Jacob Steals Esau’s Blessing

Day 28 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Hallie’s at her dad’s this evening, so I’ll be doing tonight’s Bible study & blog on my own and catch her up tomorrow.

Genesis 27 – Isaac had become so old that his sight had failed him.  He asked Esau, his firstborn, “Go hunt some wild game and prepare it the way I like and serve me so that I can give you my blessing before I die.”  Rebekah overheard the conversation and she quickly tells her son, Jacob, about it and to go fetch 2 young goats from the flock so she can fix Isaac some tasty food just the way he likes it and Isaac can give Jacob his blessing.  Jacob says, “But surely he’ll know I’m not Esau, as Esau is hairy and I am smooth.  He’ll know I’m tricking him and I’ll be cursed rather than blessed.”  So Rebekah says, “May the curse fall on me,” and clothes him in Esau’s clothes and covers his smooth skin with goatskins and gave him the tasty food to serve to his father.  He fools Jacob and so Isaac blesses him saying, “May God give you of heaven’s dew and of earth’s richness– an abundance of grain and new wine.  May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.” 

Jacob left and then Esau came with his wild game that he had prepared for him.  Isaac was very angry and told Esau that he was already ate the wild game that had been prepared for him and his son was blessed.  Esau burst out with a loud and bitter cry, saying to his father, “Bless me–me too, my father!”  Issac said he had blessed his brother instead.  So Esau blamed Jacob for first, taking his birthright, and now, his blessing.  But he still questioned his father for a blessing but Isaac had nothing for him.  Then Esau wept aloud.  Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.  You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”  I’m guessing this means when he can’t take one more minute of serving Jacob, he can finally break free of him.

Esau held a grudge against Jacob for what he had done and had planned to kill him.  Rebekah told Jacob of his plan and sent him away for a time to stay with her brother Laban in Haran.  Once Esau’s anger subsides, she will send for him to come home.  She tells Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.” I guess they must have been some troublesome girls, huh?

I find Jacob to be despicable, dishonest and deceitful.  His mother is partly to blame as it was her idea, but I find most of the fault to be with Jacob as every person should be held responsible for their own actions, no matter who tries to sway or tempt you.  But I find Isaac to be kind of a jerk in all this, too, or perhaps I just don’t understand how men of old went about doing things for their children.  He had a blessing for one son and not the other?!  That is lame.  You should have blessings for every child.  I have never quite understood how one has more power or more of a blessing because of who was pushed out of the womb first.  I think perhaps it should have more to do with the character of the children, not birth order.  Perhaps Isaac should have considered, “Hmm, who has helped me and Rebekah more?  Who’s helped more around the house?  Who has honored me?  Who has tried harder to do the right thing and who is the most responsible?”  Are these not strong indicators of who would be more worthy of your one and only blessing?  But honestly, you bless all your children, not just the first kid that pops out.  That’s just my opinion and that’s worth about 2 cents.

What do you think?

Genesis Chapters 25 & 26

Day 27 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Still a little behind of where we are supposed to be, but we’ll catch up next week.

Gen 25 – Abraham took another wife, named Keturah.  She bore him 6 children.  It goes through naming descendants.  When Abraham died, he left everything to Isaac.  But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.  Abraham lived a total of 175 years.  His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah.  After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac.

It goes through naming Ishmael’s sons.  His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt.  They lived in hostility toward all their brothers.

Jacob and Esau were non identical twin brothers (born to Isaac and Rebekah) but Esau was born first, just immediately before Jacob, as Jacob was grasping Esau’s heel on the way out.  Esau came home from hunting one day so very hungry and begging for lentil stew that Jacob had just fixed.  Jacob told him to swear that he’d give up his birthright for the stew before he’d hand it over.  Esau said, “What good is the birthright to me?”  So he swore and oath and sold his birthright to Jacob.  Oh, what a man will do in the throws of hunger.  Stupid man.

Chapter 26 – There was a famine in the land–besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time–and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar.  The LORD appeared to Isaac and told him not to go to Egypt; to live in the land where God told him to live.  God promised he would be with him and bless him.  So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he basically repeated history of what Abraham did with Sarah, saying she was his sister.  But Abimelech saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah and called him out on it.  So Abmimelech ordered no harm to come to Isaac or Rebekah.  Isaac planted crops in that land and the Lord blessed him.  He became rich and powerful so much so that the Philistines envied him.  The Philistines stopped up all the wells that Abraham’s servants had dug earlier and Abimelech told Isaac to move away; that he had become too powerful for them.  So, he moved to the Valley of Gerar, there was quarreling, blah, blah, blah, but eventually, his servants found water.  Abimelech paid him a visit, because he saw that the Lord was with him and they made a treaty, swore and oath and were peaceful with each other.  And at the end of this chapter, for some reason (I didn’t see that it fit here, but okay), it is said that when Esau was 40, he married 2 chicks and they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

And that’s all for tonight, folks.  We have both had a long day and are ready to sit down and watch some Vampire Diaries.  Oh yeah!

Vaya con Dios (Go with God)

*squishy hug*

Isaac and Rebekah

Day 26 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 24 – Abraham was getting very advanced in years and decided to have a chat with his chief servant over the household and ask him to make an oath.  For some reason, he asked the servant to place his hand under Abraham’s thigh in order to make this oath.  I do not understand this part at all.  Kind of weird.  In my opinion, your word is your word no matter where you place your hand.  Just sayin’.  Which makes me think of people who place their hand on the Bible in court.  People lie all the time.  To do so with your hand on the Bible or not, what difference does that make?  Lying is lying, with or without the Bible.  Honestly.  I’ve never fully understood this concept.  And what about the atheists?  Do they place their hand on the Bible in court?  What difference does that make?  Please do not misunderstand.  I mean no disrespect to the Bible nor God nor the courts.  Just something I ponder.

Anyway, on with today’s study.

Abraham asked the servant to return to his home country to find Isaac a wife from among his own relatives (there was a lot of marriage and offspring within the same family in those days) and made the servant promise to not get a wife from among the Canaanites, which is where they were currently living.  The servant suggested to take Isaac with him but Abraham said Isaac must stay here (remembering his oath with God), to go himself and bring the wife back.

The servant traveled there with several of Abraham’s camels.  It was nearly evening and time for women to draw water.  The servant prayed for God to help him help Abraham, saying “May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’–let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”  The servant asked if he could have a bit of water from her jar and Rebekah (granddaughter of Abraham’s brother) allowed him and then offered to water his camels, as well.  He spoke with Rebekah’s father telling him of what he was sent there to do and how God had helped them.  Rebekah agreed to go back with the servant and marry Isaac with her family’s blessing as it was God’s will.  They returned and she met Isaac and then the servant explained all that had happened.  Isaac married Rebekah.  He loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

The Death of Sarah

Day 25 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Hallie has a sore throat and a bit congested, so I’ve drugged my child and sent her to bed.  Actually, I gave her some Benadryl and she fell asleep on her own.  She woke up long enough to ask for supper and went back to sleep.  I cooked her some fish and chips, woke her, she ate and back to bed she went.  Bless her.  So, I’m doing the Bible study on my own tonight.  I’ll catch her up when she’s feeling better.

Genesis 23 – Sarah died at the age of 127 at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham  mourned Sarah and cried over her.  Then Abraham rose from beside her and spoke to the Hittites.  He asked them to sell him property for a burial site so he could bury Sarah.  They replied in approval, for him to bury his dead in the choicest of their tombs.  Then Abraham asked if they would intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on his behalf so he will sell Abraham the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field.  Ephron the Hittite was there and told Abraham he could have the field and the cave in it.  Abraham offered to Ephron the full price of the field.  Ephron explained the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver, but take the land and bury your dead.  Abraham weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants. 

So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre–both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field–was deeded to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city.  Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan.  So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site. 

God Tested Abraham

Day 24 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 21 – Sarah gave birth to Isaac when Abraham was 100 years old.  She nursed him and once she weaned him, Abraham had a great feast.  Sarah did not want to share Abraham’s inheritance with his other son, Ishmael and wanted Abraham to send he and his mother, Hagar, away.  This troubled Abraham as Ishmael was his son, too, but God convinced Abraham to listen to Sarah and do what she wanted, because it is through Isaac that his offspring would be reckoned.  He promised Abraham that he’d make Ishmael into a nation, as well.

Genesis 22 – God asked Abraham to take Isaac to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains He would tell him about.  Abraham took Isaac to the mountain as God asked and just when he was about to slay his son, the angel of the Lord called out telling him to stop and to not hurt the boy.  Abraham was rewarded for keeping nothing from God, not even his beloved son.  Abraham saw a ram caught by his horns in a thicket and he sacrificed it as the burnt offering.  Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.  And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”  The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, (I’m confused by that statement, as he actually did have another son) I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba and he stayed in Beersheba.

Hallie says that when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, that shows his commitment to God.

Genesis 18 through 20

Day 23 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 18-20

Gen 18 – The Lord appeared to Abraham along with 2 men (angels).  Abraham invited them to rest, eat and wash their feet before continuing their journey.  The Lord said that he will return in a year and Sarah will have had her son.  Sarah was in the tent and overheard this and laughed to herself, thinking, “Yeah, I’m ancient.  I’m like over 90 years old and now I’m gonna have a kid.  Right.  As if.”  Ok, maybe not those exact words, but close enough.  God did not appreciate the thought and called her out on it.  She lied to him saying she did not laugh and he said, “Om, yeah, ya did.”  Again, I’m paraphrasing.

The Lord and Abraham were having a conversation about what God was about to do.  He was on his way to Sodom because the outcry was so great of the evil going on there.  If God were to find such evil, he would destroy the entire city.  Abraham started making negotiations to spare the city if there were righteous people among them.  Pleading for 50 lives down to just 10, God granted that he would not destroy Sodom if 10 such people were among them.

Gen 19 – Lot saw the 2 angels upon their arrival to the city of Sodom and begged them to stay with him at his house but they wanted to stay in the square.  He finally convinced them so they all went to Lot’s house.  A meal was prepared for the angels and before they went to bed, all the men of the town, young and old, surrounded the house, telling Lot to bring those men out so the men could have sex with them.  Lot offered his virgin daughters instead.  Great dad, huh?  Not.  Hallie says daddy of the year.  The gay men (all the men of the city) of the town tried to force their way to the door and the angels inside grabbed Lot, pulling him back inside to safety, shutting the door, then blinding the evil men so they couldn’t find the door.  The angels instructed Lot to take his wife, daughters and future sons-in-law out of the town quickly before the city was destroyed but the almost-sons-in-law thought Lot was joking, so Lot just took his wife, 2 daughters and fled.  Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah–from the LORD out of the heavens.  Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities–and also the vegetation in the land.  Lot and his family were instructed to leave and not look back, but Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Okay, comes the part where Hallie and I stopped reading the Bible before, because we were utterly grossed out and it still sickens us, but…  on with it.  Lot and his daughters moved from Zoar where they were living to a cave in the mountains.  The daughters spoke with each other, saying, “Let’s get our father drunk and have our way with him and get pregnant to continue our lineage.”  So they got him to drink wine, the older daughter did her business that one night.  The next night, the younger daughter did her business.  Lot was unaware of anything that was going on, as I suppose he was completely bombed.  The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today.  The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

Gen 20 seems to be a chapter we already went over but it was a different chapter.  I’m confused as to why this was not placed in or after the chapter that discussed it before.  Anyway, it’s referring to Abimelech king of Gerar (isn’t this the same pharoah as before?) having taken Sarah as his wife, since she and Abraham made a deal for her to say she was his sister.  God came to Abimelech in a dream, telling him the truth of Sarah and telling him to return Abraham’s wife to him, and he will save his house from disease and allow his wife and servants to have children as he had closed their wombs as a punishment.  Abraham prayed for Abimelech and God lifted the punishment.  Abimelech sent them on their way, saying “choose from my land, live where you want.”

Abraham was wrong to say Sarah was his sister and when Abimelech called him out on it, Abraham, in my opinion, was trying to cover his lie, with saying, technically, he and Sarah are children of God, therefore brother and sister, which I feel is still dishonest, because that’s not how he meant it in the beginning; he was only trying to save himself.  What do you think?

The Covenant of Circumcision

Day 22 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days

Genesis 17 –

God made Abram now known as Abraham by God.  God made Abraham promise to get every male in his household circumcised and then he promised the birth of Isaac to his wife Sarah which was formerly known as Sarai but God changed her name, too. (Hallie’s words)

Abraham was 99 when he got circumcised.  Ishmael was 13.  Every male in his household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.  All in the same day.

God made a covenant with Abraham.  “This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.”  God promised to greatly increase Abraham’s numbers and he would be the father of many nations.