Message – All my sons
Series: Thru the Bible – Genesis 30-31
All my Sons
Holy Cat fights
- Rachel blames Jacob for never getting pregnant – in particular no sons.
- Jacob says it is God’s judgment.
- Common practice of surrogate-mothering.
- Bilhah is given to Jacob
- Bilhah means “troubled”
- Bilhah conceives
- 1st child is Dan=a judge – “God has judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son.”
- Bilhah conceives a second time and gives birth to Naphtali. Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.”
- Notice that Leah’s initial desire for children was to be noticed and loved by her husband, Rachel’s desire for children (and in particular sons) was to compete with her sister.
- Leah now reciprocates by giving Zilpah to Jacob and she conceives Gad = troop or good fortune.
- Leah seems to become a little too-sure of herself…a little arrogant and competitive in return. “Behold a troop comes” sounds antagonistic.
- Then Asher is born = “happy”. Leah’s happiness is based upon superficial value assigned by other women “women will call me blessed” again predominately for providing so many sons for her husband.
- Rueben (4 years old now) found mandrakes a type of fruit said to possess aphrodisiac properties – their common name was “love-apples”.
- He brought them to Leah his mother.
- Rachel asks for them.
- Leah blows up – “”Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?”
- Rachel seems confident that she has power of Jacob to influence him to have sex with Leah and so plainly states, “Jacob will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”
- Leah seems to agree with Rachel’s power over Jacob….Gen. 30:16, “When Jacob came out of the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”
- Jacob complies.
- Leah conceives – evidently – either passively in her heart or actively by actual prayer Leah desired that God bless this union with yet another child.
- God does and Issachar is born = There is recompense
- Leah conceives a sixth son named Zebulun = exalted
- Leah has a daughter named Dinah = judgment
- Rachel is considered by God – He answers her prayers and she conceives and bears Joseph=Jehovah has added.
Jacob intends to leave, but Laban begs him to stay
- Laban’s desire is for the prosperity he enjoyed through his association with Jacob.
- Read Gen. 30:26-33, “(26) Give me my wives and my children that I have worked for, and let me go. You know how hard I have worked for you.” (27) But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.” (28) Then Laban said, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.” (29) So Jacob said to him, “You know what I have done for you and your herds. (30) For you had very little before I came, but now your wealth has increased. The LORD has blessed you because of me. And now, when will I also do something for my own family?” (31) Laban asked, “What should I give you?” And Jacob said, “You don’t need to give me anything. If you do this one thing for me, I will continue to shepherd and keep your flock. (32) Let me go through all your sheep today and remove every sheep that is speckled or spotted, every dark-colored sheep among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the female goats. Such will be my wages. (33) In the future when you come to check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me. If I have any female goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not black, they will be considered stolen.“
- However, Laban separated them himself and caused his sons to tend Jacob’s sheep at a great distance while Jacob tended Laban’s sheep.
- Evidently this was intended to be an ongoing agreement. Any dark-colored or speckled or spotted sheep or goats born were Jacob’s also, and all of lighter colored ones of solid color were Laban’s. SO it was to Jacob’s advantage to attempt to ensure that Laban’s flock produced as many dark, speckled and spotted sheep and goats as possible.
- This artifice was founded upon a fact frequently noticed, particularly in the case of sheep, that whatever fixes their attention in copulation is marked upon the young (see the proofs in Bochart, Hieroz. 1, 618, and Friedreich zur Bibel 1, 37ff.).
- Only deception or underhanded thing Jacob did here is…
- Place his speckled and spotted flock before Laban’s thinking to influence the color of the offspring.
- Placing the multi-colored sticks ONLY in the troughs of the strongest of Laban’s flock.
- Read, Gen. 31:1-16, “(1) Now Jacob heard what Laban’s sons were saying: “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s and has built this wealth from what belonged to our father.” (2) And Jacob saw from Laban’s face that his attitude toward him was not the same. (3) Then the LORD said to him, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.” (4) Jacob had Rachel and Leah called to the field where his flocks were. (5) He said to them, “I can see from your father’s face that his attitude toward me is not the same, but the God of my father has been with me. (6) You know that I’ve worked hard for your father (7) and that he has cheated me and changed my wages 10 times. But God has not let him harm me. (8) If he said, ‘The spotted sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born spotted. If he said, ‘The streaked sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born streaked. (9) God has taken your father’s herds and given them to me. (10) “When the flocks were breeding, I saw in a dream that the streaked, spotted, and speckled males were mating with the females. (11) In that dream the Angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ and I said: Here I am. (12) And He said, ‘Look up and see: all the males that are mating with the flocks are streaked, spotted, and speckled, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. (13) I am the God of Bethel, where you poured oil on the stone marker and made a solemn vow to Me. Get up, leave this land, and return to your native land.'” (14) Then Rachel and Leah answered him, “Do we have any portion or inheritance in our father’s household? (15) Are we not regarded by him as outsiders? For he has sold us and has certainly spent our money. (16) In fact, all the wealth that God has taken from our father belongs to us and to our children. So do whatever God has said to you.”
- After 2- years of service Jacob makes his departure ready.
- Rachel robs Laban’s idols.
- Jacob DECEIVED Laban by NOT telling him of his intent to leave – IMPORTANT.
- Jacob was intimidated by his father-in-law and relatives. Still not fully trusting in God to protect him (family problem).
- Rachel plays the “female card” and subverts justice for her father.
- Read, Gen. 31:36-42, “(36) Then Jacob became incensed and brought charges against Laban. “What is my crime?” he said to Laban. “What is my sin, that you have pursued me? (37) You’ve searched all my possessions! Have you found anything of yours? Put it here before my relatives and yours, and let them decide between the two of us. (38) I’ve been with you these 20 years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams from your flock. (39) I did not bring you any of the flock torn by wild beasts; I myself bore the loss. You demanded payment from me for what was stolen by day or by night. (40) There I was–the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes. (41) For 20 years I have worked in your household–14 years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks–and you have changed my wages 10 times! (42) If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and my hard work, and He issued His verdict last night.”
- Laban claims all is his though he gave them to Jacob for his labors.
- Laban plays hurt that he was not afforded the opportunity to kiss his daughters and Jacob’s sons goodbye.
- They decide to make a pack.
- Jegar-sahad-utha = witness heap (later called Ramoth-Gilead). This is Aramaic.
- Galeed = witness heap (This is Hebrew)
- Mizpah = watchtower or lookout
- Covenant meal
- Depart in peace
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