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Genesis Per Day

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by WebersHome, May 8, 2017.

  1. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    Genesis 26:31-35


    Gen 26:31-32 . . Early in the morning, they exchanged oaths. Isaac then bade them farewell, and they departed from him in peace. That same day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had dug, and said to him: We have found water!

    Ah, yes. It is always so pleasant to cap a victory with a good ending. Isaac had a perfect day.

    Gen 26:33 . . He named it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba to this day.

    The word for Shibah is from Shib' ah (shib-aw') which means: seven(th)

    The new well is sister to a well Abraham dug many years previously in an unspecified region of Gerar. He, and the then Abimelech, settled ownership of that one with those seven ewes in chapter 21. So this is puzzling-- shib' ah is not the same word as sheba'. Sheba' means oath. Shib' ah means seven. Seven what? I don't know; Genesis doesn't say.

    But the number 7 is often used in the Bible like we use the number 10 today. If we want to say something is perfect, we give it a ten. Isaac gave it a seven; so I think it's safe to assume that the water in the new well was really exceptional. (compare Rev 13:17-18 where the number of a man is given as 666, which is imperfection three times over. In other words: man is not only imperfect; but he's really imperfect.)

    Gen 26:34 . .When Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite;

    There seems to be some confusion concerning the names, and the number, of Esau's wives. Here are their names according to Gen 36:2-3.

    "Esau took his wives from among the Canaanite women-- Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah daughter of Zibeon the Hivite --and also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth."

    There were two girls named Basemath-- Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, was also known as Basemath. Adah may have been surnamed to avoid confusing her with the other Basemath: Ishmael's daughter. The Oholibamah of 36:2 is the Judith of 26:34. She was the offspring of a mixed marriage between Beeri and Anah. She too may have been surnamed to avoid confusion.

    Gen 26:35 . .And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebecca.

    In other words, those two girls made life miserable for Isaac and Rebecca and caused them a great deal of mental, and emotional anguish. Some feel that they were also a source of spiritual friction because they were infidels who worshipped the gods of the Canaanites. No doubt they did. But how would that come into play? Well; their religions permitted the practice of some vile social customs.

    Canaanite religions didn't forbid such things as wife swapping, promiscuity, adultery, sex with women in their period, burning children to death in sacrificial ceremonies, sleeping with close blood relatives, gay and lesbian love, bestiality, nudity, astrology, divination, voodoo, magic, communication with the spirit world, witchcraft, drunkenness, and wild parties; including cult prostitution where women devotees sold themselves to support their "church" (cf. Gen 38:13-23)

    So you can easily see just how vexing that women like that might be. How could Esau even trust them while he was away on safari? Lacking his companionship, they would either turn to each other for sensual comforts or seek out lovers among the servants. They might even hit on Rebecca and Isaac; and maybe even hit on their co-husband's third wife; Ishmael's Basemath. And the girls would have no qualms about walking around the house scantily clad or even in the nude; so you never knew what to expect when they invited you over.

    Those two women were very definitely not the PowerPuff Girls-- the wholesome little kindergartners who make the world safe before bedtime. No; they were the PantyHose Girls who seanced, Tarot carded, and Ouija boarded their way to new excitements.

    As bad as all that stuff was, it doesn't hold a candle to the danger of those women influencing Isaac's grandchildren. And that is a very real threat in mixed marriages. Men especially are susceptible to letting their wives guide the home's religious training. I've seen it often enough to know what I'm saying.

    And with a man like Esau, a secular man who had no interest in religion to begin with, the kids had no hope at all of turning out right. They will grow up to scorn and ridicule Abraham's religion; and his god too. They will pick up the most abominable habits, and see nothing wrong in them.

    There is one thing our kids can do for us that is unquestionably the most important thing they will ever do-- pass on our religious beliefs on to our progeny. No one else is going to do that for us. And we can't stay behind and make sure it happens. So if we leave our kids without a solid religious heritage; then their own kids-- our grandchildren --are doomed to return to secular concepts. And maybe worse.

    Esau's side of the family went bad, that's for sure, just like Cain's did. And I believe it started on it's downhill slide right with his union to those two impious women. At Esau's age, and in that kind of home and upbringing; he should have known better. But in spite of his parents' protests; in spite of his parents' fears regarding their grandchildren; in spite of his parents' feelings about those women coming into their home; in spite of God's feelings regarding His religion; and in spite of his birthright; Esau forged ahead and married those two filthy women.

    You know why? Because it was his life; and nobody was going to tell him how to live it. Some people, like the pharaoh that resisted Moses; are just defiant to the bone and they'll do things wrong just to stand up to you and assert their independence.

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  2. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    Genesis 27:1a-1b


    Gen 27:1a . .When Isaac was old

    Just precisely how old Isaac was at this time, is difficult to tell. But I think we can come close enough for government work.

    Jacob spent 20 years with Laban. (Gen 31:41a)

    Joseph was born during that time. (Gen 30:22-24)

    At just about the time Joseph was born, Jacob and Laban worked out an arrangement concerning shares of the livestock to compensate Jacob's labors. (Gen 30:25-34)

    That deal with the livestock went on for six of the twenty years Jacob served Laban. (Gen 31:41b)

    Joseph was 30 when he became prime minister of Egypt. (Gen 41:46a)

    When Joseph went to work for Pharaoh; a 14 year period began, consisting of two divisions-- seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine. After the seven years of plenty, and two of the years of famine, when he was about 39, Joseph brought his dad down into Egypt. (Gen 45:6-9)

    When Jacob arrived, he stood before Pharaoh and told him he was 130 years old. (Gen 47:7-9a)

    Now we can do some arithmetic.

    Jacob arrived in Egypt at 130. Subtracting Joseph's age of 39, we get 91; which was Jacob's age when Joseph was born. After subtracting 14-- the years Jacob worked for Laban up to the deal they made concerning the livestock --we're left with 77; which is Jacob's approximate age when he indentured himself to Laban.

    Allowing for a generous intermission of 2 years-- encompassing Rebecca's scheme, Jacob's flight to Haran, and his eventual indenture to Laban --Jacob's age in the section of Genesis we're in today, can very reasonably be put at 75.

    Isaac was 60 when Jacob was born. (Gen 25:26)

    So adding 75 to 60, puts Isaac somewhere in the neighborhood of 135 years old at the beginning of chapter 27.

    Everyone involved in this next episode was getting up in years and thus quite mature. Jacob and Esau, though 75 years old, were, nonetheless, vigorous men and, gerontologically speaking, relatively young in terms of the aging process as it existed in those days. Even Isaac wasn't as near death as he feared since he lived another 45 years to be 180 when he died. (Gen 35:28)

    Gen 27:1b . . and his eyes were too dim to see,

    The word for "dim" is from kahah (kaw-haw') which means: to be weak; viz: to despond and/or grow dull.

    So Isaac wasn't actually blind, as some have proposed. It's far more likely he was stricken with cataracts, macular degeneration and/or some other vision condition very common among people his age even today.

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  3. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    Genesis 27:1c-4


    Gen 27:1c-2 . . he called his older son Esau and said to him; My son. He answered; Here I am. And he said; I am old now, and I do not know how soon I may die.

    It's common for older men to feel that not only is their time running out, but also their luck. I've dodged several bullets in my 73 years; two of them literal; and can't reasonably expect to live too much longer before the law of averages catches up to me either by accident, crime, or natural causes.

    Gen 27:3-4 . . Now then, please take your gear, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me; and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.

    The part about "my soul" is a curious statement. The Hebrew word is nephesh (neh'-fesh) which is a very common word for all creatures great and small in the Old Testament beginning at Gen 1:20. Nepesh never refers to unconscious life; viz: it only refers to fauna, never to flora.

    But the interesting thing is: man not only is a soul (Gen 2:7) but according to Gen 27:4, Gen 34:2, and a host of other passages, man also has a soul; so it turns out that nephesh is a bit ambiguous.

    A pretty good paraphrase of that portion of the passage would be "that I may bless you from the core of my being". (viz: the bottom of his heart)

    Esau was Isaac's favorite and I don't think he ever did care too much for Jacob. If he had purposed to bless Jacob, I think it would have been done with a very grudging spirit. This particular blessing regards Esau's inheritance. He already sold the patriarchy to Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup. Whether or not Isaac was aware of the deal the brothers struck, is not said.

    What takes place next in chapter 27 is difficult to believe. To think that two grown-ups, one at least 75 and the other very likely 115 years old, took part in this incredibly clownish deception. I could understand young, inexperienced kids doing something so stupid. But it is difficult to understand how supposedly mature adults like Rebecca and Jacob could ever seriously ponder such a silly scheme.

    It is simply moronic that Rebecca would even remotely consider that her crafty little plan had even the remotest chance of success. Conducted under false pretenses, and a fake ID; it would only be a matter of hours before the scam was uncovered, the ill gotten blessing of course annulled, and the perpetrators soundly excoriated . . unless . . unless there is more to this incident than meets the eye; and there most certainly is.

    Ninety-five years prior to this point in time, God personally selected a vibrant water girl up in Haran to be Isaac's spouse. The wisdom of that selection is now going to become apparent as we begin to realize who actually wore the spiritual pants in Isaac's house. If spirituality were a martial art, Rebecca would be a black belt. Her discernment regarding matters of Heaven is just incredible. Was she really a silly female? Far from it.

    In spite of God's mandate in chapter 25 concerning Jacob, and in spite of the plainly obvious superiority of Jacob's character, and his spiritual discernment, and his convictions, and in spite of Esau's blatant indifference to his birthright, and to his spiritual heritage, and to the mind of God; Isaac was nevertheless apparently determined to give both the patriarchy and the inheritance to Esau-- clearly the wrong choice; not to mention a direct affront to God. The inheritance was one thing, but the patriarchy was a whole other matter altogether.

    Esau even married impious women from among the pagan Canaanites. A horrible choice considering the repercussions of such spouses upon the future of Abraham's covenant. And Esau no doubt made that choice against the counsel and consent of his parents; proving all the more just how head-strong and self-willed the man really was. Motivated by the gain of temporal advantage, and the gratification of carnal appetites; Esau had no spiritual vision at all. Well; Rebecca is fixin' to give Mr. Isaac, and his secular son Mr. Esau, the wake-up call of their lives!

    Esau was a man's man. I think if any of us met him, we would be instantly drawn by his charisma and virility. And I think that Isaac saw in him the kind of man he always wished he was himself. But in the coin of heaven, Esau had no more worth than a dilapidated old shoe.

    It's difficult to comprehend how favoritism, on the part of such a presumably spiritual man as Isaac, could be based upon such a carnal motive as the taste of venison. But it wasn't just the meal, but rather the way it was obtained.

    We get runs of Salmon up here in Oregon's rivers at various times of the year. Last time I checked; you could buy fresh Coho Salmon in local supermarkets for about $12 a pound. But no; guys prefer instead to spend all day on a river shivering in the freezing cold just to catch one Salmon in the wild.

    But the river fish means something that the supermarket fish can never mean. Yes, both are edible and both make great eating and honestly you can't tell the difference. But one is obtained with a shopping cart. The other by a man's own bare hands: with fishing tackle, by personal energy combined with risk, skill, and cunning. All those are important to a "real" man's feelings of personal worth.

    It was customary in Jacob's day to mark solemn occasions with a feast; like the one Isaac prepared for Abimelech when they swore an oath together in chapter 26. And since the blessing Isaac resolved to bestow upon Esau was such an important one, it seemed appropriate that the solemnities should be marked by a feast of wild meat provided by Esau's own personal hunting skills.

    However, father and son didn't reckon on the God factor, and they surely didn't reckon on black ops Rebecca. Their little party is not going to happen because this sharp gal from up north anticipated this very day and is all set to implement a little fiesta of her own.

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  4. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    Genesis 27:5-13


    Gen 27:5a . . Rebecca had been listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau.

    We might ask: Why was Rebecca so concerned anyway? Didn't God decree the firstborn's rights to Jacob? Then Jacob will get them anyway; won't he?

    Yes. Jacob would eventually end up with the firstborn's rights anyway; but the problem was: the outgoing patriarch had to impart the blessing and obviously Mr. Isaac wasn't inclined to do so. It appears to me that Isaac was actually going to attempt to circumvent God's wishes and I honestly think it was because he was afraid of alienating his favorite son.

    Rebecca wasn't stupid, nor inclined to superstition. I seriously doubt she was silly enough to believe the words of the blessing themselves held sufficient magic to confer the firstborn's rights upon Jacob just because he happened to be in the room and hear them as they were spoken in his direction. After all, it was all done under false pretenses and a fake ID. No court in the land would uphold anything obtained by a fraud like that. But her scheme was designed to do something else entirely.

    I believe her intent was to wake Isaac up and make him return to his senses. The man did fear God. That much is beyond question. But he was lax in his patriarchal duties. Before this is over, he will regret his laxity very, very much.

    Gen 27:5b-7 . .When Esau had gone out into the open to hunt game to bring home, Rebecca said to her son Jacob: I overheard your father speaking to your brother Esau, saying: Bring me some game and prepare a dish for me to eat, that I may bless you, with the Lord's approval, before I die.

    That's not really what Isaac said. It appears that Rebecca embellished a little and added "with the Lord's approval." Compare Gen 3:3 where Eve embellished God's testimony in Gen 2:17 where He didn't forbid them to "touch" the fruit; no, only to eat it.

    Gen 27:8 . . Now, my son, listen carefully as I instruct you.

    Cool as a vice cop, Rebecca executes Plan A with the step by step precision of a well arranged sting. I can just visualize her grip upon Jacob's arm, gazing up into his face with a most intense look, as she gears him up to get started on his part of the scheme.

    Gen 27:9a . . Go to the flock and fetch me two choice kids,

    Why two? Well, for one thing: deer produce a much larger quantity of meat than a little bitty kid. It's true Isaac couldn't possibly eat a whole deer at one sitting, but Rebecca can only use parts of the kids that best resemble the venison cuts Isaac prefers. And Esau more than likely cooked up a whole lot more than just one serving. I think he typically brought his dad a heaping buffet and let him pick out what he wanted; and anything left over was kept as victuals for the rest of the house; which of course included Esau himself.

    Rebecca is going to have to duplicate that setting as best as she can. And she will too. After all, who was it taught those two boys how to cook in the first place? None other than Becky Crocker.

    Gen 27:9b . . and I will make of them a dish for your father, such as he likes.

    This is additional evidence that it wasn't merely the flavor of Esau's cooking that made Isaac love him. Rebecca could duplicate the taste of venison with goat meat so that you couldn't tell the one from the other.

    Gen 27:10a-11a . .Then take it to your father to eat, in order that he may bless you before he dies. Jacob answered his mother Rebecca: But....

    Jacob straight away sees where his mom is going with this and likes it. However . . there's just one problem: Rebecca can duplicate Esau's cooking; but how will Jacob duplicate Esau? They didn't have the benefit of slick Hollywood make-up artists in those days so how are they going to make Jacob look (or rather, feel) like his brother?

    Well, they have Isaac's poor eyesight to their advantage; so Jacob's appearance won't have to be all that accurate. But they will need at least one prosthetic: body hair.

    Gen 27:11b-12 . . my brother Esau is a hairy man and I am smooth-skinned. If my father touches me, I shall appear to him as a trickster and bring upon myself a curse, not a blessing.

    Isaac might get the wrong idea and think that Jacob is poking fun at his bad eyesight by playing a dumb trick on him. That would hurt the old boy's feelings a great deal to think that his 75 year-old son thought so little of him as to perpetrate such a cruel prank; which of course would warrant a curse; because it is not only cruel to play tricks on the blind, but, even worse, to be cruel to one's parents.

    Gen 27:13 . . But his mother said to him: Your curse, my son, be upon me! Just do as I say and go fetch them for me.

    That's the oldest ploy in the book. It's the very same reasoning the German military guards used to justify their duties at Auschwitz and Dachau. "You can't blame us" they said; "We only did what we were told." That seems reasonable enough. After all, the ones in charge are really responsible; right?

    Wrong. The midwives of Ex 1:15-17 could have used the very same excuse; but didn't. And God commended them for fearing Him. If they had obeyed Pharaoh, they would have received condemnation instead. Everyone bears their own personal responsibility and has a duty to raise conscientious objections.

    In other words: it is a sin to violate your conscience. Yes, soldiers and minor children are to obey their superiors-- but to the point of sin? Never! Besides, Jacob was no minor child. He was a grown man.

    But Rebecca needed some leverage to keep Jacob in the game. By playing the "filial authority" card, she persuaded Jacob to stay on track. Luckily, he wasn't too bright at the time and failed to appreciate his own personal accountability. After all, the man was at least 75 years old; not just a little kid.

    But then again, I think Jacob the supplanter really wanted to pull this thing off and just needed a way to appease his own misgivings about it; so it wasn't too difficult to win him over.

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  5. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    Genesis 27:14-25


    Gen 27:14-15 . . He got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared a dish such as his father liked. Rebecca then took the best clothes of her older son Esau, which were there in the house, and had her younger son Jacob put them on;

    The word for "house" is from bayith (bah'-yith) which means: a dwelling (in the greatest variation of applications), including family.

    Does that mean Rebecca lived in a permanent structure? I don't think so. Bayith doesn't always mean what we think. In Gen 6:14 it implicates the interior of the ark. At Gen 7:1 it implicates Noah's family, and quite possibly even all their belongings-- a regular Noah's Family Robinson. At Gen 15:2, bayith implicates Abraham's entire estate: his tents, his livestock, and his servants.

    Some have proposed that Esau's best clothes were special-- for religious observances --like the garments that priests might wear. But that certainly doesn't fit Esau's character. I think it was just a nice outfit of some sort, maybe even the one he got married in. But anyway, they sure didn't get washed often because his clothes usually smelled like the outdoors-- and that could mean anything from plain old dirt to wild flowers and meadow grass.

    But why were those clothes (viz: his cleanest dirty shirts) in Rebecca's home? I believe it was because Rebecca anticipated this very day and kept them right there handy so she could put them on Jacob when the time came. And that is why she never washed the smell out of them. Jacob of course was very likely a tidy sort of guy and kept his clothes clean. But Esau was a rugged outdoor type who's clothes you would expect to have an odor.

    Gen 27:16 . . and she covered his hands and the hairless part of his neck with the skins of the kids.

    Those hides would still be raw and untreated. So Rebecca had to scrub and scrape to get all the fat and blood off so they wouldn't have a visceral smell to them. Yuck! That's reminiscent of scenes from Silence Of The Lambs.

    Gen 27:17 . .Then she put in the hands of her son Jacob the dish and the bread that she had prepared.

    Yummy. From the kitchen of Becky Crocker; with biscuits and gravy too. Well, this is as far as Rebecca can go. Now it's all up to Mr. Jacob to pull this off. Good luck dude. Don't chicken out now. HWUAH! (Navy SEAL cheer)

    Gen 27:18-19a . . He went to his father and said: Father. And he said: Yes, which of my sons are you? Jacob said to his father: I am Esau, your first-born; I have done as you told me.

    That man makes me proud. No mumbling, no stuttering, no hesitation-- right to it. Yes; he is a big fat liar. But I love it. You watch. Any day now he'll get a letter in the mail from CIA recruiters praising his moral flexibility.


    NOTE: When Jacob called out to his dad; he used what is known as a "vocative" which Webster's defines as: of, relating to, or being a grammatical case marking out the one addressed. In other words: a vocative is intended to get the attention of a specific person in a room rather than everybody in the room.

    This may seem superfluous, and I guess it isn't germane to the study of Genesis; but the principle has an important application in Christianity. Compare Rom 8:15 and Gal 4:6 where the Aramaic vocative Abba indicates that the Father's children don't call out to Him as merely a clan's paterfamilias, but rather, like Jacob did with Isaac: as one's very own papa.

    Gen 27:19b-20 . . Pray sit up and eat of my game, that you may give me your innermost blessing. Isaac said to his son: How did you succeed so quickly, my son? And he said: Because the Lord your God granted me good fortune.

    What did he say!? My golly that man had chutzpah! He actually dragged the name of God into the lie. Now Jacob will be condemned to the lower regions for sure; or will he?

    "I say unto you: that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 8:11)

    Gen 27:21-23 . . Isaac said to Jacob: Come closer that I may feel you, my son-- whether you are really my son Esau or not. So Jacob drew close to his father Isaac, who felt him and wondered: The voice is the voice of Jacob, yet the hands are the hands of Esau. He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; and so he blessed him.

    So then, in spite of their twin-ness, there was enough of a difference in the brothers' voices to be discernable. However, Rebecca somehow attached size-cut pieces of young goat skin on the backs of Jacob's hands and fingers with some sort of toupee adhesive so it would feel to Isaac as if it were a man's natural hairs. That was a pretty good trick; and would probably land her a job as a Hollywood make-up artist.

    Gen 27:24 . . He asked: Are you truly my son Esau? And when he said: I am,

    Some people are of the opinion that Jacob was a mama's boy. Well, maybe he was. But one thing he had that most mama's boys don't; and it's a level head under stress. Jacob was as calm and calculating as a test pilot all during this incident.

    I tell you, that man amazes me. I bet Rebecca was just outside the door sweating bullets while all this was going on; hoping and praying that Jacob not lose his cool and bolt out of the room in a panic. This is just the kind of cool under fire that the Secret Service looks for; but then, you need a pretty high IQ to work with those guys.

    Gen 27:25 . . he said: Serve me and let me eat of my son's game that I may give you my innermost blessing. So he served him and he ate, and he brought him wine and he drank.

    The wine was probably out in the kitchen. When Jacob went back to get it, don't you think Rebecca hugged him and gave him a great big thumbs up? I do. Those two were a team! The original Mission Impossible task force.

    While Isaac was eating, he and Jacob probably chatted. About what; I don't have a clue. But Jacob managed to pull it off like a pro. Isaac really thought he was talking with Esau.

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  6. SteveCaruso

    SteveCaruso Translator

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    Abba does not mean "papa" though. It's a form used in formal and informal contexts. "Papa" was "baba" or "papi".
     
  7. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    The word abba is neither Greek, nor Hebrew, nor Latin. It's Aramaic.

    None of the Bibles that I routinely consult translate abba into an English word. I suspect it's because, in their opinion, translating it would be irreverent seeing as how abba is a term of endearment spoken by a father's children to get his attention. In other words; abba is a filial vocative.

    For example: when my son is talking about me with my wife, the word "dad" is merely an identifier. But when he addresses me personally, one on one, then "dad" is a filial vocative-- the same word in each case, but with very distinctive differences.

    As you can see, abba is not for use by ordinary rank and file pew warmers. It is reserved specifically for use by God's paternal kin, and no others.

    Rom 8:15-16 . . You have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out: Abba! Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

    Gal 4:6-7 . . Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His son into our hearts, crying: Abba! Father! Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.


    NOTE: The Greek word translated "bears witness" is summarture (soom-mar-too-reh'-o) which refers to joint testimony, i.e. corroboration by (concurrent) evidence.

    There are pew warmers around and about believing themselves God's paternal kin, but the Spirit isn't backing them up on it. In other words: the Spirit is positive that they are illegitimate, i.e. somebody else's kids instead of God's; and the Spirit is an unimpeachable expert witness who knows what He's talking about.


    FYI: The Spirit of His son-- a.k.a. the spirit of adoption --compels God's paternal children to call out to a father, never to a mother. The reason for that being that God's son never prayed to his mother, only to his Father. Since that was Christ's way, then people within whom is the Spirit of His son will follow suit and not pray to Christ's mother; nor to departed saints and/or angels either for that matter because the Spirit of His son steers them away from strangers.

    Rom 8:9 . . If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  8. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    Genesis 27:26-29b


    Gen 27:26-27 . .Then his father Isaac said to him: Come close and kiss me, my son. And he went up and kissed him. And he smelled his clothes and he blessed him, saying, Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of the fields that the Lord has blessed.

    Esau probably always smelled like that and Rebecca took full advantage of it. He should have washed his clothes once in a while. Good grief the man had two wives. What the heck did they do all day? Neglect their chores to watch Oprah, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, and the Soaps?

    I bet if you visited Esau's home the kids were running around in dirty underwear and snotty noses all the time. You probably had to kick a path to walk and wouldn't dare sit down because something might stick. Poor Rebecca. What a pair of daughters-in-law. I bet when they all got together on holidays, Judith and Basemath sat around on their tushes and gossiped while Rebecca and Jacob did all the dishes.

    Gen 27:28 . . May God give you of the dew of heaven and the fat of the earth, abundance of new grain and wine.

    The Hebrew word for the "fat" pertaining to Abel's offering is cheleb (kheh' leb); or cheleb (khay'-leb) which don't always indicate fleshly fat, but mostly mean the richest or the choicest parts.

    The Hebrew word for the "fat" pertaining to Isaac's blessing is mashman (mash-mawn') which, again, doesn't always indicate fleshly fat; but also richness; e.g. a rich dish, a fertile field, and or a robust man. In other words; Isaac's blessing is agricultural.

    The benediction, first of all, regards things in nature necessary for prosperity in an agrarian economy-- rain, fertile soil, and abundant yields. Rain is an especially precious resource in the country of Israel where today it's confined to just one season a year lasting only three months. In the old days, they had two rainy seasons; the early rains and the latter rains.

    City slickers hate rain. It's so inconvenient. It gets their hair wet; they have to run the wipers; it floods their streets and storm drains, their gutters overflow from clogged downspouts, they can't wear flip-flops-- caring little that the foods available in the supermarkets and convenience stores are utterly dependent upon adequate rain. I think that some people actually think their foods are manufactured in sweat shops rather than grown in the dirt. They just can't make the connection.

    Gen 27:29a . . Let peoples serve you, And nations bow to you;

    Jacob's progeny has exercised dominance over many nations in the past, most especially during Solomon's period. Today they're in a slump. But that benediction isn't dead yet; no, not by a long sea mile. In the future, Israel will be the seat of world power and the center for religious studies. You'd never know it to look at Jacob's condition today; but it's going to happen.

    Gen 27:29b . . Be master over your brothers, and let your mother's sons bow to you.

    The magic words! --and the very ones I'm sure Rebecca was anxiously waiting to hear. His "mother's sons" right then only amounted to (in Isaac's mind) just one: Mr. Jacob. But Rebecca became a grandma and today her sons can't even be numbered. Every one of them are supposed to honor Jacob and bow in respect because he, along with Isaac and Abraham, is a member of the elite league of senior patriarchs.

    The bestowal of the patriarchy upon Jacob was done with God as a witness, who has, so far, neither interfered nor intervened; nor has He seen fit to alert Isaac to Jacob's deception, nor said a single word about the whole fraudulent business.

    In short, the Almighty God, of all people, is apparently condoning Jacob's funny business. It seems to me, that the only way to understand this situation is to conclude that, whatever may be wrong with the stratagem and deception of Jacob and Rebecca, the sin of Esau and Isaac was infinitely more grievous.

    Yes, it's true that God doesn't usually condone lies; and I'm sure Jacob and his mom well knew it. They were spiritual people; both of them. But I really think that as bad as deception might be in God's sight, it had become a desperate necessity in this case to prevent a much worse sin: that of blasphemously presuming to impart the most holy of God's offices to a man who neither appreciated its depth, nor would honor it-- and to do so directly in the face of God's commandment against it.

    Such an eventuality surely would have incurred God's most severe discipline upon both Isaac and Esau; and I am convinced that Rebecca felt she must prevent that occurrence at all costs, even if it meant alienating her husband and infuriating Esau to the point of seeking Jacob's death.

    Isaac, because of the solemn nature of what he was doing, (conveying holy covenant promises and blessings to a son, who in turn would be responsible for their transmission and implementation in his own family) was no doubt under the influence of the power of God that day and was carried along in the scheme even though he half suspected the son in the room with him wasn't Esau. No. Jacob was getting that blessing, and there was nothing short of Heaven and Hell themselves that could prevent it.

    The Almighty Himself, who had made His solemn covenant with Abraham, and renewed it with Isaac, certainly was present in that room during the whole affair. What would have happened if Esau was instead standing there that day we can only surmise.

    But it seems highly probable that the consequences would have been tragic for both father and son. The Almighty God's holy promises and covenants are never to be dispensed as trifles, subject to the whim and preference of self centered mortals who are swayed to make important decisions simply upon the taste of their favorite foods.

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  9. SteveCaruso

    SteveCaruso Translator

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    I believe that's explicitly what I was referring to. :)

    The idea that it was a filial vocative was first proposed by a scholar named Joachim Jeremias, who argued that the word originated from baby speak. However, despite retracting his statement during his lifetime, and after his death being directly refuted by James Barr in the article "Abba isn't Daddy" (Journal of Theological Studies vol. 39, 1988) the myth spread. Aramaicists have since been given a serious headache when it comes to this claim.

    The attested filial vocatives in Aramaic are baba and papi; these are the "dad"s or "daddy"s. Abba is used in formal and informal contexts throughout the Aramaic corpus, by people of any age, and simply means "father" or "my father."
     
  10. WebersHome

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    Genesis 27:29c


    Gen 27:29c . . Cursed be they who curse you, blessed they who bless you.

    That the blessing upon Jacob was definitely the same as the blessing given to Abraham and Isaac is clear from the words spoken here in the final part.

    First, Isaac conferred the material aspects of patriarchal life: prosperity. I am sure that Esau would have loved that part of it. However, there is nothing in the wording of the blessing to suggest that it included an actual bequeathal of Isaac's assets. Isaac's closing statement echoes God's own words to Abraham in Gen 12:3

    Some have wondered why Isaac didn't include the balance of the Gen 12:2-3 blessing at this time; which goes like this:

    "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you shall be a blessing . . and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you."

    Sad to say, I think Isaac knew very well it would be like blessing a dead pig. There is no way Esau would ever become a great nation, and especially ever become a blessing to all the families of the Earth; nor that they would bless themselves by him.

    Yet even knowing that, Isaac was, for all intents and purposes, still determined to confer the patriarchy upon Esau, the unholy son with no future. I hate to say it, but I strongly suspect Isaac was becoming somewhat deranged; especially because of the feelings he entertained about his supposedly imminent death.

    Anyway, he did pronounce the blessing upon Jacob; and did so under the very inspiration of God, though Isaac himself was trying to thwart the will of God all the while he was speaking.

    Just so, many years later, the infamous prophet for profit, Balaam, in Numbers 22, 23, and 24, was forced to bless Israel even against his own will.

    And in the days of Jesus of Nazareth (John 11:49-52) the high priest spoke prophetically of the meaning of Jesus' death; though the priest himself did not understand the real import of what he was saying; nor even put any stock at all in his own words.

    The blessing which, by God's edict, should have gone to Jacob in the first place, was indeed finally pronounced upon him by his father in spite of Isaac's lack of willingness to do so. He was tricked into it, yes; but by thunder that shouldn't have been necessary.

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  11. WebersHome

    WebersHome Active Member

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    Rom 8:15-16 . . You have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out: Abba! Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

    Gal 4:6-7 . . Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His son into our hearts, crying: Abba! Father! Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

    The koiné Greek word translated "cry out" and "crying" is krazo (krad'-zo); a primary verb; properly, to "croak" (as a raven) or scream, i.e. (genitive case) to call aloud (shriek, exclaim, intreat)

    There are numerous instances in the gospels where krazo indicates a decibel level above and beyond the level of normal speech.

    Krazo's meanings easily convince me that abba should be understood as a vocative; and seeing as how the speakers of abba are children, the object of abba is a parent, then I see no sensible reason to doubt that abba is a filial vocative.

    The reason you are putting up such resistance is because you are an outsider who thinks that it's presumptuous and irreverent for God's children to associate with Him as their daddy. Well; God is my father, not yours, so it's my choice whether to continue associating with Him on a personal level; furthermore I'll thank you to keep your nose out of my family's business. Only a churl would dare to school someone else's children how best to associate with their own dad!

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  12. SteveCaruso

    SteveCaruso Translator

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    Abba is a vocative form (and the singular definite or "emphatic" form).

    No, the attested filial vocatives are, as I said, בבא baba, and פפי papi or פפא papa.

    The reason is that they are different words.

    ...is because I read, write, speak, and can pray in the language in question, and have translated it in a professional capacity for 15 years. I know what I'm talking about.

    Not only do I find these statements unbecoming of a fellow member of Christendom, you should be fully aware that they're also against the forum rules that you agreed upon in good faith before joining the conversation.

    Please reconsider your words.
     
  13. WebersHome

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    Continuing from post #210

    Genesis 27:30-38


    Gen 27:30-33a . . No sooner had Jacob left the presence of his father Isaac-- after Isaac had finished blessing Jacob --than his brother Esau came back from his hunt. He too prepared a dish and brought it to his father. And he said to his father: Let my father sit up and eat of his son's game, so that you may give me your innermost blessing. His father Isaac said to him: Who are you? And he said: I am your son, Esau, your first-born! Isaac was seized with very violent trembling.

    According to Jewish folklore, Isaac's first impulse, upon realizing he blessed the wrong son, was to retract the benediction from Jacob and give it to the son for whom it was intended; and would have except at that moment he saw Hell open beneath his feet, thus signifying that God was very displeased with his intentions; and if he persisted any longer to bless the wrong boy, he would suffer dire consequences. I would not be one bit surprised if that were true.

    It began to dawn on Isaac what had happened. The truth suddenly came home to him like a frigid blast of icy wind. In spite of all his intentions, God overruled Isaac, and he blessed the younger instead of the elder; like he was supposed to do in the first place.

    Furthermore, he realized he had been deceived by his true love Rebecca, and by his faithful son Jacob, whom he really hadn't appreciated very much up until now. I think he realized, that they, level-headed and sensible people that they were, deceived him in order to prevent the head of the house from doing what he very well knew he had no right to do. And God was in on the whole scheme, and had blessed Jacob through Isaac in spite of himself to the contrary. Jacob would indeed be blessed, just as he should have been all along.

    Gen 27:33b . .Who was it then-- he demanded --that hunted game and brought it to me? Moreover, I ate of it before you came, and I blessed him; now he must remain blessed!

    This was clearly the will of God and there was nothing Isaac could do to change it. He had tried to, but God stopped him. As the impact of these thoughts came over him, Isaac became very shaken. Emotions of all sorts must have overwhelmed him-- anger with Jacob, concern for Esau's future, heartbreak over Rebecca's treachery, resentment at having his own plans thwarted, and shame for having played the fool in such an important spiritual matter. All those feelings surely contributed to his trembling.

    Isaac quickly realized God had spoken to him in judgment, and that he had incurred great peril to himself in so ignoring the will of God. He had betrayed the trust of his father Abraham and had practically destroyed his own home; all because of a carnal appetite and parental adulation of a favorite son's physical exploits. No wonder the poor man was shaking so badly.

    Gen 27:34a . .When Esau heard his father's words, he burst into wild and bitter sobbing,

    The word for "sobbing" is wayits'aq which is from tsa' aq (tsaw-ak') and means: to shriek.

    I have a feeling the shriek that wrenched up out of Esau's lungs is the very same hysterical emotion that millions of damned will feel at The Great White Throne judgment of Rev 20:11-15 when the grim reality of their fate finally sinks in that they have lost Heaven forever. It's beyond words.

    At the first, Esau entered his dad's room with cheerful anticipation. Then quite bluntly, Isaac blurts out that someone beat him to it. Watching his dad shivering, and seeing the look of fear wash over the patriarch's face, the awful truth became only too apparent and Esau gave vent to his disappointment with a dreadful scream.

    Gen 27:34b . . and said to his father: Bless me too, Father!

    In Esau's mind, his dad really hadn't intended to bless Jacob; and was actually hoodwinked into it; so surely God couldn't possibly honor the fraudulent blessing. Isaac could just simply retract his words and bless the older son like he wanted to. But no. It was far more serious than either Esau or his dad imagined; which by now, via God's Spirit, Isaac was fully aware.

    Gen 27:34c . . But he answered: Your brother came with guile and took away your blessing.

    That was really only a half truth; no doubt told with the intent to prevent alienating his eldest son. The fact of the matter is: Isaac couldn't change anything now even if he wanted to; and he knew it too because by now he was fully reminded of God's original mandate regarding the two boys even before they were born. Hardly knowing how to explain his wanton error to Esau, he simply blamed Jacob for it. But it was Isaac's fault all along. He should never have led Esau to believe he would get the blessing. So many dads cannot admit they made a mistake in the way they raised their kids. Isaac was certainly no better.

    Gen 27:36a . . [Esau] said: Was he, then, named Jacob that he might supplant me these two times? First he took away my birthright and now he has taken away my blessing!

    Esau bitterly recalled that Jacob had taken away his birthright-- of course conveniently forgetting that he saw no value in it and traded his privilege for a measly bowl of porridge.

    Gen 27:36b-38 . . And he added: Have you not reserved a blessing for me? Isaac answered, saying to Esau: But I have made him master over you: I have given him all his brothers for servants, and sustained him with grain and wine. What, then, can I still do for you, my son? And Esau said to his father: Have you but one blessing, Father? Bless me too, Father! And Esau wept aloud.

    It must have been a strange sight to see such a virile, strong, athletic he-man screaming like a woman and bawling like a little girl. Agonizingly, he begged his dad for a blessing of some kind for himself, probably hoping that somehow God, through his father's intercession, could be persuaded to change His mind. The portion of the blessing, which no doubt appealed to Esau the most-- that of political superiority and material security-- had been irrevocably given to Jacob; and all the blubbering in the world couldn't change the situation now.

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  14. SteveCaruso

    SteveCaruso Translator

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    If it's by one's fruits you know them, then I know you're not trustworthy, because you had to agree to the Rules of this forum before participating and one of the rules is:

    Why would you give your word and then go back upon it again so quickly – after such as short exchange with someone whom you know so little about – when you were just reminded about how you gave your word in the first place? And you claim the authority of the Spirit for your interpretations? :-/

    If this is how you respond to simple discussion about a linguistic myth that is less than 100 years old...
     
  15. WebersHome

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    Continuing from post #213

    Genesis 27:39-42a


    Gen 27:39-40 . . And his father Isaac answered, saying to him: See, your abode shall be [away from] the fat of the earth and [from] the dew of heaven above. Yet by your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restive, you shall break his yoke from your neck.

    The words in the brackets don't actually appear in the Hebrew text. But according to a foot note in the 1985 JPS Tanakh; the meaning of the Hebrew is just what you see. Jacob's side of the family was granted the best water, fertile soils, and abundant yields. In contrast, Esau's side of the family would live in regions plagued with geological shortages of water, arable land, and natural pastures.

    Isaac's prediction was fulfilled by the very nature of the rugged region that came to be known as the land of Edom. The Edomites, in general, lived in violence and subjection to Israel; remaining essentially independent until David's time, but then were subjugated permanently after that in spite of frequent rebellions and temporary partial freedom. Finally, Edom disappeared as a nation by that name: the little prophecy of Obadiah explains why.

    Esau's life of indifference to spiritual matters-- in spite of being born to one of the most privileged heritages possible --had finally caught up with him and it was too late even for regrets.

    Gen 27:41 . . Now Esau harbored a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing which his father had given him, and Esau said to himself: Let but the mourning period of my father come, and I will kill my brother Jacob.

    Well, he had a long wait ahead of him. Isaac lived another 45 years.

    But isn't it odd how the human spirit desires to kill-- not just desire for harm and misfortune; but to the gravest extreme?

    A few years ago, out here on a highway in Oregon, traffic was slowed. So a man tried to get ahead of it by driving on the shoulder to pass everyone up. As he went by a pick-up truck with some men in it, one of them threw a paper cup at him. He dropped back and fired a gun into the pick-up, killing one of the passengers.

    That is so typical of the feelings that overwhelm human beings when they're angry. They want blood, and no other form of revenge will satisfy. Is it possible that there is anybody out there who has never wished that somebody would die?

    Esau's personality changed dramatically. He went from an indifferent, carefree outdoor sportsman to a bitter, vindictive neurotic. The thought of his sissy brother ruling over him-- the superior son who was always admired and idolized for his strength and prowess --was just too much for Esau to bear.

    Gen 27:42a . . When the words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebecca,

    You know, if criminals would just keep their mouths shut they might get away with a whole lot more crimes. But no, they just have to tell somebody about it. Esau must have vented his bitterness to some of the servants who, in turn, leaked it to Rebecca.

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  16. WebersHome

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    Genesis 27:42b-45


    Gen 27:42b-43a . . she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him: Your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. Now, my son, listen to me.

    Again showing herself to be a woman of quick decision, Rebecca called Jacob and told him exactly what to do. Not wishing for a war between her sons, she thought it best to send Jacob away for a while.

    Gen 27:43b-45 . . Flee at once to Haran, to my brother Laban. Stay with him a while, until your brother's fury subsides-- until your brother's anger against you subsides --and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will fetch you from there. Let me not lose you both in one day!

    The word for "fury" is from chemah (khay-maw') and/or chema' (khay-maw') which means: heat. The word for "anger" is from 'aph (af) which means: the nose or nostril; hence, the face, and occasionally a person; also (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire.

    (chuckle) Ol' Esau was indeed a passionate man. But his was not the lingering passion of a scented candle, or of a Yule log, which burn slowly for a long time. His rage burned more like a tumbleweed; a flashing, momentary flame that would soon pass. Esau might hold a grudge, but he wouldn't go on red faced and breathing heavy about it for very long.

    Moody, introspective people, often stay upset for long periods of time; which really exasperates the Esau types who usually get over things quickly. The Esau types are happy to let personal conflicts blow over and then move on. But the moody types are always wanting to dredge up unresolved hurts and argue about them again and again for the Nth time until someone finally listens.

    Some lawsuits, like the one between President Clinton and Paula Jones, often cannot be settled out of court because personalities like hers want an admission of guilt and an apology. Money is out of the question, and an insult to boot, because people like Paula Jones are never satisfied with anything less than a public hanging.

    Knowing Esau's nature, Rebecca figured his rage would pass away quickly and he would soon return to his typical carefree ways. Unfortunately, it was past twenty years before Jacob came back home, and there is no record that he ever saw his mom again.

    Rebecca's stratagem was indeed costly, but it could have gone much worse if Jacob had stayed home. Surely any attempt by Esau to kill Jacob would have resulted in Esau's death; the Lord protecting Jacob for future use. But I think Rebecca feared Esau might succeed and then become permanently alienated from the family like Cain was after killing his brother Abel. So she would, in effect, lose both boys in one day just as grandma Eve did.

    Rebecca-- the bright, discreet lass that she was --no doubt had counted all the costs of her scheme; and believed the issue was vital enough to require her to do what she did. As a matter of fact, later events proved that she was correct. Esau did soon get over his rage, and he prospered quite adequately in a material sense. Jacob never did really lord it over him, which was probably all Esau really cared about anyway.

    Both boys survived this calamitous event: hubby Isaac too. And Jacob went on to spawn the people of Israel, thus making a line to Messiah; by whom the Serpent's head would be crushed, and the entire world blessed beyond measure.

    They say all's well that ends well. Maybe. Rebecca's family was fractured, and she lost the companionship of a really good son. Hers was a sacrifice of the heart. I would really like to see Rebecca compensated for that some day.

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  17. WebersHome

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    Genesis 27:46


    Gen 27:46 . . And Rebecca said to Isaac: I am weary of living because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, I might as well die.

    Abraham purchased a cemetery plot from Heth's clan back in chapter 23.

    I think Rebecca was becoming very lonely for the company of daughters-in-law of a kindred spirit. Christians considering marriage should really give some serious thought to how their parents feel about a prospective spouse. It's just not fair to force your choice down there throat with the haughty protest: It's MY life!

    No man is an island, entire of itself;
    Every man is a piece of the continent:
    A part of the main.
    --
    John Donne,1624 --

    All that people do, everything they say, every decision they make; has a ripple effect.

    You know, Isaac really wasn't a bad man. But something happened to him that made him lose interest in his patriarchal duties. I really do think the man was having problems with depression; which may have been associated somehow with his eyesight.

    What if you could never again see Orion and the Milky Way, nor a sunset, nor the colors of the rainbow, nor watch the flight of migrating geese or a buzzing humming bird, nor see the bees busily collecting their pollen, nor the wind shaking the trees, nor the fluorescent colors of Autumn foliage, nor the splendor of the Grand Canyon, nor a spider's web illuminated from behind by morning sunlight, nor the ocean's waves, nor fireworks on the 4th of July? And what about all the things you haven't seen yet? Defective eyesight would prevent you from ever seeing the things that you missed.

    There is a well known syndrome that occurs in men called male menopause; and also known by it's other name: andropause. Although male menopause is related to the aging process-- with resultant hormonal reductions --men's problems aren't caused by the very same kinds of changes that occur in women. Women's menopausal difficulties are chiefly chemical. But with men, it's mostly psychological.

    One of the primary symptoms of andropause is depression. Not just bouts of depression that come and go, but the chronic kind. Every day, every night: feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness plague men afflicted with chronic depression. They feel useless, they feel they'll never be any good again, they feel expendable; and they feel unnecessary. But worse, they feel unlovable; viz: not only do they feel like no one cares whether they live or die, but they feel it is impossible for anyone to care about them at all.

    It isn't unusual for men to rapidly deteriorate and die during the first eighteen months of their retirement years. Why? Because their jobs, and their careers, made their lives meaningful and worthwhile. It gave them a reason to live. It gave them strong feelings of value, it made them creative and gave them feelings of self worth and self esteem, and feelings of belonging in a man's world. At career's end, they feel expended and expendable; actually losing interest in living and it's almost as if they will themselves to pass away because there's nothing left to live for, and people begin treating them like children instead of mature adults.

    When we're young and spry, we look forward to the future with optimism and anticipation. But when we're older, there is nothing in life to look forward to anymore but falling apart and leaving it. All the good stuff is over. And it doesn't help having our bodies deteriorate along the way.

    I really think that Isaac's handicap robbed him of all reasonable optimism; and he saw no reason to go on living; especially at his age. Because of that, he had no spirit for patriarchal duties. When the boys brought him food that day, both of them asked their dad to sit up and eat. Sit up!? What the heck was he doing lying down? Well, I think he was lying around all day feeling sorry for himself, that's what. Life had become uninteresting to Isaac, and he was no longer one tough cookie; but rather, one whipped puppy.

    But not so Rebecca. No, No; not that quick-legged Aquarian. She was a fighter, she was a Rocky Balboa. Becky had a head on her shoulders. Ever the strong decisive woman, she put a bug in Isaac's ear to send Jacob away to find a spouse. Yes, she was being cunning again; but in the right of it too: as usual. It was a whole lot better for Jacob to depart with his dad's good will than running away from home without saying good-bye.

    Now that the blessing had actually been dispensed, and it was very clear to Isaac that Jacob was God's choice to perpetuate Abraham's covenant, there was no excuse to delay any longer in the matter of finding his son a suitable wife because men don't live forever, Their children have to take up the flame and carry it forward. Jacob was a virile man at this point in his life; but that's getting ready to change. This fact, combined with the immediate danger of another Cain-and-Abel episode, was more than enough reason for Isaac to send Jacob away.

    Rebecca's personal desire for Jacob to have a wife from her own people, one with whom she could have fellowship rather than the continual friction she experienced with Esau's Hittite wives, compelled her to convince Isaac that her own life wouldn't be worth living anymore if Jacob married the same kinds of impious women as his brother's.

    Was Rebecca a good wife? Even though she tricked her husband? And even though she was strong and decisive? I really believe she was because even in the US Navy, sometimes a captain needs his first officer to take over and run the ship till he's better.

    "The Lord God said; It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him." (Gen 2:18)

    Isaac benefited from his dad Abraham's wisdom; and he had the providence of God to thank in the selection of his wife. Rebecca really saved the day, and got Isaac back up on his patriarchal feet. If it wasn't for her, nothing would have turned out right. She was indeed the perfect mate for that particular man. Unlike Eve who brought her man down; Becky propped her man up.

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  18. WebersHome

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    Genesis 28:1-7


    Gen 28:1a . . So Isaac sent for Jacob and blessed him. He instructed him:

    This is the first time, at least on record, that Isaac has shown any real interest in Jacob's spiritual condition. You just have to wonder if Jacob received any religious instruction at all from his dad. I would not be surprised if Rebecca has been Jacob's only tutor up to this point.

    Isaac went through a very traumatic experience. I think he was shaken, and it appears to have succeeded in bringing him back to his senses. Now he renders upon Jacob the full extent of Abraham's blessing; which he really should have done a long time ago.

    Gen 28:1b-4 . .You shall not take a wife from among the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother's father, and take a wife there from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. May El Shaddai bless you, make you fertile and numerous, so that you become an assembly of peoples. May He grant the blessing of Abraham to you and your offspring, that you may possess the land where you are sojourning, which God assigned to Abraham.

    It would have been much wiser of course, if circumstances had permitted, to keep Jacob at home and dispatch a trusted servant up to Haran to fetch a wife back down to Canaan like Abraham did for Isaac. But at this point, I guess that option was out of the question. Isaac's patriarchal laxity is having quite a domino effect upon Jacob's future. He's going to be tricked into taking two wives, sisters at that, and squander twenty years of his life indentured to a very crafty, dishonest man.

    Gen 28:5 . .Then Isaac sent Jacob off, and he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebecca, mother of Jacob and Esau.

    I just have to wonder if Isaac would have thought of Laban at all if not for Rebecca putting a bug in his ear.

    Not only was Laban an Aramean, but so were Abraham, Lot, Sarah, and Rebecca. The boys (Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and Esau) were born in Canaan. So of what country were they? Canaan wasn't a united sovereignty like the USA. It was a frontier territory. Along the coast were Philistine colonies; the remainder populated by many communities scattered all over the place much like Native American peoples were in America's early days.

    I don't know about Ishmael and Esau, but Isaac and Jacob looked ahead to a future country that they would call home. That country didn't exist just yet in Jacob's day, but it would eventually, and he would be a somebody there-- Abraham's covenant guarantees it. Those men haven't missed out on anything. According to the New Testament's Jesus, they will all return some day and live in that land as citizens in land promised to Abraham.

    "I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 8:11)

    The writer of Hebrews said, that although those three men were pilgrims in Canaan, they will one day live inside it as citizens in a town of their own.

    "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Heb 11:8-10)

    I don't know exactly how much detail those men knew in their day; but that "city with foundations" is going to be some piece of work. (cf. Rev 21:2-27)

    Gen 28:6-7 . .When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, charging him, as he blessed him "You shall not take a wife from among the Canaanite women" and that Jacob had listened to his father and mother and gone to Paddan-aram,

    That had to shake Esau up even more. Up to this point, for many, many years, he had been daddy's little boy. Now, practically overnight, Jacob takes center stage. It must have been very disturbing and I have no doubt it made Esau feel extremely insecure; probably for the first time in his life.

    Jacob listened to his parents. The difference between Jacob and Esau really shows in that respect. Esau did pretty much whatever he pleased. But Jacob wasn't like that. Even at 75 years old he took his parents advice. American kids today are famous for ignoring their parents guidance; and they usually end up regretting it too.

    His dad was smart all along, but the boy was too immature at the time to see it. He thought smartness came packaged with youth. In his mind; older people were expendable, obsolete, and out of touch with reality. But education doesn't necessarily make one wise: just conceited.

    Although Esau was Isaac's favorite, I really don't think he ever disciplined, scolded, nor lectured his eldest son for anything. I think he let Esau run wild so as to avoid stressing their relationship. Even though Esau's wives were a misery to Isaac and Rebecca, apparently no one ever spoke up and said anything about it till now; and as a result; Esau fell for one of the oldest ruses in the book:

    A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong;
    Gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
    --
    Thomas Paine --

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  19. WebersHome

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    Genesis 28:8-12a


    Gen 28:8 . . Esau realized that the Canaanite women displeased his father Isaac.

    Now that Esau no longer enjoyed the status of a pampered athlete, he's a little more attuned to the opinions of others around him; most especially to the dad who at one time gave the impression his eldest was so wonderful.

    Gen 28:9a . . So Esau went to Ishmael and took to wife, in addition to the wives he had,

    Some feel that Esau did that to create an alliance with Ishmael; since he too was a disfavored son. But Ishmael was already deceased by this time. He was at least fourteen years older than Isaac, who was by this time around 135. Ishmael died at 137; twelve years prior to this chapter. It is much more likely that Esau betrothed a woman from Ishmael's family in an attempt to redeem his marriages to the Hittite girls. Ishmael's girls, at least, were kin.

    Gen 28:9b . . Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, sister of Nebaioth.

    Ishmael being long dead; his son Nebaioth made the arrangements for marriage.

    You know, life sometimes dealt cruelly with girls in that day. Romance was out of the question. Even if there was a boy in the neighborhood that took their breath away, the girls weren't allowed to even date, let alone marry him. They had to marry a man their dads or their brothers selected-- oftentimes a total stranger and often someone quite a bit older than themselves. You'll often see it said in the Bible that so and so loved a particular girl; but hardly ever will you see where she loved him back.

    I believe that Abraham was a conscientious parent and made certain Ishmael received religious training. By the time Ishmael was evicted at fifteen or so, he had a pretty good basic knowledge regarding Abraham's god. And his mom Hagar was familiar with Him too. So it would not surprise me if Mahalath was pretty sound in the correct beliefs. She was a much better choice than the Hittite girls, and she is never once said to be a heartbreak to either Isaac or Rebecca. I would like to think Mahalath was very good company for Rebecca; which would have been a real comfort to her now that Jacob was gone.

    Unfortunately, Mahalath was too little too late. It was like closing the gate after the horses have run out of the corral. I'm sure Mahalath was okay; but Esau's new wife could never change God's decree concerning Jacob. Esau lost out: and he lost out big.

    Gen 28:10 . . Jacob left Beer-sheba, and set out for Haran.

    It's difficult for me to believe that Jacob made the 450 mile trip to Haran all by himself. He may have, I don't know. I'm not saying he didn't. After all, Hagar was apparently traveling alone when she ran away from Sarah back in chapter 16. But that was a very dangerous, foolish thing to do. A lone person in wild country is just asking for trouble. What if they were to fall and break a leg? Or were attacked by brigands and wild animals?

    The route to Haran was used by caravans so Jacob may have traveled along with one for safety's sake; and if not then maybe with travelers on foot like himself sort of like the pilgrims who trek the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

    Gen 28:11a . . He came upon a certain place

    According to Gen 28:19, the "certain place" was Bethel. The site started out as Luz; but later came to be known by the name Jacob gave it. Today it's commonly believed Bethel was somewhere around Beitin, about twelve miles north of Jerusalem and maybe two and a half miles northeast of Ramallah. At this point, Jacob was maybe sixty miles from Beer-sheba-- probably the second or third day of his journey.

    Gen 28:11b . . and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set.

    Travel at night without a car with good electric headlights was not a good idea in those days. Palestine was once the habitat of bears and lions; and the odds were against you of getting lost and losing your way in the dark.

    Gen 28:11c . .Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place.

    I doubt the stone was very large. Probably just enough to elevate his head a little so he wouldn't lie with his cheek right down on flat dirt. That is so uncomfortable. Try it. Put a towel or something down on the floor and lie down on the side of your head. It's much more comfortable to stack a few books first and then put the towel down. He probably did it like that and cushioned the stone with a bag or a coat.

    Gen 28:12a . . He had a dream;

    In the book of Genesis, dreams are a common means of communication between God and human beings. Is that still going on? I really don't know. But if it ever happened to me, I would consider it a nightmare.

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  20. WebersHome

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    Genesis 28:12b-14


    Gen 28:12b . . a ladder was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of God were going up and down on it.

    The word for "ladder" is from cullam (sool-lawm') which is actually a staircase. This is the one and only place in the entire Old Testament where that specific word is used. One of the problems with Old Testament Hebrew is that scholars are not quite sure what some of the ancient words really mean. Cullam could just as easily mean an elevator or an escalator. In Jacob's era, even ziggurats were a common staircase to heaven. (cf. Gen 11:4)

    There's something very conspicuous about the staircase in Jacob's dream: there were no people on it-- only the angels of God. So what does that mean? Well . . the staircase was, after all, merely a figment, not a reality. But it has to signify something real or it would be just a big fat waste of a perfectly good vision. I would say the staircase clearly represents, at the very least, an avenue to God.

    But why show Jacob a stairway to heaven if human beings weren't using it in his day? I think that the very existence of a pathway to God meant that one day not only angels, but human beings too would be using it-- because, in reality, that stairway represents Christ; Jacob's great, great, great grandson. (cf. John 1:45-51)

    Gen 28:13a . . And behold, Yhvh stood above it and said: I am Yhvh God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac;

    On the page of Scripture, this is Jacob's very first close encounter with his father's god. Till now, Yhvh had been merely data in Jacob's head; something he picked up in home-school yeshiva.

    I started out in life baptized an infant into Roman Catholicism; subsequently attending catechism and completing First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. But with all that training; God remained remote, distant, and alien. I experienced the very same disconnection that Mother Teresa experienced during her whole five decades as a missionary in India. (see Mother Teresa / Come and Be My Light. by Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC. ISBN 978-0-385-52037-9)

    But then in 1968 at the age of 24; events led me to a Conservative Baptist church in Portland Oregon where I kneeled down front at the rail with the pastor and some elders, and prayed a really brief, stupid prayer that went something like this:

    "Lord, I'm a sinner. I would like to take advantage of your son's death."

    While saying my brief, unrehearsed prayer, I became strangely aware of a heavy chair just in front of the rail, suspended maybe about four feet above the floor, and a bit off to my left, with a lone figure sitting on it looking in my direction. I couldn't really make out the face, but the person intently observed me speak every single syllable of my stupid, naïve prayer. The apparition didn't speak a single word and vanished as quickly as it appeared. I was thoroughly unraveled by the image, and could hardly wait to get up and get out of there. Needless to say; I told no one what I saw.

    Man is a very psychological creature. It's entirely possible I was just experiencing a strong mental aberration brought on by emotion or some kind of anxiety attack; who really knows for sure. But I know what I experienced; and I have always believed at that instant the Bible's God made Himself real to me in a very special way. It was the very first time in my life that God was ever so nearby, and it really shook me up; I kid you not.

    Exactly why God chose to become personal with Jacob at just that moment in his life is a mystery. But the moment came not around the dinner table at home with family; but actually when Jacob stepped away from his family.

    It was as if Jacob's own family-- the holiest family on earth at the time-- the keepers of the knowledge of the one true god --was actually hindering Jacob's spiritual progress; and if anything is to be learned at all from his experience, it's that his own father, the spiritual head of the house, was the one to blame for it. It certainly wasn't Rebecca; no, not when it was to her that God revealed the eldest of the two lads would serve the younger: and I'm very curious why God didn't repeat His edict to Isaac.

    Gen 28:13b-14 . . the ground on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring. Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants.

    Those are essentially the very same promises that God originally made to Abraham. The most important one, that of blessing to all nations, has been passed on down, not to all the descendants of Abraham, but only to special ones. Beginning with Isaac, then Jacob, then to Judah, and eventually to David, and then to Messiah.

    Not all Hebrews are a blessing to all the families of the earth. Only those Hebrews who inherited the patriarchy are a blessing because it is through them that Messiah's line has existed. The other Hebrews really don't count for much in that respect except that the nation, as a whole, is credited with safe-keeping the Bible. (Rom 3:1-2)

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