The Dinah Incident

Genesis 34 tells us what happened to Leah and Jacob’s daughter named Dinah.  One day Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land. A man named Shechem, who was the prince of the country raped her. He fell in love with her and asked his father, Hamor to go to Jacob and get her as a wife.

Jacob heard that Hamor had defiled Dinah while his sons were with his livestock in the field but he held his peace until they returned home. Meanwhile, Hamor came to speak with Jacob.  Jacob’s sons were grieved and very angry to hear what a disgraceful thing Shechem had done to their sister.  Hamor told them, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife (Gen. 34:8).”  He suggested their people intermarry with each other and dwell in the land with each other.  Shechem was willing to give them anything they wanted as bride price for Dinah.

 Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and Hamor deceitfully, because Shechem had already defiled Dinah. They explained “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a reproach to us.  But on this condition we will consent to you: If you will become as we are, if every male of you is circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us; and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.  But if you will not heed us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone.” (Gen. 34:14-17) 

Remember, circumcision was the mark or sign of the covenant God had with His people…but…

Hamor and Shechem were pleased with this idea.  Hamor and Shechem also spoke with the men of their city, encouraged them to intermarry with Jacob’s family, and convinced the men of the city to be circumcised too.  They assumed Jacob’s livestock, property, and animals would become theirs.  All who went out of the gate of their city heeded Hamor and Shechem and were circumcised.  

According to Jasher, this plan was from the Lord who planned to give this city into Levi and Simeon’s hands.  Chiddekkem (Hamor’s father) and his six brothers refused to be circumcised.  Instead, they scolded Hamor, Shechem, and the inhabitants of the city and said they would assemble the Cannaanites to destroy them and Jacob’s family.  After hearing this, Hamor, Shechem, and the rest of the people repented of what they had done.  Dinah heard what was said and sent one of her handmaidens to warn her father of their plans to destroy her family. (Jasher 33:52-34:21)

Three days after the men of the city had been circumcised and were still in pain, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, attacked the city and killed all the males with their swords including Hamor and Shechem.  They took Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned home.  Jacob’s sons came upon the slain, plundered the city, and took their wives and children.

Jacob was upset with Simeon and Levi fearing that the inhabitants of Canaan would gather themselves together against him to kill him and his household but Levi and Simeon still didn’t think Dinah should have been treated like a harlot.

According to Jasher 34, two men had hidden themselves in the city during the attack and eventually escaped to tell their Canaanite brothers what had happened.  The Canaanites gathered together to attack Jacob and his family yet backed down in fear after considering how God had protected Jacob and his ancestors over the years.

This story has the potential for a great pattern for the final 3 ½ years of tribulation.  We don’t know exactly how the Beast and the False Prophet will take over in the middle of the seven year peace treaty but we can speculate.  Let’s consider the possibility of the following:

We know that the Beast will negotiate a 7 year peace deal.  At some time either before or after the peace treaty is agreed to, the Temple of Jerusalem will be built and the daily sacrifices will resume.  There are many people in Israel who have been making clothing and furnishings for the Temple behind the scenes in order to make this happen very quickly when the time is right. 

The Beast will desire to have the Temple for himself.  In the middle of the 7 year peace treaty, he will defile its Most Holy Place with his image (seed) against the will of the Israelis.  The Beast will strongly desire the Temple and may initially speak kindly to Israel even after he’s defiled it in order to completely take over and there proclaim he is God.

Perhaps Israel will hear their Temple has been violated but will hold her peace long enough to strategize a proper response.  Maybe there will be negotiations between the False Prophet and Israel like there were between Jacob and Hamor.  The False Prophet may suggest the Jews live together in peace and assimilate with one another although God’s people have been commanded to “come out of Babylon.” 

As part of the negotiation process, the enemy will ask Israel to name their price.  There is no doubt deception will take place by both parties.

The sacrifices will have been “cut off” because the Temple would have become defiled by the abomination of desolation.  The mark of the Beast which may be the sign of a “new covenant” will be implemented although the 144,000 will already be marked/sealed by God.  The rest of the beast’s people will be convinced to receive the mark thinking that they will acquire the wealth of the Israelis but many will oppose the idea.  The Beast’s people will still desire to destroy the Jews.  

By the end of the 3rd day of this process, many people may be killed.  At the end of the 3 ½ years of tribulation, Jesus will return and kill Israel’s enemies who are in Jerusalem but a few will escape to tell the world what has happened.  The city will eventually be plundered and Jesus will take his people to safety.

Meanwhile, the world will hear what happened in Jerusalem and plan retaliation.  They will assemble for Armageddon.  Instead of backing off, they will fight the Lord who has protected Israel since the days of the Patriarchs and they will be defeated.

Is this how it will all transpire?  It’s hard to say for sure but I think this is a good guess.

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The Battle of Leah and Rachel

Genesis 29-35 describes what I call the battle of Leah and Rachel.  This bout may not have started if Jacob had been given to Rachel after working his first seven years for Laban but as the story unfolds, we see a great deal of competition taking place to see if Leah could earn Jacob’s love and increase her status in Jacob’s eyes and to see who could have the most children.

While we may consider this to be foolishness, we need to understand that sometimes we fall into the same trap.  If we’re not careful, we may find ourselves trying to out-spiritualize other Christians in order to appear holier or more important than they are by using more spiritual sounding vocabulary or using our spiritual gifts more openly or inappropriately.  This can cause friction and disorder in the church.  That is not God’s plan.  He wants unity among us and he wants us to use our gifts to built up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12).

We must avoid trying to impress others and avoid being jealous of their gifts and talents.   This is part of our old sinful nature raising its ugly head.  Instead of doing this, we need to back off, put this problem to death, confess our sin, and seek to please only the Lord.  As we humble ourselves, God will exalt us to the place we need to be in when the time is right. 

We need to remember that we represent different body parts of the body of Christ. 

Romans 12:4-8  says, “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”  NKJV

God did not give us spiritual gifts so we could earn His love because we already have His grace (favor).  He made us all important in our own way and God treats each of us differently in order to bring us to perfection.  We must remember we’re all at different stages in this process.  We may withdraw and try to be a loner in our gifts but that is not God’s plan either because body parts that are separated from the body are practically useless.  Even though all of Christ’s body is not always used simultaneously, we often work together with other parts to bring glory to God.  As the body of Christ functions, those who excel in the same gifts can help others to bring their immature gifts to maturity through training or mentoring.  When I think about Rachel and Leah, I hope Rachel sought advice from Bilhah, Leah, and Zilpah concerning the typical questions mothers face even today.  I also hope that Leah knew that Jacob grew to love her too.   

As we consider the battle between Leah and Rachel, we must understand that God still used their foolishness to accomplish His purpose of giving Jacob twelve sons. 

Genesis 35:22-26 says, “Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23 the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24 the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; 25 the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali; 26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.”  NKJV

Their descendants comprise the twelve nations of Israel which are scattered throughout the world even today.  Although it may not seem like it today, the nations of the world will be blessed through them.

Hosea

 
Hosea is a very unusual book because God commanded the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute and have children with her because the land was engaged in spiritual prostitution.  As the first chapter unfolds, it appears that God is using Hosea’s marriage to a prostitute to reveal a pattern and/or the state of God’s marriage to Israel and Judah.  
 
If you recall, God originally called a mixed multitude out of idolatrous Egypt where they were accustomed to idolatry and most likely participated in it to some degree.  God’s purpose at that time was to bring them to Mount Sinai in order to marry them just like God wanted Hosea to marry a harlot. 
 
Hosea complied with God’s unusual request and married a woman named Divlayim which means two cakes—most likely two cakes of figs.  This is a strange name to us but it complements the pattern of Israel who was divided into the Northern Kingdom known as the house of Israel or Ephraim and the Southern Kingdom known as the house of Judah.

 

Megiddo and Jezreel Valley

God told Hosea to name his firstborn son Jezreel because Jehu shed blood there and that He planned to put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel (Ephraim) in the Jezreel Valley.  If you recall, Jehu was anointed the king of Israel by Elijah and was responsible for killing those who remained from the house of Ahab after the ministry of Elijah, for killing Ahab’s great men and acquaintances, his priests, and Jezebel.  In similar fashion, God’s anointed Son, Jesus will return to punish the Beast (Antichrist), False Prophet, and their armies who worship the image of the Beast because they intend to kill all of the Jews and seize the land of Israel for themselves.  He will kill them at Har Meggido (Armageddon) which is in the southern part of the Jezreel Valley and reign as King in Israel.

Divlayim had a daughter named Lo-Ruchamah (which means unpitied) because God will not have pity on the house of Israel or forgive them.  Actually, God did not have pity on the house of Israel and allowed them to be carried away by the Assyrians.  God will also use Israel’s enemies in the future to punish them for breaking His covenant so they will repent and cry out to Him for salvation.

God told Hosea that He would have pity on the house of Judah and save them Himself.  Even though God allowed Babylon to carry away the house of Judah, He eventually showed them pity and allowed them to return to Israel.  In the future, God will have pity on His people and send Jesus to save His people.

Divlayim had another son named Lo-Ammi (not My people) because God said the house of Israel was not His people and He would not be their God.  In other words, since God divorced the house of Israel, they were no longer His people and He was no longer their God (Is. 50:1; Jer. 3:8).

God continued by telling Hosea that the House of Israel will be innumerable.  Even though the entire Northern Kingdom did not return to Israel, some did while others were scattered throughout the earth.  Some have maintained their ethnicity while others intermarried with the people of foreign lands.  Their descendants are certainly scattered throughout the earth and are extremely numerous today; however, they are not exactly lost.  In fact, some have proven their ethnicity and been allowed to return to Israel.  When you have time, look at http://www.cohen-levi.org/the_tribe/tribes_of_israel.htm , http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/abstracts.html and other similar sites on the internet.

The time will come when the house of Israel will be called the children of the living God and the houses of Ephraim and Judah will be united together and will appoint one leader.  They will go up out of the land for great will be the day of Jezreel.  They will have to come out of the land and go to a safe place so they can be protected when God destroys their enemies.  This is the basic pattern presented in Hosea chapter 1.

In Hosea 2, Hosea was commanded to go, take, and redeem his adulterous wife and bring her back home.  She was to be in seclusion and be his wife although she would not have sexual relations with him most likely because she was defiled.  This would be a picture of how Jesus came, redeemed His people, and returned to His Father in heaven for a time when the people of Israel would be in seclusion without a king, prince, sacrifice, standing-stone, ritual vest or household gods.   Today, God’s people can’t perform sacrifices and purification rituals with the ashes of a red heifer because the temple is no longer standing; however, thanks to Jesus’ blood, the sins and trespasses of those who believe in the Messiah have been atoned and they have been made clean (Ezek. 36:25; Heb. 10:22).

God told Hosea that after this time of seclusion was completed, He will woo the house of Israel back to Himself, they will repent and seek the Lord, and He will betroth her to Himself in faithfulness.  God’s people will come trembling to Him and His goodness in the last days.  He will have pity on them, they will be His people, and He will be their God.

As we wait for Jesus to return, we can imagine how painful this process will be for Israel.  As we watch the future unfold, let’s pray for the whole house of Israel to know their Messiah as Lord and Savior, for God to be merciful to His people, and to rescue them from their enemies quickly.

 

Divorce and Remarriage

In Matthew 19:3-9, “Some Pharisees came to him [Jesus] to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female [Gen. 1:27],’  5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ [Gen. 2:24]?  6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” NIV

God’s original plan for men and women was being united as one flesh in a marriage relationship.  This is not something God planned for men to do with men or women to do with women.  In fact, forbidden forms of sexual immorality are described in Leviticus 18.

Once a man and woman were married, God’s plan was for them to stay married for life.  In this day and time, this seems like impossible for most people.  Most people decide to divorce for a plethora of reasons.  I’m well aware that there are times when it is necessary to divorce someone and/or when divorce is beyond the control of a spouse.  Some people come to know the Lord as their Savior when they’ve already divorced their spouse and married a new one.  If that’s the case with you, don’t worry, I’m not going to condemn you.  Take heart, hopefully, this will turn out to be an interesting post for you.

Many wonder what God expects them to do in such situations.  We’ll consider that in a few minutes but first I want to show you some things you may or may not already know.

You may have heard Malachi 2:16 says:  “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment [lebush],” says the Lord Almighty.  So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.”  NIV

When my children complain that they hate something, I sometimes say, “I do too but it still needs to be done!”  Consider this:  The Hebrew word lebush used for garment in Malachi 2:16 is also a euphemism for wife.  Since that’s the case, I think this verse is saying that even though God hates divorce, He also hates the physical abuse of women.  God expects a man to control his anger, treat his wife well, and not commit adultery.   This is the center of a chiastic structure (Malachi 2:15b-16)!  As such, this verse is very important; however, we must not forget that the bookends of the chiasm remind us not to break faith with our spouse.  At the same time, the chiasm seems to indicate that abusing the wife of your youth is equivalent to breaking faith with your spouse.  It would also seem that if you do not keep the rest of your marriage vows, you are also breaking faith with your spouse.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 says:  “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, 2 and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, 3 and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, 4 then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”  NIV

This is most likely the passage from Torah Jesus used to answer the questions posed by the Pharisees and his disciples concerning divorce.   Jesus answered them by saying that if someone divorces one person and marries another person, they are committing adultery unless the reason for divorce was marital unfaithfulness.  The reason goes even further:  it would be a detestable abomination in the eyes of the Lord and bring sin upon the land.   

Even though God hates divorce, He knows it is sometimes necessary even for cases other than adultery–especially if your life is in physical danger.  Please understand that I’m not advocating divorce for frivolous things.  What we need to remember is that the primary issue that one needs to be concerned with after divorce is remarriage because it is allowed only for those whose spouse committed adultery.

I think it is very important for Christian married couples to stay together if at all possible but when it’s not, they should take comfort in knowing something else:

  • Isaiah 50:1 says, “This is what the Lord says:  “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away?  Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.”  NIV
  • Jeremiah 3:8-10 says, “I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. 9 Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.”  NIV

These two passages of Scripture reveal a fact that is often overlooked or only considered to be an expression instead of an actual divorce.  We must remember that God married His people at Mount Sinai in the book of Exodus and that the Torah which was given to them includes their wedding vows.   Since this is the case, God really did divorce the Northern Kingdom also known as Israel or Ephraim.

Because Israel [Ephraim] committed adultery, God divorced her (Jeremiah 3:1-3).  He only separated from Judah by exiling her to Babylon despite the fact she followed in her sister’s ways.  Based on Deuteronomy 24:1-4, God should not be able to remarry Ephraim.  That is yet another reason it was necessary for God to make a New Covenant with His people and for Jesus to die on the cross.  Not only was Jesus death the bride price for the New Covenant but His death released Israel from the original marriage covenant and freed Israel to marry or accept the terms of the New Covenant with Jesus.  In other words, Israel was freed from the original marriage covenant as a result of Jesus’ death and able to choose to be free from slavery to sin and become slaves of righteousness.

This is why Paul said in Romans 7:1-6:  “Do you not know, brothers — for I am speaking to men who know the law — that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. 4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”  NIV

This is an important concept for us to grasp because it is an important component of several patterns seen throughout the Bible.

Now let’s get back to the physical realm of marriage. 

If your spouse committed adultery:

  • You are free to divorce and marry someone else that has never been married.
  • You are free to divorce and marry someone else that has never committed adultery but whose spouse has committed adultery.
  • You are free to remarry after your spouse dies.
  • You must forgive your spouse and you can remain with your spouse if you choose to do so.   

If you divorced your spouse for a reason other than adultery, don’t remarry until after your spouse dies (according to God’s timing).  If you’ve already remarried, stay in the marriage you are in.

If you divorced your spouse for a reason other than adultery and neither one of you remarried or were sexually active with anyone else during your time of separation or divorce, you can stay as you are or remarry each other.

Esau and Jacob

Today, I want to summarize some information from Jasher 26-32 and Genesis 25-33.  I won’t cover all of the details today so we can come back and explore more of it on another day.  What simply amazes me is how old Esau and Jacob were at different points in their lives.  What seemed to occur quickly in the Bible was spread out over a much larger span of time than we have previously understood.   Finally, the animosity that was birthed between Esau and Jacob will eventually lead to God’s judgment of Esau’s descendants.

If you recall, Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah.  The writer of Jasher says Rebekah was 10 years old at that time (Jasher 24:40).  For many years Rebekah was barren but after seeking and pleading with the Lord, fraternal twins named Esau and Jacob were born when Isaac was 60 years old.  This means Rebekah was 30 years old when she finally gave birth to them.

Abraham died at 175 years old and was buried by Isaac and Ishmael.  Since Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old, Jacob and Esau were 15 years old when Abraham died. 

The book of Jasher tells us that Esau went hunting frequently after Abraham’s death.  Nimrod (Amraphel) observed him at this time because he was jealous of him.  Nimrod was also considered a mighty hunter so he may have been jealous of Esau’s hunting skills.  It’s hard to know for sure the exact reason for his jealousy but it’s could have been related to the prophecy that was given around Abraham’s birth.  If you recall from a previous post, Nimrod’s star gazers saw a shooting star that swallowed up stars from the four corners of the heavens and prophesied that Abraham and his descendants would kill the kings of the earth and inherit their lands forever (Jasher 8:1-11). 

On one of these hunting trips, Esau killed Nimrod by cutting off his head with his sword.  Esau also killed the 2 men who were with him and took Nimrod’s valuable garments that Cush had given him and hid them at his house.  These garments may be the same ones that God originally made for Adam, that had been passed down to Noah, stolen by Ham, and passed to Nimrod through Cush (Jasher 7:24-29; 27:10).  After Esau murdered Nimrod and his 2 men, he ran to his father’s house exhausted and hungry.  This is when he asked his brother Jacob to give him some red stew.  The writer of Jasher said Esau sold his birthright and his portion of the cave at Machpelah to Jacob because this was of the Lord, although most people assume it was because Jacob was simply being deceitful.  According to the book of Jasher, Jacob wrote this transaction in a book and had it witnessed.  Once Nimrod died, his kingdom was restored to its many rightful kings.

Famine was in the land after Abraham died.  Isaac planned to go to Egypt but God instructed him to go to Gerar until the famine was over.  At first, Isaac said Rebekah was his sister while they were in Gerar but after 3 years, Abimelech saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.  This is most likely the son of the original Abimelech who had been known as Benmalich.   Abimelech soon had them paraded before the people and warned everyone not to harm them.   

Fortunately, Isaac found favor in Abimelech’ sight who remembered the covenant between his father and Abraham.  According to Jasher 28:13-16, Abimelech told Isaac, “Behold the whole earth is before thee; dwell wherever it may seem good in thy sight until thou shalt return to thy land; and Abimelech gave Isaac fields and vineyards and the best part of the land of Gerar, to sow and reap and eat the fruits of the ground until the days of the famine should have passed by. 14 And Isaac sowed in that land, and received a hundred-fold in the same year, and the Lord blessed him. 15 And the man waxed great, and he had possession of flocks and possession of herds and great store of servants.  16 And when the days of the famine had passed away the Lord appeared to Isaac and said unto him, Rise up, go forth from this place and return to thy land, to the land of Canaan; and Isaac rose up and returned to Hebron which is in the land of Canaan, he and all belonging to him as the Lord commanded him.”  

Esau and Jacob were at least 18 years old at when they returned from Gerar to Canaan.  Isaac then sent Jacob to Shem and Eber for 32 years to learn the instructions of the Lord after which he returned to his father’s home.  Esau was not willing to go with Jacob to Eber’s but remained in his father’s house in Canaan.   Esau was deceitful; he continued to hunt beast as far as the field of Seir (Edom) and hunted the hearts of men by winning them over through flattery.

Esau took Jehudith [Judith] the daughter of Beeri, son of Epher from the families of Heth the son of Canaan when he was 40 years old (Jasher 28:22-23; Gen. 26:34).  Genesis says Esau also took Bosmath [Basemath], the daughter of Elon, the Hittite as his wife when he was 40 but Jasher says he did so after Jacob stole his blessing (Jasher 29:12).  

Jacob returned to his father in Hebron in Canaan when Noah’s son, Shem died at the age of 600 years.  Since Isaac was 110 years old at that time, Jacob and Esau were 50 years old.  If the years given in Jasher are correct, it seems there was a period of time between the age of 40 and 50 when Jacob had left Eber but didn’t live with his father in Hebron.    

When Jacob was 56 years old, Rebekah was told Laban’s wife and handmaids were barren.  The Lord remembered Laban’s wife, Adinah and she bore twin daughters – Leah and Rachel.  Rebecca was glad to hear this news (Jasher 28:28).

Years later, Issac sent Esau to hunt and get venison and planned to bless him when he returned.  Rebecca heard and called Jacob and told him to bring her 2 goats that she would prepare so Jacob could deceive Isaac and get Esau’s blessing.

Esau was very angry when he heard what his brother had done.  Since Jacob was afraid of Esau, he went to Eber, the son of Shem.  He was 63 years old when he went to Eber’s.  He stayed there 14 years and learned the ways of the Lord and his commandments (Jasher 29:11).

Esau took his first wife, Judith and went to Seir and took Bosmath [Basemath], the daughter of Elon the Hittite as his wife but he called her Adah.  Six months after leaving his parents, he returned to them with his wives who committed idolatry by worshipping the Baalim.  This greatly bothered Isaac and Rebekah.  Esau’s wife, Adah bore a son named Eliphaz when he was 65 years old.

After Jacob had lived with Eber for 14 years, he returned to his parents.  While Jacob had been gone, Esau had forgotten what Jacob had done to him but quickly remembered when he saw him and desired to kill him.  Rebecca heard about his plans and warned Jacob to flee to Laban’s place in Haran.  Jacob told Isaac not to take a wife from Canaan but to go to Laban in Haran.  Isaac warned Jacob not to forsake the Lord while he was there and to find a wife that was good and upright in the ways of the Lord.  He blessed him and sent him on his way.  Based on my calculations, Jacob was 77 years old when he went to Laban’s in Padan-aram and Rachel and Leah would have been 21 years old. 

Esau sent his 13 year old son, Eliphaz to pursue and kill Jacob and bring back his things.  Jacob convinced Eliphaz and his men not to kill him but to take all his things instead.  Esau was not happy with that but when he heard his parents didn’t want Jacob to marry a Canaanite, he married Ishmael’s daughter, Machlath [Mahalath] (Gen. 28:9; Jasher 29:43).

Jacob came to Mt. Moriah near Luz.  The Lord promised him many descendants, his enemies to fall before him, and to bring his back to Canaan with children and riches.  He named the place Bethel.

After finally arriving in Padan-aram, Jacob told Laban what Esau and Eliphaz had done to him.  After one month, Jacob said he would work 7 years for Rachel.  In the 2nd year he was in Haran, Jacob mourned when he heard about the death of Eber.  In the 3rd year, Esau and Bosmath [Basemath] had a son named Reuel.  In the 4th year, Laban’s wife gave birth to 3 sons because of Joseph.  In the 5th year, Esau’s wife Jehudith [Judith] died.  After she died, Esau went to hunt as usual in Seir.  In the 6th year, Esau took another wife, Ahlibamah [Aholibamah] and they had 3 sons.  Esau’s herdsmen quarreled with the inhabitants of Canaan because his cattle and goods were too abundant so he took his family and possessions and moved to Seir.  In the 7th year, Jacob married Leah and worked 7 more years for Rachel. 

Jacob was/would have been:

  • 79 years old when Eber died (Jasher 30:15).
  • 85 years old in the 7th year.
  • 91 years old when Joseph was born (Jasher 31:21).
  • 92 years old in the 14th year.
  • 98 years old when the Lord told him to go home after serving Laban his final 6 years.
  • 108 years old when Joseph went to Egypt because Joseph was 17 when he was sold into Egypt (Gen. 37:2).
  • 121 years old when his son, Joseph stood before Pharaoh.  Joseph was 30 at that time (Gen. 41:46; Jasher 49:38).
  • 130 years old when he came to Egypt during the famine (Gen. 47:9).
  • 147 years old when he died (Gen. 47:28; Jasher 56:1).

As Jacob’s family prepared to go to Canaan, Rebecca took the household gods so Laban couldn’t know where they had gone but Laban ended up inquiring of their whereabouts from some other images before pursuing them (Jasher 31:44-45).  After seeing his daughters and grandchildren and sending them away, Laban sent word to Esau that Jacob was returning home.  Esau was angry at the news and got ready to take revenge.  Laban’s messengers went ahead to Rebekah and Isaac to tell them Esau was getting ready to go against Jacob.  Rebecca quickly sent messengers to warn Jacob that Esau was coming and recommend that he conceal nothing from Esau and honor him with gifts.  In addition, the Lord sent 3 angels to come against Esau and his men in order to turn Esau’s anger to kindness. 

We tend to think this was a happy ending to the saga of Jacob and Esau but those who’ve read the book of Obadiah know there is more of the story.  Obadiah begins with a vision in which a messenger was being sent among the nations to attack the proud people of Edom (Esau’s descendants) to deceive and set a trap for them.  Obadiah 10 says this will be done to Edom for the violence that was done to their kinsman, Jacob and that they would be cut off forever because they failed to help when lots were cast for Jerusalem and strangers took their treasure and foreigners entered their gates.  Instead of helping the descendants of Jacob, they handed over their survivors to their enemies.  This passage parallels Jeremiah 49:14-22.   If you carefully read the surrounding chapters of Jeremiah, you will notice that this is part of God’s plan for the future judgment of the nations in the latter days.

When the Day of the Lord’s return comes, there will be a remnant of Jacob that will repossess their rightful inheritance.  The house of Jacob will be a flame that will completely consume the stubble of the house of Esau and the Lord will be King.