Genesis 43 thru 46

Day 41 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 43 -When all the grain had been eaten, their father told them to go back and buy more, but Judah said the man warned them that they would not see his face again unless they brought their brother.  Israel/Jacob allowed them to take Benjamen but also to bring gifts for the man, as well as double the amount of silver for fear of thinking the silver placed in their sacks was a mistake.  So the brothers went, along with Benjamen and the gifts and double the silver to Egypt to present themselves to Joseph.

Joseph saw Benjamen with them and told the steward of his house to take the men there, slaughter an animal and prep dinner, that they’d eat with him.  The brothers were frightened as they thought they were to be attacked because of the silver so they explained about the silver to the steward and they also brought gifts and extra silver.  The steward calmed their nerves saying the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks.  He brought Simeon out to them, brought them water to wash their feet and gave fodder for their donkeys.  When Joseph arrived, they presented the gifts and bowed before him to the ground.  When he saw Benjamen, Joseph had to leave to weep, then a bit later returned and they all ate.  The brothers were seated in order of their ages, oldest to youngest and Benjamen’s portion was 5 times as much as anyone else’s.

Hallie said:  The brothers returned to Egypt to return the silver that they thought was a mistake given back to them and Joseph told them it was there from God and the brothers and Joseph and some other Egyptians had a feast and Joseph figured out that Benjamen was his brother when he first saw him.

Gen 44 – Joseph’s silver cup was put in Benjamen’s sack and they were headed home until Joseph’s servant came to them as they had not gotten far and the servant searched all their bags and found the cup in the youngest brother’s bag (Benjamen) and they headed back to the city and they plead their innocence, that they had committed no crime.

They were all given grain and silver in their packs to return home and when the servant caught up to them, the brothers said whoever took the cup will surely die and the rest of us will become your slaves, so when the steward found the cup, all the brothers had to return to the city and they plead their innocence before Joseph.

Joseph said to leave Benjamen as his slave and allowed the rest of the brothers to return home.  Then Judah begged Joseph to let Benjamen return and keep Judah instead as his slave and explained that not returning Benjamen to his father would surely kill him.  Judah explained that they would not be able to return to their father without Benjamen.

Gen 45 – Joseph told all the servants to leave him and his brothers alone and he told his brothers that he’s their brother that they sold to Egypt.  Joseph told them to not be afraid or to feel badly for selling him, that it was God’s will because he needed to save lives by preparing for the current 7 year famine.  He tells all his brothers to go back to where their father resides and tell him of Joseph and all that they have seen and all Joseph said and then tell their father to bring his children, grandchildren, flocks, herds and all he has to live in Goshen near Joseph.  Joseph promised to provide for them.  Pharoah was very pleased that Joseph’s brothers had come and he told them to bring their father back and they would all have the best Egypt had to offer.  He sent with them carts, donkeys, food, provisions, clothes and the list goes on to show Jacob/Israel and to gift him and his families and told him to not bother with their belongings, that they would have the best of everything when they came back.  Jacob/Israel did not believe his sons at first but when he saw everything that was brought with them and listened to all they had told him, he believed and was ready to go see Joseph.

Gen 46 – Jacob brings all of his offspring and herds to Egypt to live in Goshen and this chapter names all of his wives and children and grandchildren, 70 in all.  God told Jacob that it was good to go.  Joseph told his brothers and his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me.  The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’  When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”

Joseph Meets up with His Brothers

Day 40 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 42 – Jacob/Israel sends 10 of his sons with the exception of his youngest son, Benjamen, to Egypt to buy grain.  Joseph recognized his brothers immediately but they did not recognize him.  When the 10 sons arrived in Egypt to buy grain, Joseph accused them of being spies.  Joseph throws the brothers in jail and lets, by the grace of God, 9 brothers take food back to their households, while leaving one in jail so that they will surely return with their youngest brother.  This will prove to Joseph they are truthful in saying they are indeed of 12 sons of Jacob/Israel.

The brothers felt they were being punished for their crime against their brother and Joseph overheard them talking.  He turned away to weep but turned back to them and gave orders to fill their bags with grain and put their silver back in their bags as well as provisions for their journey.  When the brothers stopped for the night, one opened their sack to give feed to his donkey, he saw the silver inside the pouch and told his brothers, and once they returned home, told Jacob/Israel.  They explained what happened with the governor of the land (aka Joseph).

Jacob/Israel is irritated with his sons, complaining that his youngest sons are being taken from him — first Joseph and now they want to take Benjamen but he refused them.  Reuben offered up the lives of his 2 sons if anything was to happen to Benjamen, that he would protect him no matter what and bring him back.  But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”

Genesis 41

Day 39 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Gen 41 – 2 years had passed.  Pharoah had a dream.  He was standing by the Nile, when 7 cows came out of the river, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds.  After them, 7 other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank.  The cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the 7 sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.  He fell asleep again and had a second dream: 7 heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk.  After them, 7 other heads of grain sprouted–thin and scorched by the east wind.  The thin heads of grain swallowed up the 7 healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up.  In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, but no one could interpret the dreams.  Then the chief cupbearer told Pharaoh about Joseph interpreting the dreams for he and the baker and things turned out exactly as he had interpreted.  Pharoah sent for Joseph and told him of the dreams and asked if he could interpret.  Joseph explained he could not, but God could.

Then Joseph told Pharaoh the dreams are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.  The 7 good cows are 7 years, and the 7 good heads of grain are 7 years. The 7 lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are 7 years, and so are the 7 worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind.  God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.  7 years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but 7 years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.  The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows will be so severe.  The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. 

It was suggested Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt; to appoint commissioners over the land to take a 5th of the harvest of Egypt during the 7 years of abundance.  They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the 7 years of famine so the country may not be ruined by the famine.  The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.  You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt.  He made him 2nd in command.  Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.  Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. During the 7 years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those 7 years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.  Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.  Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath.  Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”  The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” 

The 7 years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the 7 years of famine began. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.  When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”  When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt.  And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world.

Genesis 39 & 40

Day 38 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Yes, I realize Day 37 was skipped.  Another crazy busy day filled with activities, conversations and many tests, for which I’m praying I passed.

Genesis 39 – Joseph had been taken to Egypt.  Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites.  The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.  When his master saw that the Lord was with Joseph and the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph became his attendant and gave his charge over the household, the field and everything he owned except his wife.  He concerned himself with nothing but the food he ate.  Joseph was well-built and handsome and his master’s wife told him, “Come to bed with me!”  He refused her time and time again, day after day, because he was a Godly man, honest and true to God and to his master. 

When she finally got it through her head that he would never sleep with her, one day she sent all the servants away and when Joseph went into the house to attend his duties, she caught him by the cloak and begged him again but he left his cloak and ran from the house.  She called to her servants and lied to them saying he tried to sleep with her, she screamed and he left his cloak beside her and ran from the house.  Then, she told her husband and he burned in anger, believed her and threw Joseph into prison.  The Lord was still with Joseph, never leaving him and the prison warden saw the LORD was with him and gave Joseph charge over all those held in the prison and was made responsible for all that was done there.  The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Genesis 40 – Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master.  The Pharaoh was angry with his 2 officials and put them in the same prison where Joseph was confined.  Joseph attended them.  After they’d been there for some time, each of those 2 men  had a dream the same night and didn’t know how to interpret the dreams, so Joseph interpreted the dreams.  The cupbearer said, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes.  Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”  Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days.  Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.  But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.  For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” 

Then the chief baker said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.  In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”  Joseph said, “The three baskets are three days.  Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

The 3rd day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials:  He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.  The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. Nice guy, huh?

Judah & Tamar

Now Day 36 (skipped Day 35) of Reading the Bible in 365 Days (Busy day yesterday and worn out today)

Gen 38

Judah married the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua.  Yes, that’s the father’s name, not the daughter.  It does not give the daughter’s name, which I find to be a bit chauvinistic, as if a daughter is just a daughter.  A woman was just a woman in those days.  Anyway, she gave him 3 sons, Er and then Onan, and later Shelah.  Judah got a wife for Er and her name was Tamar.  Er was wicked in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord put him to death.  Not sure what Er did, it did not say.  Judah told Onan to lie with his brother’s wife and fulfill his duty as her brother-in-law to produce offspring for Er.  Onan knew that the offspring would not be his so he did lay with Tamar but he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.  I don’t understand this part.  If it’s his semen, then the offspring is his, but I suppose in those days, if his father tells him to produce offspring for his brother, the children are seen as his brother’s offspring?  Sooooo weird.  I do not get that at all.  And count me thankful to not have lived in those days.  Well, what Onan did was wicked in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord put Onan to death also.

Judah told Tamar to live in his house as a widow until his son Shelah grows up but Judah was thinking that Shelah too would suffer his brothers’ fate.  Tamar lived in her father’s house (I think it should say father-in-law, but that’s just me).  Later, Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua (still nameless, I see), died.

When Judah finished mourning, he went to Timnah to the men who were shearing his sheep and his friend, Hirah went with him.  When Tamar was told Judah was on his way to Timnah, she removed her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.  Shelah was not grown yet and so they were not wed.  When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face.  Wow, the Bible is filled with sooo much drama.  Wicked people.  He asked her to let him sleep with her.  She asked him what he would give her and he offered a young goat from his flock.  She asked for a pledge until he sent it and he questioned her as to what he should give.  She asks for his seal and its cord, and the staff in his hand.  So he did it, and they did it and she got preggers by him.  After she left, she removed her veil and put back on her widow’s clothes.  Judah sent the young goat by his friend so he could hurry and get his pledge back but he couldn’t find her.  He asked the men who lived there about the shrine prostitute but the men said there hadn’t been any shrine prostitute.  Judah said let her keep what she has for his fear of being embarrassed.

About 3 months later, Judah is told Tamar is guilty of prostitution and now she’s pregnant.  Judah suggests she be burned to death.  As she’s brought out, she sent a message to Judah, “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.”  Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again.  When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.  As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.”  But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.  Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out and he was given the name Zerah.

Joseph’s Dreams & Sold by His Brothers

Day 34 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 36 is basically the rundown on Esau’s (that is, Edom) descendants and the rulers of Edom.

Genesis 37 –

Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, Canaan.  This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, at 17, was tending the flocks with his brothers. Israel (aka Jacob) loved Joseph more than his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornamented robe for him.  When his brothers saw that their father loved him more them, they hated him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.  He described his dream where it made him look as though he were to reign over them. He had a second dream and described it to his brothers and father where the sun, moon and 11 stars bowed down to him.  His brothers were jealous of him but his father kept the matter in mind.

His brothers went to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem.  Israel/Jacob told Joseph to go see if his brothers and the flocks were well and to bring word back to him.  A man found Joseph searching for his brothers and directed him to Dothan.  When his brothers saw him in the distance, they plotted to kill him and claim that a ferocious animal devoured him.  When Reuben heard this, he suggested they not kill him, but throw him into the cistern, so they did.  A caravan of Ishmaelites were coming from Gilead taking products to Egypt.  Judah suggested to his brothers that they sell Joseph rather than kill him, so they sold him for 20 shekels of silver.  When Reuben came to check the cistern to rescue Joseph, he tore his clothes and confronted his brothers.  They took Joseph’s ornamented robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in blood.  They took it to their father and he recognized it and said some ferocious animal must have devoured him.  Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned his son many days.  All his sons and daughters came to comfort him but he refused comfort.  So his father wept for him.  Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

What do you believe the significance is of the men tearing their clothes?

 

Genesis 35

Day 33 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 35 – Jacob Returns to Bethel

God told Jacob to go settle in Bethel and to build an altar there to God.  So Jacob told his household and everyone who was with him to get rid of the foreign gods they had with them, purify themselves and change their clothes.  When they set out for Bethel, the terror of God fell upon the towns around them so no one pursued them.  They came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan and Jacob built an altar, and he called it El Bethel, because that was the place God revealed himself to him when we was fleeing from his brother.  After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared again and blessed him, saying, “You will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.  Be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body.  The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 

The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac

They moved on from Bethel.  Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty.  As she breathed her last–for she was dying–she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.  So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).  Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.  Israel (was Jacob) moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder.  While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it. Jacob (later known as Israel) had twelve sons:  The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.  The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.  The sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.  The sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.  Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.  Isaac lived 180 years.  His sons Esau and Jacob buried him. I’m a little confused on this chapter as it keeps referencing Jacob in the later parts after he was renamed Israel.

Genesis 33 & 34

Day 32 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 33 – Jacob Meets Esau

Jacob could see Esau and his 400 men arriving so he divided his children among Leah, Rachel and the 2 maidservants.  He put the maidservants and their kids up front, then Leah and her kids, then Rachel and Joseph in the back.  Joseph went on ahead of them all to meet Esau and bowed down to the ground 7 times as he approached but Esau ran to meet Jacob, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  Then, the wives and children approached and Jacob explained who they all were.  Esau questioned him on all the livestock Jacob had sent earlier.  Jacob explained they were a gift so he would be found favorably in Esau’s eyes but Esau said there was no need, that he had plenty and didn’t need the gift, for Jacob to keep them all for himself, but Jacob insisted so Esau accepted.

Genesis 34 – Dinah and the Shechemites

Dinah, Jacob & Leah’s daughter, went out to visit the women of the land.  When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her.  He claimed to love her and told his father, Hamor, “Get me this girl as my wife.” Spoiled much?  Several other words came to mind, but I don’t feel those words would be best received here. 

When Jacob heard that his daughter had been raped, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he kept quiet about it until they came home.  Then Hamor went to talk with Jacob.  Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury with what Shechem had done to their sister.  Hamor wanted to have Jacob’s daughters and he would give his own daughters to Jacob’s family so the families would become one, Jacob and all his family would live in their land with them, live in the land, trade, acquire property.  Jacob’s sons replied deceitfully and said to them only on the condition that every man in the city become circumsized.  So the entire city’s male population were circumsized. 

3 days later, while they were still in pain, 2 of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and killed every male in that city.  They also killed Hamor and Shechem, took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left.  The sons of Jacob came upon the dead bodies and looted the city where their sister had been raped.  They took the flocks, herds, donkeys, everything, all their wealth, women and children.

Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”  But they replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”

What if God Was One of Us

Okay, maybe not part of our daily Bible readings/study/blog posts but it’s related, thought-wise.

This past chapter made me think about this and maybe you’ve thought about this, too.  I’ve often wondered throughout the years if I’ve ever met God.  I wonder if he would ever choose to walk through the busy streets of New York or to travel alongside a loud, crazy, screaming woman carrying a chicken on a bus in Columbia.  I wonder if he has ever passed me on the sidewalk or if he could have been that guy pretending to study his laptop while sipping his caffè breve in the cafe as I was sitting on the couch with my chai tea frappé.  It reminds me of this song:

Check the lyrics:

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to His face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?

And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home

If God had a face what would it look like?
And would you want to see?
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like Heaven and in Jesus and the Saints
And all the Prophets

And yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home

Tryin’ to make His way home
Back up to Heaven all alone
Nobody callin’ on the phone
‘Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Yeah, yeah God is great
Yeah, yeah God is good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home

Just tryin’ to make His way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to Heaven all alone
Just tryin’ to make His way home

Nobody callin’ on the phone
‘Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Check the song on youtube:  Joan Osborne “One of Us” or Alanis Morissette – What if God Was One Of Us

Do you think God has walked among us lately?  If so, what do you think he could have appeared as or whom?

Jacob Preps to Meet Esau And Wrestles With God

Day 31 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 32 – Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.  He instructed them to tell him, ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.  I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’  When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and he’s coming to meet you, with 400 men.”  In fear Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.”  Then Jacob prayed for God to save him from the hand of Esau.  He remembered what God had promised him.  He spent the night there and selected a gift for Esau from what he had with him:  200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 ewes and 20 rams, 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, and 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. 

He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.” He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals?’ you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.’ ” He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.  And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.” So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

That night Jacob took his two wives, two maidservants and eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.  After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.  So Jacob was alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”  The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.  Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”  Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.  So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”  The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

I never knew anyone ever physically wrestled with God.  Most interesting.  So God has shown himself in so many ways.  I know he has shown himself as a man, as an angel and as a flame of fire within a bush.  What else has he appeared to be?