Genesis 37:1-11 Dreamer

Favoritism in “living color.”

Jacob has settled down with his family in the place his family settled twice already; Hebron. His sons have grown strong and are working his flocks. Joseph is his eyes and ears as well as his look to the future.

We are introduced to the fact that Joseph is 17 when this portion of Jacob’s life is in play. We have no firm date as to when Jacob and company moved to Hebron but his sons were old enough to pasture the flocks about 50 miles away from home. With sheep this is probably many days journey but a man could walk it in a couple of days if necessary. Joseph would be Jacob’s eyes and ears on the brothers who were so far away.

Joseph is truthful, responsible, and open with his family. He tells it like it is. He is also Jacob’s favorite son. We are told he is the favorite “because he was the son of his old age” (verse 3b). (I have a question here but I’m going to hold onto it for a little bit.) And Joseph was treated as such. I’m going to go so far as to say ‘Joseph could do no wrong’ in his father’s eyes. This seems to be a typical experience for a favored child. Read more »

Genesis 36:1-43 Esau’s Tree

God promised a LARGE family! Here is the beginning of it.

We are going to look at Esau’s family tree today. Genealogy is NOT my favorite subject but I have also lamented not having info on “the rest of the family” in several instances. Today’s reading meets that request. Let’s see where it takes us.

This passage is THICK and circular in places. My first question concerns the fact that we are told “Esau is Edom” (verse 8b) then in the end of the passage we read “Esau, the father of Edom” (verse 43b). Was Esau’s name changed like Jacob’s was? Is Jacob the “father of Israel” in the same way Esau is the father of Edom? That is the only thing that makes sense to me. If someone else has an explanation or something I missed I would be VERY happy to hear it. Read more »

Genesis 35:16-29 Mourning

The full complement of sons. The beginning of the 12 tribes if Israel.

We encounter three deaths in Jacob’s family. His favorite wife, his mother’s nurse and his father. But we also welcome one last child into this same family.

In yesterday’s reading the death of “Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse” (verse 8a) was mentioned. I’m not sure how she got in this story. Was she traveling with Jacob and his band? Was this an earlier death that is just now mentioned? Were Rebekah and her nurse visiting this same area? I’m leaning more towards the first proposed answer as this appears to be a fresh event. Is it possible that she joined them at Shechem because she was the one who cared for Jacob during his youth? He certainly cared for her as he named her resting place “oak of weeping.” Read more »

Genesis 35:1-15 Moving Out

Purify yourselves before meeting the One and ONLY God! God is a jealous God and he won’t share

It is time to move! Simeon and Levi have just decimated the city and Jacob fears retaliation. The land he purchased is not enough to keep him there, especially when God says “move on.”

One of the BEST things that happened in this move is that the tents and the hearts of the people were cleansed. “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments” (verse 2b).

Rachel had stolen the household gods of Laban when they left Paddan-aram but apparently other gods had been acquired by the people in Jacob’s camp. We aren’t told who had them or how long they had them but apparently Jacob knew about them and did nothing until this day. Read more »

Genesis 34:1-31 Revenge

Revenge doesn’t undo a wrong, it just makes it bigger.

We look into an event in the life of one of Jacob’s daughters. It will change the history of many people. The cost was high to all involved.

When Jacob’s children were being listed by their mothers we came across one of his daughters, Dinah. I’m sure she wasn’t the only girl but we met her so we would have some background on her for this incident.

We don’t know how long Jacob and company were in the area before Dinah caught the eye of Shechem. It could have been a month or it could have been several years. She wanted to meet the other women around her. With so many brothers I don’t blame her for seeking out female company. Was she curious about them or just being friendly? Did she have a purpose in mind when going to meet them? Read more »