Parasha Vayiera ends with verses and genealogy of Rebecca (Genesis 22;20-24 ), in the next portion Chayei Sarah (the life of Sarah) we will read about Sarah’s eulogy, the acquisition of the cave at Machpela, Eliezar’s oath to Abraham, Rebecca in Haran, Isaac and Rebecca’s union, and the death and burial of Abraham.
When I say Parasha it means Portion or section of readings. These are what we follow as we read through the Torah cycle. They are divided into 54 weekly portions corresponding to the Hebrew lunisolar calendar which contains up to 55 weeks. Each Parasha is connected and read with a Haftara (parting, to take leave) portion from the Prophets (Nevi’im), they are in connection to the Torah portion and the history of Haftara is that when Torah study was banned in time of Jewish persecution by Antiochus Epiphanes, they were able to read these portions which reminded and connected them (thus preserving) to the Torah Parasha.
The bible as it is compiled today in books and chapters, Archbishop Stephen Langton and Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro developed different schemas for systematic division of the Bible in the early 13th century. The original manuscripts did not contain the chapter and verse divisions in the numbered form familiar to many of us today.
Before jumping in to Parasha Chayei Sarah- (Sarah’s life) it is interesting to note that the portion begins immediately with her death and burial. What is does this tell us? This is an important Parasha because in it we see not only the death of the Matriarch but the patriarch Abraham aveinu (father Abraham). Both of their lives’ missions were in one accord, to follow God…but to devote themselves to good deeds serving their fellow men, sharing their blessings thus opening chances to share their testimony and present the word of God to the world. It was Abraham’s mission…he was completely absorbed in spreading monotheism to the world in which God had been “lost”, he lived fully connected to life in this existence and in doing for others. The Hebrew word is Chessed- meaning kindness and this was Abraham’s example to us and truly is the personification of the Jewish people. just take a minute to think of or research the contributions that Israel and Jews all over the world have given the world. Incredible advancements in technology and medicine, humanitarian work worldwide…truly as children of Abraham they have taken up his mission. I remember that song in Sunday school “father Abraham had many sons…I am one of them, and so are you….” If we are to claim this mantle I pray that we will evaluate how are we following in the footsteps of our patriarch? how can we do more chessed? Abraham was about action, he is constantly actively serving people, and serving God….rising early and performing, acting on his faith and expressing physically his appreciation and value for Gods grace to him. Sarah being his faithful life companion surely behaved in the same fashion. How is that Sarah dies? It does not say in the text but the midrash says that she dies of a broken heart. When she hears of the Akeidah she is so distressed that it becomes too much for her to handle. If even such a strong woman allows her “flesh”, emotion, haunting thoughts and worry to overtake her….we must be extremely cautious to have self control and perspective in all situations especially as we grow closer to God…beware of attacks that are veiled. Be alert and have faith, sometimes it is good to consider and dwell, others it is most wise to push distractions away and stay focused on our path. (I have found that the midrash and the teaching/”stories” of the sages are valuable life lessons. Whether or not you want to dismiss things because they may not be “factual”, in my opinion we could learn a lot from some of these things. Something just to think about.)
Sarah died in Kiriath-arba which is Hebron in the land of Canaan; and Abraham came to eulogize Sarah and bewail her.
–Abraham turned from his tears to provide for Sarah’s burial. To purchase a grave site he needed the cooperation of the descendants of Heth, the son of Canaan (the leaders of the region.)
This purchase is very important, it is said that this cave is the entrance to “paradise”. there is a story about how Abraham came upon this cave, where as Abraham is seeking out the calf for the Angels who visited him, the calf runs off and into the cave…Abraham chases the calf into Machpela and immediately is astounded at the magnificence and realizes this is the entrance to Eden, and is shown that it is here where Adam and Eve rest. The point of this story is to teach us that this wonderful place was sitting on the property of Ephron and he didn’t even notice it, yet Abraham is shown this as a result of his seeking with full effort to serve his “guests” and to provide a feast for them. Again, by actively doing Chesed, kindness, charity he was blessed by this revelation.
–When it comes to those who dispute Israel’s right to land, here we have biblical evidence of this purchase of the cave at Machpela at a high price for the day by Abraham. I will note as well Genesis 33;18-20 Jacob arrived intact at the city of Shechem which is in the land of Cannan, upon his arriving from Padaan-aram, and he encamped before the city. He bought the parcel of land upon which he pitched his tent from the children of Hamor, Schechem’s father, for one hundred kesitahs. He set up and altar there and proclaimed, “God, the God of Israel.”
*note also 2 Samuel 24;21-25 Araunah asked, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David replied, “To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build and altar to HASHEM, so that the pestilence may cease from the people.” But Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take it and offer whatever is proper in his eyes. See, the cattle are available for elevation offerings, and the threshing tools and the implements of the cattle are available for firewood.” Araunah the king gave it all to the king, and Araunah said to the king, “May HASHEM your God accept your offerings.” But the king told Araunah, “No; I shall purchase it from you for a price, and I shall not offer up to HASHEM my God free elevation- offerings!” So David bought the threshing floor and the cattle for money- fifty shekels. David built an altar there to HASHEM, and he offered elevation-offerings and peace-offerings. HASHEM then answered the prayers of the land, and the pestilence ceased from Israel.
–My point? The bible is the very best witness that the land belongs to the Children of Israel. Also connect this practice of not taking something for nothing, having proper practices in all aspects of life, in “business” dealings as well. With family especially but all of our fellows, don’t take advantage of generosity, don’t cheat people out of what is honestly and rightfully theirs- whether they make mention of it or not! It is good to prepare for the future and it is good to be smart with our investments, but not at the sake of harming, shortchanging, or cheating our brethren or anyone!!
*Matt.6; 21-24 For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also. ‘The eye is the lamp of the body.’ So if you have a ‘good eye’ (this is, if you are generous) your whole body will be full of light; but if you have an evil eye (that is, if you are stingy) your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can be a slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can not be a slave to both God and money.
–So I see Abraham and David as using their lamp to distinguish between taking these offers of free property or ensuring just dealings and contract with these valuable and important transactions.
Genesis 23; 10-20 Now, Ephron was sitting in the midst of the children of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite responded to Abraham in the hearing of the children of Heth, for all who come to the gate of his city, saying: “No, my lord heed me! I have given you the field, and as for the cave that is in it, I have given it to you; In the view of the children of my people have I given it to you; bury your dead. So Abraham bowed down before the members of the council, He spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the members of the council, saying: “Rather, if only you would heed me! I give the price of the field, accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.” And Ephron replied to Abraham, saying to him: “My lord heed me! Land worth four hundred silver shekels- between me and you- what is it? Bury your dead.” Abraham heeded Ephron, and Abraham weighed out to Ephron the price which he had mentioned in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred silver shekels in negotiable currency. And Ephron’s field, which was in Machpelah, facing Mamre, the field and the cave within it and all the trees in the field, within all its surrounding boundaries, was confirmed as Abraham’s purchase in the view of the children of Heth, among all those who came to the gate of his city. And afterwards Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan. Thus, the field with its cave was confirmed as Abraham’s as an estate for a burial site, from the children of Heth.
–Why are these verses so important? One thing is how many are used in verifying this whole transaction. Almost 20 verses are spent here! For example God uses about 30 verses to describe “creation”!! I think this transaction was important to God to show without a doubt for generations that in a time of mourning, where Abraham lost his beloved Sarah he goes through this ordeal of protocol with the bowing and heckling with these men whom were surely blessed by Abraham at some point (Abraham was known for hospitality and generosity, everyone knew of and partook in -in some way- Abraham’s Chesed) whom now are asking a high price in his time of “need”, thus it is done and witnessed and confirmed. And finally he can bury Sarah. Keep in mind Abraham is surely thinking ahead to his death and the death’s of his offspring to be buried here in the future. He is securing this place for Israel, here in Genesis.
–one more point: Often I have experienced that many believers are conscious of “sins” (transgressions of Torah- commandments) that seem obvious such as sexual impurity, drunkenness, etc. But fail to recall how much God has said about greed and improper weights and measures. This is what Ex.24 (an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot; a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.) and Duet.19,21 (Your eye shall not pity; life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.) Not to say go and knock out the tooth of the man who knocked out yours. Measure for measure. Deal properly with people and do not take advantage. Nothing is hidden from YAHWEH and I can see mentioned side by side with the warnings against sexual immorality and drunkenness….greed.
*Ephesians 5;1-5 So imitate God, as His dear children; and give a life of love, just as also the Messiah loved us, indeed on our behalf gave himself up as an offering, as a slaughtered sacrifice to God with a pleasing fragrance. Among you there should not even be mentioned sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity or greed; these are utterly inappropriate for God’s holy people
–I don’t have a job myself and I know that times are tough, but God will provide and lets enjoy these last years we have together growing in love with Him and discovering new ways to be observant believers and active servants because what He has done for us. Certainly not taking advantage of our family members and friends, in the literal sense and in the private thoughts we have. This time when things are heating up is a test of our true intention for each other as fellow beings and is a time of refining our innermost parts to be prepared to be of use to Him for His purposes for us in the role that He determines for us. Can we give more and take/expect less? Trust more with a glad heart?
*Matthew 25;31-40 “When the son of Man comes in his glory, accompanied by all the angels, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The ‘sheep’ he will place at his right hand and the ‘goats’ at his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you made me your guest., I needed clothes and you provided them, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. Then the people who have done what God wants will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see a stranger and make you our guest, or needing clothes and provide them? When did we see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ The King will say to them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!’
–I love these chapters and am sorry for being lengthy but this being the section of the where Abraham, the example of giving for the world…. dies, I’d like to take it in.
I pray you will have a blessed week! Thank you YAHWEH for your Torah and the good council of Your Living Word.
Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy upon us, instill in our hearts to understand and elucidate, to listen, learn, teach, safeguard, perform and work hard to try and fulfill the words of Your Torah’s teaching with love. Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, attach our hearts to Your commandments, and unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name, Blessed are You YAHWEH who chooses His people Israel with love.
To bless the goodly people in Gods Land:
To bless a congregation who blesses the IDF and needy communities WORLDWIDE:
–In our own community what can I say? Carry bags with you to pick up the trash the wind blows all around. Carry extra water in the car this summer to give as you see people sitting out in the heat who look thirsty. Bless friends and neighbors with unexpected kindnesses, homemade gifts or food treats. Give to time or food to the Good Neighbor Alliance on 7th st. Promote healing and teshuva (repentance) among anyone you may have wronged in any way. Come with a clean slate to the altar (your service, offerings of worship and prayers), by repairing relationships as best you can with your brethren… .fellow man.
Next we’ll read and “talk” about Isaac and Rachel and draw connections to Yeshua and his “bride”
Blessed are You YAHWEH, Giver of the Torah! Amein
–Eliezar is sent out on this mission, the Hebrew word is Shaliach- “Sent one”. The word is translated into Greek as apostolos-and in English as apostle.
Yeshua commissioned his apostles to make disciples for himself who, in turn, constitute the greater Assembly of Messiah referred to as the “bride of Messiah”.
*Revelation 21;9-12 One of the seven angels having the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues approached me and said, “Come! I will show you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.” He carried me off in the Spirit to the top of a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city, Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God. It had the Sh’kinah [Glory] of God, so that its brilliance was like that of a priceless jewel, like a crystal-clear diamond. It had a great high wall with twelve gates; at the gates were twelve angels; and inscribed on the gates were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 14 The wall of the city was built on twelve foundation stones, and on these were the twelve names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb.
Genesis 24;1-4 Now Abraham was old, well on in years, and HASHEM had blessed Abraham with everything. And Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who controlled all that was his: “Place now your hand under my thigh. And I will have you swear by HASHEM, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanite’s, among whom I dwell. Rather, to my land and to my kindred shall you go and take a wife for my son for Isaac.”
–It is Eliezar, a non Jew who is entrusted with this awesome task. Here the covenant bond between Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel and Eliezar, a Gentile, foreshadows the eventual ingathering of the Gentiles, and the essential role they would play in the covenant itself.
Believer was the Rosh Yeshiva (Rosh-head yeshiva-school of Jewish religious education) of Abraham’s household, teaching Torah and the ways of faith to all of Abraham’s family and servants. Who better to seek a wife for Isaac?
*Ex. 1;5 And all the persons who emerged from Jacob’s loins were seventy souls, and Joseph was in Egypt.
Judges 8;30 Gideon had seventy sons emerging from his loins, for he had many wives.
–The term “thigh” is used symbolically as the term for procreation, children being described as “coming from the thighs”/loins.
Oaths were to be taken “on” a sacred object, in this case the place from which the sign of the Covenant was seen and from where the life of Isaac was “from”. Keeping in mind the tone of urgency for Isaac to find a proper wife and thus have offspring, facilitating the covenant promises. The oath here also indicates that Abraham expected Eliezar to fulfill his promises at all costs, even if Abraham were to die in the meantime.
Eliezar acts in the same faithfulness to God that Abraham has shown by example in his life, awaiting God’s direct leading in the things he lacked the knowledge and ability…Eliezar obeys first and awaits Gods revelation to him. God expects His children to obey the instructions He has already given before He will give additional instruction.
Eliezar had been tested and proven trustworthy over time, over daily performance of “small” mitzvot (commitments/commandments)in his masters household he showed that he was worthy of being trusted with this huge responsibility.
In the consistent doing of the things that God has commanded us we will be in good stead to hear His voice when He calls us to carry significant tasks.
Eliezar is in constant communion with God on this mission . Always in “listening mode” as he traveled. How can we put ourselves in better listening mode? Stay in prayer and in scripture? Remove some of the unnecessary noise and distraction (include the necessary blessed “distractions” such as babies wherever we can be examples)?
Establish peace, goodness, blessing, graciousness, kindness, and compassion upon us and upon all of your people Israel. Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance, for with the light of Your countenance You gave us, YAHWEH, our God, the Torah of life and a love of kindness, righteousness, blessing, compassion, life and peace. And may it be good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel, at every time and at every hour with Your peace.
Rebecca, or Rivka in Hebrew, was the second matriarch of the Jewish nation. Although she grew up in Padan Aram, amongst pagans, she remained righteous and pure. Our sages applied to her the verse (Song of Songs 2:2): “As a rose among the thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters.” She married our patriarch Isaac, and gave birth to Esau and Jacob. It was she who orchestrated Jacob’s obtaining Isaac’s blessings (as described in Genesis 27). Rivkah means “to tie; to bind; captivating, beautiful”)
Genesis 24;12- And he said, “HASHEM, God of my master Abraham, my You so arrange it for me this day that You do kindness with my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water and the daughters of the townsmen come out to draw water. Let it be that the maiden whom I shall say, ‘Please tip over your jug so I may drink,’ and who replies, ‘Drink, and I will even water your camels,’ her will You have designated for Your servant, for Isaac; and may I know through her that You have done kindness with my master.” And it was when he had not yet finished speaking that suddenly Rebecca was coming out- she who had been born to Bethuel the son of Milcah the wife of Nahor, brother of Abraham- with her jug upon her shoulder. Now the maiden was very fair to look upon; a virgin whom no man had known. She descended to the spring, filled her jug and ascended. The servant ran toward her and said, “Let me sip, if you please. a little water from your jug.” She said, “Drink, my lord,” and quickly she lowered her jug to her hand and gave him to drink. When she finished giving him to drink, she said, “I will draw water even for your camels until they have finished drinking.” So she hurried and emptied her jug into the trough and kept running to the well to draw water; and she drew for all his camels. The man was astonished at her, reflecting silently to now whether HASHEM had made his journey successful or not.
–So swift was the divine response to Eliezar’s petition that while he was still in the midst of his supplication, Providence had already caused Rebecca to leave her house and go to the well. God grants Abraham’s wish that Isaac have a wife from his own family, Bethuel’s father was Abraham’s brother, and his mother was both a niece and sister of Sarah. Rebecca has clearly inherited the character traits of Abraham’s family. As we read on we will see that not only do they know of, but trust in God as opposed to being idolaters. We see Rivka mirroring Abraham in many ways, first, her active service to Eliezar. Running to and from the well, a very large task…to provide enough water for ten camels to drink their fill. As we read on we witness her incredible faith in God and trust that He had arranged this marriage for her.
–In my life, I pray each day for my children’s future mate’s: “YAHWEH, my Elohim, I pray that the boy who is to be my daughters’ mate and the girl who is to be my sons’ mate are being raised in Torah, good deeds, in Messiah Yeshua, in kindness and strength…and for the Bridal Canopy, and may they never be turned away for another, heaven forbid! May they meet by Your hand and be married off to ease and satisfaction, and may they gaze upon the goodness of Yerushalyim all the days of their lives. Amein”
My children are very young, but if you think about it and trust that truly God will “provide you with your food in its proper time” that He knows and fulfills the desires of our hearts in His timing in His Way, if Yeshua told us to “knock, keep knocking and the door will be opened”, to continue to supplicate than what better of a request for our children? After all, marriage is intended to be the prototype for our relationship with God. Complete with giving our children the invaluable tools and understanding of what Covenant really means, they will be capable of recognizing what is from God in the recognition of their God given mates to be and armed to value that relationship and commitment understanding it as a “shadow” of the covenant with God Himself. Having God be witness to the union, center in the marriage and a binding force forever….praying for my children now in this matter gives me yet another reason to Praise God in all the ways He opens up avenues for us to grow in our faith and trust in Him, that He will lead us as He led Eliezar and answered him, even before he had finished his supplication!
Genesis 24;28 The maiden ran and told her mother’s household according to these events. Rebecca had a brother who’s name was Laban; Laban ran to the man, outside to the spring. For upon seeing the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and upon his hearing his sister Rebecca’s words, saying, “Thus has the man spoken to me,” he approached the man, who was still standing by the camels outside the spring. He said, “Come, O blessed of HASHEM! Why should you stand outside when I have cleared the house and a place for the camels?”
–We will read on in Genesis and discover the character of Laban .The Hebrew word lavan means white. It represents the potential for any color in the spectrum. One who places all the colors separately on a wheel and then spins it rapidly observes that the combination of colors turns to white. Here we already note a hint of his true color, greed. It was upon seeing the lavish gifts bestowed upon his young sister that he rushes out to greet Eliezar, surely hoping he too would get some share in this lavish Caravan from Canaan.
–Eliezar allows for his company and camels to be tended to but declines to eat until he has recounted the entire situation to Rivka’s family….being sure to carry out his oath before he “replenished” himself. He indicates how he bowed and praised God to ensure that they realized truly God’s hand was in this matter, the word kindness indicates their intention to do something that is not obligated, and truth to give permanence to the kindness- the kindness to Abraham that they would yield to his wishes and send Rivka so far away, the truth would be to Rebecca, because it was to her benefit to marry Isaac.
Genesis 24;48-52 “Then I bowed and prostrated myself to HASHEM and blessed HASHEM, God of my master Abraham, Who led me on a true path to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. And now, if you intend to do kindness and truth with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, and I will turn to the right or to the left. ” Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The matter stemmed from HASHEM! We can say to you neither bad nor good. Here, Rebecca is before you; take her and go, and let her be a wife to your master’s son as HASHEM has spoken.” And it was, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he prostrated himself to the ground to HASHEM.
–This is the first time Eliezar is referred to as Abraham’s servant aside from he himself using this title, now that he has proven his loyalty and accomplished his mission, God called him a servant of His beloved Patriarch. We see faith and obedience to God being shown by Rivka’s family members. And again, Praise Praise Praise to God! Next they ask about a customary 10 month period for a young bride to prepare for her marriage, Eliezar assures them that there should/will not be any delay for God has made everything move along so smoothly thus far. We learn that unlike some other cultures with arranged marriage, it is up to the girl whether or not she consents.
Genesis 24;55-61 Her brother and mother said, “Let the maiden remain with us a year or ten months; then she will go.” He said to them, “Do not delay me now that HASHEM has made my journey successful. Send me, and I will go to my master.” And they said, ” Let us call the maiden and ask her decision.” They called Rebecca and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” So they escorted Rebecca their sister and her nurse, as well as Abraham; servant and his men. They blessed Rebecca and said to her, “Our sister, may you come to be thousands of myriads, and may your offspring inherit the gates of its foes.” Then Rebecca arose with her maidens; they rode upon the camels and proceeded after the man, the servant took Rebecca and went.
–Here just as Abraham did, we see Rivka leaving her homeland and family to follow God and trust in Him. She trusted that despite any fear for a young woman, He had her best interest in His plan.
The family after stating “faith” with their lips, do show reluctance but in the end they blessed her with a heartfelt blessing and send her off with love. This is crucial!! For the girl in a vulnerable position regardless of her maturity or faith…to have her family bless her and encourage her is truly a wonderful thing and a sign of great things to come!!
I was so scared and intimidated for so many reasons when I left home at 17 to marry my husband. After a rocky departure from California I journeyed to San Antonio and was so unsure what to expect. My mother to be met me with the warmth and most welcoming accepting and inviting greeting one could ever pray for. I am so thankful for that blessing! And though it took a good long time of journeying still, it was the sign of great things that are getting better every day!!
*Isaiah 65;23-24 They will not struggle in vain nor produce for futility; for they are the offspring of the blessed ones of HASHEM, and their descendants will be with them. It will be that before they call I will answer; while they yet speak I will hear.
(This is a beautiful commentary from the Chumash: Isaac and Rebecca
The brief passage describing the meeting and marriage of Isaac and Rebecca is touching and reflective of basic principals of Judaism and Jewish marriage. It begins with Isaac walking back home from praying at a place that recalled God’s mercy to the previous generation, for Jews “cleave” to their past and the God who guided it. Isaac and Rebecca “met”, but not by chance. She displayed the personal modesty that has always been one of the glories of Jewish women and she recognized intuitively that the stranger she had just encountered was a holy person. Finally, Isaac brought her to his mother’s tent, and there it became apparent that she was a fitting successor to Sarah, for the holy presence of Sarah returned to the tent of her son. It was then that Isaac loved her, for the Jewish home is a temple and its priestess is the wife and mother whose spirit infuses it. Isaac could love only a mate who could be his companion in creating the Chosen People. In Rebecca he found her.
–I think the power of “blessing” someone or something has been diminished and lost to our culture and in the community. I truly believe that our Father desires us to be holy unto Him, has made us set apart- holy and thus granted us the ability to give a sense of this holiness to our children as we bless them with the Aaronic benediction, or the Children’s blessings on the Sabbath. I feel different when my husband places his hand upon my shoulder and prays the blessing for the wife on the Sabbath. When I set my Sabbath table with special dishes,etc. and the blessings are said over it, sanctifying it…our Sabbath table becomes holy. When I fail to say the Challah bread blessing, with Kavanah (concentration) and heart….it comes out flat or dry, when I do…somehow, it comes out great!! But then I am sure that’s just coincidence (not.)
Blessed are You YAHWEH, Who’s commandments add holiness to our lives. Amein.
Genesis 24;62-67 Now Isaac came from having gone to Beer-lahai-roi, for he dwelt in the south country. Isaac went out to supplicate in the field towards evening and he raises his eyes and saw, and behold! camels were coming. And Rebecca raised her eyes and saw Isaac; she inclined while upon the camel. And she said to the servant, ” Who is the man walking in the field toward us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” She then took the veil and covered herself. The servant told Isaac all the things he had done. And Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother; he married Rebecca, she became his wife, and he loved her; and thus was he consoled after his mother.
–Beer-lahai-roi was the site that Hagar’s prayers had once been answered, and it was there that Isaac had gone to pray. As the caravan arrives…….
Several years ago I had a completely different impression upon just reading the text. About two years ago in the torah cycle when I read the commentary it completely clarified so much!!! I could not think of any possible way to include everything I wanted to “bring out” from this short amount of verses in a way that comes close to this so I am posting Tim Hegg’s writing, I did not copy and paste it though I am typing it out (minus the Hebrew font) giving the effort, hopefully absorbing it even more as I go…may it be a blessing:
The following commentary is from http://www.torahresource.com,
Isaac is out in the fields. The text tells us he went out “to meditate” (lasuach), but the exact meaning of the word is debated. It is only used here in the Tanach, so there are no cross-references to help. The Lxx took it to mean “gossip” as though he as out in the field talking to his friends. The Vulgate understood it as “meditate” which most modern English translations follow. The Targum translated the word “to pray”- Isaac went out into the field at evening time to pray, according to the Sages. There is an Arabic root sacha, “to take a stroll” that some have suggested informs the Hebrew word here. It seems most likely, however, that Isaac went to the field alone and that if he was talking, it was to God, or else he was, as the Vulgate understood it, having personal time of thought and meditation. One can only speculate what comprised his thoughts, but the text might hint at it by noting that he was still grieving the death of his mother, for after marrying Rivka, we are alerted that he was comforted after his mother’s death. Regardless, this small matter gives us some insight into Isaac. He was a man of thoughts, and of feelings. To the measure that a man contemplates the deeper issues of life, to this same measure he is enabled more fully to enjoy the moments of pleasure available in relationships with those he loves. Could we not also read between the lines and suggest that Isaac was contemplating the trip of Eliezar? Surely he was made aware of the chief steward’s mission! Abraham had sent for his wife! What would she be like? Would she possess both inner and outer beauty? Would she appreciate the things that he held most dear? Could she be his companion- a friend with whom he could share life’s joys and sorrows? It’s hard not to consider that Isaac too was preparing his heart for the arrival of the one for whom he longed. And then the moment comes where the two see each other from a far. Both “lift up their eyes” (the Hebrew idiom for gazing into the distance) and see each other. Isaac wonders at the caravan coming over the horizon. Rivka, upon seeing a man in the field, stops and dismounts. After all, she’s been traveling! Clothing and adornments need to be straightened. She asks Eliezar who the man is, and his answer is interesting. He identifies Isaac as “his master.” But is not Abraham his master? Yet in this case, though he went at the command of Abraham, his mission was pointed toward Isaac. He had gone primarily to serve him. Rivka understands Eliezar’s words. She took her veil and covered herself. This was an act of piety as well as presenting herself as a bride. In the culture of the Israelites, it was not common for women to go about veiled. But in the Ancient Near East, at least in some of the cultures, a bride would put on a veil for the wedding ceremony. Indeed, in some of the languages of the Near East, a bride is called the “veiled one.” Rivka was thus letting Isaac know that she was his bride. But the veil also spoke of her piety. Though she was promised to Isaac, and he to her, there were measures of purity that must remain till the marriage was finalized. She would present herself to Isaac as the chaste woman she was. Her high moral character enhances her attractiveness, for she would demonstrate to Isaac by her veil that she had kept herself for him. In a short sentence, the narrative tells us that Eliezar related the whole story to Isaac. The obvious hand of God had been displayed throughout the process, and this Isaac could be assured that this one, Rivka, was the wife God had chosen. We are not given the details of their first meeting each other, but one could well speculate that it was most likely a formal introduction. After all, there were a lot of people standing around watching! But the formal introductions gave way to the weaving of two lives together. The text goes on to give us the basic outline of how the romantic story ended, and the order of events is instructive. First, Isaac brings Rivka to his mother’s tent. Cohabitation before marriage is out of the question. During the period of betrothal (though the text gives us no information how long it was), Rivka and Isaac remained apart from each other in terms of physical relations. They now had seen each other, and would grow in their friendship together, but the wedding would mark the beginning of their relationship as husband and wife. Secondly, then, the text tells us Isaac took Rivka for his wife. This is the typical phraseology of the Torah for denoting the formal ceremony of marriage. It no doubt included the participation of Abraham and his family. Before the two could come together as husband and wife, the community at large would be witness to their covenant together. Then the text makes the direct statement: “and he loved her.” This is now only the second time that the term “love” (ahavah) is found in the Torah. The first related to Abraham’s love for Isaac (22;2) the second of Isaac’s love for Rivka. The two relationships, parent to child, and spouse to spouse, from the essential building blocks of Godly community. Finally, Isaac is comforted. Here we see the results of God’s way of marriage: not strife, trouble, loss of personal freedom, or selfish fulfillment, but comfort in the midst of a fallen world. Marriage should be God’s oasis for life in the desert of this world.
Gen.24;64 literally says that when Rebecca saw Isaac “she fell (naphal) from the camel.”
–Though the path I walked on in my youth was very slippery and winding. Wrought with many deep pitfalls and dark caverns…it did lead me (I am sure now…) divinely to meet my husband. It was two sets of eyes meeting each other “from afar” not across a field but across a crowded room. And the journey to this meeting had been long. It was “love” at first sight, though neither of us could have labeled it that at that very moment. I prayed on the journey that separated us after our meeting that God would reunite us again and He did. I could never have imagined where He would have taken us from there.
My husband did take upon himself the role of hero to someone lost in the grips of the world. He mustered all he had to take me from a downward spiral and restore me to the realization of truth and of God again! With God behind him at all time he was able to endure impossible betrayals and distress to allow for life to overflow. He truly is my oasis in this world and I am forever in his debt. Thank you God for Your timing and Your plan.
Torah Portion Toldot- Generations
B’reisheet-Genesis-In the beginning
*I loved you, says HASHEM; but you say, ‘How have You loved us?’ Was not Esau the brother of Jacob- the word of HASHEM- yet I loved Jacob. But I hated Esau; I made his mountains a desolation and gave his heritage to the desert serpents. Though Edom will say, ‘We have become destitute, but we will return and rebuild the ruins,’ thus says HASHEM, Master of Legions: They may build, but I will tear down! They will be called ‘the boundary of wickedness’ and ‘the people whom HASHEM has condemned forever.’ And your eyes will behold it, and you will say upon the territory of Israel, ‘May HASHEM be glorified!’
–Who “took” Esau’s heritage? Who assigned Esau’s heritage?
*See to it that no one misses out on God’s grace, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and thus contaminates many, and that no one is sexually immoral, or Godless like Esav, who in exchange for a single meal gave up his rights as the firstborn.
Genesis 25;1 Abraham proceeded and took a wife whose name was Keturah.
–The Torah goes on with the genealogy, children borne to Abraham through Keturah. The link below is full of great information about Keturah.
Gen.25;5 Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac.6 But to the concubine-children who were Abraham’s , Abraham gave gifts; then sent them away from Isaac his son, while he was still alive, eastward to the land of the east.
–Nearing the end of his life Abraham’s first goal is to find a suitable wife for Isaac, he remarries and has more children prior to his death but Isaac is the one who inherits him…I find it note able that even here the Torah makes a point to indicate “Isaac his son”. The concubine children and Ishmael are sons of Avraham yet continually since his birth Isaac is singled out as “Avraham’s son”. Abraham bestows the others gifts (surely lavish for we know about Abraham’s generosity and great wealth) and makes sure that before he dies he sends all the others away from his son Isaac. This was clearly important to him to separate them from Isaac…why do you think this is so?
Gen.25; 7-11 Now these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: a hundred years, seventy years, and five years. And Abraham expired and died at a good old age, mature and content, and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the Cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre. The field that Abraham had bought from the children of Heth, there Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife. And it was after the death of Abraham that God blessed Isaac his son, and Isaac settled near Beer-lahai-roi.
–The Torah again restates this purchase by Abraham of the Cave of Machpelah/
We read that both Isaac and Ishmael burry their father together.
Abraham lived his life fully, not one day was wasted…
he always actively working to serve others and to spread the word of God with the world…he is the example of patience, of obedience, of service and kindness…generosity. The life of Abraham is a prime example to us of how to be a servant seeking to actively serve the Creator…through his Covenant with HASHEM each and every one of us are blessed, if we attach ourselves to this promise…assuming the title of a “child of Abraham” we must look to the example of our “father Abraham” and attempt to follow in his footsteps. Always trusting, obeying in the most difficult of “trails”, calling upon Him…interceding on behalf of our fellow man, giving the best of what we have been blessed with….Arising early! and Running!! To serve God each and every day.
Gen.25;17 These were the years of Ishmael’s life: a hundred and thirty seven years, when he expired and died, and was gathered to his people.
–In this Torah portion Sarah dies, we see the beginning of a new chapter of life for Israel as Isaac married Rivka, the great Avraham dies and the portion ends with the death of Ishmael.
God made the impossible possible for Abraham…Abraham trusted God with all that he had and thus God established his household and a special place for his descendants forever! If we can attempt to be entrusted with things that we can “keep” that we are capable to “observe” and to obey…I believe God will open up for your life the chances to be responsible and trustworthy with even more and more precious things! Even daily…love Him. AND serve Him!
*Luke 16;10 Someone who is trustworthy in a small matter is also trustworthy in large ones, and if someone who is dishonest in a small matter is also dishonest in large ones.
*Mark 13;31-37 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away. However, when that day and hour will come, no one knows- not the angels in heaven, not the Son, just the Father. Stay alert! Be on your guard! For you do not know when the time will come. It’s like the man who travels away from home, puts his servants in charge, each with his own task, and tells the doorkeeper to stay alert. So stay alert! for you don’t know when the owner of the house will come, whether it will be evening or midnight, cockcrow or morning- You don’t want him to come suddenly and find you sleeping! And what I say to you, I say to everyone: stay alert! “
My King I lift a prayer to You in the name of our High Priest and Coming King…our intercessor Messiah Yeshua…
please show me my task this day, the one You have designed for me.
May I learn to rise to my feet and run to serve you.
Please uproot evil from the hearts of men, open the gates for truth in all hearts and minds, open the passages for food to the hungry and health to the sick.
Thank you for this day, for life and for sustaining all things in Your mercy.
May all flesh bless Your Holy name.
Barukh attah Adonai rofei khol basar umafli la’asot
Blessed are You Lord who heals all flesh and is wonderful in His acts.
Jacob simmered a stew, and Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. Esau said to Jacob, “Pour into me, now, some of that very red stuff for I am exhausted. (He therefore called his name Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell, as this day, your birthright to me.” And Esau said, “Look, I am going to die, so of what use to me is a birthright?” Jacob said, “Swear to me as this day”; he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, got up and left; thus. Esau spurned the birthright.
–The “stew” that Jacob was simmering was the mourners meal, made of lentils and red in color. The first magnifying glass was called a ‘lens’ because they were lentil-shaped (the Latin for lentil is in fact lens); in Hebrew too, the word for lentils (adashim) is used for lenses. This thought ties in as we will read on about Isaac’s “sight”. Lentils were considered a poor person’s food. In Jewish communities where lentil dishes were common, they were usually not served on Shabbat, for example. The Torah wants to stress that Esau traded his birthright (something of great value) for a food that was not even highly regarded. He was obediently serving as he mourned the death of his grandfather Avraham. Esau was in the field hunting, pursing his own gains at this time.
Rashi say the following regarding the mourner’s meal: “red, red stuff lentils. On that day Avraham had died in order to not see his grandson Esau fall into degenerate ways…Jacob was boiling lentils to provide the customary first meal for the immediate mourners. Why should lentils be the mourner’s food? Because they are round like a wheel and mourning (sorrow) is a wheel that touches every spot in turn [ie. every person experiences sorrow and loss in their life cf. the mustard seed story in other traditions]. And a further reason is: just as lentils have no serrated edge [in Hebrew: peh- meaning mouth] so too, mourners have no mouth [ie. are silent] for greeting others [first] is forbidden to them. For this reason, it is also customary to give eggs to a mourner as the first meal, because they are [similarly] round…”
–The Rabbis also pick up on the verb, let me gulp down, ‘haliteini’ (used only this one time in the Torah) to show how he ate like an animal [the word is used in later rabbinic texts to feed camels, for example]. And the word ‘na’ which means ‘please’ is ‘mis’-interpreted to mean (its homonym) ‘raw’. He couldn’t even wait for the lentils to finish cooking! And the very unusual verse with five verbs in a row “he ate, drank, rose, went away and spurned his birthright.”convey Esau’s disregard for his actions, satisfying his physical needs, and not giving his spiritual life a moment’s thought.
–In our home we have been learning more and evaluating what “laws” are Torah (straight from Gods mouth so to speak) and what “oral traditions” are able to be kept and are of value to service of the Creator. Not to say that I would ever even hazard to think that I am in any way more discerning than forefathers and learned men wholly devoted to Gods will and sharing understanding to further a walk to be more set apart for His purposes. I just have not been able to adopt a lot of the “man made laws”, not because “they don’t fit my life” or “they are done away with” or any other reason than I have not been able to discover the when/where/how to apply them, and how I can serve my King better through them. That being said, back to the subject of the scarfing down of food by Esau. He was consumed by his physical and completely neglected all else…in our home we make a blessing “berakhah” over each item of food prior to eating it (ex. Blessed are You YAHWEH our Elohim, King of the universe, who brings for the fruit of the earth/fruit of the tree/bread from the earth….Blessed is He Who fashioned all creatures with wisdom…He who sustains all living things with kindness) . The point? Acknowledging His Hand in every single thing, slowing down the pace and allowing for contemplation on each item…(Do banana’s have their own seed? I know they do…but what do they look like?) Throughout the day there are countless times we can make “berakhah” and bless our Father. Even once having eaten and everything proceeds and God willing happens in the way that it should…giving thanks before you storm back into the next functionary item of your day to say ( it is obvious and manifest before Your throne of glory, that if but one of our openings were to be blocked or but one were to be ruptured…it would be impossible to live, stand before You, and engage in Your will for my life [ Torah and good deeds]…Blessed are You YAHWEH who fashioned man with wisdom and is wondrous in all His works). To me this is beautiful and such a huge thing we see lacking in Esau. Not only did he fail to recognize God, but he parted with that what should have been most precious to him for a bowl of beans he horffed down before going about his day.
–As we read we see clearly that there was no deception here, there is no question of the product or the price, no false pretenses….and Esau swears to trade his birthright to Jacob in exchange for the meal that was provided to him.
We will read on in Parasha Toldos- Generations and see more turn of event involving food, or lack therein as Isaac journeys to avoid famine.
Blessed are You, YAHWEH, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who nourishes the entire world, in His goodness- with grace, with kindness, and with mercy. He gives nourishment to all flesh, for His kindness is eternal. And through His great goodness, we have never lacked, and may we never lack, nourishment for all eternity. For the sake of His Great Name, because He is God Who nourishes and sustains all, and benefits all, and He prepares food for all His creatures which He has created.
Blessed are You, YAHWEH, Who nourishes all.
Thank You my King, for sending us the one who died that we may forever cast our prayers of thanks before You…that we might call and ask You to fulfill our needs..through him are we heard by Thee….I praise You for you Hear and You answer before our words have passed our lips….in Yeshua’s name
*Hebrews 12;14-17 Keep pursing shalom with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses out on God’s grace, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and thus contaminates many, and that no one is sexually immoral, or Godless like Esav, who in exchange for a single meal gave up his rights as the firstborn. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to obtain his father’s blessing, he was rejected; indeed, even though he sought it with tears, his change of heart was to no avail.
Genesis 26; 1 There was a famine in the land, aside from the first famine that was in the days of Abraham; and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, to Gerar.
(There was a famine in the land as Abraham has just left his home, he journeys to Egypt- foreshadowing the future descent of Joseph to Egypt and later enslavement and Exodus. Here, another famine as Isaac travels to Philistia serves as a “forecast” to the Babylonian exile. Just as Isaac is able to prosper and is treated “well” by Abimelech [note: remember that Abraham and Abimelech are in covenant having sworn an oath to each other and so this should be one reason Isaac sought him out] , the Jews in Babylon were treated relatively well and even rose to prominence. As we read on we see that Isaac once becoming successful, he arouses jealousy and is forced to leave…this sounds like a very familiar scenario in Jewish history even to the present day situation.)
Genesis 26;2 HASHEM appeared to him and said, “Do not descend to Egypt; dwell in the land that I shall indicate to you.
(Why doesn’t God want Isaac to go to Egypt? Isaac is considered a pure offering, that was offered to God. Just as the unblemished animal offerings were not permitted to leave the temple court, lest they be invalidated, Isaac was to remain in the Land. So too, the Master, after his death and resurrection is sacred to the land of Israel. When he returns, he will return to the Land, take up his throne in Jerusalem; then Egypt and the other nations will be required to come up to the Land or face famine. Zechariah 14;16- 19 It shall be that all who are left over from the nations who had invaded Jerusalem will come up every year to worship the King HASHEM, Master of Legions, and to celebrate the festival of Succos. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the land does not go up to Jerusalem to bow down before the King, HASHEM, Master of Legions, there will be no rain upon them. But if the family of Egypt that does not go up and does not come [to Jerusalem], there will be no [water] for them; the same plague will come to pass with which HASHEM will strike the nations that do not go up to celebrate the festival of Succos. This will be the punishment of the Egyptians and the punishment of all the nations that will not go up to celebrate the festival of Succos.)
Genesis 26;3 Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your offspring I shall give all these lands, and establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. 4 ‘I will increase your offspring like the stars of the heavens; and I will give your offspring all these lands’; and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your offspring.
(God “appears” to Isaac and remembers the promises He made to Abraham, at the same time He specify’s that this oath is between He and Isaac as well, reiterating the terms of the promise and establishing that to Isaac and his offspring shall have the lands aforementioned. There are many verses that correspond to Gods words here restating that by Israel, all nations will be blessed. I love this corresponding verse which also speaks of Messiah Psalm 72; 16-19 May there be abundant grain on the earth of the mountaintops, may its fruit rustle like the [cedars of] Lebanon; may [people] blossom from the city like the grass of the earth. May his name endure forever, may his name connote mastery as long as the sun endures; and all nations will bless themselves by him; they will praise him. Blessed is HASHEM, God, the God of Israel, Who alone does wondrous things. Blessed is His glorious Name forever; and may all the earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen)
5 Because Abraham obeyed My voice, and observed My safeguards, My commandments, My Decrees and My Torahs.”
(Our Rabbi’s teach that Abraham arrived at a knowledge of the entire Torah through Divine Inspiration and observed it voluntarily. This verse can be rendered….Safeguards= barriers, fences against infringement of Biblical prohibitions; Commandments= laws that man’s moral sense would have dictated; Decrees= laws that reason can not explain, and which are thus, as it were, royal decrees that God enacts on His subjects; My Torahs[ teachings]= the written Torah and the Oral Torah, the latter includes the rules and interpretations transmitted to Moses as Sinai. There is a common misconception that Yeshua did not keep the Oral Torah/ Oral Law and this link should clarify that he in fact did http://www.yashanet.com/studies/matstudy/mat3a.htm. This being said, there is an excellent teaching that has been a great revelation to me in reading the Brit Hadasha to understand why Yeshua came and what he was attempting to clarify within these fences, this link is a taste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNGxXx7OcFM the full teaching is here http://wisdomintorah.com/?s=house+of+shammai , if it will not load because you are not a member and are unable to pay the 10 bucks for a year subscription and you desire to explore and discover more, message me and I will contribute to the best of my ability to get you signed up. Highly is not the appropriate word, but I HIGHLY recommend this resource -www.wisdomintorah.com
Could it be that God was reminding Isaac [and us] of the reasons Abraham found favor to be the father of His chosen people and that they would forever be called His..that Isaac might strive to do the same? Was He reassuring him prior to his journeying, that he might keep faith?.
6 So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister”- for he was afraid to say “my wife”–“lest the men of the place kill me because of Rebecca for she is fair to look upon!”
(Here we see the familiar scenario as Isaac reverts to Abraham’s ruse by identifying his wife as his sister. Abimelech himself showed them no malice, it was the residents among them who inquired about Rivka..)
8 And it came to pass, as his days were lengthened, that Abimelech king of the Philistines gazed down through the window and saw- behold! Isaac was jesting with his wife Rebecca. 9 Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “But look! She is your wife! How could you say, ” ‘She is my sister?’ ” Isaac said to him, “Because I said that I would be killed because of her.” 10 Abimelech said, “What is this that you have done to us? One of the people has nearly lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us!” 11 Abimelech then warned all the people saying, “Whoever molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
(The commentators note that it was Abimelech himself who had coveted Rivka. He then makes a royal decree on behalf of Isaac which acknowledges the nature of the inhabitants of Gerar (that a beautiful woman was not safe in his land) and vindicating any apprehensions Isaac may have had when entering this Godless country. I wonder at his description and if the commentary is accurate, that it was he who coveted her…surely she would avoid any form of defilement at all costs, being the Matriarch of Gods Chosen people….it reminds me of Matthew 5;28-29 But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you sin, gouge it out and throw it away! Better that you should loose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into Gei-Hinnom.)
12 Isaac sowed in the land, and in that year he reaped a hundredfold; thus had HASHEM blessed him.
(God produces immediate blessing for Isaac and prospers him. Matt. 13;23 However what is sown on rich soil is the one who hears the message and understands it; such a person will surely bear fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was sown. Isaac heard the message of God as God instates this Oath between them, he follows Gods instruction and lives up to his role. Thus he is blessed.
13 The man became great and kept becoming greater until he was very great. 14 He had acquired flocks and herds and many enterprises; and the Philistines envied him.
(Acts 13;17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers. He made the people great during the time when they were living as aliens in Egypt and with a stretched-out arm He led them out of that land. Exodus 1;7 -12 The children of Israel were fruitful, teemed, increased, and became strong- very, very much so; and the land became filled with them. A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know of Joseph. He said to his people, “Behold! the people, the Children of Israel, are more numerous and it may be that war will occur, it, too, may join our enemies, and wage war against us and go up from the land. So they appointed taskmasters over it in order to afflict it with their burdens…..But as much as they would afflict it, so it would increase and so it would spread out; and they became disgusted….)
The link below is an excellent article on the roots and theories about Anti-Semitism. Please read it in line with the thought of our verse….jealousy due to prosperity and thus persecution…which we will read more about as we go on in Genesis.
YAHWEH keeps His word, and His word is eternal, as are His decrees. His goodness is beyond anything we can ever repay, or earn….let us practice trust and obedience. Staying within his boundaries for our lives and following his instructions as to how to move and where to go. As we go let’s keep His word in our hearts, in our ears and upon our tongue. Our handiwork may He establish for us, our handiwork may He establish!
*2 Peter 3; 8- 12 Moreover, dear friends, do not ignore this: with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day The Lord us not slow in keeping his promise, as some people think of slowness; on the contrary, He is patient with you; for it is not his purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins. However, the Day of the Lord will come “like a thief.” On that Day the heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will melt and disintegrate, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up. Since everything is going to be destroyed like this, what kind of people should you be? You should lead holy and godly lives, as you wait for the Day of God and work to hasten its coming.
–The Torah devotes much less space to Isaac’s life than to the lives of Abraham and Jacob. Isaac is the bridge between his father and his son, he is also one who draws the line between good and evil. While Abraham’s primary attribute was Chessed-kindness and he welcomed all with his “ministry” , Isaac’s main characteristic was Gevurah-Strength. Strength is required to differentiate between good and evil and then to remove the bad and nurture the good. Isaac and Rebecca produced two sons; one became the personification of righteousness and the other the personification of wickedness and it was the lot of the parents to make the distinction so that the nation of Israel would be pure.
Genesis 25;19- 26
And these are the offspring of Isaac son of Abraham–Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebecca, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Armean, as a wife for himself. Isaac entreated HASHEM opposite his wife, because she was barren. HASHEM allowed Himself to be entreated by him, and his wife Rebecca conceived. The children agitated within her, and she said, “If so, why am I thus?” And she went to inquire of HASHEM. And HASHEM said to her: “Two nations are in your womb; two regimes from your insides shall be separated; the might shall pass from one regime to the other, and the elder shall serve the younger.”
When her term to bear grew full, then behold! there were twins in her womb. the first one emerged red, entirely like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. After that his brother emerged with his hand grasping on the heel of Esau; so he called his name Jacob; Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
–Isaac entreated- The root of the Hebrew denotes abundance, so Isaac prayed abundantly for Rebecca, and she did so as well on her behalf. Opposite each other, both praying. How important do you think personal prayer is? How important do you think communal prayer is? How important is it to pray with your spouse? Why? Do you think there is a difference as to how a person prays? or Where a person prays? or When a person prays?
In this case we read that God answered Isaac’s entreaty.
Once again we see barrenness and a miracle, God is in charge of physiology…He opens and closes the womb according to His will and design in His timing.
–Rebecca feeling the turmoil within her wonders if something is “wrong”, she shows her faith by seeking God for an answer: “If so why am I thus?”
If we are in touch with the source of all things we will constantly be going back to the source for help. for answers, for guidance….(the source= God through whom all things exist and come.)
God’s answer to her is said to be revealed in prophecy for the future of her two sons. This is crucial to attempting to understand the “deception” of Issac we will read about later. If Rebecca “saw” the path Essau would take and God even indicated “the older will serve the younger”, this would give good reason for her insight and determination for Jacob to receive Isaac’s blessing.
From the moment they emerged from the womb, their eternal rivalry already showed itself, in their appearance and developing behavior. Esau- means “to do, make”, the red (Edom) of his appearance speaks to the hunter/warrior he would become. Jacob – is a play on the word “heel” which can mean “trickery or deceit; Jacob came out holding the heel of Esau, “wanting” to be the first born.
Genesis 25;27 The lads grew up and Esau became one who knows trapping, a man of the field; but Jacob was a wholesome man, abiding in tents. Isaac loved Esau for game was in his mouth, but Rebecca loved Jacob.
–Esau….Trapping- not animals, but his father. Jockeying for favor in his eyes and “buttering” him up with delicious food.
“but Jacob was wholesome”, this positive in respect to Jacob is an indication of the opposite attributes of Esau.
“abiding in tents” – devoting his time to learning about God …following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps and not engaging in insincere courting for his father’s affections.
–Again there is the idea that when we commit our day as we arise to being in the word and in prayer, if we look for the opportunity to quiet the “outside” noise we can grow closer to God. If we stay in the “tent”, shelter, cover of the living word in Yeshua we are far less likely to wander into the world and succumb to our flesh as Esau did and became idolatrous….his true colors show in the next section as we read how he “despised” the ways of his father Isaac’s house and “spurned” his birthright.
–I asked above questions about prayer. For my life, as I attempt to come before the King with reverence and some semblance of respect (ex. fully clothed, having washed my hands and face, brushed my teeth, without a stuffed to the brim belly which might distract from my Kavanah-concentration, with a steady pulse (not amidst laughing at or disciplining a child), etc.) …and I attempt to do so at the appointed times (in remembrance of the morning, afternoon and evening offerings in the Mishkan and temple Sacharis-9 Mincha-12 and Maariv-3) I stay in a mind set of devotion, obedience and delight at being able to come in the “presence”, invited..by the Master of the universe….How far can I stray throughout my day as I am declaring He is One and He is the ruler of my life and supplicating for my fellow man as many times as I can possibly meet these appointments? not far, and when I stray and allow other things to become more important…I feel as if I am regressing and not moving forward toward the very best of things..fellowship, communion….attempting, striving to be close to Him.
I pray almost constantly throughout my day, If one could hear my inner “voice” you would most likely assume I was crazy…
He is God, He is one, He hears the prayers of his people, He answers them in times of distress, He acts and He is faithful!
(the link below is to a crucial teaching if we are to understand the extent to the relationship between Esau and his descendants and Jacob and Israel. It is part 1 of a 5 part series.)
David who was described in a similar manner as Esau (Sam.16;12 He sent and brought him. He was ruddy, with fair eyes and a pleasing appearance.”) David also being known as a hunter/warrior…was able to become great and God loved him dearly as David loved for Torah and longed for people to study and follow it…David sets an example as to entreaty and inquiring of the Lord for his big and small decisions.
*2Sam.19-David inquired of HASHEM, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And HASHEM answered David, “Go up, for I shall deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
23 So David inquired of HASHEM,and He said, “Do not go directly up;circle around the rear, and approach from opposite the mulberry trees.”
I had it on my heart right away this morning to clarify something about prayer above. I am attempting to stress the sovereignty of our King and that surely we should put some “respect” and awe into our prayer practice…I’ve heard the example: If the president of the United States (lets go with something else ;p) If the Queen of England came to your house wouldn’t you tidy up a bit? Would you answer the door in your pj’s? Would you stand to greet her or be lying on the couch? That being said I wanted to encourage anyone that you can be filthy with the scum of this earth and swimming in the sin of the flesh and He will still and always turn to you if you call upon him and ask forgiveness of Him. We all become unclean in this life, but come as you are and He will do the washing!!
*John 13; 5- 8 Then he poured some water into a basin and began washing the feet of the talmidim and wipe them off with the towel he had wrapped around him. He came to Shim’on Kefa, who said to him, “Lord! You are washing my feet?” Yeshua answered him, “You don’t understand yet what I am doing, but in time you will understand.” “No!” Said Kefa, “You will never wash my feet!” Yeshua answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no share with me. “
******After these events, the word of HASHEM came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Fear not, Abram, I am a shield for you; your reward is very great.”
Gen. 15;1 ************
–Wells symbolize the spiritual wealth that is hidden beneath the layers of human smugness, materialism, and laziness. Abraham who was the spiritual father of all mankind tried to show the world how much they could accomplish if they wanted to, and he did this through the symbolism of digging wells, which represents quest for spiritual riches that lay buried beneath the surface. The Philistines rejected his teachings but Isaac persisted.- commentary from Stone Edition Chumash
Genesis 26; 15 All the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped up, and filled them with earth. 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us for you have become much mightier than we!”17 So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the valley of Gerar, and dwelled there.
(Abimelech asked Isaac to leave the town where the nobles and ministers lived, for they and himself were embarrassed by his superior wealth. This foreshadows future exiles when the Jewish residency rights were restricted. )
Genesis 26;18 And Isaac dug anew the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father and the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham’s death; and he called them by the same names that his father had called them.
(Isaac shows respect for his father and follows in his ways. The Philistines violated Abimelech’s covenant with Abraham. This shows the difference in the status of Abraham and Isaac, as long as Abraham was alive the natives’ respect for the prince of God prevented them from tampering with the wells; once the wells reverted to Isaac they acted with impunity.)
19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of fresh water. 20 The herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen saying, ” The water is ours,” so he called the name of that well Esek because they involved themselves with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also; so he called its name Sitnah. 22 He relocated from there and dug another well; they did not quarrel over it, so he called its name Rehoboth, and said, “For now HASHEM has granted us ample space, and we can be fruitful in the land.”
(The commentators note that there must be reasons why the Torah relates the incidents of the wells in such detail. The three wells of this passage correspond to the three Temples, the two that were destroyed, and the eternal one yet to be built. The first well named Esek, or contention, alludes tot he First Temple, which fell victim to the strife of the nations that finally destroyed it. The second well Sitnah, or hindrance, enmity alludes to the Second Temple period when the enmity of Israel’s enemies was longer lasting and more intense. The third well, Rehoboth -spaciousness, alludes to the future Temple when strife and enmity will be a thing of the past. )
23 He went up from there to Beer-sheba. 24 HASHEM appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham: Fear not, for I am with you; I will bless you and increase your offspring because of Abraham my servant.” 25 He built an altar there, invoked HASHEM by Name, and there he pitched his tent; there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
(Isaac goes to a place where his father sought out communion with God, a place where he felt “at home”. We can do the same thing with prayer and study. if you find yourself discouraged, lonely, sad ,scared…”go home”, call out to God, or just still your heart and let Him do the “talking”. After this conflict with the Philistines, God comes to Isaac reassuring him that He will protect him. Isaac builds an altar to thank God for His kindness and prophecy of protection. I think of Noach building the altar first thing off the Ark thanking God for His protection, and of Abraham: Gen12;7 HASHEM appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built and altar there to HASHEM Who appeared to him. )
But you, O Israel, My servant, Jacob, you whom I shall grasp from the ends of the earth and shall summon from among all its noblemen, and to whom I shall say, ‘You are my servant’- I have chosen you and not rejected you. Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I have strengthened you, even helped you, and even sustained you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all who become angry with you will be shamed and humiliated; those who fight with you shall be like nothingness and shall perish. The men who struggle with you, you shall seek them but not find them; the men who fight you, they shall be like nothingness and naught. For I am HASHEM, your God, Who grasps your right hand, Who says to you: ‘Fear not, [for] I help you!’
Genesis 26;26 Abimelech went to him from Gerar with a group of his friends and Phicol, general of his legion. 27 Isaac said to him, “Why have you come to me? You hate me and drove me away from you!” 28 And they said, “We have indeed seen that HASHEM has been with you, so we said, ‘Let the oath between ourselves now be between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you: 29 If you do evil us…! Just as we have not molested you, and just as we have done with you only good, and sent you away in peace- Now, you, O blessed of HASHEM!’ ” 30 He made a feast and they ate and drank. 31 They awoke early in the morning and swore to one another; then Isaac saw them off and they departed from him in peace. 32 And it was on that very day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they ha
d dug, and they said to him, “We have found water!” 33 And he named it Shibah; therefore, the name of the city is Beer-sheba until this day.
(Isaac’s “greeting” for Abilmelech and his men was understandably non-gracious, they had violated the covenant made with his father Abraham. It is said that once Isaac is driven away the trees all ceased to produce, Abimelech wants to reaffirm the covenant made with Abraham formally with Isaac as well as to strengthen it by including a curse upon its violators. Here again we see the recipe for ancient covenant- verbal declaration, terms, agreement and a shared meal…which would include wine. The sealing of the covenant takes place in the morning once the “effects” have worn off to ensure the oath was undertaken in a sober state. On that very day indicates the find of the water was known to Abimelech and his men and they stood in awe of the blessings bestowed upon Isaac by the Holy One, blessed is He.
Beer-Sheba: commemorates the well and the oath; Shiva- means seven as well as oath commemorating the seven ewes that Abraham had given to Abimelech Gen.21;28-31)
34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as a wife Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittie; 35 and they were a source of spiritual rebellion to Isaac and to Rebecca.
(With the marriage to multiple Hittite women at the age of forty Esau seals his complete unfitness to carry on the mission of Abraham, in a home ruled by these women the Abrahamic ideal lies buried.)
I want to do some more reading before we enter this most “crucial and mystifying chapter of the Torah” regarding the Patriarchal blessing which would determine which would be God’s Chosen People. Pray for me to find the proper time and insight that might in any tiny way be a blessing to you…
Blessed HASHEM, the blessed One. Blessed is HASHEM, the blessed One, for all Eternity. Blessed are You, HASHEM, our God, King of the universe, Who gave us the Torah of truth and implanted eternal life within us. Blessed are You, HASHEM, Giver of the Torah. Amein
It is an amazing thing God is doing!! Altogether entwined with immaculate timing!! I’d just like to shout with all my being that God is faithful and He answers prayers!! I never could have expected the great changes He has made in my life and I will serve Him and proclaim that He is Magnificent forever!
In Genesis 27 verse 1 we read that Isaac’s “eye’s dimmed from seeing,” this could be literally he was going blind, but it had become clear that he was not “seeing” clearly the extent to the depravity of Esau. Had he been able to process the reality of the corruption of Esau properly it would have been clear that Esau could never carry on the Abrahamic message, nor would he seek to continue in Isaac’s way and bring the message of God to his people and the world. Just because we are looking at something, does not always mean we can really see things accurately. The case FOR Isaac: He perhaps thought that Esau was the one who needed the blessing, that it would in someway inspire him to honor and change his “walk”. This is a hope filled example yet it is clear to me that the Light of the examples set directly before Esau should have made an impression, even a hint of an impression. This was not the case unfortunately and therefore it seems highly unlikely that a great reward of wealth and honor would turn him from his set way, rather…it would only encourage his desire for power and freedom from the goodness and righteousness of his household.
Genesis 27; 1 And it came to pass, when Isaac had become old, and his eyes dimmed from seeing, that he summoned Esau, his older son, and said to him, “My son.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 2 And he said, “See, now, I have aged; I know not the day of my death. 3 Now sharpen, if you please, your gear- your sword and your bow- and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4 Then make delicacies such as I love and bring it to me and I will eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.”
(Rebecca had known since the boys in her womb wrestled that there would be hardship and challenge ahead. God had revealed to her the prophecy for the future of Jacob and Esau and she knew that Isaac had not been convicted by God about Esau, once she hears of the impending blessing she devises this plan (or it could be she just steps in to act out what she had thought of for all these years, having the knowledge/foresight/insight that God had given her. ) She uses Gods name to impress upon Jacob the importance of this matter. “in the presence of HASHEM”, interestingly enough Isaac doesn’t mention God when instructing Esau. )
Genesis 27;5 Now Rebecca was listening as Isaac spoke to Esau his son; and Esau went to the field to hunt game to bring. 6 But Rebecca has said to Jacob her son, saying, “ Behold I heard your father speaking to your brother Esau saying, ‘Bring me some game and make delicacies to eat, and I will bless you in the presence of HASHEM before my death.‘ 8 So now, my son, heed my voice to that which I command you. 9 Go now to the flock and fetch me from there two choice young kids of the goats, and I will make of them delicacies for your father, as he loves. 10 Then bring it to your father and he shall eat, so that he may bless you before his death..”
(Jacob’s reply: as I was reading this again I was surprised to rediscover that Jacob had an objection (which I remembered), but his objection was not to partaking in this “scheme” but rather in being discovered and incurring wrath. We do have to make note that though there was VERY good reason for all this deception…it was in fact, preconceived…intentional…deception…lying. It is not a far stretch to connect the future for Jacob filled with hardship and lies, the deception of Laban (replacing Rachel with Leah) to be recompense for what takes place in this section. Rebecca assures Jacob she will stand up to protect her child, offering to endure the suffering that may come, as she presses him to obey her. )
11 Jacob replied to Rebecca, to his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me and I shall be as a mocker in his eyes; I will thus bring upon myself a curse rather than a blessing.” 13 But his mother said to him. “Your curse be on me, my son; only heed my voice and go fetch them for me.”
(Instead of noting as with Abraham who ran to serve and obey an urgency, there is a connotation of reluctance in the text. Jacob attempts to stay as close to the truth as possible in the way he responds to his father. We may take this with a grain of salt but it does “work” in most of these cases: “I have done as you told me” all Jacob’s life he has been doing as his father wished, behind the scenes rather than seeking the glory and praise like Esau..he followed in the footsteps of Abraham and Isaac and he followed God. )
14 So he went, fetched, and brought to his mother, and his mother made delicacies as his father loved. 15 Rebecca then took her older son Esau’s clean garments which were with her in the house, and clothed Jacob her young son. 16 With the skins of the goat-kids she covered his arms and his smooth-skinned neck. 17 She placed delicacies and the bread which she had made into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came to his father and said, “Father,” and he said, “Here I am; who are you my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “It is I, Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me; rise up, please, sit and eat of my game that your soul may bless me.”
(Please note that Jacob respectfully addresses his father, using please rise up and indicating that he sit in comfort to eat and then bless. Perhaps this immediately made Isaac wonder, for Esau’s address as he comes in later is much different= indicating his mode of speech to his father. )
God in in charge, God has a plan. We can not change the perfect timing of The Holy One nor can we hinder anything that is to be from being. Gods plan was for Jacob to receive the blessing, and God will be with him through everything that comes…He does arrange this all for Jacob.
20 Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you were so quick to find my son?” And he said, “Because HASHEM, your God, arranged it for me.”
21 And Isaac said to Jacob, “Come, if you please, so I can feel you, my son; are you, indeed, my son Esau or not?” 22 So Jacob drew close to Isaac his father who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are Esau’s hands.”
(At this point we have to have some doubt as to whether or not Isaac is really unaware that the son before him is Jacob. Isaac may have had dimmed sight in the literal sense but I have doubts that his mind is so diminished that he would say this and not really know it was in fact Jacob. YET, despite all our wonderings, despite all our value on commentary and wonderful learned men…nothing “trumps” the actual words of the Torah text. We should engage in research and hold great value to life lessons we can learn from commentary and teaching (including Rabbinical writings), seeking…with open eyes and hearts what connects with the commandments and where they can be applied to our lives to allow us to become more set apart-holy to our God, giving Him more and more control in the lives He has given us to use to be at His service. Don’t dismiss these tools!! BUT the Word, especially when it is as clear as this next verse should be the FIRST thing we go to, return to, look to. And verse 23 says “he did not recognize him”.
23 But he did not recognize him because his hands were the hairy like the hands of Esau his brother; so he blessed him. 24 He said, “You are, indeed, my son Esau!” And he said, “I am.”
(Isaac is eating of his son Jacob’s game. Also we should note these elements, similar to the ancient Covenant items, we have a meal and wine…a declaration with words which in this case indicate that Jacob will inherit all of Isaac’s wealth. )
25 He said, “Serve me and let me eat of my son’s game that my soul may bless you.” So he served him and he ate, and he brought him wine and he drank.
This kiss was to bring about a deep spiritual intimacy which Isaac wished would allow him to make the proper blessing. The Divine Presence rested on the intended party and Isaac was sure that he should bless the man before him and he did so. Jacob receives the blessing. Grain speaks of sustenance, but not just for the physical…the spiritual sustenance of Torah study and obedience to God…a sign of faith and trust. Wine speaks of a life filled with delight.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come close, if you please, and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he drew close and kissed him; he smelled the fragrance of his garments and blessed him; he said, “See, the fragrance of my son is like the fragrance pf a field which HASHEM had blessed- 28 And may God give you of the dew of the heavens and of the fatness of the earth, and abundant grain and wine. 29 Peoples will serve you, and regimes will prostrate themselves to you; be a lord to your kinsman, and your mother’s sons will prostrate themselves to you; cursed will be those who curse you, and blessed be they who will bless you.”
30 And it was, when Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left from the presence of his father, that Esau his brother came back from his hunt. 31 He, too, made delicacies, and brought them to his father; he said to his father, “Let my father rise and eat some of his son’s game, so that your soul will bless me.”
(This is the first thing to note about Esau as he returns. The way he speaks to his father as opposed to Jacob in verse 19…without a greeting, he enters…without any reverence for this auspicious occasion (remember his haste as he spurned the birthright?) “rise and eat “.
There is much more to come. )
Let’s try and see a little clearer…look a little longer….there are battles raging, physical and spiritual as we near the end of days and we must be alert! If it seems as though the shadows are creeping in…try and recognize the light that is separate and what is being illuminated by it in your life….your walk.
There are miraculous things happening every day….take a look and ask God to show you what He has in store for you, or what you may have been missing.
Blessed are You YAHWEH, Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and is merciful to all. Please grant me wisdom, insight and discernment…illuminate my heart to Your Torah, then my soul will pursue Your commandments. I shall thank You and relate Your praise for our lives, which are committed to your power and for our souls that are entrusted to You. For Your miracles that are with us every day; and for Your wonders and favors in every season- evening, morning and afternoon…The Compassionate One for Your kindnesses have never ended! Always shall I put my hope in You!
In Yeshua’s precious name I pray
*Psalm 2;1-2 Why do nations gather, and regimes talk in vain? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and princes conspire secretly, against HASHEM and against His anointed…
Genesis 27;32 Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your firstborn son Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled in very great perplexity, and said, “Who-where-is the one who hunted game, brought it to me, and I partook of all when you had not yet come, and I blessed him? Indeed, he shall remain blessed!”
–Isaac is clearly effected by these events. Some say it is because he realized he had been deceived by Jacob and trembled, some say it is because he realized he had not seen the extent of Esau’s evil and would be punished…whatever the case he states that Jacob shall remain blessed regardless.
Genesis 27;34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out an exceedingly great and bitter cry, can said to his father, “Bless me too, father!”
*Did Esau truly repent and feel bitterness that he would be unable to carry on the blessings and covenant of Abraham? Or were these bitter tears that of rage and jealousy that he will miss out on fortune, esteem and glory?
35 But he said, “Your brother came with cleverness and took your blessing.”
–The term cleverness is positive, he didn’t use another word: deceitfulness, falseness, etc. This denotes that something has opened in Isaac that seems to be a realization that Jacob was the correct choice, and as discussed last time…the Divinely appointed choice.
Genesis27;36 He said, “Is it because his name was called Jacob that he outwitted me these two times? -He took away my birthright and see, now he took away my blessing!” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
–Esau had the audacity to assert to his father’s face that Jacob had “taken” his birthright, when in reality Esau himself sold it under oath and flagrantly despised it.
Genesis 27;37 Isaac answered, and said to Esau, “Behold, a lord I have made him over you, and all his kin have I given to him as servants; with grain and wine have I supported him, and for you, where-what can I do, my son?”
–This statement brings our attention to blessing. Throughout the bible we see many instances of the laying on of hands and blessings passing from one party to another…it seems all parties witness to these things are aware of some binding code that existed that unfortunately is nearly completely lost to our generation and society. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could trust a person’s word enough that it would be binding without paperwork and a lawyer? What about blessing our children, do you…as the leader, molder of your kids…entrusted by God with the most important of tasks…to give them the tools to come to understand the goodness of God and living before Him for His service…do you feel that you have been entrusted with the power to bless them? You have been, and when you lay your hand upon your child and pray over them, blessing them in the Name of God..you are arming them with something irreplaceable that IS binding and that WILL effect their walk. Be it in that moment, that day or longer.
*Matthew 19;13-15 Then t he children were brought to him so that he might lay his hands on them and pray for them, but the talmidim rebuked the people bringing them. However Yeshua said, “Let the children come to me, don’t stop them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Then after laying his hands on them, he went on his way.
In this last weeks Torah Portion Pinchas- Phineas we read about God appointing the new leader of the children of Israel, Joshua. We see how Moses blesses him and his splendor passes to him.
*Num.27;15 Moses spoke to HASHEM,saying, 16 “May HASHEM, God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the assembly, 17 who shall go out and bring them in; and let the assembly of HASHEM not be like sheep that have no shepherd.” 18 HASHEM said to Moses, “Take for yourself Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom there is spirit, and lean your hand upon him. 19 You shall stand him before Elazar the Kohen and before the entire assembly , and command him before their eyes. 20 You shall place some of your majesty upon him, so that the entire assembly shall pay heed.
22 Moses did as HASHEM had commanded him. He took Joshua and stood him before Elazar the Kohen before the entire assembly. 23 He leaned his hands upon him and commanded him, as HASHEM had spoken through Moses.
–How nice would it be if leadership in the world would not only seek God in their lives but call on Him as the Supreme One, Master of Wars, King over kings in the decisions regarding the succeeding leadership to be appointed!? Shouldn’t we do the same as we cast our ballots? We should pray for our leadership and that they fall upon God for the decisions they make. There is an opportunity right now for us to bless two such men who will not only proclaim God and attempt to restore Israel’s government and people to Him, but to begin a change in the world…Jeremy Gimpel and Ari Abramowitz, if you aren’t a citizen of Israel you can not vote for them but you can learn about them and contribute at http://www.thelandofisrael.com. It is a scary time but it is an exciting time, stay in prayer and arm yourselves and your children with blessing.
Genesis 38 And Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, Father? Bless me too, Father!” And Esau raised his voice and wept. 39 So Isaac his father answered, and said to him: “Behold, of the fatness of the earth shall be your dwelling and of the dew of the heavens from above. 40 By your sword you shall live, but your brother you shall serve; yet it shall be that when you are aggrieved, you may cast off his yoke from upon your neck.”
* When Isaac is blessing Jacob, he says “May God give you of the fatness…..” ,with Esau, not so. He does not say that God will give him this blessing, instead that any good fortune will come as the “normal” course of nature. He implies that Esau will be forced to plunder with the sword, and that he would be victorious in war and survive battle. The Roman Empire, conqueror of the world was descended from Esau. Remembering what God told Rebecca, that as one of the brothers would ascend the other would decline.; as Israel strays from the Torah and destiny to bring God’s light to the world they will be “under” Esau.
41 Now Esau harbored hatred toward Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau thought, “May the days of mourning for my father draw near, then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
*The rivalry that already existed comes to a head after these events and hatred festers within Esau. There are at least two ways we can look at this, that he was restraining himself by not killing Jacob or cursing him while Isaac is alive out of respect for Isaac or (more the way it reads) that Esau eagerly awaits his fathers death that he may be free to exact his vengeance.
42 When Rebecca was told of the words of her older son Esau, she sent and summoned Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau is consoling himself regarding you to kill you.
*This is said to come as a prophecy once again to Rebecca through the Divine, it would explain why she explains things the way she does to Jacob and Isaac below.
43 So now, my son, heed my voice and arise; flee to my brother Laban, to Haran. 44 And remain with him
a short while until your brother’s wrath subsides. 45 until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there; why should I be bereaved of both of you on the same day?”
*These verses are incredibly enlightening about Rebecca. Though she had always love Jacob, she too cared for Esau. Though she knew it was in everyone’s best interest (for generations to come) that Jacob receive the blessing, she still hopes that there will be peace between the brothers. She seeks to protect Jacob yet she notes that she would be bereaved by the loss of Esau as well. A mother’s unconditional hope for her son who has gone astray, hope for peace within her household and hope for a better future. Unfortunately we know that these hopes would not come about as Esau’s anger does not wane, for generations his fury remains.
Amos1; 11 Thus said HASHEM: For three transgressions of Edom [I have looked away], but for four I will not pardon them- For their pursing his brother with the sword and suppressing his mercy; his anger has slaughtered incessantly and he has kept his fury forever.
(see this teaching about Esau-Amelek to see how even today the fury exists and effects our world
46 Rebecca said to Isaac, “I am disgusted with my life on account of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth like these, of the daughters of the land, what is life to me?”
* Rebecca did not wish to tell Isaac that Jacob’s life was in danger, so she used the unsuitability of the Hittite women as a pretext for her decision. Please note that Rebecca is taking a sort of punishment here not being able to be near her dear Jacob any longer.
28;1 So Isaac summoned Jacob and blessed him; he instructed him, and said to him, “Do not take a wife from the Canaanite women. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take a wife from there from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3 And may El Shaddai bless you, make you fruitful and make you numerous, and may you be a congregation of peoples. 4 May He grant you the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may possess the land of your sojourns which God gave to Abraham.”
*Earlier Jacob had been tricked so to speak into blessing Jacob; now he ratified the blessing of his own free will!! Very important. The patriarchs did not function as individuals; their mission in life required a wife worthy to be a Jewish Matriarch, so Isaac explicitly blesses Jacob with the “blessings of Abraham”…now all he needs is to fin d his proper match. There are several ideas on whether or not Isaac sent off Jacob with any wealth, some say he surely did and that it was robbed by Eliphaz( Esau’s son) upon the outset of his journey; some say Isaac refrained not wanting Jacob to be a target, he was traveling alone. Either way we should note it as it ties into how Jacob arrives at the household of Bethuel.
Genesis 28;5 So Isaac sent away Jacob and he went toward Paddan-aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Arrmean, brother of Rebecca, mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan-aram to take himself a wife from there, as he blessed him he commanded him saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan”; 7 and that Jacob obeyed his father and mother and went to Paddan-aram;8 then Esau perceived that the daughters of Canaan were evil in the eyes of Isaac his father.9 So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, sister of Nebaioth, in addition to his wives, as a wife for himself.
*Is this a good thing? I mean Esau does think and in his own way attempt to follow what Isaac was telling Jacob…to stay away from the Canaanite women. So he takes a wife from Ishamel’s family. He obeyed right? There’s just a few problems, his intentions are once again for falseness…to appear as though he is faithful to his father. And he already has not one, but two women who clearly have been a thorn in the side of his household, bothersome to say the least to his parents. So this is what I read as “adding evil upon evil.”
*It truly does not matter who or what comes up against that which God has put His Name upon. All the fury of wickedness, all the weapons of mass destruction in the world can not wipe away that which He has put His blessing upon and declared as His firstborn, lift your prayers for Israel, and for ourselves. There will be war and there will be chastisement …but just remember if God is your shield, it can not be breached.
John 14;1 “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. 2 In my Father’s house
Are many places to live. If there weren’t I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
This is the end of the portion of the Torah Toldot- generations
If anyone has questions about my resources please let me know, I stated this below already, I will be more than happy to write them down again. Please comment, question, suggest, follow the links. I am so thankful right now. Praises to the Supreme One the Blessed One Who is Blessed! Moses and the Children of Israel raised their voices to You in song and said :Who is like You among the heavenly powers YAHWEH! Who is like You mighty in Holiness Too Awesome for praise, doing wonders! YAHWEH shall reign for all eternity.
In Yeshua’s holy, precious name I pray for peace and delight upon us and all Israel…amein.
*Isaiah 51;1 Listen to me, O pursuers of righteousness, O seekers of HASHEM: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and at the hollow of the pit from which you were dug; 2 look to Abraham your forefather and to Sarah who bore you, for when he was yet alone did I summon him and bless him and make him many.
–We return to the texts of Genesis to the place the chapters where Israel is born. Heeding Isaiah’s words as we connect the riches of the Torah with the life and lessons of Yeshua to find insight into our daily revelation and vision. Let’s read about the ladder that connects us all to God. The place where we come realizing there is a path to God in his eternal word and that He desires us to rest here and look heavenward, connecting to Him.
John 3;11 Yes, indeed! I tell you that what we speak about, we know; and what we give evidence of, we have seen; but you people don’t accept our evidence! 12 If you people don’t believe me when I tell you about the things of the world, how will you believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13 No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down fro heaven, the Son of Man.
John 1;47 Yeshua saw Natan’el coming toward him and remarked about him, “Here is a true son of Isra’el- nothing false in him!” 48 Natan’el said to him, “How do you know me?” Yeshua answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathan’el said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Isra’el!” 50 Yeshua answered him, “you believe all this just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than that!” 51 Then he said to him, “Yes indeed! I tell you that you will see heaven opened and the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man.!”
*Jacob is fleeing for his life. God brings him to Mount Moriah. The very place that the Akeidah happened- the binding of Isaac and the sun sets. God wants him right here at this very moment for what He will reveal to him.
Isaac arranges twelve stones around his head. The twelve stones represent the twelve tribes of Israel, his sons who will allow the family of Israel to become a nation.
Genesis 28;10 Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and went toward Harah. 11 He encountered the place and spent the night there because the sun had set; he took from the stones of the place which he arranged around his head, and lay down in that place.
*Not only is this the very place where God saved Isaac and tested Abraham, reassuring he and Isaac that His promise to give them the Land and to call their descendants His people forever…the place where Jacob has this vision of the angels, it is a place where there is revelation that there IS a connection between the heavens and the earth, intersection between God and man and that we are able to access spirituality and union with Him. This is also the site where the Temple would later stand; the place that the people are able to actively participate in worship and drawing near to God, His service. When it says he encountered the place, this means this is where he encounters God. This is the place where Jacob see’s the future of the Jewish people and mans ability to connect himself to God’s master plan.
12 And he dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! Angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
*In the verses at the top of this page we can see Yeshua explaining that he descended and when he ascended it was to the place from which he came, he was retuning home and he will again descend to gather in the scattered of his people, the 12 rocks/the 12 tribes and he will bring restoration to the sheep of his remnant…uniting his people in to one body. Just as we read, the stones…in verse 11, join and become one stone which is set up dedicated to God and anointed…the anointment of Yeshua our coming king is an unbreakable seal, just as God’s promise to Israel is unreachable, binding and unchanging! God reiterates this promise once again to the specific Patriarch he is in covenant with, with Jacob, assuring him He will be with him and that his descendants will be many and will inherit the Land…He will return them to the Land. We have seen over these few recent years a huge increase on Jews of all colors and communities making aliyah-ascending, returning to the Land of Israel. Not only will this continue but it will increase and God will be the One to call them home. God stands over His people, He has protected them all this time and remains. Just as Yeshua is the guarding of Israel, standing guard above us all.
13 And behold! HASHEM was standing over him, and He said, “I am HASHEM, God of Abraham your father and God of Isaac; the ground upon which you are lying, to you will I give it and to your descendants. 14 Your offspring shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out powerfully westward, eastward, northward and southward; and al families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and by your offspring. 15 Behold, I am with you; I will guard you wherever you will go, and I will return you to this soil; for I will not forsake you until I have done what I have spoken about you.”
*Yeshua is the ladder who bridges the gap between us here on earth and God the Father in Heaven. Only by him and his service to us as High priest are we able to cast our prayers before the Father, who hears us and acts for us on the behest and on behalf of our intercessor and the one who gave his blood as atonement for us…Yeshua, our salvation.
16 Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely HASHEM is present in this place and I did not know!” 17 And he became frightened and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God and this is the gate of the heavens!” 18 Jacob arose early in the morning and took the stone that he placed around his head and set it up as a pillar; and he poured oil on its top.
* There is such a huge existence of a lack of unity among God’s people, we must strive to look past the things that divide us and realize that connection is the one thing the will bring about hope for this decaying society and take notice of when God exacts punishment…it is when we are disconnected and at odds with each other. Not serving each other or bridging the gap, but separating ourselves and even harming each other with our words, gossip,etc. We are coming to the end of the three weeks where we remember the destruction of the Temple’s, this among many other historical events happened on the 9th of Av (this Sat.), it is said that the utter discord and strife between the people was the ultimate cause of His wrath. Can we see this in the world today? Has God deserted or exchanged his people for another? Or is He in everything, using situations to open our eyes and unite us? Are we paying attention or are we more concerned with our immediate physical needs. As Jacob said, surely God is all around us and in everything…we only need to recognize it.
19 And he named that place Beth-el; however, Luz was the city’s name originally. 20 Then Jacob took a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, will guard me on this way that I am going; will give me bread to eat and clothes to wear;21 and I return in peace to my father’s house, and HASHEM will be a God to me- 11 then this stone which I have set up as a pillar shall become a house of God, and whatever You will give me, I shall repeatedly tithe it to You”
*Jacob makes a vow to God, it is not that Jacob doubts God would keep his word, when he says “if God will be with me” but rather he feared he might sin and forfeit his right to God’s protection. He asks for the essentials and does not include a request for luxuries. He is beseeching God to rest his name upon him. He asks for the safe return to the land that he may serve him properly. It can be difficult to serve our King in the way we know is proper and consistent when we are in the world, running around with errands and appointments in a secular workplace, etc. We should attempt to bring out praise and prayer, our proclamation and declaration in some form into our daily lives wherever we go…but be sure to return to the spiritual sanctity we find (God willing ) in our homes, fellowship, church, etc.
Matthew 5;33 “Again, you have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not break your oath,’ and ‘Keep your vows to ADONAI.’ 34 But I tell you not to swear at all- not ‘by heaven,’ because it is God’s throne; 35 not ‘by the earth,’ because it is His footstool; and not ‘by Yerushalayim,’ because it is the city of the Great King. 36 And don’t swear by your head, because you can’t make a single hair white or black. 37 Just let your ‘Yes’ be a simple ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ a simple ‘No’; anything more than this ha its origin in evil.
*Vows to God, before God and TO EACHOTHER are between us and are witnessed by God…they are binding and a serious matter. This is why Yeshua warns us to keep our word and be careful what we say.
I will be doing more research on vows and oaths, this is all connected to this last week’s Torah portion Mattot-Massei which was Num.30;2- 36;13 which began with a rundown of vows and oaths before God and between a bride and groom/ father and daughter…then continued on to talk about cities of refuge and blood avenger. Do you consider Yeshua to be a blood avenger? What does it say in revelation? So much wealth in the word of God, it is unending…so God willing I will attempt to get back to vows/oaths…Yeshua, blood avenger of Israel and revelation. Stay in the word!
*There is a ladder before us all. It is not beyond our reach to first recognize there is a conduit that we may grasp hold of and have access to the spirituality that will being us closer to God. Once we recognize this we must like Jacob do our part! Declaring what is there before us, what we may not have seen…that was and is always there…Him, standing above us becoming us to step up and climb higher and higher..to become better and better people, each day discovering more and more ways to bring to light this truth…He never leaves, it is only a matter of time, then we will see….and climb back toward him.
*Thank you my King for being so faithful. Thank you for never leaving and for giving us access to Your wonder which astounds me, thank you for Your Torah, thank you for Yeshua, thank you for the wondrous things you are doing. Please protect us all. Return all your people in heart, soul and physical presence to the Land of promise and to their destiny. Please allow us to continually desire to discover what we can do to serve you better each day. Reaching reaching upward at your invitation, closer to You.
Blessed are You YAHWEH our King, may all your people go up…ascend to Yerushalyim to serve you with reverence as in the days of old and in former years.
Hosea 12;3 HASHEM has a contention with Judah, to visit upon Jacob according to his [evil]ways; He will requite him in accordance with his deeds. 4 In the womb he seized his brother’s heel, and with his strength he struggled with [an angel of] God; 5 He struggled with an angel and prevailed; [the angel] wept and beseeched him:’ In Beth-el He will find us and there He will speak with us.’ 6 HASHEM is the God of Legions; HASHEM is His remembrance. 7 And as for you, return by your God; observe kindness and justice, and always hope to your God.
In the last section (Gen.28;16-22) we read about the vision of a ladder and angels ascending and descending…Jacob’s reaction of “fear” and a vow that reads in English somewhat like a “bargain” with God. The fear is that healthy awe of God that we should have in our worship. God promises the Land as Sovereign King to his vassal Jacob in the form of a Land Grant Covenant. There is no declaration of the vassal’s duties only the King’s promises. This is a lesson for us that the blessings of the Covenant are not ultimately dependant on the lives of the covenant people (for we all fail) but rather on the character of God. When we read Jacob “did not know” that God had been in that place it might seem strange at first. Surely he knew God and as his forefathers received vision from God it was an immediate accepting and receiving…Jacob was surprised so to speak that God would still make covenant with him…he carried all the guilt from deceiving his father, causing a breach between he and his brother and then having to flee, he was surprised that God would not only go with him on this journey, but that He would come with blessing…not punishment. Let us travel on with Jacob, in awe of God and with thankful surprise that He will be with us every step of the way despite our failures. As Jacob set up a stone as witness to his declaration of “return” to God in the tithe, let us bear witness by the light of God in our lives every where we journey from this moment onward.
Genesis 29;1 So Jacob lifted his feet, and went toward the land of the easterners.
*Jacob didn’t just rise, he was lifted in spirit, with a lightness of heart and with purpose, direction and resolve!
2 He looked, and behold- a well in the field! And Behold! Three flocks of sheep lay there beside it, for from that well they would water the flocks, and the stone over the mouth of the well was large. 3 When all the flocks would be assembled there they would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep; then they would put back the stone over the mouth of the well in its place. 4 Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from ? And they said, “We are from Haran.”
*The shepherds are waiting by the sealed well, this gives us insight into the Arameans, no one trusted each other or would allow for any possible advantage, thus the monitoring of the well.
5 He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know.” 6 Then he said to them, “Is it well with him?” They answered, “It is well; and see- his daughter Rachel is coming with the flock!”
*Jacob asks about the well being of Laban in order to greet him and communicate with him in the best possible way. This is a good lesson for us: ensure we look in on the well being of our fellow especially prior to making a request or bearing bad news.
7 He said , “Look, the day is still long; is it not time to bring the livestock in; water the flock and go on grazing.” 8 But they said, “We will be unable to , until all the flocks will have been gathered and they will roll the stone off the mouth of the will; we will then water the flock.” 9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel had arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherdess.
*Rachel shows her work ethic and how special she is, being young and the daughter out guarding ALL of her father’s flock, this is quite a feat considering her age. She was talented and hard working. We see just as Isaac met Rebecca at the well, Jacob see’s her. He knows immediately she is for him, is it possible that God revealed some of this to Jacob during his vision at mount Moriah? Perhaps it was revealed to him and then he learns her name (and “trade”) it is clear…Rachel- means “a ewe lamb”
10 And it was, when Jacob saw Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the flock of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came forward and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother.
*Jacob surely wearied from his long journey and experiences somehow has the strength to move this heavy stone off the well, a feat which the multiple shepherds were unable/unwilling to do on their combined effort. And Rachel is his inspiration. It is amazing the strength we can muster, the amazing thing that God is doing is revealing to us in the events in the World is that there is great strength within us all…only through these hardships to we need to tap into to and God will provide it when the time comes. I think of the survivors of the Holocaust, who surely never dreamed they would need the courage they mustered. I think of Mrs. Chava Sandler who had her husband and sons stolen from her this year and yet in the day after she was able to muster the light and hope, the strength to encourage the world to stay in the Torah, stay in the word and to never loose faith and trust in God. (I will attach her letter below). I think about Israel, attacked daily and daily the subject of vows for their complete destruction..yet in times of disaster among the nations who hate them and fail to rally around them…they are the first to respond with aid. (links below) What an example and light in these last days when it becomes harder and harder to see how we will be able to survive it…God will open our stores of strength which are present and in hibernation, He will endow us with all that we need!
Genesis 29;11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel; and he raised his voice and wept.
*God is perfection. His timing and His plan will manifest itself in ways that connect from generations past to present in the craftsmanship of a magnificent masterpiece that often is only realized years and years later.
[Gen. 27;26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Coe close, if you please, and kiss me, my son.”]
It was with a kiss that the deception of his father was sealed. God turns each event into something with reason, connection and purpose. He brings Jacob from guilt and shame to a place where he will meet his mate[mates] and his destiny as the father of Israel. With another kiss his life changes and he expresses openly the joy he longs for as he see‘s Rachel. There is, as we will read, a road ahead filled with labor and challenge for Jacob. With God standing with a purpose at his head he is able to endure with prosperity.
Have a blessed day!!
Blessed are You YAHWEH gracious giver of the Torah!
May You be blessed my Rock my King and Redeemer!
(Mrs. Sandler’s letter- please read)
(Israel’s strength!! They roll off the stone and water the world….)
Genesis 29; 12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, and that he was Rebecca’s son; then she ran and told her father.
*Jacob was perhaps telling this to Rachel so that it would not seem as though he had acted inappropriately in kissing her, for he was her relative. This is a form of greeting, we read on and see Laban kiss Jacob in greeting.
13 And it was, when Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran toward him, embraced him, and kissed him, and took him to his house; he recounted to Laban all these events.
*The last time Laban was visited by the servant of his kinsman he was met with a caravan and riches. It is not graciousness in this case, but rather pure greed that causes his activity. The sages say he hugged him in a sort of way to ‘pat him down’ and kissed him to “see if he hid pearls in his mouth.” It may seem like a ‘stretch’ but the lesson is about the character of Laban.
14 Then Laban said to him, “Nevertheless, you are my flesh and blood!” And he stayed with him a month’s time. 15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Just because you are my relative, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me: What are your wages?”
*Jacob tells Laban all that happened and Laban makes this statement ‘never the less’ to say “I should distance myself from you as you distanced yourself from your relatives, but since you are my kinsman I will not.” It doesn’t say how Jacob had been working for Laban already but we can imagine him taking over the duties of Rachel ,caring for Laban’s flock. There is something big to bring out here…Jacob had the blessing and the birthright. He could easily have stood strong and demanded his land and inheritance and fought for it. Instead he falls upon the will of God and rests in Him to take him on this journey. Note the blessing of Isaac in 27;29- Let peoples serve you and let kingdoms be subjected to you. Be master over your brothers and let your mother’s sons bow down to you.- now ironically Jacob needs to serve Laban. With God it is measure for measure, we see this play out in the entire ‘saga’ of this family. [Jacob deceives Isaac-Laban deceives Jacob, competition among the wives- jealousy among the children]
16 (Laban had two daughters. The name of the older one was Leah and the name of the younger one was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were tender, while Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.)
*When I used to picture Leah the way some translations have it…I always saw her as ugly or inferior to her sister. This translation tender could indicate some reason why it was Rachel the younger one who guarded the flock, the sun hurt Leah’s eyes to the extent that she could not perform these duties. Another translation is her eyes were ‘weak’, weak from crying knowing that she the eldest daughter would be given then to Esau the older son, so she cried in prayer to God not to be given to him as a wife. Yet another translation is delicate, so we most likely should not presume her to be ugly or inferior in appearance, in the Targum it is translated as “pretty”. Rachel is preferred by Jacob and the verse indicates that she is beautiful physically and it seemed clear that they have a connection right away. They both are Godly women who rely on prayer and are obedient to their father and later their husband.
18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will work for you seven years, for Rachel your younger daughter.”
*Whether by reputation, warning by his daughters, divine warning or [most likely] personal perception and experience, clearly Jacob is wary of Laban and makes three indications to specify whom he chose…already thinking that Laban might try and ‘do him wrong’. Indicating her name, her age, and her station…Rachel, the younger of your daughters.
19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I give her to another man; remain with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him a few days because of his love for her.
*The great love for Rachel makes these years go by as if a day, even with the nature of the work and of his boss Laban. The sages go so far as to say he felt he was ‘taking advantage of Laban’ by only working seven years for Rachel, the lesson? How much he valued Rachel and her great worth.
21 Jacob said to Laban, “Deliver my wife for my term is fulfilled, and I will consort with her.” 22 So Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast.
* Jacob is already on in years (near 84 years of age) and it is time for him to have a family. The Onkelos translation: “Give me my wife for my days of work are over, that I may live with her.”
23 And it was in the evening that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to him; and he consorted with her.
*Had Leah’s prayers to be allowed to marry the righteous Jacob been answered? Perhaps, but we do know that it was in God’s plan to bless Leah, she had been allowed to marry Jacob and from her comes Judah. The line from which Yeshua came. God somehow made it possible, that despite his great love for Rachel he did not recognize that Leah was not his wife…for in fact she was destined to be.
24–And Laban gave her Zilpah his maidservant–a maidservant to Leah his daughter.
*Here Jacob is being doled out his measure of deception and to ensure this snare Laban goes so far as to give Zilpah who was younger maidservant (Bilhah, whom he later gives to Rachel, was older) to Leah.
25 And it was, in the morning, that behold it was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I worked for you? Why have you deceived me?” 26 Laban said, “Such is not done in our place, to give the younger before the elder.
* Laban gives his excuse to keep Jacob around longer. Not only must Jacob be a diligent worker, but Laban sees the fruit of God blessing Jacob and greed is the force which drives him. The sages say that during the time Jacob had dwelt there the wells had not failed to produce ample water, so this too was a driving force to keep him in his ‘control’.
27 Complete the week of this one and we will give you the other one too, for the work which you will perform for me yet another seven years.”
28 So Jacob did so and he completed the week for her; and he gave him Rachel his daughter to him as a wife. 29 And Laban gave Rachel his daughter Bilhah his maidservant- to her as a maidservant. 30 He consorted also with Rachel and loved Rachel even more than Leah; and he worked for him yet another seven years.
*This week could have been the seven days of Leah- Leah’s wedding feast. In this narrative the word serve is repeated seven times.
Note that it says he loved Rachel more. Keep this in mind as we read on: it was not that Jacob didn’t love Leah , for if Jacob hadn’t agreed to keep her as a wife-the marriage could have been invalidated due to the deception.
Take away from this that Jacob is putting his trust in God, since leaving his birthright and blessing riches to wander instead of fighting for them …since accepting Leah into his life, and continuing on with Laban despite the conditions…he is putting his fate in God’s hands.
Let God take the wheel, we will read on about the great blessings God creates in the midst of turmoil.
Have a blessed day, hear His voice and fall into Him.
Blessed are You my King, gracious giver of the Torah,
Who crowns us each day with mercy!
Revelation 5;5 One of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, has won the right to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Philippians 2;6 Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are.
Psalm 139; 16 Your eyes say my unshaped form, and in Your book all were recorded; though they will be fashioned through many days, to Him they are One.
Genesis – And He Went Out
29; 31 The Lord saw that Leah was hated. He gave her conception, but Rachel was barren.
*Another translation for hated is unloved. The mothers of the tribes named their sons under the prophetic inspiration of the Holy Spirit .
32 Leah conceived and bore a son. She called his name Rueben, for she said, “Because my humiliation is revealed before the Lord- now my husband will love me.”
*Re’uven- Rueben- “See a son!” Leah declares that her son has been born to her because the Lord saw her affliction. This is said to be a prophesy of the redemption from Egypt. See a son, the son of God has come to be the ultimate redeemer. Ex.3;7 HASHEM said, “I have indeed seen the affliction of My people that is in Egypt and I have heard its outcry because of its taskmasters, for I have known of its sufferings.8 I shall descend to rescue it from the hand of Egypt and to bring it from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…
33 She conceived again and bore a son. She said, “Because it has been heard before the Lord that I am hated, He gave me this one also.” She called his name Simeon.
*Shimon-Simeon- “the Lord has heard” (shama-heard) Exodus 2;23 During those many days, it happened that the king of Egypt died, and the Children of Israel groaned because of the work and they cried out. 24 God heard their moaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.
34 She conceived again and bore a son. She said, “This time my husband will be joined to me, for I bore him three sons.” Therefore he called his name Levi.
*Levi-comes from the Hebrew root Lavah which means joined. This name can be interpreted as though Leah thought since she kept bearing Jacob sons he would become attached to her or that prior to Levi she had two sons with her two hands to raise them, now Jacob will need to join her in tending to the children. The Targum translates an addition of “Thus will it be that my children shall be united to serve before the Lord.” Num.3;45”Take the Levites in place of every firstborn of the Children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock, and the Levites shall be Mine, I am HASHEM. Levi was to serve before the Lord in the Mishkan and Temple, they were to be set apart for a constant service. As Kohanim-priests, they were to do everything in the precise manner as instructed by God. They were responsible to teach the people so that they might perform His commandments and also be holy unto Him. They were the picture played out of God’s unity and an example to us today of the power and perfection in the Order of God and unity in His service. Yeshua prayed that we may be united by Gods order, Gods word: John17;19 On their behalf I am setting myself apart for holiness, so that they too may be set apart for holiness by means of truth. 20 I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word, 21 that they may all be one. Just as You, Father, are united with me and I with You, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that they may be one, just as we are one- 23 I united with them and You with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that You sent me, and that You have loved them just as You have loved me. In the Amidah-daily standing set time prayer we pray “Unite us our Father, all of us as one with the light of Your countenance, for with the light of Your countenance You gave us YAHWEH, our Elohim, the Torah of life and a love of kindness, righteousness, blessing, compassion, life and peace. And may it be good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel, at every time and at every hour, with Your peace.
If we could unite then the world would pay attention and realize that God is One and there is no other.
35 She conceived again and bore a son. She said, “This time I will give thanks before the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.
*Yehudah-Judah- from the word Yadah=Praise. The Targum translates “For from this son of mine kings shall come forth, and from him shall spring David the King, who shall offer praise before the Lord.”
When King Messiah, son of David, will again sit on David’s throne in Yerushalayim, and in that day every tongue will confess and render praise to God. Isaiah 45;22 Turn to Me and be saved, all ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other. 23 I swear by Myself, righteousness has gone forth from My mouth, a word that will not be rescinded: that to Me shall every knee kneel and every tongue swear.
Phillipians 2;9 Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every other name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow- in heaven, on earth and under the earth- and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai- to the glory of God the Father.
*The Torah is filled with accounts of our patriarchs and matriarchs. They are beloved unto God and holy, yet do we not see turmoil? Challenge? Strife? They are US, we are them…in the sense that they struggle and have trouble in their lives, they make mistakes and experience hardships. Let us be encouraged knowing this and being able to see the lessons they learned, or were slow to learn..and always note that God is their guide and protector, their counselor as should He be in our lives. Among Jacob’s wives there is competition, there is jealousy and rivalry. These women are truly examples to their children, so let us keep in mind what we will see happen among the boys, namely with Joseph, and remember to be good examples to our children. It is possible to escape the “sins” of our fathers, to overcome that stigma and rise above it…but it doesn’t come easily or free. It takes hard work and reliance on our loving, patient and merciful counselor Blessed is He.
30;1 Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, and Rachel envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children. If not, I will die.” 2 Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel. He said, “Are you requesting this from me? You should make your request before the Lord who with held from you the offspring of the womb.”
* The commentators mention that is was out of her disappointment in herself that Rachel is complaining, that she relates Leah as being more righteous than herself and for that reason she is being blessed with the fruit of the womb. In this day, a woman with no children is considered “worthless”, even so far as to say one who is childless is like one who is dead. So it can be considered as a truly pious request that Jacob pray for her to have children thus she not be considered dead. Jacob’s response could be a disappointment that his love was not enough to satisfy her, or that he was angry in her assumption that her children would determine her worth for he saw her sterling qualities and their enormous value from the very day he met her. He seems to make the point that it is God who determines who will give birth and who will be barren, just as He is the one who heals the sick and allows rain that we all might have food to eat. He gives life and sustains all things. Jacob reminds Rachel that it is He whom she should be coming before with her request.
3 She said, “Here is my maidservant Bilhah, go into her. She will bear whom I will bring up, and I, also, may be built up through her. 4 She gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5 Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Rachel said, “The Lord has judged me. Indeed, He accepted my prayers and given me a son.” Therefore, she called his name Dan.
*Dan-from the word Din-Judged. It is said Rachel looks prophetically to Samson the great judge who arose from the tribe of Dan. Rachel acknowledges that God is a just and righteous Judge and it was in His judgment that she remain barren, also that He judged and accepted her prayer in a way that she “adopt” the sons of Bilhah and be able to “build a house” through her.
7 Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Rachel said, “The Lord has accepted my request when I supplicated in my prayer. I desired to have a child like my sister. It was granted to me.” Therefore, she called his name Naphtali.
*Naphtali- there are several roots that his name may be traced to Niphtalti-patal-wrestling or twisting, or Tapal- attaching or cleaving. She earnestly “wrestled” in prayer before the Lord. Yeshua told us to knock and keep knocking on the heavens in prayer, and that the door shall be opened to us. Hebrews 5;7 During Yeshua’s life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions, crying aloud and shedding tears, to the One who had the power to deliver him from death; and he was heard because of his godliness.
The other root of Naphtali comes from Palal-to pray.
9 When Leah saw that she stopped bearing, she led Zilpah her maidservant and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
10 Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, bore Jacob a son.
*There is no contradiction, or repetition without purpose in God’s word. Why some instances are repeated and take up chapters and many verses while others which are very important only take a few lines…all these things are meant to point something out to us, there are many levels of interpreting scripture and to consider that there is always something that can be learned is truly understanding that the Word is living and we change each year, graduating to a new level of “being” and come to the text with different eyes. This is why I LOVE the Torah cycle and look forward to each year! The first thing we do is read, read the word at face value. Then what? Do we make up our own commentary or conclusions or could it be valuable to use ancient resources which incorporate all different levels of understanding (including history, geography, culture and rituals) into account? I submit to you that there is more to learn, more to uncover and that truly never runs out! The Verse 10 is the only verse in this section that does not mention conception, it only says she bears Jacob a son. Interesting.
11 Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” And she called his name Gad. 12 Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, bore Jacob a second son. 13 Leah said, “ I have praise, now women will praise me.” And she called his name Asher.
*Asher-Happy (blessed, praised, praiseworthy and fortunate are other translations.)
Miriam echoes Leah’s sentiment Luke 1;46 Then Miriam said, “My soul magnifies Adonai; and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, who has taken notice of his servant-girl in her humble position. For- imagine it!- from now on, all generations will call me blessed! The Mighty One has done great things for me!”
Luke 11;27 As Yeshua was saying these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice to call out, “How blessed is the mother that gave birth to you and nursed you from her breast!” 28 But he said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”
My King, the ONLY thing that fulfills me is Your Word, my King…the ONLY thing that fulfills me is serving You. Thank You for You faithfulness and patience. Only by the tireless service of my High Priest Yeshua…who never takes a vacation…who bears me upon his shoulders and casts my prayers to Thee….only by Him is my supplication heard, that You might forgive my error and willful sin.
Blessed are You, YAHWEH, King of the Universe.
Revelation 22;1 Next the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations-3 no longer will there be any curses, and His servants will worship Him; 4 they will see His face, and His Name will be on their foreheads.
Psalm 128;3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the inner chambers of your home; your children shall be like olive shoots surrounding your table. 4 Behold, for so is blessed the man who fears HASHEM.
*Let us continue learning about the leaves which shoot forth from father Jacob:
Song of Songs 7;14 All my baskets, good and bad, emit a fragrance; all at our doors have the precious fruits of comely deeds, both the Scribes’ new ordinances and the Torah’s timeless wisdom; for You, Beloved, has my heart stored them. 8;1 If only, despite my wrongs, You could comfort me as Joseph did, like a brother nurtured at my mother’s breasts, if in the streets I found Your prophets I would kiss You and embrace You through them, nor could anyone despise me for it. 2 I would lead You, I would bring You to my mother’s Temple for You to teach me as You did in Moses’ Tent; to drink I would give You spiced libations, wines like pomegranate nectar. 3 Despite my laments in exile, His left hand supports my head and His right hand embraces me in support.
Genesis 30; 14 Rueben went in the days of the wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field. He brought them to his mother Leah. Whereupon Rachel said to Leah, “Give me now some of your son’s mandrakes.”
*The mandrakes could be several things, some say they were a plant that resembled a human form that was supposed to increase fertility; some say they were something with a pleasant smell like Jasmine, some say figs, others have said the plant is an aphrodisiac.
15 She said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have led [away] my husband? Will you also take my son’s mandrakes?” Rachel said, “Let him then lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
*It is said that because of this bargaining, because Rachel was willing to give up this night with her husband she did not merit being buried with him.
16 Jacob came from the field and Leah went out to him. She said, “You will come in to me, for I hired you for my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17 The Lord accepted the prayers of Leah. She conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.
*God heard Leah and she becomes the mother of half of the Israelite tribes.
18 Leah said, “The Lord has given me my reward because I gave my maidservant to my husband.” She called his name Issachar.
*Yisachar-Issachar- from the word Sacar-wages,reward. The Targum goes on to say “…Even so shall his children receive a good reward (sacar), because they will occupy themselves with the Torah.”
-1 Chronicles 12;33 Of the children of Issachar, men with understanding for the times, to know what Israel should do- two hundred chiefs, with all of their kinsmen following their counsel.)
-Another promise of sacar: Genesis 15;1 After these things, the word of the Lord was with Abram in a prophecy, saying, “Fear not, Abram, My memra [word or wisdom] will be your strength. Your reward will be very great.
-The salvation(Yeshua) of the Lord comes with reward and recompense: Isaiah 62;11 Behold, HASHEM has announced to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your Savior has come!’ Behold, His reward is with Him, and His wage is before Him.
-Revelation 22;12 “Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done.
19 Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 10 Leah said, “The Lord has given me a good portion. This time the habitation of my husband will be with me, for I have borne him six sons.” She called his name Zebulun.
*Zevulun-Zebulun-from the word Zaval-dwell. The targum goes on to say “…And thus shall his children receive a good portion.”
-The Holy Temple of God is referred to as His zebul.
Isaiah 63; 15 Look down from Heaven and see, from Your abode of holiness and splendor!
-I Kings 8;12Then Solomon said, “HASHEM said He would dwell in the thick cloud. 13 I have surely built a house of habitation for You, the foundation of Your dwelling forever.”
21 After this she bore a daughter. She called her name Dinah.
*As with Gad there is no mention of the Conception of Dinah (only she bore a daughter). Dinah the female “version” of the name Dan means judged or vindicated. Surely we read later how the rape of Dinah is vindicated by her brothers Shimon and Levi. Rabbinical literature indicates that Dinah bore a daughter from this rape- Asenath, who becomes the wife of Joseph.
Genesis 30;22 Then the remembrance of Rachel came before the Lord. The Lord accepted her prayer and gave her conception. 23 She conceived and bore a son. She said, “The Lord has gathered [taken away] my disgrace.”
*The Torah says that God opened Rachel’s womb. The Hebrew word for “opened” (patach) can also be read as “unlocked”. To unlock something a “key”(maphteach) is required.
The sages tell us that there are three keys that God holds: the key of rain, the key of the womb and the key of resurrection.
-Duet.28;12 ADONAI will open [unlock] for you his good treasure, the sky, to give your land its rain in the right seasons and to bless everything you undertake.
-Ezekiel 37; 12…Behold, I am opening your graves and raising you up from your graves, My people, and I will bring you to the soil of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am HASHEM, when I open [unlock] your graves, and when I raise you from your graves, My people,14 and when I put My spirit into you, and you come to life, and I set you on your soil.
***(side note: It is abundantly clear that God is gathering His people to the Land He promised them, there are many things happening, and many of them seem horrible and scary…they are very sad and tragic, yet from them come more Jews making Aliyah…going home. This link is to an incredible story this verse reminded me of today; I have the wife and children of Moshe al-Nahari in my prayers from this moment on. :http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/08/12/3103731/widow-of-yemenite-victim-of-anti-semitic-attack-makes-aliyah )
-Matt.16;19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.
-Revelation 9;1 The fifth angel sounded his shofar; and I saw a star that had fallen out of heaven onto the earth, and he was given the key to the shaft leading down to the Abyss.
20;1 Next I saw an angel coming down from heaven, who had the key to the Abyss and a great chain in his hand.
God unlocked Miriam’s virgin womb and from her came Yeshua who holds the keys to all things.
-Revelation 1; 17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man, He placed his right hand upon me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, 18 the Living One. I was dead, but look!-I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to Death and Sh’ol.
24 She called his name Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add another son for me.”
*God unlocks Rachel’s womb and Joseph’s destiny is the be the key to life for his people, being placed in a position to save many lives.
Yoseph- Joseph- comes from the word Yasaph-add.
God answers Rachel’s prayer when she is given another son, Benjamin.
Obidiah1,17 On Mount Zion there will be refuge, and it will be holy; and the house of Jacob will inherit those who had dispossessed them. 18 The house of Jacob will be fire, the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for straw; and they will ignite them and devour them. There will be no survivor to the house of Esau, for HASHEM has spoken. 19 And [those of] the southland will inherit the Mountain of Esau; and [those of] the lowlands [will inherit] the Samaria; and Benjamin [will inherit] Gilead. 20 The exiled host of the Children of Israel who are among the Canaanites until Zarephath, and the exile of Jerusalem which is in Sepharad will inherit the cities of the South. 21 And saviors will ascend Mount Zion to judge the Mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be HASHEM’s.
25 When Rachel bore Joseph, Jacob said to Laban. “Send me away and I will go to my place and country.”
*It was only after Joseph’s birth that Jacob makes known his desire to leave the household of Laban. He knows that his children need not only their portions of land to support his future grandchildren, but that they are destined to reap the reward of the promises of God to Jacob and for this to happen they must be in The Land.
The big lesson we should learn from these accounts of Jacob, his four wives and the children born to them is that God gives children as a blessing, He may not be saying anything about the circumstances under which they were conceived. Children represent a new generation, a new hope that God will be honored. Children are a new beginning in the midst of a generation ‘gone wrong’. God is working out His plan, yet doing so through the ‘imperfect’ lives of His children. The names of each son remind us of Gods ability to take the failures of mankind and to turn them into the praises of His glory.
O my King, You remind me what it feels like to have a soul which is living. No longer dormant or wandering in the breezes of the world, breathing and pulsing with the love You have loved it with…I never thought I could remember love like this again, I never dreamed I could discover love so vast! I pray You will give me tomorrow that I might continue to recall the heart You put within me from my conception, and uncover the Word You etched there and then on the tablets of my heart.
Blessed are You my King!
Blessed is Yeshua who bears us all and who holds the keys.
Genesis 30;25 When Rachel bore Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away and I will go to my place and country. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I worked for you, and I will go; for you know my work that I worked for you.”
*Jacob appears to be asking for the release of his wives and children, suggesting that Laban treated them as indentured servants or even slaves.
27 Laban said to him, “If I have found mercy in now your eyes, I tested [and found] that the Lord blessed me on your account.”
*Another translation of “I tested” is “I divined”. We should note that when Eliezar had come, finding Rebecca as a wife for Isaac it was Laban speaking for he and Bethuel saying: “The matter has come from before the Lord. We can not speak with you good or bad.”Gen24;50. Laban may have knowledge that there is a Mighty God whom is blessing Jacob despite his own efforts to belittle him, but Laban has idols and practices divination. We see in scripture that this practice may have been ‘effective‘ but is forbidden by God and is certainly nothing to even blink at.(Ezekiel 21;28 But it was for them a meaningless divination in their eyes, [even though they had cast] seven times seven [divinations, and all pointed] to them, and this recalled their iniquity, that they might be captured.)
*We can go on to read the words of a sinful and wicked man named Balaam whom constantly sought to thwart God’s plan to bless Israel and yet in His hands became the tool for one of the most incredible blessings over them. Reading over some of his words you might think he was a true follower and believer:
Numbers 23;19 “God is not a man that HE should be deceitful, nor a son of man that He should relent. Would he say and not do, or speak and not confirm? 20 Behold! To bless I have received- He has blessed, and I shall not contradict it. 21 He perceived no iniquity in Jacob, and saw no perversity in Israel. HASHEM, his God, is with him, and friendship of the King is in him. 22 It is God who brought them out of Egypt according to the power of His loftiness, 23 for there is no divination in Jacob and no sorcery in Israel. Even now it is said to Jacob and Israel what God has wrought.”
-We must be careful to look at the actions of a person, how they speak is one thing…the character in what we do tells a lot more about us than any words can express.
*We have to put ourselves into the time of the bible as we read and try and understand that many peoples began to relate the greatness of the luminaries (sun, moon and stars) to being actually power filled themselves. (in the blessing for the Shema in our daily prayer service there is a portion calling all things even the luminaries to themselves praise YAHWEH, truly when that day arrives the order of Sovereignty will be unchallenged : The blessed God, Who is great in knowledge, prepared and worked on the rays of the sun; the Beneficent One fashioned honor for His Name, emplaced luminaries all around His power; the leaders of His legions, holy ones, exalt the Almighty, constantly relate the honor of God and His sanctity. May You be blessed, HASHEM, our God, beyond the praises of Your handiwork and beyond the bright luminaries that You have made-may they themselves glorify You-Selah!)
*God created everything for us to wonder at his power, not to begin to worship these creations themselves. It may seem obvious to you today, but lets consider some things in our lives (blessings in all forms come from God, all things from all directions come from Him.) that are of great value to us, what things do we invest much of our time, heart, effort into. Let us try and be aware of our allegiances and to what or whom we are so greatly placing value, idolatry comes in many forms.
*To the blessed God they shall offer sweet melodies; to the King, the living and enduring God, they shall sing hymns and proclaim praises. For He alone effects mighty deeds, makes new things, is Master of wars, sows kindnesses, makes salvations flourish, creates cures, is too awesome for praise, is Lord of wonders. In His goodness He renews daily, perpetually, the work of Creation. As it is said: “Give thanks to Him Who makes the great luminaries, for His kindness endures forever.” May You shine a new light upon Zion, and may we all speedily merit its light. Blessed are You, HASHEM, Who fashions the luminaries. Amen.
*Whatever way we can consider that Laban came to the conclusion, his conclusion was indeed correct. God had only blessed him on Jacob’s account. It wouldn’t take much investigation beyond simply looking with your eyes at all God had done since Jacob entered his household.
28 He said, “Specify your wages due from me, and I will give it to you.” 29 He said, “You know how I worked for you and how your livestock fared under my care. 30 You had little before me, but grew greatly. The Lord blessed you on my account. Now when will I do for my household also?” 31 He said, “What will I give you?” Jacob said, “Do not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again pasture your flock [and] guard it.
*Here we see Jacob making the declaration that it was God who blessed him. Jacob refuses to fixed wages for his future work and wanted to depend on his own God given skills and the gain he would obtain through God’s goodness. He does not ask for compensation for his past labors since he felt that he labored for his wives.
32 I will pass through your entire flock today. I will remove from there every speckled and spotted lamb and every dark colored lamb among the sheep, and speckled and spotted among the goats. Let this be my wages. 33 Let then my righteousness testify for me, when on a future day you go over my wages: all in my possession that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and dark-colored among the sheep is stolen.”
*Jacob comes up with this avenue by which he will be able to provide for his family. He is humble not only that he upfront make the declaration that he will be accountable if anything happens beyond what both parties agree to occurs, and allows for the righteousness of himself (the righteousness the Lord and Laban bore witness too) be the witness in this agreement. Humility is exemplified in that Jacob asked for the “blemished” animals. There is a whole series of wonderful teachings about spots, wrinkles and blemishes that would be important to better understand the deeper meaning of these ‘surface’ terms: http://www.elshaddaiministries.us/audio/spots_n.html
34 Laban said, “Surely, let it be as you have said.” 35 So on that day he removed the streaked and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted she-goats, all that had white on it, and the dark-colored among the sheep, and he gave them into the hands of his sons. 36 He set a distance of a three day’s journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob pastured Laban’s remaining flock.
*Surely, Laban affirms and agrees. Yet the word remove indicates that Laban actually goes through and walks off with more than those to which he was entitled, leaving Jacob with the left overs- the remaining flock that were weak sick and barren. The text does not say what was agreed upon occurred and reading with the past character of Laban in mind this does not seem to be an unrealistic interpretation. Furthermore he puts his pickings in the hands of his own sons and makes space between himself and Jacob.
Genesis 30;37 Jacob took for himself fresh rods of poplar, almond and plane. He peeled white stripes in them, peeling [exposing] the white on the rods. 38 He set up the peeled rods in the troughs, in the place of the water receptacle, the place where the flock came to drink, in front of the flock. They would be in heat when they came to drink. 39 Thus the flock was in heat by the rods, and the flocks bore streaked, speckled and spotted. 40 And the sheep, Jacob separated them. He placed at the head of the flock all streaked and all reddish of Laban’s sheep. He made separate herds for himself, and he did not mix them with Laban’s sheep.
41 It happened that each time the early-breeding flock was in heat, Jacob would place the rods in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, so that they would be in heat by the rods. 42 When the flock was late-breeding, he did not place [them]; so that the late-breeders were Laban’s; while the early-breeders were Jacob’s. 43 Thus the man grew very mighty, and he had large flocks, maidservants, menservants, camels and asses.
*This method has been discussed and disclaimed by scientific bloggers much like the history channel specials who reason out the plagues in Egypt (which are historically documented by Egyptian ‘writings’) and splitting of the red sea as extreme weather phenomena to discount and distract from the Wonder, Majesty, Might and Truth of God and His Torah.(I Corinth. 3;18 Let no one fool himself. If someone among you thinks he is wise (by this world’s standards), let him become “foolish”, so that he may become really wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is nonsense, as far as God is concerned; in as much as the Tanakh says, “He traps the wise in their own cleverness, 20 and again, “Adonai knows that the thoughts of the wise are worthless.)
*Let us take note of Jacob’s work ethic and great knowledge of animal husbandry, and realize that however it came about God gave Jacob great wealth. Despite the years of abuse by Laban and even now starting with the leftovers, God creates for Jacob the inspiration and means by which he feeds himself and his growing household with luxury by God’s hand. At the same time Jacob stays true to his word and keeps up with the flocks of Laban, acting with intention and in holiness…sanctifying that which God gives him, not mixing the holy with the ‘profane’, not that the livestock themselves were profane but that he was being holy in keeping his word unlike the profane ways of Laban. Keeping his flocks separate from that of Laban, he sets himself and all that is his apart (set apart- holy). So too are we called to be set apart from the world and to serve each other and our King in the way He indicates is holy. How do we know what to do? The prophet explains: Ezekiel 44;23 They shall instruct My people concerning [the difference] between holy and ordinary, and they shall inform them of [the difference] between contaminated and clean. 24 Concerning a disagreement, they shall stand in judgment, and shall adjudicate them according to My laws; they shall safeguard My teachings and My decrees regarding My appointed times and they shall sanctify My Sabbaths.
*God is faithful to Jacob and his fathers, this is why He lifts him up, it is through humility in the face of one who holds no esteem for him, who seeks to use him…. but ultimately in putting his entire fate in God’s hands. Jacob acts honorably in God’s eyes and we see the change in him, the blessings flow…yet the challenges are not nearly over. God has equipped Jacob with the hope and spiritual strength to continue on his journey and encourages him with the physical means which will make this march forward sustainable.
He will do the same for all His children if we put it all into His hands, allowing Him to produce the wondrous things we could never obtain by any means of our own!
James 4;7 Therefore, submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against the Adversary, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; purify your hearts, you double-minded people! 9 Wail, mourn, sob! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into gloom!10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 11 Brothers, stop speaking against each other! Whoever speaks against a brother or judges a brother is speaking against Torah and judging Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of what Torah says, but a judge. 12 There is but one Giver of Torah; he is also the Judge, with the power to deliver and to destroy.
*Let us try not to even resemble the double-minded Laban, who uses the name Lord, Lord and then divines and values his idols putting his wealth above all else. Wearing the Lord as our banner means we are representatives of His holiness, ALL THINGS WE DO MATTER TO GOD. Let us be good examples in all the things He cares about…ALL. (how we dress, speak, eat, work, spend our time, behave, worship, give….how we love.)
I Yochanan 3;16 The way that we have come to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers! 17 If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God.? 18 Children, let us now love with words and talk, but with actions and in reality! 19 Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in His presence: 20 if our hearts know something against us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God; 22 then, whatever we ask for, we receive from Him; because we are obeying His commands and doing the things that please Him. 23 This is His command: that we are to trust in the power of His Son Yeshua the Messiah and to keep loving one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey His commands remain united with Him and He with them.
Genesis1;14 God said, “Let there be luminaries in the firmament of the heaven to separate between the day and the night; and they shall serve as signs, and for festivals, and for days and years; 15 and they shall serve as luminaries in the firmament of the heaven to shine upon the earth.
*The months ahead of us are very significant to God and to us as His children. Sunday-Yom Rishon, was Rosh Chodesh-head of the month/new month the beginning of the month of Elul, this is the season of repentance. We use this time as we approach Rosh Hashana-Yom Teruah-the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur-Day of Atonement…to sing psalms of repentance and come before our King with all, and ask forgiveness and help. Sorting, evaluating taking stock and readying ourselves to be accountable before the Judge as He ‘opens the books‘.
* this is an excellent site I highly recommend to verse yourself with Elul and this extraordinary time we have entered into http://www.ou.org/chagim/elul/
Thank You my King for all the bright light You have been shining in this world, in our hearts and lives. Though sometimes we feel sad and helpless…desiring to effect some help to those in need, You are the One who gives hope to the helpless and strength to the exhausted. Thank You for being my banner, thank You for Your Torah. Be our guide and counselor this week. In Yeshua’s precious holy name I pray, amein.
Genesis 31; 1 He heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob took all that belonged to our father; it is from our father that he acquired all these possessions. “ 2 Jacob also saw the expression on Laban’s countenance and, behold, it was not as it was yesterday and the one before it.
*The Hebrew of acquired is translated amassed-gathered the same terminology used in 1Samuel 14;48 He assembled an army and struck Amalek, and he rescued Israel from the hand of its oppressor.
Interesting, so we can imagine what they are thinking as they see Jacob’s ‘power’ growing. I Samuel verse timely in that Jacob soon will be free from his oppressor Laban.
Jacob- Israel, it is easy to see the parallel between the sons of Laban and players on the world stage today . It is common over the ages to hear Israel’s enemies call Israel’s success and prosperity “ill-gotten’ gains, and in the eyes of the nations God never gets the credit for Israel’s success.
Jacob notices that Laban believes the slander and thinks on his behavior currently and in the past.
3 The Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your birthplace, and my memra [word or wisdom] will be with you.”
*The Torah goes on explaining more thoroughly the dream through Jacob’s conversation with his wives.
God is informing Jacob that He can only be with him when he separates himself from the defilement of Laban’s environment and returns to the Holy Land. Again it is specifying that it is this guardian, the Word, memra…same One there at the beginning…that shall be with him…Yeshua.
4 Jacob sent to Rachel and Leah and called them to the field, to his flock.
*Rachel before Leah, it was on her account that Jacob entered the house of Laban. (Ruth 4;11 Then all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “[We are] witnesses! May HASHEM make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the House of Israel.
5 He said to them, “I see the expression on your father’s countenance that it is not as it was yesterday and the one before it; but the God of my father has been my support. *(Psalm 3;3 The great say of my soul, “There is no salvation for him from God, Selah!”4But You, HASHEM, are a shield for me, for my soul, and the One Who raises my head. 5 With my voice I call out to HASHEM, and He answers me from His holy mountain, Selah. 6I lay down and slept yet I awoke, for HASHEM supports me.- From his lying down at Moriah as he fled from this past mistakes to his years of hardship and work in a land apart from the promises made there, Jacob had grown and changed and learned to rely on God and give Him the glory.
6 Now you know that I worked for your father with all my strength. 7 Yet your father deceived me. He changed my wages ten times. But the Lord did not let him harm me. 8 If he would say, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ than all the flock would bear speckled ones, but if he would say thus, ‘Streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flock would bear streaked ones. 9 In this way the Lord separated from your father’s livestock , and handed it to me.
*II Samuel 22;18 He saved me from my mighty foe, and from my enemies, when they overpowered me. 19 They confronted me on the day of my misfortune, but HASHEM was a support unto me. 20 He brought me out into a broad space; He released me, for He desired me. 21 HASHEM recompensed me according to my righteousness; He repaid me befitting the cleanliness of my hands. 22 For I have kept the ways of HASHEM, and I have not departed wickedly from my God. 23 For all His judgments are before me; I do not remove myself from His decrees. 24 I have been perfectly innocent with Him, and I was vigilant against my sin. 25 HASHEM repaid me in accordance with my righteousness, according to my purity before his eyes. 26 With the devout You deal devoutly. With the one who is strong in his wholeheartedness You act wholeheartedly.
Genesis 31;10 It happened at the time when the flock was in heat that I raised my eyes and saw in a dream, and, behold, the he-goats that mated with the flock were streaked, speckled and checkered.
*So it is explained that it was by Divine vision that Jacob was instructed in what manner to produce and prosper.
11 An angel of the Lord said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I said, ‘Here I am.’
*Here I am. This is not just an indication of a physical location, this is a very special term “Hineini”- here I am, I am at your service. Like the servant to the Sovereign King…Jacob responds much like his grandfather in the verse when God poses the test of Abraham, to take Jacob‘s father to the site of the Akeidah-binding of Isaac, the site God now wishes Jacob to return to- Moriah: Genesis 22;1 After these things, the Lord put Abraham to the test. He said to him, “Abraham,” and he said, “Here I am.”
12 He said, ‘Raise your eyes now and see that all the he-goats that are mating with the flocks are streaked, speckled and checkered; for all that Laban is doing to you is revealed before me.
*Verse to note is Genesis 13; 14 The Lord said to Abram, after lot had separated from him, “Raise your eyes now and look from the place you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 For I will give you and your children all the land that you see, forever.
The context: herdsman quarreling, Abram having issues with the morality of the men whom surrounded him, separation from kinsmen. Lot chooses the choice land of the Jordan to dwell in and God asks Abram to raise his eyes as he confirms that regardless of the agreement with Lot, Abraham is the one He chooses to give all the Land to. Forever.
13 I am the God who was revealed to you at Bethel where you anointed a pillar and where you affirmed before me. Now rise, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.’”
*The place where he anointed the pillar, sanctifying it and there made a vow to God: Gen.28;22 And this stone that I set up as a pillar will be that on which I will worship before the Lord, and of all that You will give me I will set aside a tenth before You.” This is to be the site of worship, altar for offerings in worship to God and now having been blessed it is time for Jacob to make good on his side of the promise.
Genesis 30;14 Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Do we still have a share and inheritance in our father’s house?
*It is said to be Rachel who is speaking on behalf of both she and her sister. Here follows a statement of grievances past, present ad future. Future: There is no financial reason for them to remain, only males receive a share in their father’s possessions.
15 We are regarded as foreign women by him, for he sold us. He also used up our money.
*Past: Laban rejected the custom of marrying off daughters with a dowry and instead sold them in exchange for Jacob’s work. He considers the women foreigners.
16 But all the wealth that the Lord separated from our father is ours and our children’s.
*Present: Rachel and Leah have nothing of their father’s but that which God separated from him, and that is now theirs and their sons. This word separates- in Hebrew denotes separation from harm or from the enemy.
…..Therefore whatever the Lord has said to you, do.” 1
*Obedience to God and to their husband.
7 So Jacob rose and put his sons and wives on camels.
*Note the males before the females, the order of these caravans has intention and shows us something as we will read about the opposite order in which Esau arranges his ‘valuables’ Gen.36;6-Esau led his wives, his sons….. Jacob placed the males first in order to protect the females. Much unlike the enemies of Israel today, whom use children and women as weapons and shields.
18 He led away all his livestock and all his possessions that he had acquired- his livestock and his possessions that he had acquired in Padan-aram- to come to his father Isaac to the land of Canaan.
The journey continues. As does our own. When our Father calls us from our place and indicates that we move on, move forward and act in faith…putting our trust in Him in the face of change…will we listen, hear and respond Hineini…
Exodus 3;4 HASHEM saw that he turned aside to see; and God called out to him from amid the bush and said, “Moses, Moses,” and he replied, “Here I am!”
*God asks Moses to return to a land of pain to be a leader, to proclaim the ‘impossible’ is True and that God will give His people freedom.
I Samuel 3;4 HASHEM called to Samuel, and he said, “Here I am.” 5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”
*Eli the Kohen finally realizes after three times that God is speaking to the ready to serve Samuel and instructs him how to answer.
10 HASHEM came and appeared, and called as the other times, “Samuel, Samuel!” and Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
*What God has to say is not easy for Samuel to hear, and much harder for him to repeat. God is just and He judges righteously, He intends to use each one of us and we must be obedient.
Isaiah 6;8 I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us?” And I said, “Here I am! Send me!”
*Ready to serve as He desires and instructs, but not only that…to volunteer! Oh my King that I may be of service to You. In any small way, please send me and give me the strength to move forward .
This month of Elul and the time of repentance, is not only a time to come before the Lord and ask forgiveness…but this is a ‘Time of Testing’. Let us be aware of this and use all our tools, armor and weapons with which the Lord has well equipped us with and go forth, listening and being prepared for the special time right in front of us. Change, Testing, Repentance, Faith.
Revelation 3;19 As for me, I rebuke and discipline everyone I love; so exert yourselves, and turn from your sins! 20 Here I am, standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to eat with him, and he will eat with me. 21 I will let him who wins the victory sit with me on my throne, just as I myself won the victory and sat down with my Father on His throne.
Blessed are You YAHWEH my King, how can I express to you the waves of emotion that greet me…even now I sense the tasks ahead and know that You will be with me no matter what happens. Wherever You lead me, there I will go. Whatever you put me through, there I will be strengthened. The things that change are change for Your design, the challenges that arise are so that You might refine me. Strengthen your servant before I grow faint, thank You for allowing me this time…thank You for Your amazing Word…in it is Life and sustenance….in it is every tool I will ever need. Your Torah is my shield and Yeshua is my armor. Blessed are You my King! In Yeshua’s Name I pray, unite Your flock and lead us.
Micah 7;4 The best of them is like a thorn, the upright one, like a hedge of thistles. On the day of your expectation, your punishment will come; now you will become perplexed. 5 Do not trust a friend; do not rely on an official; guard the doorways of your mouth from the one who lies in your bosom. 6 For a son disparages [his] father; a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the people of his household. 7 As for me, I put my hope in HASHEM and await the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
*With ‘family’ like Laban, who needs enemies? I have to say after reading this portion in light of things going on around me I truly see the verse below stick out in connection to our Genesis verses regarding the VERY interesting encounter between Jacob and Laban.
Matthew 10;32 ‘Whoever acknowledges me in the presence of others I will acknowledge in the presence of my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others I will also disown before my Father in heaven. 34 Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword! 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter -in-law against her mother-in-law, so that a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
37 Whoever loves his father or mother more than he loves me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And anyone who does not take up his execution-stake and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his own life will loose it, but the person who loses his life for my sake will find it.
Genesis 31; 19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel took her father’s images. 20 Jacob concealed from Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was departing. 21 He departed, he and all that he had. He rose and crossed the Euphrates. The he headed to the mountain of Gilead. 22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had departed.
*It was after the angelic vision and message came to Jacob that he rose from his place and began his journey to the promised land Eretz Israel. On the third day Laban was told that he had departed. Lets look at some third days: *Genesis 1;10 The Lord called the dry land earth, and the gathering place of waters he called seas.12 The earth produced vegetation : seed bearing plants of every kind, the trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. 13 And there was evening and morning, a third day.
*Hosea 6;1[They will say,] ‘Come let us return to HASHEM, for He has mangled [us] and He will heal us; He has smitten and He will bandage us.2 He will heal us after two days; on the third day He will raise us up and we will live before Him. 3 Let us know, let us strive to know HASHEM like the dawn whose emergence is certain; then He will come to us like the rain, like the late rain that satiates the earth.’
*Esther 5;1 Now it came to pass on the third day, Esther donned royalty and stood in the inner courtyard of the king’s palace facing the king’s palace while he was sitting on his royal throne….
*Luke 24; 44 Yeshua said to them, “This is what I meant when I was still with you and told you that everything written about me in the Torah of Moshe, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.” 45 Then opening their minds, so that they could understand the Tanakh, 46 telling them, “Here is what it says” the Messiah is to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day; 47 and in his name repentance leading to forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to people from all nations, starting with Yerushalayim.
-Jacob had struggled he has suffered and God’s plan for him has changed him, He has healed him in many ways and become strong in many ways. He has risen from the shame and sorrow of his past and the toil of more than a decade away from the promised eternal inheritance of his fathers. Now he moves forward yet this is not the end, rather only the beginning. Just as the master rose and will return and everything will change in the blink of an eye….a new beginning, a new chapter. I Corinthians 15;51 Look, I will tell you a secret- not all of us will die! But we will all be changed! 52 It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed.
Genesis 31;23 He led his brethren with him and chased him a distance of seven days, and he overtook him at the mountain of Gilead. 24 The memra [word or wisdom] came from before the Lord to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night. It said to him, “Take heed that you do not speak with Jacob either good or bad.”
* Here we see the chase is on. Laban is coming after Jacob and his caravan when the memra, the Word, the expressed image of the ‘invisible’ God, the guardian of Israel. This guardian is Yeshua and Israel is his brethren. On the road to curse Israel Balaam is stopped by and angel, charged with standing in the road between the curse and the Children of Israel…Num: 22;35 The angel of HASHEM said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I shall speak to you-that shall you speak.” then in Num.24;13 ’If Balak were to give me his houseful of silver and gold, I cannot transgress the word of HASHEM to do good or bad on my own.” The wicked Laban much like the wicked Balaam is warned about how he is to speak to Israel.
Genesis 31;25 Laban overtook Jacob. Jacob had spread his tent on the mountain, while Laban had encamped his kinsmen on the mountain of Gilead.
*Laban encamps, in the Hebrew there is a connotation of tent pegs being thrust into the ground, quickly, warlike. There is the same connotation in Jeremiah 6;3 Now shepherds come to her with their flocks; they have pitched their tents roundabout her, each one grazing in his place, [saying] 4 devote yourselves to war against [Zion]; arise, let us attack at noon; woe to us fore the day draws to a close, for the shadows of late afternoon grow longer!’
Gen. 31;26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You concealed this from me, and led my daughters off like captives of the sword!
*I think here of the women who were led to King Ahashverosh’s palace; Hadassah(Esther) was in a situation that was not pleasantry and romance as portrayed in the movie One Night With The King. She was like many others, torn from her home and led away at the edge of the sword…forced into a pagan palace filled with things that would defile her honor, yet HASHEM put her there to have His master plan played out and His intended end accomplished. That end, that the Jewish people would be saved. Esther 2;3…,and let the king appoint commissioners in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they gather together every young maiden of beautiful appearance.
The arrogance of Laban’s slanderous remarks unto and about Jacob are only beginning with this, certainly Jacob’s wives had come willingly, nor would he have led them forcibly.
27 Why did you depart secretly, conceal it from me, and not tell me? I would have sent you off with joy, praises, timbrels and lyres.
*This is to say Laban would have sent him off with praises-Songs-Shirim= which would be like a kind of a ballad. Is this something you can picture Laban truly doing?!!
28 You did not let me kiss my sons and daughters. Now you have acted foolishly. 29 I have power in my hand to do you harm; but the God of your fathers said to me last night as follows, ‘Take heed that you do not speak with Jacob either good or bad.’
*This word for power -eil- is translated as if Laban is saying he has not just any power but the power that refers to the ultimate power.
30 Now, you departed because you yearned for your father’s home. Why did you take my fear?”
*When Scripture’s “god” signifies an idol, the Aramaic translator renders it as “fear” to extinguish the sanctity of the idol, so that the reader will not imagine there is more than a single deity. I have been using this translation for the last two bible study portions-in writing out the Genesis text we are currently “in“, if you have any questions about it feel free to ask.
Gen 31; 31 Jacob replied. He said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said perhaps you might take your daughters from me by force. 32 The place where you will find your fear will not endure. Before our brethren identify what there is with me [of yours] and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had taken them.
*Proverbs 18; 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love [to use] it will eat its fruit.
Unfortunately Jacob did not know that he was cursing Rachel with a death sentence, she did die on the way prior to entering the land. His curse is translated here as seen in the Tanach: “…With whomever you find your gods, he shall not live;…”
*Though Jacob was not making a vow against Rachel we can learn a lesson here about what we say from Duet. 23;22 When you make a vow to HASHEM, your God, you shall not be late in paying it, for HASHEM, your God, will demand it of you, and there will be a sin in you. 23 If you refrain from vowing, there will be no sin in you. 24 You shall observe and carry out what emerges from your lips, just as you vowed a voluntary gift to HASHEM, your God, whatever you spoke with your mouth.
Matt.6;36 And do not swear by your head, because you can’t make a single hair white or black. 37 Just let your ‘Yes’ be a simple ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’ a simple ‘No’; anything more has its origin in evil.
33 Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two concubines, but he did not find [them]. He left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent.
I pray you will be strengthened during this time and always, as the enemy approaches…be strong that he not overtake you. If you fail in some way, pick up your head and cry our for help from God….He will give you a chance to make things right, He has given us this guide to know right from wrong and though we stumble…return! Repent! Teshuva- Repentance is NOT A ONE TIME thing, this is an on going process.
I pray you will be blessed this day and have a great week!
Blessed are You, HASHEM, our God, King of the universe, Who gave us the Torah of truth and implanted life within us. Blessed are You, HASHEM, Giver of the Torah. Amein
We will go on with this encounter between Jacob and Laban starting up with the issue of Rachel and the stolen idols.
There are not words, there is no song…no sight or sound that could express the beauty of Your love. Be my cloud by day, be my fire at night. Please be my counselor and my guide. Please mold me and shape me into the role You design and place me there with Expert Hands. How may I serve You my King?!! Please may I serve You my King!! Tear open my heart and search it, reveal to me what I need to remove…help me, cleanse me…guide me! I am needy and I am but dust, yet You light my path and strengthen Your servant. O how I love Your Torah, all day long it is in my conversation. Yeshua put your name upon me and strengthen me I long to fight in your legion for righteousness….have mercy when you come, come soon and repair all that we have demolished. Unite those who sincerely believe in you and may we serve you in Zion with reverence as in the days of old!! Thank you Thank You I praise You my King…in Yeshua’s holy and precious name…amein.