHOLE world the Kingdom of God (Revelation 7:4).
Verse 19 Abraham returns to his home with his son. Be aware that Abraham has not told anything about his wife Sarah. He wanted to save this tension and sadness to Sara.
Verses 20-24 Nahor lived in Mesopotamia (Genesis 24:10), which is largely located in the current Iraq. The Greek origin Mesopotamia has the meaning of "the land between the two rivers", the Tigris and the Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates both spring into the mountainous regions of Turkey and flow to the Persian Gulf. The brother of Abraham is Nahor, who begot a son Bethuel. From Bethuel, the daughter Rebekah was born, who would become the wife of Isaac.
Genesis 23 - Abraham buys the land for the sepulchre of his wife Sarah
Verse 1 The age of a man was limited by God to 120 years (Genesis 6:3). Sara was fortunate enough to reach 127 years and to be able to enjoy her son Isaac for 36 years. The barren woman who had given birth to a son at old age (90 years).
Verse 2 Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron (Joshua 15:54) was in an area of ten cities. Different meanings are given. Tripoli as an area. Decapolis area of ten cities. Arba as a great king or founder of city. A place of four, that is to say the patriarchs Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Why Sarah died in Kiriath-arba is not mentioned because Abraham (22:19) lived in Beer-sheba. In any case Abraham went to Kiriat-Arba to weep over the death of his wife Sarah. The distance between Beer-sheba and Kiriath-arba is 42.4 km (26.4 miles).
Verses 3-4 Abraham exhorts himself in his grieving process and starts looking for a sepulchre. He was a stranger in the country. He has no property rights. Now that his wife is dead, he has to negotiate with the owners of the land to buy a piece of land for his wife's sepulchre. Abraham knows that there is life after death. But the pagans also believed in life after death, for example the embalming of the Egyptians and their pyramids. He wishes to buy a sepulchre for his dead wife. But that sepulchre is not just for her. Also for him, his children and their wives, for his descendants. It was the custom of a family sepulchre. So necessary to buy a large land from the landowners.
Verses 5-6 The land owners, the Hittites, treat Abraham with respect. Their answer is: Hear us, a mighty prince of God you are among us. You may choose a sepulchre among us. None of us will refuse you this. The Hittites have seen how the God of Abraham blessed him. Possibly in awe of the God of Abraham they want to serve him. What a testimony, the Hittites have seen the testimony of Abraham. How is that of a believer? Do the unbelievers see that the Christian honours and serves God? Or is it a disgrace, joining the world, enriching himself? No distinction in values and norms, but participate in the worldly? Or does the Christian distinguish himself with biblical values and norms that show their Christian living? Social help to fellow men?
Verses 7-9 Abraham rejects the offer of a free sepulchre. According to pagan custom, he bows and addresses them. We do not know how we should see this bowing. Even today, this is a common practice in some countries. As Jesus says in Matthew 4:10 Begone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve' and bow before Him.
Abraham had prepared himself well and had already chosen a place where he wanted the sepulchre. He shows respect for the Hittites and wishes to pay the full price for the land. How is the believer? Does he or she ask things to God in spur of the moment without having done research, without preparation for what is necessary? When the believer wants to do the work of God, one must first calculate the costs. Careful investigation, what one intends to do and which things are necessary. Be the builder on the rock and not the builder on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27).
Abraham asks the Hittites to entreat for me the owner Ephron to sell the cave of Mach-pelah for the full price. It was a normal habit that the seller abused the price of the selling part, to double the price. According to oriental custom, it is normal to negotiate to reduce the price. Abraham wishes to buy for the full price without negotiation. He is rich and he wants to give a testimony of God, no negotiation but to pay the full price.
Verses 10-11 Ephron is present at this meeting. He hold the honour to himself as spoken in verse 6, Abraham you may choose a sepulchre and none of us will refuse it. Possibly a trap from the Hittites to test whether Abraham is truly a witness of God, and his wealth donated by God, is really going to buy the cave. How is the Christian not misled by traps of Satan to accept gifts and gifts from unbelievers? Which afterwards leads to all kinds of worldly obligations. May Christians not use subsidies? Yes, as long as it applies to everyone. But the Christian may not be tempted to accept a free piece of land for the construction of a church? Be careful when accepting a free piece of land for the construction of a children's crèche. This children's crèche or boarding school serves the well-being of the unbelievers. Yes, however no restrictions may be imposed by the government or municipality. No restriction on having to employ unbelieving teachers. Restriction of Christian norms and education. Obligation of freedom of Islam education. Be on your guard and prefer to pay the full price.
Verses 12-13 Abraham honoured himself and remained a witness of God. From the hand of Pharaoh and the Hittite king Abimelech, Abraham had received rich gifts (Gen. 20:14-16 sheep, cattle, slaves, a thousand pieces of silver). Impossible that he could take a piece of land from a Hittite owner. According to Eastern custom Abraham again bows to the meeting of Hittites and rejects the free offer. He clearly states that he wants to buy the land.
Verses 14-15 Ephron asks 400 shekels of silver. The brothers of Joseph sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver. Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. The purchase price of a Hebrew slave was 50 pieces of silver. The shekel had a value of four daily wages. 400 shekels represented a value of 1,600 daily wages.
Ephron says: What is that between you and me? Logically what Abraham had a gigantic wealth. Abraham had previously received 1000 pieces of silver from the Hittite king Abimelech, therefore this amount was small. Note carefully that Ephron says: What is that between you and me? This clearly proves that the meeting and Ephron expected that Abraham would reject a free offer and buy the land. A clear lesson for the Christian, do not fall into the trap of Satan.
Verse 16 Abraham weighs the requested amount in the presence of the meeting of Hittites. Herewith the purchase is confirmed with TESTIMONIES. The purchase cannot be denied afterwards, it is a sale in the presence of witnesses. The Christian may not be tempted by oral agreements. Everything must be recorded according to legal standards. Notary, lawyers, legal taxes, etc. must be paid for purchases and other matters. No illegal church, Christian schools, social support, without being legally established according to the required documents.
Verse 17 It is not just the cave for the sepulchre that passes from Ephron to Abraham. The whole area around goes over into the PROPERTY of Abraham. Current Islamists and Palestinians have NO RIGHTS, the area is legally purchased in the presence of witnesses. Unlawfully they have taken possession of land that was NOT bought by them! Just as Nazis did not have the right to occupied Europe, Palestinians also have NO RIGHTS to Israel.
Verse 18 Notice the great testimony of the transfer: In the presence of Hittites AND all who entered the gate of his city. There is no denying of the transfer. Hebron lies on the West Bank occupied by Israel. Hebron is largely under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The UN and Palestinians say Israel occupies the West Bank. NOTHING IS LESS TRUE. Genesis 23 clearly proves that the area was bought and paid for in the presence of many witnesses. The Palestinians are the OCCUPANTS, not the Israelis!
Verses 19-20 Abraham buries his wife Sarah in the cave in the land of Canaan. That is how the country there IS TRANFERRED from the Hittites to Abraham. PROOF that PALESTINIANS ARE THE ILLEGAL OWNERS AND OCCUPIERS of Hebron. It is time for the world to recognize the rights of Israel and put an end to the Palestinian occupation. The Hittites recognized the God of Abraham. The world denies the existence of God. The UN denies the God of Israel and the property rights of Israel. Be on your guard as a Christian. God protects Israel, as proven in the wars with the surrounding countries. To reject the existence of Israel, is to reject the God of Israel! Do not expect a blessing from God if you reject the Jews.
Genesis 24 - Choosing the wife for Isaac and his marriage
Verse 1 Abraham was well advanced in years. Genesis 25:20 says Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. So Abraham was 100 years (birth Isaac) plus 40 years is 140 years, when Isaac married.
Verses 2-4 As a Hebrew father, Abraham had the duty to find a wife for his son Isaac. Tribes were not allowed mix, so a woman from his native country was necessary. The only option was a woman from the family of his brother Nachor. A woman from the Canaanites was forbidden, besides that this people served idols. A Canaanite woman might bring Isaac from faith in the true God of Abraham and to serve her idols.
Abraham calls his servant, the oldest in his house. Possibly the servant who lived the longest with Abraham and in whom Abraham had full confidence. Abraham had the promise of God that Isaac would become a numerous people, therefore a marriage was necessary from a wife of his family. The servant knew the God of Abraham, had seen the many miracles in his life. With a solemn oath to this God, the assignment is confirmed. According to Israelites, it is Abraham who has sworn the oath with swear by hand under the thigh. We see this back with Jacob with his son Joseph.
Verses 5-7 The servant thinks that the family might not want to let a daughter go to an unknown country. Or that the daughter may not want to leave her family to marry an unknown man in an unfamiliar country. What should he do then, he asks his master Abraham. Abraham knows that he was called by God to live in the land of Canaan, that this is the Promised Land to him and to his son. So his son cannot return to the land of his birth, the land where Nahor lives. Abraham trusts in God that He will take care of the right woman for his son. The angel of the Lord will go with the servant and lead him to the right woman.
Verses 8-9 Abraham relieves the servant of his obligation if the chosen woman does not want to follow to the land of Abraham. Abraham continues to trust his God that He will provide, even in the difficult situation if a woman from his family does not wish to come. He trusts in the promise of God that his abode is the by God Promised Land. That God Himself will provide, even if he does not know how.
The servant swears after this possibility of resignation from the requested.
Verse 10 The servant goes well prepared on his way. He takes ten camels and all kinds of valuables. Then he can prove to the brother of Abraham that his lord has great wealth and the future woman does not wait a life in poverty but in prosperity.
Possibly a journey of 20 - 40 days, depending on whether he went through the desert or not.
Verse 11 The servant arrives and chooses the most likely place where he can find the future wife for Isaac, namely at the well. The well was the place where the women came to draw water by the evening.
Verses 12-14 The servant prays to the God of Abraham. He presents his mission from his lord to God. Here I am at the well, please help me, grant me success today. Give me a clear sign so that I know that this is the woman whom You have designated for Isaac. Many disagree that the servant here orders how God has to answer the prayer, with what words exactly the girl should answer and how she will act. Personally, I have no problem with that, why should we not ask for clear proof? Beware of praying out loud, so satan hears it and gives a false answer. These prayers should be prayed in your mind, not audibly, but audibly before God. Then you may only know that if the EXACT is being delivered, that it is from God. Be careful, it should be EXACTLY answered, not a part of what you ask, but completely in the entire way as you asked for. Because otherwise it is not a fulfillment! But be wise, do not ask extreme things, it must be in complete alignment with God's mission and Will.
What the servant asked for was help with the commission that he had sworn to his master Abraham. The servant did not pray out of lust, not thoughtlessly, but considered, of what was within the limits of possibilities. The Christian has received the Holy Spirit to help the believer in his or her prayers. So prayer must be within the limits of God's Word.
Verse 15 The servant has not yet spoken or Rebekah arrives with the water jar upon her shoulder. Here are two facts. 1. The servant's prayer is inspired by the Holy Spirit. 2. Rebekah had already left her parental home and went to the well before the prayer is completed. This proves the divine inspiration and fulfillment. Note well, here is an obvious proof for the servant. As a Christian we experience this little, and mostly it is a time of patient waiting. But others have the same experience as the servant.
Verses 16-21 Something strange is happening here. This verse is from the writer Moses. The servant could impossibly know that the girl was a virgin. The servant could only observe that the girl was very fair to look upon and was on her way to the well, filled her jar and came up. The servant speaks to her and asks for a little water for himself and NOT for his camels. The answer to his prayer fulfills, she gives him, and out of her own account, also the camels to drink. When a camel drinks, he drinks a lot more than 100 litres in one go, up to 60 litres per minute. For ten camels, the girl needed a lot of time to draw water.
The servant watches it in silence. Her appearance she was very fair. But her labour to water ten camels proves that she was not too lazy to work. While he and his men do NOTHING to help the girl draw water. And that on her own initiative, without the servant having asked for it. The lesson, do not be fooled by external beauty, look at the inner character.
The servant is convinced of the prayer answered by God. The prayer has been answered exactly as requested. He has observed and has been confirmed. In the next verse, he goes into action.
Verses 22-25 After water is given to the camels and the servant sees this as a prayer answered, he goes on to an informative conversation that must further confirm the prayer. Who is she, is there room for us to spend the night? After confirmation that she is a daughter of the brother of Abraham, the servant proceeds to give gifts. Here an exchange of information must have taken place, or else a very beautiful girl would not accept gifts from a strangely man she did not know. The value of the nose ring and two bracelets cannot be determined. They could have been simple objects, but more likely artfully crafted objects of great value.
Verses 26-27 The servant goes to his knees and he thanks God for the answered prayer. God has guided him to this girl and God has clearly confirmed him by an exact fulfillment of his prayer. There is no doubt in the servant's heart anymore, this is the guidance of the God of his master Abraham.
Verses 28-29 The servant waits at the well, while the girl quickly tells the news to her house. She informs her mother and her brother Laban. Possibly the father was working on the land.
Verses 30-31 The brother Laban is very impressed by the precious gifts to his sister Rebekah. First of all, he let his sister tell her story with the strange man. The command of the servant, sent by his lord and brother of Laban, the answered prayer. Before he goes to get the servant of Abraham, he orders his servants to prepare the house for the meal, staying overnight and a place for the camels.
Verse 32 The servant waited patiently until he was met by the girl's brother. He did not go after the girl on his camels. He waits for the girl's family to invite him to spend the night. According to Eastern custom, the feet are washed as a token of reverence and hospitality.
Verse 33 The Eastern custom was to show hospitality with a meal, after the meal the communication and exchange of information began. The servant first wants a further confirmation from God of the commission of Abraham before the meal is consumed. He is given the opportunity to tell his errand before the meal.
Verses 34-47 The servant is aware that the girl's parents will not just let the girl go to an unknown country to marry an unknown man. The servant first begins to introduce himself: I am Abraham's servant. And continues to tell how rich his lord is and how Abraham is richly blessed by God. Secondly, how wonderfully in old age the infertile wife of Abraham was blessed by God with a son. Thirdly, that this son is the sole heir of the wealth of his father. Fourth, that he is bound under oath to seek a wife for this son. Fifth, how he sought God in prayer for the fulfillment of his commission and how God answered his prayer.
Verse 48 The servant does not fail to give glory to God. He makes it clear that God has guided him to choose your daughter Rebekah for the son Isaac. The servant is submissive and loyal. He gives God all honour and is not haughty.
Verse 49 After his report, he asks the girl's hand. It is up to the parents (father and brother?) to give their consent for the marriage. In case of a refusal, the servant says to turn his way to the right hand or to the left. His straight road was towards this girl. If he is refused, he will necessarily have to look elsewhere.
Verses 50-51 It is the brother Laban who is the first in answering and followed by the father Bethuel. Since Bethuel was the brother of Abraham, therefore he must also have been in old age as well. The writer Moses mentions nothing about their ages. They are convinced that this happening is from God. And answer: We cannot possibly go against the Will of God, look at our daughter, and take her as wife for the son. We let her go in freedom.
Verse 52 For the third time, the servant bows and gives all honour to God and shows his gratitude in the presence of all.
Verse 53 The servant has received the final confirmation from God, this girl is intended by God as the wife for the son Isaac. He collects all gifts and distributes them to the girl, her brother and her mother. The dowry. A proof of the wealth of his lord, so they do not have to be concerned about the future of their sister and daughter.
Verse 54 After this report and permission from the family, and thereby the confirmation to the servant, the meal can start with peace of mind. The servant and his men stay overnight with them. The servant does not let grass grow over it. He politely asks permission to leave. He wishes to tell the good news to his master Abraham as soon as possible.
Verses 55-56 The brother and mother ask the servant to remain with them a while, at least ten days. A reason is not given. Possibly they wanted to think better about their decision. Possibly the quick departure from them, felt heavily upon them. A mother who is to overwhelmed by a marriage request and immediate departure of her daughter, undoubtedly is very heavy.
The servant is faithful, the Lord has prospered me, let me soon return to my lord. A long way back is waiting for them. The promised land of Canaan was not next door.
Verses 57-58 The brother, father and mother have given Rebekah in marriage. That may have happened with parental authority. Now the girl is left free to choose whether she wants to leave and to say goodbye to her parents immediately. Her answer is: I will go. Possibly she agreed with the prosperous way given by God to the servant. The Bible does not give any explanation of what has happened inside the girl.
How is the believer's response when he or she is asked by God to leave everything behind? Same as the answer to Jesus: First let me bury my dead? Or is the believer immediately prepared to leave everything behind and follow Jesus, like the disciples who immediately gave up father and job? Are we as parents willing to immediately let the children go to a mission field and immediately say goodbye to them? Likely in the case of Rebekah, she goes so far away that they will never see her again?
Verses 59-61 Rebekah is blessed by her family. May she become the mother of thousands of ten thousands. A blessing that has fulfilled more than that. She has become the mother of a million, maybe billions. Your offspring possesses the gate of those who hate them. Today the Jews again possess the promised land of Israel, hated by the Palestinians and other countries. God made His Word true.
Rebekah does not go alone, together with her nurse and her maids. Not completely deprived of all her loved ones. She goes with some of her known. Her nurse who knows her from birth.
Verse 62 Isaac lived at the Beer-Lahai-Roi well, while his father lived in Berseba. Isaac had the age of forty years, so it is not surprising that he lived upon his own. Unknown is where this place is located.
Verse 63 In the evening, Isaac went to meditate, that is to seek God and speak with God in prayer. At the end of this, Isaac opened his eyes and saw the camels arrive. Undoubtedly Isaac was aware of the servant's mission. Undoubtedly Isaac wondered if the servant had succeeded in his mission.
Verses 64-65 The servant, no doubt, told Rebekah that their journey would soon end and that they came near her future husband. She sees a man coming, so she suspects that this may be her future husband. Isaac is on foot that is why she alights from her camel out of reverence. And covers her face with a veil. Not uncommon. Many today marry with a bridal veil. The bridal veil is a symbol of modesty and purity of the bride and her reverence for God. Today, it reminds us of the temple veil that was torn in two when Christ died on the cross. The tearing of the veil took away the separation between God and man, giving believers access into the very presence of God the Father. Since Christian marriage is a picture of the union between Christ and the Church, we see another reflection of the marriage between man and wife. Through marriage, man and wife now has full access to one another (1 Corinthians 7:4), the sexual intercourse. The veil is taken away, the end of the virginity of the woman, the first beginning of sexual unity.
Verse 66 The servant gives an extensive report about his journey. How God led him to Rebekah. The servant confirms thereby the choice of Rebekah as the wife for Isaac. Isaac does not have to doubt about the choice of this woman. It is the choice of God.
HAVING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE, MEANS THAT YOU COMITTED A MARRIAGE WITH EACH OTHER AND YOU ARE MARRIED!!!
Verse 67 So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death, three years ago. A very long sorrow, a great loss from his old mother. But after three years of mourning, God provides the wife for him. Isaac brings Rebekah into the tent.
Finally, one of the most important Bible verses from the Bible. AND HE TOOK REBEKAH, AND SHE BECAME HIS WIFE. Why are these words so important? Be careful what happens here. Isaac brings Rebekah into the tent. A separate place, to his own place. In other words, keeping to Genesis 2:24 leave your father and mother and have your OWN home. But now the most important: HE TOOK REBEKAH, AND SHE BECAME HIS WIFE. No wedding ceremony, no to make public announcemnt of I TAKE THIS WOMAN AS MY WIFE, no wedding party. NO, a simple sexual intercourse makes the marriage. The DEFLOWERING and the SEXUAL INTERCOURSE MEAN MARRIAGE. Having sex before marriage does not exist, with the sexual intercourse THE MARRIAGE IS A FACT (see also 1 Corinthians 6:16). If you split up after sexual intercourse, that is DIVORCE!
Genesis 25 - Birth of Esau and Jacob
Verse 1 According to Calvin, Abraham took another woman during the life of his wife Sarah, which would explain why Abraham was able to conceive children. I think it is a strange thought. Sarah had urged her husband to send away the slave Hagar with her child, the son of Abraham, born out of the flesh. God had confirmed to him to be obedient to his wife. Then it is a strange thing that Abraham would take another woman and raise children with her while Sarah is still alive. Others declare that Abraham received new life in order to begot Isaac and thus become fertile again.
Verses 2-6 God had clearly told Abraham that the promise of Him was for his son Isaac and NOT for Ishmael. He had taken another (young) woman out of sexual lust and had begotten children with her. Now that he sees his death is approaching (perhaps revealed by God), he has to take measurements. These children also conceived in the flesh, and send away in the same way as in the case of Ishmael. These children may not inherit, Isaac has been designated by God as the sole heir. Notice verse 6, there are concubines in the plural. And sons of the concubines. So it is not just limited to this one woman Ketura. Abraham had become very disobedient to God, for he committed polygamy. Earlier he had been sent away Ishmael.
Verses 7-8 Abraham had grown old, had received new life and was far above the God defined maximum age of 120 years. Abraham was 140 when Isaac married. He died at the age of 175 and was therefore allowed to enjoy the marriage of his son for 35 years. Isaac married when he was 40, Rebekah was barren for 20 years, his sons were born when he was 60 (verse 26). So Abraham was allowed to see his grandchildren (140 + 20 = 160 years) when they were born.
Abraham breathed his last, possibly this signifies a peaceful death, without an agony of sickness and weakening of old age.
Verses 9-11 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him. That means that Abraham had contact with Ishmael again after the death of Sara. The other sons had already been sent to the eastward to the east country. Abraham is buried in the same cave of his wife Sara. Isaac continues to live at the well of Beer-Lahai-Roi where he took Rebekah as his wife.
Verses 12-18 Ishmael also raised 12 children, or 12 tribes. They lived in a country that was east of Egypt. Ishmael died at the age of 137.
Verses 19-21 Here is a strange thing. Rebekah the woman chosen by God as wife for Isaac, she was barren like Sarah. Abraham had been promised by God that Isaac would become a great nation. Undoubtedly, Isaac was aware of this promise, yet pregnancy did not occur and Rebekah was barren. A huge contradiction. Isaac prayed for his wife Rebekah. And the Lord granted his prayer. Why? Undoubtedly Rebekah will have prayed, but it is the prayer of Isaac, as head of the family, to which God listens. But why a granted prayer? Unfortunately, I owe you the answer.
Daniel prayed on the basis of God's promise that after 70 years God would allow Israel to return from exile. It was an appeal upon God's promise. But was that a granted prayer?
Let this be a lesson for the believer. Prayer must be a persistent prayer (Rebekah remained barren for 20 years) with an appeal to the promise(s) given by God in the Bible. It must be in accordance with God's Will. And we know God's Will from the Bible. That is why Bible study is important. To know the Bible text within its context and not to be drawn out of its context, as satan did in his temptations with Jesus.
Verses 22-23 It was not a normal kicking of the children in the pregnant belly of Rebekah. Pay close attention to her reaction. She observes that something unusual is going on in her belly. The reaction is why? AND she's going to consult the Lord God. How that is not mentioned in the Bible. There were no prophets around. It is she, the pregnant woman, who is going to consult God. Through prayer? Why not together with her husband?
God answers her. How? That is not stated in the Bible, only "God said to her". Does that mean a clear voice, or a dream? In any case, it is an obvious answer directly from God Himself. Without any doubt.
Very clearly, two nations where the elder shall serve the younger. God answers clearly and also tells what the future will be. Already in her pregnant belly the unborn twins are fighting for power. A case that is incomprehensible to man, for humans a foetus does not have yet a will, the unborn life is ignorant. This fighting proves that a foetus is life, a human being, which one may not be ended through abortion.
It is also an Omniscience of God that Esau will sell his birthright to Jacob, verses 31-33.
Verses 24-26 Some wonder why God did not make Jacob to be born first? God is Sovereign, as people we do not know the reasons of God. God tested Pharaoh, gave him the opportunity to listen to God's warnings. In verses 31-33, Esau is tested for the value he gives to his firstborn right. He was born first.
Isaac was not so young anymore when he first became a father. Unfortunately nothing is mentioned about the age of Rebekah. Their faith in God's promise was also heavily tested.
Verse 27 Esau was a skilful hunter. A hard labour which meant running after the game and kill. With bow and arrow, or catch the animal and kill it with the knife.
Isaac became a quiet man, or he like his grandfather, employed servants to graze the flock, the Bible does not mention, but seems logical.
Verse 28 Father and mother cannot make a distinction in their love for their children. Yet in practice there is a preference for a certain son or daughter by the father and mother. We cannot say that this was caused by verse 23 where the oldest is predicted above the younger. It is possible that Isaac's preference arose from the game of Esau. The love of the man goes through the belly. As a possible counter-reaction, Rebekah preferred Jacob.
Lesson: Be careful and make sure that the children do not notice a difference in parental love. Do not play children out by asking who do you love most, father or mother? If you make sometimes a distinction, explain why. Our son is 7 years older than the youngest, the eldest has to accept more responsibility, while the youngest has to accept that his older brother receives more expensive toys. And that goes well, because we as parents explain it to them. Often we give both a gift at the same time.
Verses 29-30 Lentils are full of iron, fibers and proteins. Red lentils often have no pellicles and are mainly used for soups and mashed potatoes. No wonder Esau, tired and returning from an unsuccessful hunt, wanted to have a nutritious meal.
Verses 31-33 How nasty is Isaac. His brother, tired and returning from a hunt without having caught anything, refuses to give him food. Yes, even against a regular payment, he demands most of all: the first born right of his own twin brother. Then you have to hate your own brother very much when you actually ask for his life. Esau is tired and hungry, so much that he thinks his death is near. So his answer is yes, I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?
Verse 34 But the Bible gives another explanation: Esau ate and drank, rose and went away. He did not attach any value to his birthright. Later he would regret it. Was this because his fatigue was over and he came to his senses? Yet we should value the words of the Bible: he despised.
Let it be a lesson, never take decisions when you are tired (stressed out). And especially under difficult circumstances if you think that everything is lost. Wait to sign documents or take important decisions. It is precisely then that Satan waits to make you fall, and often the consequences are definite. Wait until you are clear and fresh, and do not be fooled!
Genesis 26 - No trust from Isaac in God
Verse 1 History is repeating itself, famine arose. This time Isaac is departing to the land of Abimelech and not to Egypt. Abimelech had shown himself to be hospitable in the days of Abraham. Possibly for that reason Isaac returns to this country.
Verses 2-6 God appears to Isaac with the order not to travel to Egypt, but to remain in the land of Abimelech, the land of Gerar. Now God is directly repeating to Isaac His promise to Abraham. Be obedient to Me, then I will bless you and fulfill My promise. The conditions are: obedience, kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Verses 7-8 Here, too, history is repeated. There is no trust in God. Despite the lessons to his father Abraham, who told that his wife was his sister (which was half a truth). This is where Isaac tells a full lie, because Isaac had neither sisters nor half-sisters. Isaac must have heard the two histories of his father. His father must have told this, otherwise generations later, Moses could not have put this in writing. It is a very sad case with Isaac. God had spared his life as a burnt offering, when he was a child. God had repeated His promised in the verses 2-6 that he will become a great nation. God had also personally appeared to him, and yet, like his father Abraham, NO trust in God. A conscious lie and order to his wife, tell the inhabitants that you are my sister. In spite of all the lessons from the past and the just-given promised by God Personally, no trust in God but on human trust of lies.
Unfortunately, God no longer appears in Person to the believer. The believer must do it with the Bible and the lessons from the Bible. Just like Abraham and Isaac, the believer is tested through famine and other problems. It is important to trust the words of the Bible in the right context. And not to be fooled by satan.
Verse 9 Abimelech is probably a title. Or the son of the Abimelech at the time of Abraham. This Abimelech also knew the history of deceit and deception of the woman is my sister. How stupid Isaac was to use this again. The proverb "Even though the lie is so fast, the truth will outdate," is fulfilled here. Abimelech, the king, personally sees that Isaac was fonding his wife. What a decline. The king calls him to account. What a decline to witness: I had no faith in my God, but I feared for my life.
Verse 10 The king and his people feared very much their idols. Abimelech and his people feared the God of Abraham and Isaac. These people, who served idols, were more afraid of their gods, including the God of Isaac, than Isaac had for his own God. What a deep shame and very bad testimony. This king testifies in public: You, Isaac, would have brought serious guilt upon us. The history of his father is repeated. What a bad testimony. Twice the same lie, twice the display of not having faith in their own God. Let this be a lesson for the believer. Do not disgrace God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Verse 11 The king is radical and gives testimony to his faith in the God of Isaac. The order is: Whoever touches this man or his wife will surely BE put to death. What proof of awe of the God of Isaac. He knows that Isaac and his wife are under the protection of their God, and that if evil is done to them, their God will punish the king and his people.
Verses 12-14 God had blessed Abraham with wealth during his stay in the land of Gerar. Even now the son is blessed and is getting richer. The slaves receive children so that the slave procession expands. The inhabitants of Gerar envy the blessing of the God of Isaac. But this expansion also requires more territory.
Verses 15-17 A necessity is water to be able to live. Isaac is expanding greatly and by stopping the wells, the inhabitants try to make the life of Isaac and his herds and slaves impossible. But it does not benefit, so the king has to intervene. The king is clear: Isaac you are much mightier than we, be so kind and leave us. Isaac is wise and leaves the land Gerar (verse 6).
Verses 18-20 The inhabitants had stopped the wells after the death of Abraham. How the Bible does not tell, with sand or stones? Isaac dug again the wells, because he had a lot of cattle and slaves, so he needed a lot of water. A well contained not streaming (brackish?) water as a result of rain that was deep in the ground. And could dry up. A well with living water means a well with springing water, very healthy and drinkable, which would not dry out. No wonder, therefore, that the shepherds of Gerar quarreled about this well. After all, it was a source that did not dry up.
Verses 21-23 After many quarrels, Isaac returns to the land of his deceased father Abraham in Beerseba (Gen. 22:19).
Verses 24-25 Again God appears to Isaac. What a privilege that God Personally appears to him. A direct conversation? Or a one-way conversation? Whatever the case, a clarity without any doubts. And what a promise: I am with you, do not fear, I will bless you. A promise that he does not have to fear his enemies. That is quite different for the believer. Jesus Christ has not promised that the believer need not fear his enemies. On the contrary, Jesus said that the believer can expect martyrdom and possibly death. However death is of the body, and who persists to the end, is not of the soul. Who persists until the end, he/she awaits an eternal life in Heaven.
Isaac builds an altar. A place where burnt sacrifices for sins is brought. The servants dig a well, so that there is water and this place can become a permanent residence.
Verses 26-29 King Abimelech and his commander of his army Phicol go to the home of Isaac. They do not want war with Isaac but peace. They have no confidence that Isaac will keep the covenant between them and Abraham. They wish a direct covenant between them and the son Isaac. What a crude word from Isaac, what an insult: SEEING that you hate me. What a false accusation, what a guts. Isaac who had no faith in his God, a king Abimelech who showed reverence and awe to his God. Kings who had shown hospitality to his father and him to live in THEIR country in times of famine. While he was richly blessed by God. The king had given him forgiveness for the gross lie of his wife is my sister. And then have the guts with the gross accusation of: Seeing that you hate me. What a huge ingratitude. As a king you will immediately kill this person. But God's hand is with Isaac, and this king is in awe of this God. The king replies with: we have done to YOU NOTHING BUT GOOD, he rightly rejects the false accusation of Isaac. What a decline of Isaac, what a bad testimony. A person so overwhelmingly blessed by his God, and then so overwhelmingly giving bad testimony. The king had given a great good testimony, only treated him well. While Isaac is full of lies and ingratitude.
Verses 30-31 The king wishes a promise of peace. But he does not trust Isaac and therefore makes him swear by his God. Knowing that if Isaac does not keep his word, then his God will punish him and judge him in the promises made. After the meal and taking oath, the king and his commander depart in peace. Knowing that the God of Isaac is a testimony of them.
Verses 32-33 Beerseba was a desert territory (Gen. 21:14 The angel of the Lord meets the slave Hagar). Again the servants have dug a well. If due to the lot of drinking water (water wells) was found here, a city Beerseba was founded, is unclear.
Verses 34-35 Esau commits polygamy and marries two women Judith and Basemath. Against the command of God to marry only one woman AND to marry within one's own tribe. No woman from the offspring of the brother of Abraham, as with Isaac. Esau takes two women who serve idols (Hittite tribe). The disobedience of Esau leads to torments of Isaac and Rebekah. Yes, Esau was 40 years old, so mature. He had the right to choose for himself and the parents could no longer forbid. Yet we could question the education of Esau. The parents should have pointed to God's statutes and laws.
How are believing parents? Have you taught God's laws? No sexual intercourse before marriage? No mismated with unbeliever partner? A prohibition of a courtship with an unbeliever or mismated in faith? See The choice of your future partner. As parents we have no excuse, have the duty of forbidding *). If the child is disobedient, it will have to bear the consequences. A loss of eternal life in Heaven, on which the believing parents must point out. After all, it is a conscious choice of the child to say goodbye to the Christian faith. For it is a conscious choice to go against God's will and to choose courtship with an unbeliever (see 1 Cor. 7, 2 Cor. 6:14). A conscious choice to extinguish the Holy Spirit and to lose the seal of eternal life (Eph. 4:30).
*) Note: This is a serious matter. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and marriage are the most important things in life. It is not a question of this time, this century. God is eternal, His knowledge is greater than that of man. He knows what is best for people. And we cannot say, that is not of our present time. The question is, how far do you go in forbidding? First, as parents, you explain from the Bible that God has forbidden it. Point to the many divorces of a believer with an unbelieving partner. How many faithful partners have lost their faith or their spiritual life.
If the conversation with your child does not help, ask the eldest and/or pastor of the church to have a conversation with your disobedient child.
How far do you go as a church? First with discipline. Exclusion from ecclesiastical offices (choir, music, distribute the Holy Supper), and exclude church membership if necessary. Never deny access to the church.
As a parent with underage children, pray for wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Do not receive the unbelieving partner in your house. Explain why! With adult children, do not participate in this sin and request the disobedient child to leave the parental home. And to live on its own. But leave the door open to visit the parental home. One must be clear, we are talking about eternal life that is at stake. Or stay behind at the Rapture of the Church. Which parent wishes his son or daughter to go through the Great Tribulation?
Genesis 27 - The blessing of Isaac to his son
Verses 1-2 Isaac is almost blind and sees his death approaching. That is why he calls his favourite son to bless him before he dies. In the following verses we read the deceit of his wife Rebekah and the son Jacob. Rebekah does not trust in God, for what He had said in Genesis 25:23. And Isaac too ignores this. Both go their human way and bypass God's Will.
Verses 3-4 Apparently, Esau was customarily preparing a delicious meal of game for his father. Isaac indicates the reason, before I die, I still want to enjoy this meal, and then I may bless you before I die. Here Isaac goes into the fault, God had clearly said that the blessing was for Jacob and not for Esau. Moreover, Esau was disobedient to God with his polygamous marriage and Hittite women. So Isaac was not allowed to give the blessing as in verses 28-29. This was the personal preference of Isaac as father to Esau over Jacob and against the Will of God.
Verses 5-6 Rebekah was present in the tent when Isaac made the request to the son Esau. And she understood from the conversation what her husband was planning. Instead of trusting God (Gen. 25:23), she grabs earthly means of gross sin and lies. Without any fear of God. She waits until Esau went to the field to hunt and then calls her son Jacob.
Verses 7-8 Rebekah reports to her son Jacob of the conversation between Isaac and Esau. Jacob was the favourite son of Rebekah. She wished that the blessing go to her favourite son Jacob and not to the favourite son of Isaac. No respect and submissiveness of the woman Rebekah to her husband. Pure human will and preference. No trust in God but a grasping of earthly means to accomplish her will. Yes, a gross sin and a bad example of the mother: Obey me as I command you. It is the mother, the woman who commands. The own wife who deceives her blind man. How small was the love of Rebekah for her husband!
Verses 9-10 Go to the flock, Jacob was a domestic man and therefore a shepherd? Get two good kids from the herd. Then I will prepare it as your father loves it. Then he may bless you instead of your brother. What a deception of the woman to her blind husband. A conscious choice, a premeditated sin! How is it possible that good kids can take the place of game from the field? Why did Isaac not taste the difference in meat? Possibly the way Rebekah prepared the meat.
Verses 11-12 But Jacob thinks that his brother is a hairy man and he is a smooth man, and therefore his father would soon discover the deception. Therefore, instead of a blessing, I may receive a curse. No resolute rejection of the deceit, no, a companion of deceit and sin from his mother. He wished the blessing that was going his brother. He forgot that he had sold the birthright to his brother (Gen. 25: 30-34). Had he never told this to his father? Now he takes the right in his own hands through deception.
Verses 12-17 The mother accepts all responsibility. A possible curse comes upon her. Without any respect for a curse, a punishment by God. How well the mother had thought, she takes the clothes of the brother Esau with his smell. She covers the smooth skin of her son Jacob with the hairy skins of the slaughtered good kids. Yes, a completely premeditated act of lying and sin. No excuse possible. No fear of God. A fully conscious acceptance of a punishment by God (curse on me).
She prepares the meal and gives it to Jacob to bring it to her blind husband.
Verses 18-19 Jacob goes with the savoury meal to his father. Probably the father hears the voice that this is not Esau. He asks: Who are you, my son? What a strange question. He recognizes "my son". But why the question: Who are you?
Jacob without fear of God, deceives his father with: 1.I am Esau, 2.Your first-born. 3.I have done as you told me. A threefold lie. The father could think that Jacob could not know what he had agreed with Esau. He goes on with: now sit up that you may bless me.
Verses 20-23 Isaac is surprised that the son has found game so quickly and prepared the meal. He does not trust it. Now Jacob continues his sin with the lie in which he even involves God: The Lord your God granted me success. Without any fear of God, he involves God in his lie. And he refers to the God of his father. Not our God, NO, consciously "your God".
Isaac nevertheless does not trust, and asks to feel him. And says your voice is that of Jacob and not that of Esau. Here the father goes wrong. He does not trust the case, and is confirmed because the voice is not correct. But he proceeds through a human confirmation of feeling. He does NOT consult his God. In this very important matter of blessing, he does NOT consult God! God could have answered that the blessing came to Jacob, as said in Gen. 25:23. After all, God had spoken personally with Isaac before.
The lesson for the believer. Consider carefully how you act in important matters of the Kingdom of God, gospel proclamation, mission, children's work. If you have doubts about things, seek God in prayer, seek confirmation from the Bible. As soon as it goes against the Bible, it is NOT from God. Let yourself be guided through the Holy Spirit. But in NO case, consult (believing) people. Rebekah deceits her own husband. Sometimes a project is so wanted and fellow believers wishing to please and support you. But do not continue when in doubt.
Verse 24 How can you as a son cheat your own blind father? That does not indicate any respect for God. No respect for the father. Encouraged by the wife and mother. The father asked: "Are you really my son Esau?" With a resolute "I am" he confirmed his deception, Yes I am Esau. Isaac gets a biscuit of his own dough, he had told his wife to say: I am the sister of Isaac, while she was his wife. Everything a conscious lie and deceit.
Verses 25-27 Isaac asks to kiss him. He smells the smell of the clothes, the smell of the field. A human confirmation that this must be the son Esau. The field which the LORD has blessed.
Verses 28-29 Isaac passes on the blessing. The dew of heaven that water and let the crops grow on the field and vineyard. So that there is food for the (wild) animals. So that there is fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. Nations will serve him and be submissive to him. Be lord over your brothers. Notice the plural. Esau would never be submissive to Isaac. The brothers of Joseph would be submissive to their brother (and king) Joseph.
A great promise is given to him: Whoever curses you, will be cursed by God. Whoever blesses you, will be blessed by God.
Verses 30-32 Jacob had received the blessing and made haste, knowing that his brother could return at any moment. Which happened, Jacob had hardly left his father's tent, or Esau is returning from a successful hunt. Esau prepares the game and brings it to his father. He invites him to eat his savory food. The father is confused and asks: Who are you? Esau replies with: "I am your son, your first-born, Esau". The lie did not last long, the deceit is revealed very quickly. But the damage has happened.
Verse 33 Isaac trembled violently. But remains alive and does not die of a heart failure. He recognizes the voice of his son Esau. He realizes the deception of his son Jacob and possibly of his wife Rebekah.
He informs Esau what has happened. I have blessed your brother. But notice the sequel: Yes, and he shall be blessed. What a word, a confirmation of the blessing. Isaac realizes that he cannot undo the pronounced blessing on the deceiver. Does he remember at that moment what God had told the pregnant Rebekah that the youngest would rule over the eldest? And this had been fulfilled with this blessing.
Verse 34 Esau cries out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry. Had he forgotten that he had sold his birthright to his brother? He receives what he had sold. It was his own fault, he had no value attached and sold. Or is there a difference between birthright and blessing?
Isaac has everything donated to who he thought was his favourite son. Had not left a blessing for the twin brother. Isaac gets a biscuit of its own dough. He can no longer give anything to his favourite son, he can no longer bless him. The preference of the father over the other brother has been punished in a human way. Esau asks to bless him too. But EVERYTHING has been given away by the father. Normally both children inherit, both children are blessed. Because of the preferences of father and mother, there is injustice. God's laws were violated. One can argue that this was so predestined by God. As an contra argument, this was done by human ability and deception. They had not waited for God to arrange by Him.
Let this be a lesson for the believer. With a promise from God, do NOT fulfill the promise in your own strength, wait for God's time.
Verses 35-37 Isaac replies with: "Your brother came with guile, and he has taken away your blessing."
Jacob means "who grasps the heel" from the verb Acon holding the heel. What happened at birth. Afterwards it took on the meaning of: grabing, cheating.
The first accusation my brother has supplanted me twice is false. Esau had desperately but voluntarily sold his birthright. But it had happened without deception.
The second accusation was precisely with deception his brother had taken away the blessing. But out of fondness for the son Esau, the father had left nothing for the twin brother. Jacob comes to his senses and asks: Have you not reserved a blessing for me? To his disgrace, the father must reply that he has blessed him as lord over him. That he has not left a blessing for him. Isaac is punished for his own injustice, he has taken away ALL from his favourite child. Yes even made him submissive to his brother. Eliminated the blessings of the crop (rich alimentation).
Verses 38-40 Esau realizes that everything has been taken away from him. He lifts up his voice and weeps. His future is without opportunity and without blessing. Father, have you but one blessing for me? His father replies: "Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you break loose you shall break his yoke from your neck." (2 Kings 8:20 Edom revolted from the rule of Judah. The descendants of Esau is Edom).
Let this be a serious warning to the faithful, who can draw important lessons from this chapter. Esau sold his birthright at a weak moment. That was irrevocable. Secondly, everything happened with a conscious choice. Jacob received the blessing through deceit. The believer has received the inheritance after the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior. That is not enough. The inheritance, the believer receives after death. If the believer decides to return to the riches of the world during his or her life on earth (Esau sold his birthright for a meal), he or she sold the inheritance. Denying Christianity and thereby losing the access to Heaven (stays behind on earth and does NOT go with the Rapture of the Church). The believer must lead a life under the direction of the Holy Spirit until death or the Rapture of the Church. If not, he or she will have a renewed choice in the terrible Great Tribulation. But in my opinion with the loss of a new sinless body and life in Heaven.
Verse 41 Esau is furious, in some way correctly. His twin brother and his mother have deceived him. He is looking for revenge. But decides to wait until after the imminent death of his father. Then he wishes to kill his brother. In doing so, he ignores the fact that the blessing to his brother was decided by God. The killing of his brother would only bring the vengeance of God upon himself.
Verses 42-45 Rebekah learns what her son is planning, the murder of his brother after her husband's death. That is why she calls Jacob with the instruction flee to my brother Laban. Flee before your father dies and your brother kills you. In time, your brother will calm down and forget what you did to him. Then I will send a message to return. Why shall I lose both you and your father in one day?
Verse 46 Rebekah has the guts to speak to her husband after her deception. She complains about the Hittite women of Esau and therefore requests that Jacob is allowed to leave to seek a wife from the women of her brother Laban. Isaac gives his permission. The betrayal of Rebekah will come costly. Her favourite son Isaac will serve for 14 years for his wives. And possibly Rebekah died in this period and she has not seen her son anymore.
Genesis 28 - Jacob leaves his father and meets God
Verses 1-2 Isaac still alive, commands his blessed son Jacob to seek a wife from his family, namely from the daughters of Laban. His wife Rebekah had probably told that the brother intended to kill Jacob after the deception and stealing of the blessing. Therefore it is better that Jacob soon depart before his death and seek a wife and not taking a wife from the Canaanites who serve idols. Go to your mother's house and choose a woman there. The house where his father Isaac had chosen his wife. We are speaking about the patriarchs, close to creation. Their seed was still powerful so that within the family could be married (cousins). Today, 6000 years after creation, it is forbidden to marry in close family relationships. It is also not wise because the chance for handicapped person children is greater.
Verses 3-4 Isaac repeats the blessing which he had given earlier in Genesis 27. Go to your mother's country, choose a woman from her family AND return to this land, which God has promised to your grandfather. God has promised this land to your grandfather. The message that Jacob receives, is not to stay in the country of the brother of his wife Rebekah. But return to the Promised Land by God.
Verses 5-7 The brother Esau has seen and heard how Isaac is sent away and the blessing is repeated again. He has heard that Isaac has said clearly not to take a wife from the inhabitants of the land where they live. His conclusion is correct, my two women displease my father and my mother.
Verses 8-9 From this conclusion, he tries to restore his wrong marriages and marries a third wife. He goes to the half brother of Isaac. Ishmael, the son of Abraham, born of the flesh. Here too a marriage in the near family. Esau makes a serious mistake here, his third wife, polygamy. The son Ishmael of the sent away Egyptian maid Hagar, who was NOT blessed. It is very questionable whether Ishmael served the God of Abraham and Isaac.
The lesson for the believer, when one enters into error, does not try to repair it with another error. Usually the believer will have to live with the consequence of sin. Yes, God forgives, but cannot undo the consequence of sin. A man who commits adultery and conceives a child from this adultery shall not be aborted. These are very sensitive matters, to which no biblical answers can be given. If the man already has children, then what? The man stays with his current wife (if she permits and wishes)? And finish the adultery, but carry financial care from the adulterated child. In no case, this man can ever fulfill tasks in the church. Yes, there is forgiveness, but there is permanent damage. This person is a bad example and may not perform ecclesiastical functions. There are many other sins that make church duties impossible. The church must obey the Biblical precepts, see among other things the conditions in 1 Timothy 2, 3 and 5. That may sound harsh, but unbelievers point to the mistakes of the past and wean with the words: Listen to the words of the Bible, and how themselves offense. Theory but no practice.
Verse 10 Jacob leaves for Haran and must pass through the desert or through a detour that lasts longer. Here is a big difference. Abraham sent a servant to get the right woman for Isaac together with great gifts. Jacob goes on his way alone without any presents. Is the idea of Isaac that without help and gifts his son will soon return? Then his plan fails, because his son has to serve 14 years for his wives. A punishment by God for dishonesty? For a long period, Jacob will stay away from the Promised Land.
Verses 11-12 Jacob travels until the sun had set and lay down and goes to sleep. Jacob dreams and is aware that this is not an ordinary dream but in which he sees God. Why a dream? May we speak that there was a sin of deceit? God spoke directly to Abraham, the meeting with the angels (the three angels being God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit). Abraham was clean. Jacob had stolen the blessing by deceit and was unclean and therefore a direct conversation was impossible?
Let this be a lesson for the believer. Do not think lightly about sin. Perseverance in sin extinguishes the work of the Holy Spirit. The believer must live cleanly, without (unconfessed) sin. If not, then God cannot speak, in the way stands sin, there is no conversation possible, no answer to prayers.
Nevertheless, God speaks to Jacob through a dream. He sees a ladder from the earth that reaches to heaven. The angels descend and ascend along the ladder. How right, angels are sent by God from Heaven to the earth with orders. The angels are ascending to Heaven to report on the happenings and deeds of people on earth.
Verse 13 The Lord God stands at the top of the ladder. And says, I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and of Isaac. Why the Bible tells your father Abraham, commentaries do not give an explanation. Jacob was the son of Isaac, and Abraham was his grandfather. But clearly the emphasis is I am the God of Abraham and of Isaac to whom I have given My promises. I will make these promises true. The land on which you are now, will be yours and of your descendants in the future. You are now leaving the country, you are on the run, but I promise you will return. See here already the prediction that he will remain outside of the Promised Land for a long time. But Jacob will have to trust God that he will return.
The believer now resides on earth, but the believer who lives under the control of the Holy Spirit will, after the Rapture of the Church, go to his promised land, that is Heaven. The believer needs to trust God.
Verse 14 This offspring will be numerous as the dust of the earth. Spreading to the east, west, north and south. This is accordance to the borders given in Genesis 15:18-21. I will bless your offspring. This is a promise from God that the blessing given to Isaac will continue in the posterity of Jacob.
Verse 15 What a great promise from God. Despite Jacob's cunning deception, God will save Jacob everywhere, will not leave him and bring him back to the Promised Land.
Is that a license for the believer to sin? I do not think so. God preserves and blesses the believer who goes where God wants. God goes with the believer, if he continues to confess the sins. But the warning in Ephesians 4:30 does not grieve the Holy Spirit and in 1 Thess. 5:19 Does not extinguish the Holy Spirit, are serious enough. Also Mat. 24 and 25 are clear warnings to the believer: One is taken up, the other is left behind. Only half of the 10 virgins enjoy the wedding (Heaven), for the other half it was too late and the door to the wedding was closed. This half did NOT join the Rapture of the Church, and remain behind on earth to go through the Great Tribulation.
Verses 16-17 Jacob awakens. Jacob becomes clearly aware of the dream. Here I have seen the God of Abraham and of Isaac. This is the entrance, the gate to Heaven. And I did not know it. For people many things are hidden, people live in ignorance, until God makes things public. There appears to be openings on the earth through which demons from their dwellings (of demons) have access to the earth. Only God has the power to close these openings or to open them. This is completely hidden from man. According to some, more and more demons are coming to earth, which would explain the increasing violations of God's commandments and the demonic influences on earth.
Verses 18-19 Jacob is aware of the dream. And he goes to sleep until the morning. Then he takes the stone on which he had laid his head. He turns this stone into a permanent monument of his encounter with God. Possibly with the idea of visiting again when he returns from Haran.
With oil poured on the stone, it is turned into a holy monument. Possible oil to bake food, but it could also have been myrrh.
The place he calls Betel, a place possibly close to the city of Luz.
Verses 20-21 Jacob makes a promise. Note the words IF (provided that) God will be with me. Here Jacob expresses mistrust of God's promise. IF God will guard me, if God will give me bread, if God will clothe me, if I return. A fivefold terms of IF. If God fulfills these five conditions, then the Lord will be my God. What a guts, God has appeared to him in a dream. Has revealed Himself as the God of Abraham and of Isaac. Has given him rich promise, and then five conditions and clear expression of his doubts about the words of GOD. This clearly shows the heart of Jacob: a heart full of deceit.
Verse 22 Jacob makes a promise to God: Of all that You give me, I will give the tenth. That is about everything, food, clothing but also about children and goods (cattle).
Let this be a lesson for the believer who is telling to give his or her tenth (as an obligation and not voluntarily). The tenth is a lot more than a tenth of your salary. According to a calculation, the tenth amounts to 33% of the salary.
As a believer, be very careful in giving promises to God. Think of Jefta's promise, which cost him dearly and cost the life of his only daughter. First calculate the costs before you make a promise to God, and you make sure that you can fulfill it.
Genesis 29 - Jacob at Laban. The marriages of Jacob
Verses 1-8 Jacob continues his journey and enters Rebekah's brother's country. He sees a well with three flocks of sheep. He introduces himself to the shepherds of these three flocks. And he asks for their origin. The flocks cannot be watered because a large stone closes the well's mouth. One is just waiting for all shepherds of flocks of sheep to arrive at the well, so that one is able to remove the stone from the well. While he is talking, the daughter Rachel arrives with her flock.
Verses 9-10 The Rachel kept the sheep of her father. In looking for a wife for Isaac, it was the servant who watched the woman drawing water for the ten camels. Now it is Jacob himself who takes on this heavy work, removes the heavy stone and gives water to the flock of Rachel.
Verses 11-12 Jacob kisses Rachel. Undoubtedly he first introduced himself to her. He wept why? Possibly because he had successfully met the daughter of Rebekah's brother. He tells that they are cousin and niece, he is the son of the sister of (her father) Laban. At that time, marriages between nephew and niece were not uncommon, so that family property remained within the family.
A marriage between cousin and niece, also known as a 'cosanguene marriage', was once forbidden. Especially because children from these marriages are born with serious deviations, if not worse they can die early. The closer the ancestors are, the greater the risks. In addition, the more often the repetition of these marriages in the generations, the greater the health risks. A familiar village with marriages within the families gives many residents physical problems such as deafness, which are mainly due to the passing on of a certain gene mutation. This also occurs with the Mormons. They too have many children with deafness, heart defects and disabilities.
Jacob also waits at the well as the servant of Isaac waited. Rachel goes home quickly and reports to her father Laban.
Verses 13-14 As in the case of the servant, Laban rushes to the well and embraces Jacob. Jacob recounts everything to Laban again. He has a lot to explain. The servant came with ten camels and rich gifts. Here is Jacob alone, after a dangerous journey, without rich gifts. While previously the servant had reported that his lord Abraham had great wealth and his sister Rebekah awaited a good life. In that expectation Laban had let his sister go. Now he sees a (poor) son, who has fled, without any wealth. Jacob has a lot to explain, but knows how to convince Laban. Laban replies with "Surely you are my bone and my flesh".
Verse 15 Jacob stayed for a month and apparently Jacob served the father for one month for his livelihood. After a month, Laban says "Should you serve me for nothing"? That cannot be, after all, you are my kinsman. Tell me what you want as your wages. To what extent this is not hypocrisy, may appear from the sequel. Jacob had received food and drink for a month. He was a domestic man, possibly a shepherd. He probably worked that month as a shepherd with the flock and got to know the family better. But had he also told that he had come to marry a daughter of Laban?
Verses 16-17 Leah was the eldest daughter and her eyes were weak. Possibly women walked with a veil, so that the eyes of a woman were the only indication that a woman was beautiful (or not). The eyes of the Israeli pigeons are very dark and this kind of dark sparkling eyes is considered an extraordinary jewel for the woman. That "Leah had weak eyes" may indicate that she did not have such dark eyes and was therefore not as beautiful as Rachel.
Something is said only about Leah's eyes and but nothing about her shape. About Rachel is said to be beautiful and lovely.
Verse 18 Jacob loved Rachel. From the earlier verse, one can draw the conclusion that Jacob loved Rachel because of her appearance. Love because of appearance and beauty is a dangerous thing. Beauty fades and then were remains the love? A marriage must be based on unity of thoughts, about things in common. Gen. 2:24 says nothing for nothing: "They will be one flesh". That means being one, just as God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are a unity. If these conditions are not met, then the marriage is doomed to fail. Inner beauty counts, not the appearance. Later in Gen. 31:30-34 we learn that Rachel served the idols. No respect for the God of Jacob. After Jacob served 14 years for his wives, there appears to be no spiritual education of Rachel because she steals the idol from her parental home. The devil is sleeping on the pillow!
The outward love is very great, Jacob is willing to serve Laban for seven years to marry his daughter Rachel. No sexual intercourse for seven years. What a difference with his mother, who immediately left her family behind and Isaac immediately had sexual intercourse at their first meeting. Was then God's hand there and not here?
Verses 19-21 Laban agrees with the dowry of seven years of Jacob's work. He thinks it better that Rachel marries within the family than with another man from Haran. Laban does not mention with any word that before this marriage, Lea has to marry first.
After seven years of serving, Jacob asks to marry Rachel. During these seven years no man has dropped his eye on Leah and she is still unmarried. No man wanted her because of her weak eyes, or was there more? The Bible says nothing about this. Laban deceives Jacob and does not say that Jacob cannot marry Rachel because it was the custom that the eldest daughter married first. Jacob receives his wages of deceit. He stole the blessing of his eldest brother, now he is deceived.
Verse 22 The marriage of his father Isaac was completed by the sexual intercourse, here first by a wedding party. That is with a plenty representation of witnesses. Laban was cunning, he knew that he was going to cheat Jacob with the marriage of his eldest daughter. And not with the youngest, for whom Jacob had served seven years. The witnesses were present when Jacob went in with the woman for the wedding night. Lea is completely complicit in her father's deception. Where was Rachel, why did she not intervene? She must have been present at the wedding. She too is complicit in the deception. She could have warned her future husband with the words: Be careful it is our culture that the eldest daughter marries first. Did she not want Jacob as a man? If she wished, she consciously starts polygamy.
Verses 23-25 The veil has not been taken away, and Leah has sexual intercourse with Jacob, and thus the marriage is consummated. What happened? Why did not Jacob convince himself with whom he married? Why did he not notice that the appearance was not of Rachel? Is this a decision by God? A punishment from God to Jacob for his deception and not waiting for God that he would receive the blessing? A punishment from God to Rachel, because she serves idols and not the God of Abraham and Isaac?
Let this be a lesson. God expects from his children, the believers, that they speak the truth (except when this involves the torture or death of persecuted ones), that they are honest in their actions.
The next morning, Jacob finds out that it is Leah and not Rachel. Why at that time only? Has the veil remained over Leah's face and she took the veil away in the morning. Jacob demands accountability of Laban. All deeds of the (un)believer are and will be recorded in the Heavenly book. Before the judgment seat of Christ, every believer in Heaven will have to account for his or her actions (1 Cor. 3:10-15, 2 Cor. 5:10).
Verses 26-27 See here the deliberate deceit of Laban. He apologizes with that the culture here does not allow the younger to give in marriage before the firstborn. Pure deception which he should have told Jacob before the wedding. Why did Jacob not know this, he lived there for 7 years? Shortly before the judgment seat of Christ, the believer has no excuse of I did not know. Jacob had not been informed of the local culture. The believer has no excuse of not knowing. Or "the pastor or that person has said/explained in that way". The believer has the Bible, the direct words of God. The believer must know the COMPLETE content of the Bible. Has the Holy Spirit as the interpreter of the Bible. Be warned!
See how consciously Laban abuses: serve me another seven years, then I will give Rachel as your wife. Spend a week with your wife Leah, the honeymoon week. Then if you are willing to work for another seven years for me, then we will give you take Rachel (is sexual intercourse) as wife. His abuse as an excuse of culture is a half-truth. The goal behind it was another seven years of Jacob's work. He was completely out of riches and cheap labour.
Verse 28 Jacob did so. But he commits a twofold second degree sin. 1. Polygamy 2. A marriage with the sister (while alive) and the uncovering of her pubic parts is a abomination in the eyes of God, Leviticus 18. Here we see the lust of Jacob and the disregard of God's laws. Later the laws would put in writing by Moses. Jacob is so captivated by the beauty of Rachel that he only thinks of her and does not heed the precepts of God. The punishment will follow: Rachel is infertile.
Verses 29-30 Jacob holds a week in honour, and then takes Rachel as his wife. The third sin that Jacob commits, is that he does not love Leah. Yes, but that was never his intention. His goal was Rachel. I remain guilty of making a statement. Is it the punishment of God? Because he let himself be guided by the beautiful appearance. Did he not consult God? He knew the precepts of God. He should have accepted the consequences of his actions and renounced the marriage with Rachel and stay within the only marriage with Leah.
As a believer, be very careful not to restore a foolishness/deceit with a (heavy) sin to put things "right". Do not be the one as saved through the fire (1 Cor. 3).
Verses 31-35 Despite the fact that Leah had become the wife of Jacob through deception, God did not tolerate her being hated. Is this a punishment from God because Jacob had not hinself informed about the culture of the land? And had intercourse with Leah without being aware that it was not Rachel? Whatever the case, Jacob was married to Leah. Although Jacob did not love his wife Leah, it appears from the fact that she gives birth to four sons that he had sexual intercourse with her. During four years (four times nine months of pregnancy). Then she also becomes barren.
What lesson can the believer learn from this? First, that a believer should be well informed. If one wants to do a work for the Lord, the believer must prepare himself well. Especially when going abroad, knowledge of the language and culture. If the believer gets married, both partners will have to know each other well. Does the couple think the same about things? Does one have the same spiritual level? Having the same ambition and future plans? Is one spiritually one? If there are doubts, it is better to postpone the marriage or end the courtship. Never may a courtship start with an infidel. Rachel worshiped idols and the consequences are great. Moreover, Jacob committed polygamy and married the sister. An abomination in God's eyes. The consequence is a house full of hate, strife and jealousy.
Secondly, one must inform God about his or her plans and ask Him for advice and examine whether it is His Will.
Third, if the believer has made a mistake, then confession is in order. But the believer must not try to correct the error by means of a still grosser sin. Jacob commits several gross sins: he marries the sister and thereafter also the maids of each of them. The result: a house full of envy and hate, never peace and quiet.
Genesis 30 - The marriages and children of Jacob
Verse 1 Rachel blames her husband for not giving birth. What a foolishness. It is God who has closed her mother's womb. Rachel makes a big statement: Give me children, if not, I shall die. As if Jacob is guilty of her being barren. Rachel will later experience the consequence of her words and die at giving birth to her second child. She will not raise her two children, but her sister. And may I ask it, after her death, where did she go. To paradise or hell? Her life was a testimony of disbelief and no respect for the God of Jacob.
Verses 2-4 Jacob rightly becomes very angry and says: Am I in the place of God? Jacob is very aware that it is GOD who has closed the mother's womb of Rachel. His seed makes Leah pregnant, God gives fertility to Leah. So the fault is not with him but with her.
During four years or more, Rachel did not seek God. Not asking God let me get pregnant, please. Now she is resorting to her maid Bilhah with human means. It was the custom that everything a maid obtained (by labour, from cattle, children) became the property and belonged to her mistress. Such a child born from the maid, was automatically the property of her mistress.
See how Jacob, as head of the family, responsible to God, goes even further with gross sinning. He marries a third woman. The question we can ask ourselves, is why does God allow the maid to become pregnant? A clear indication of God, that His wrath is directly focused on Rachel. It is a direct punishment from God to serve idols. A great rebellion of her to God, a permission from her side, that her father deceived Jacob with the marriage with her sister Leah.
Verses 5-8 See the sexual relationship of Jacob with the maid Bilhah. It is not limited to 1 child, but even a second child! At last, Rachel gives the honour to God with the words of: He has heard my voice. But notice the words: With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed. It is her fight against her sister. She has wrestled and overcame her. NOTHING no honour to God, no remorse. These two children were born through sin. It has NOT been God who has opened up HER mother's womb. By human sinful intervention, her maid has become pregnant twice, not she herself.
Verses 9-13 It is very sad with the household of Jacob, one gross sin exceeds an even greater gross sin. There is absolutely no respect within his household for the commandments of God. Leah sees that she has ceased bearing children, and does not ask God for the reason and to make her fruitful again. ALSO she grabs to human sinful ways. Follows the example of her sister and gives her maid to Jacob. How heavy will be the final judgment about Jacob. He is responsible as head of the family to God. Why not being satisfied with the children already received? Leah already had four sons (at that time, daughters had less values) given to Jacob. Rachel's maid only two. What a pride of Leah and how terrible she goes into the error. Jacob sins further and takes the maid of Leah as fourth wife.
This maid also gives birth to two sons. Leah is happy. How can she happily praise herself with possession acquired in a human and sinful manner?
The believer must be careful with possessions obtained in his or her own power and then to praise God. Yes, God sometimes allows something to be obtained through sin. But remember that in the end the believer must justify himself before the judgment seat of Christ and God. Unfortunately, we see believers praising their wealth, their spiritual gifts of speaking in tongues and prophecy. While they lead a (heavily) sinful (hidden) life. And they claim: God forgives my sins, I confess sins, and joyfully continue their sinful life (deceive by satan), because after all God blesses me with spiritual gifts. However, they forget Matthew 7:21-23 Did we not prophesy in your name ... Jesus says openly: Depart from me, you evildoers.
Mandrakes is from the Hebrew word doedaïem. Most likely the plant is Alruin (Mandragora officinarum). The Hebrew word is similar to the word for "beloved", dod. Hence the translation 'mandrakes'. The ripe fruit of the Alruin consists of round, smooth apples of pale yellow color, which are full of seed grains with a somewhat intoxicating, but not unpleasant odor. These apples were used in the East from the earliest times to make minn drinks. According to popular belief, the plant promoted fertility and was therefore beneficial for reproduction.
One day the eldest son of Leah found mandrakes. When Rachel saw this, she wanted these mandrakes. Leah bought her husband so that he would spend the night with him. This may indicate that Jacob was used to sleep with Rachel and they shared the same tent. Esau sold her his birthright for a dish. Here Rachel sells her husband for a love night with her sister. And at the time that her sister knows that she is in her fertility period.
Verses 17-20 Leah goes to out to meet Jacob and tells her that she has honestly hired him to spend the night with him. What a strange remark: hired. After all, she was the first wife of Jacob. She had the full right to spend the night with her husband. Obviously, Jacob prefers her sister Rachel. And God hears Leah, that means Leah has sought God again in prayer, after her foolishness to give her maid to him. God gives her two more sons. She assumes that, after giving her husband six sons, now her husband comes to live with her. But probably a misconception, because in verse 22 Rachel herself becomes pregnant.
Verse 21 Leah then gave birth to a daughter Dina. Unknown is whether this is the only daughter of Jacob. Women are rarely mentioned in the Bible, only when there is a special meaning or event in relation to it. Dina will be raped later and her brothers will murder her rapist and his people.
Verses 22-24 Why God thought of Rachel, the Bible does not mention. Did God want to make clear with her pregnancy that He is the one who gives life? He gave her a favour in the hope that she might repent and repent to Him? The words of May the LORD add me another son, were possibly a prophecy. She will bear another son: Benjamin, but she will die in her childbirth. God did not allow her having the joy of giving sons to her husband, and watching them to grow up. Because she did not repent and kept serving idols?
Verses 25-26 Why Jacob waited until Rachel gave birth to Joseph is not clear. Looking to the number of years and giving each child one year, then six sons of Lea and a daughter is seven years. Four children, two with each slave is four years, Joseph a year. A total of twelve years that is more than the seven years serving for Rachel as a woman. But now Jacob asks to return to his native country, together are his wives and children.
Verses 27-30 What a hypocrisy of Laban. Apparently, Jacob did not receive anything from Laban then food and drinks to his large family and nothing else during the time after he served for his wife Rachel. Laban had little when Jacob came to him. The servant of Abraham had given rich gifts to Laban for his sister as a dowry. Apparently he wasted and spent all that. Laban recognizes that through the labour of Jacob, his wealth had grown through the blessing of the God of Jacob. At least a recognition, not the labour of Jacob, the servant, but a blessing from his God. Like wise the recognitions of Pharaoh and King Abimelech in the time of Abraham.
Verses 31-36 Laban offers that Jacob may choose his wages. Out of fear of God, that God will punish him if he leaves Jacob with nothing? But Jacob knows Laban with his actions and offers to work to obtain his own possession - herd of goats, lambs and sheep -.
Jacob chooses speckled and spotted flock. That inferior cattle is of lesser value. He does NOT choose the best livestock from Laban. Jacob separates the flock for a day and lets Laban inspect it the next day. So that Laban cannot later say that Jacob had appropriated himself more than agreed. Jacob lets the chosen flock under the management of his sons. In order not to get into a fight and disagreement, Laban determines a distance of three day's journey between the two flocks. Jacob separates himself from his sons and continues to take care of the flocks of Laban.
Verses 37-42 How Jacob had this knowledge of obtaining striped, speckled, and spotted flock is not mention the Bible. A knowledge transferred by Abraham and Isaac? Or was this by Divine revelation and God thus blessed Jacob with strong cattle?
Verse 43 It is clear that the hand of God was on Jacob and against Laban. Laban had become wealthy through the serving Jacob for his wives and after the agreed time still pasturing his flock. Now Jacob's property increased in large flocks, maidservants and menservants, camels and asses. God blessed Jacob for his faithful service. Ephesus 6:5-8 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ; not in the way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good any one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. These verses have proven themselves with Jacob.