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Levi/Simeon Cursed by Jacob & Yet Blessed by God: Did God Reverse Jacob's Judgement?

Discussion in 'Messianic Judaism' started by Gxg (G²), Dec 6, 2012.

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  1. mercy1061

    mercy1061 Newbie

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    Excellent point. As we can all see there is never prejudice on the part of the Canaanites. The Cannanites always allowed the hebrews to marry them, it were the hebrews that had a problem with intermarriage. The Egyptians also were prejudice against the hebrews; the Egyptians did bind the hebrews into cruel bondage. Prejudice=slavery, the hebrews did not drive them out as they were commanded but allowed many of them to live. The hebrews could populate the land more quickly by marrying the Canaanites; marrying their own siblings produced fewer descendants. The hebrews only killed the men who entered circumcision, but they took their wives and children captive.

    Gen 34
    28 They took their flocks, cattle and donkeys, and everything else, whether in the city or in the field, 29 everything they owned. Their children and wives they took captive, and they looted whatever was in the houses.




    Neither would be justified, but the Cannanites permitted Judah's marriage to their daughter even after Levi and Simeon's "blood circumcision" deception occurred.



    Amen.
     
  2. pat34lee

    pat34lee Messianic

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    Agreed, and that is why he never went to her again. But he failed in what was his duty. When his last son was old enough, he did not keep his promise to have the son marry her in order to keep the command.
     
  3. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Seeing tat Judah marrying a Canaanite was not approved as if that was what God was looking for, it is again an issue of God working through things DESPITE mistakes rather than because of it. There was already precedent with the Hebrews not seeking to marry Cannanites and the fact that Judah was doing so is just as much an issue like it was for Abraham and Rebekah and others who noted the same issues. Neither Dinah's Marriage was justified nor was Judah's - although in the event of Judah, the Lord still used it just like with other things since the marriage had already been done (against His Will) and things went from there. That's radically different from arguing that someone SHOULD have gotten married as it concerns Dinah's situation where she was both raped/given a marriae proposal by a foreigner who never should have been involved with the Hebrews.

    Arguing that Judah's having children with Tamar was NOT a Levirate marriage does nothing to change the fact that it was still included with the child being valid/a part of the line that the Hebrews continued to descend from - even to the time of Christ.

    Tamar has been widowed while still young and has no children. Judah, who had given her as wife to his son, is now responsible for her, i.e., for the continuation of the family of the prematurely deceased. The custom of the levirate marriage meets this situation. Levirate "marriage" is the custom whereby, if childless, the brother (or other male relative) of a deceased man is required to marry or father a child with the deceased's wife. A son begotten by the brother is then considered son and heir of the deceased. Otherwise, as a widow, the wife would return to her father's family (Von Rad, 358). This custom is an emergency measure with a stamp of family law, found not only inside Israel and Canaan, but also outside in similar circumstances.

    In the Old Testament, this family law custom is found only three times: Genesis 38, Ruth, and Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The duty of levirate (as shown in Ruth) is not binding only on the brother-in-law, but also other male relatives. The meaning of the custom is explained in Deu. 25:6: "that his name may not be blotted out of Israel." Secondary economic factors are also present. The widow cannot inherit her husband's property. Only her children can, so she is reliant on them. If she has a child by the levirate custom, the property of the deceased then passes on to that child. Susan Niditch sees the levirate custom as playing a very important societal role. According to her argument, women in ancient Near Eastern society gained their status from males to whom they were attached. Women not in the category of daughter, wife, or mother are without patriarchal protection and "in a sense are misfits in the social structure.

    Through levirate duty, the male relative helps society to avoid one sociological misfit, the young childless widow. In a sense, the levirate duty reaffirms the young widow's place in the home of her husband's people. In the narrative in question, Judah following custom requires Onan to sleep with Tamar, but Onan rejects his obligation toward his dead brother. Judah should have given Tamar to his youngest son according to the regulation and paternal obligation. He does do not do so, however, and Tamar seizes initiative - she will procure for herself her right to have a son from husband's family. It is Genesis 38 which shows that originally the widow had right only to a descendent, not marriage. Tamar doesn't marry Onan, nor is that her intent with Judah. When Tamar's pregnancy is discovered and Judah shown to be the father, this unusual adherence to the levirate law takes precedence over an incest law. While the commentators sometimes speak of the levirate custom as "law", it should be noted that this time period was long before the formal giving of the law at Sinai.

    What is the purpose of the Judah and Tamar narrative? And what theology does it imply? Part of its purpose is to simply report on one of the sons of Jacob. One important aspect of the passage is that is establishes the line of Judah (described later in Ruth) which then leads to David and eventually to Christ. It is remarkable that the line of Christ includes such a colorful story....

    One can see the same principle of God working through grave mistakes/violations even in the life of Moses. For even though he was a Hebrew, it seems that the line he came from already seemed to have some sticky situations tolerated. He was the son of Amram, son of Kohath, and grandson of Levi. He married his own aunt, Jochebed, Kohath's sister, by whom he became the father of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (Exodus 2:1, Ex. 6:18-20, Num 3:19/Numbers 3:18-20, Numbers 26:57-59 , 1 Chronicles 6:1-3 /1 Chronicles 6, 1 Chronicles 23:11-13 , etc.) From him were descended the Amramites, a Kohathite branch of the tribe of Levi. This family is mentioned in the record of the Mosaic census (Numbers 3:26-28) and in 1 Chronicles 26:22-24/ 1 Chronicles 26 where is given the account of the organization of the Levites in David's time.

    The fact that Moses had a father who married his aunt is very disturbing, although it seems that incest was allowed in differing forms prior to the Mosaic Law when the Lord forbidden----but it still was problematic, like with Lot having relations with his daughters when he was drunk ( Genesis 19:29-31 /Genesis 19 ) and Tamar having children by her father-in-law (Judah) in Genesis 38 (very controversial). The Lord chose to work through the situations....and the same seemed to be the case with Moses, who perhaps had similar if not circumcised by his incest-prone father.
     
  4. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Incorrect, seeing the other examples within the Word where the Canaanites did not act favorably toward the Hebrews. What happened for Isaac and the Philistines plugging up his wells/harming property is one example amongst others - and the same goes for others being sold into slavery by other Cannanites.

    There's no escaping the fact that God outlined in plain terms that he did not want any type of voluntary seeking out of marriage to other Canaanites who did not serve Him...and avoiding that is avoiding the command of GOD for the sake of supporting an point.
    Genesis 28:1
    So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman.
    Genesis 28:1-3

    History wise, Genesis 24 contains the account of how Abraham sent his servant to get Abraham’s son Isaac a wife, Rebekah, from among Abraham’s relatives back in Mesopotamia. The servant had to swear that he would not take a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites among whom Abraham lived (verse 3). This has been seen by some as Abraham being against racial intermarriage as such. But understanding what God was doing in Abraham’s life and family reveals Abraham’s real motive.

    God had promised Abraham that He would give the land of Canaan to his descendants (Genesis 15:18–21; 17:8).

    These descendants were the Israelites. Obviously, to give the land of Canaan to the Israelites, also meant God would take it away from the Canaanites. Before Abraham fully understood what God was doing, he and his wife Sarah agreed—because they were at that time childless—to have a child (Ishmael) with Sarah’s handmaiden, Hagar (Genesis 16). Hagar was an Egyptian (verse 1), of a different ethnicity than Abraham; yet Abraham apparently had no personal qualms about this. But after the birth of Isaac to Sarah and Abraham, and after Abraham better understood what God was doing, he was careful not to allow Isaac to marry a woman from among the peoples whom God would cast out of the land when He brought the Israelites into their inheritance.

    The reason for this is quite simple. If the difference between Abraham’s family and the people of the land of Canaan became indistinct through intermarriage (which brought about issues of religious practices), God could not kick the Canaanites out and give the land to the Israelites; they would be one, indistinct people. If intermarriage began as far back in the lineage as Abraham, God would be giving the land as much to people of Canaanite religions as to Abraham’s seed.

    This explains why Isaac and Rebekah were grieved by Esau’s marrying women from Canaan (Genesis 26:34–35; 28:8). But, even though he was the elder, Esau did not inherit. The Promised Land was not to be his inheritance; it was to go to the descendants of his younger brother, Jacob. And Jacob took wives, Rachel and Leah, from Abraham’s family, again keeping the line pure for the sake of the inheritance.

    A generation later, however, we see Judah take a Canaanite wife (Genesis 38:2). She bears him three sons. Two of them die as described in Genesis 38. The third son, Shelah lives. We don’t know who he married, but he did have children (1 Chronicles 4:21–23). Joseph married an Egyptian (Genesis 41:45, 50). Even Moses married an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1). Significantly, God did not consider this interracial marriage justification for Moses’ brother and sister (Aaron and Miriam) to speak against him (see Numbers 12). And Salmon married Rahab of Jericho (Joshua 2), a mixed marriage that we find in the ancestry of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). However, a common theme with all of the other marriages (except for Judah's marriages to Cannanite) was that they were followers of the Lord and thus there was no issue.

    Later, marriages between the Israelites and Canaanites became common, but with bad results that had nothing to do with race/ethnicity and everything to do with religion (Judges 3:6). The mixed marriages caused the Israelites to serve the Canaanites’ gods. When the faithful Israelites returned to their land after the captivity, marriage with the Canaanites was again forbidden (Ezra 9–10). The reason is clearly stated as being because the marriages had caused the Israelites to do "according to their abominations.... For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands" (Ezra 9:1–2). It was not because of racial concerns, but because of religion that the marriages were forbidden; the non-Israelite spouses were causing the Israelites to turn away from God.

    Seeing that no one disagreed with the fact that the sons (Simeon/Levi) included were out in the fields and didn't tell Jacob anything since they DID NOT KNOW until they got home/the matter was discussed, there was no need to even focus on it as if it was an issue.
    Please with the attempt at argument via exaggeration, as it doesn't deal with the discussion and is really beneath anyone to try attempting - as if disagreeing with you on an issue means that I (or anyone else) would see it differently if my children were raped. If my child was violated and I didn't know about it fully except through the grapevine, I'd not assume that my other children automatically knew....as they could be just as clueless. I would also not agree at ANY point in giving my daughter in marriage to the one who raped her to try to make it less of an issue. Sin is sin and the rapist would go to jail - or, in the event that I find out who did it, the rapist would be seriously injured afterward. Period.

    Yes you have..and at multiple points. But that's besides the point..

    Seeing that the witnesses need to have been present and one must also have evidence of what happened rather than hearsay alone, the same principles apply. Criminal cases have the same circumstances where a woman is raped and evidence is either ignored or people later testify to it later on - with family members often clueless as to what occurred and the woman who was raped not saying anything immediately except to a few friends ..or even not saying anything at all due to being afraid of what would happen if they told on the rapist/the rapist came back to harm them. Already have had friends who were raped and noted that on the issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  5. 1234321

    1234321 Junior Member

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    Luckily for all of us [humans,] our curses and/or blessings have no authority over what God blesses, and curses. Incidences as described in the original post give me hope, as I have cursed those that did not deserve it, and blessed some that do not deserve it.
     
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Personally, with Abraham and Sarah, I do believe that he was definately into the habit about lying on her identity...and I think there are other options present other than her being his neice.

    Truthfully, as Abraham was noted to have lied on many occassions, part of me has often wondered if perhaps what he said about Sarah being his sister was also a lie. Within Genesis 11, one can see the names of the children that Abraham's father had...and when it comes to mentioning their wives, what the text says is that Abrahm, Nahor and Haran were Terah's children. Haran died while the other two sons married...and only Nahor's wife, Milcah, was noted to be the daughter of Nahor's brother (Haran) in Genesis 11:29. But never is it mentioned about where Sarah came from..and it never says she was Terah's daughter from his wife. I've been of the mindset lately that Abraham was lying about Sarah coming from Terah just as he had lied earlier (And was notorious for doing).

    Sarah could've easily been a woman from the other nations and married into the family....and Abraham used the lie of her being his "half-sister" or "sister" out of convience just as he often did error on other things.

    And with anyone having concern with bringing Abraham's character into question, IMHO, one may wish to consider how he already seemed to be in the habit of treating others in stressful situations. Abimelech, whom he lied to in the first place, was a righteous man....and with a righteous man there was no need assuming that he'd treat Sari shamefully---or be unable to handle the truth in her being Abraham's husband. Abraham's comment in Genesis 20:11---where he stated "I did it because there is no fear of God in this place..."---betrays both his lack of faith in God and his misjudgement of the people of Geerar. The whole episode reveals that the King and His servants were God-fearing, as seen in Genesis 20:8 and Genesis 20:16-18 when Abimelech was exceedingly gracious/generous. His generosity, on top of his innocence, contrasts sharply with Abraham's self-serving deception regarding the truth about Sarah...for the king's actions were a very public affirmation that he had not acted inappropiately toward Sarah...and thus, he was not the father of any child she had. Abraham was shown in Genesis 20:12-13 to really have been a greater sinner than Abimelech. For when he says "at every place to which we have come I've said she was my sister", Abraham showed that he REGULARLY resorted to the wife-sister ruse for his own self protection. Genesis 12 and 20 seem to reveal that it did not always work...and only God's intervention protected Abraham's relationship with Sarah

    Abraham had used the same trick before to protect himself/his wife from others whom he automatically chose not to trust (Genesis 20:2)...despite how the Lord had already told Abraham that He would look out for them. Although Abraham is one of our heros of the faith, it seems he did not learn his lesson well enough the first time. In fact, by giving into temptation to lie in order to protect his wife/himself, he risked turning a sinful act into a a sinful pattern of lying whenever he suspected his life was in danger. And it literally placed the lives of others in danger that should have never been in such had he simply been honest. Because Abraham mistakenly/rashly assumed that Abumelech was a wicked man, he made a quick decision to tell a half-truth Abraham thought it would be more effective to deciecve Abimelech than to trust God to work in the King's life......and the all the wombs of innocents in the house of Abimelech were closed up. It was, of course, a protection given by God so that Abimelech would catch the picture and see he was in danger......for it was meant to change the situation rather than harm Abimelech.

    In some ways, it seems Abraham struggled with trusting others who were worthy of it as many do today when they'll remember instances where others endangered them---but then sabatouge all other relationships that are good...........even those who are on their side. The fact that God came through doesn't mean it was due to Abraham's actions---as many times, God will work DESPITE a problem rather than BECAUSE of it---just as He did with the mistake of Hagar/Ishmael in Genesis 16 and Genesis 21:8-20..which happened directly before the episode with Abimelech. God in His Mercy PREVENTED Abimelech for committing great sin due to the actions of another who sinned as well in misjudging without cause. Sometimes, one can tempt the Lord and place Him in positions where he MUST intervene even when He was not desiring to do so in a prescribed way. Its like people who don't study for a test for driving...and then when driving, they have others in the car whose lives are now at risk. Their praying and trusting God to help them doesn't mean God approved of their actions when he keeps them from a wreck....for they were still called to study/train. And due to lacking it, others almost got killed


    Going back to the identity of Sarah, some have suggested that Sarah's identity was that of Iscah...who is mentioned only once in Scripture. For examples of such, one can go to Iscah and Sarah | 3amthoughts.com</DIV>
    Gen 11:29
    Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of
    Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's
    wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father
    of Milcah and the father of Iscah.
    In this verse every other name mentioned is of biblical significance, so the name 'Iscah' may also refer to someone of some biblical relevance. Observing that her sister, Milcah, had married Nahor (Abraham's brother) many have thought Iscah may be merely another name for Sarai (ie Sarah), Abraham's wife. That is to say, that each brother had married a daughter of their other brother Haran.

    However, the meaning of the name 'Iscah', according to Strong's Concordance, is 'to watch' or 'observant'. Those who have thought Iscah was Sarah have considered the meaning of the name may refer to the well documented beauty of Sarah.

    There are some good reasons as to why Iscah is probably not Sarah. A critical text which has to be considered is Abraham's explanation of why his wife was also his sister.
    Gen 20:12
    But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
    This verse suggests that Abraham's father, Terah, was married to at least two women. To a lady who was the mother of Abraham and to another lady who was the mother of Sarah. Since the word 'father' in Hebrew can also refer to a grandfather, great grandfather, etc, and 'mother' can also refer to a grandmother, great grandmother etc., and 'daughter' can also refer to a grand daughter etc. , other possibilities exist.

    Although it's possible Sarah could be the niece of Abraham, such as Iscah was, it's also possible that Sarah could also be a younger daughter of one of Abraham's male ancestors provided there was a different mother. In interpreting Gen 20:12 we should also seriously consider the marriage laws in Lev 18:6-16 (repeated in chapter Genesis 20). While these laws were later documented as part of the Old Covenant regulations, it is also likely they were requirements expected to be adhered to in Abraham's time.

    Thus, the regulation against one marrying either the daughter of one's father would suggest Sarah was not Terah's biological daughter.

    Some suggest Sarah could not have been a half sister of Abraham. ..for in verse Gen 20:12 we also find mentioned that Sarah was truly Abraham's sister. Without a common biological parent the notion of 'sister' would suggest they both grew up in the very same family unit. Hence, while not biologically related, they would still regard themselves as truly brother and sister....similar to others today who grow up in families that are involving others together not biologically related and yet seeing themselves as "siblings".

    I've had many relationships like that and it's a trip - and the same thing goes for noting to others who are my aunts/uncles even though they're not biological since they fulfill a role (more shared here in #24 ).

    The statement "truly my sister" when combined with a different mother and a different biological father would suggest that Sarah's mother married Terah some time after Sarah had been conceived. Could Iscah have been Sarah? Gen 20:12 does not completely rule out that possibility. Terah being her grandfather would be acceptable and circumstances may have meant that they did in fact grow up in a single family unit. However, it does raise the question of whether 'truly my sister' was the most appropriate description given that the words 'daughter of my father's brother' would have better described their relationship.

    Age is another factor to consider.


    It is well known that Sarah was about 10 years younger than Abraham.
    Gen 17:17
    Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"
    It is this age difference of about 10 years when combined with how one interprets Gen 11:26 that really decides whether Iscah could still be Sarah.
    Gen 11:26
    Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot (fathered) Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
    Many choose to understand this verse to be saying that the first of the three brothers was born when Terah was 70 years old. This approach is taken by those who consider that the death of Abraham's 'father' in Act's 7:4 was a reference to the death of Terah.

    Hence, they believe Abraham was actually born when Terah was about 130 years of age. A few interpret this verse to mean that the last of the three brothers, i.e. Abraham, was born when Terah was 70 years old.

    In arriving at this conclusion reliance is made upon non-Scriptural material which indicates the older brothers were born when Terah was 38 years old. Some accept the face value meaning of this verse and feel that all three brothers were born when Terah was 70 years of age. This group do not agree that the 'father' in Act's 7:4 was Terah. Those who choose this option are not necessarily saying the brothers were triplets. For indeed there may have been several wives giving birth to these brothers. For those accepting the third option, that all brothers were born when Terah was 70 years of age, the issue of whether Iscah could beanother name for Sarah is clear.

    For it is apparent that Sarah would then be too old to be the niece of Abraham, too old to be Iscah.(As Iscah would had to have been fathered by Haran, when Haran was onlyabout ten years of age.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  7. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    So true...and it's why I'm thankful for the Grace of God to work through all things for His glory:)
     
  8. pat34lee

    pat34lee Messianic

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    While we cannot overrule YHWH on blessings or cursings, if we are believers, our words have power. Blessing those who don't deserve it is a good thing. YHWH does it for us all the time, and we should bless others indiscriminately.

    Cursing is another matter. For the most part, we are not to curse at all. (One area of many that I still need a lot of work in.) When Yeshua cursed the fig tree and it withered, did he do it just because it had no fruit? Or was it a lesson for the disciples on the power of his, and by extension their, words; whether for good or ill? One small miracle witnessed equals a hundred sermons.
     
  9. 1234321

    1234321 Junior Member

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    I agree that our words have power - extending from microorganisms (sickness) to demons, devils and the Enemy. When it comes to God's will, however, we don't have power over that. And, I also agree that blessing people who don't deserve it is a good thing, but I also agree that pearls should not be cast before swine.

    I agree, yet people curse others in more ways than they realize. It doesn't just mean a declaration of ill-intent toward an entity or object. Reviling and scoffing are two common "white" curses. Even hate is a curse. In essence, unless you truly love everyone (and everything,) you can curse or be cursed. This is why I said I am glad God has the authority over all blessings and curses. He is the one that allows them if He chooses. For example, people would be much worse off if every curse that has been expressed was granted.
     
  10. sevengreenbeans

    sevengreenbeans Remember Yosef

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    Haran died, so his daughters were probably raised or cared for by Terah. Haran could have had a different mother. And niece/uncle marriage is not a relationship forbidden by Torah.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  11. sevengreenbeans

    sevengreenbeans Remember Yosef

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    My final take on the OP...

    The Blessings and The Curses recited at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal shows the example of the need for teshuva/repentance and to consciously walk in His way.

    The circumstance for having the blessing over our lives is walking according to the commandments of YHWH. We do not do the mitzvot to get the blessing, rather it is a natural byproduct. If the curses are present over our lives, it is a sign that correction is in order. It is our responsibility to seek to turn things around and leave our wickedness behind.

    It is my opinion that when one sees things turn around for individuals in the Biblical text, from curse to blessing - it is because of teshuva, or from blessing to curse - it is because of willful disobedience. Sometimes a correction takes many generations to bring about blessing once again.
     
  12. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Very possible that Haran's daughters were raised by Terah - and if Haran had a different mother, that could make a difference. Nonetheless, marriages between uncle/nieces were not something the Lord promoted.

    The best list of marriages that are prohibited by God can be found in the book of Leviticus. The passage is Leviticus 18:6-17. It is concerned with incest. The blood relatives are defined in Leviticus 21:2-3. The passage speaks from a male perspective and includes mother, father, sons, daughters, brother, and one's virgin sister. The reverse would be true for a women. The expression "To come near" has the idea of approaching a person for the purpose of sexual relations.
    Lev. 18:6
    You must never have sexual relations with a close relative, for I am the Lord. (NLT)
    Leviticus 18:6 prohibits all sexual relations, including those listed above, and the ones listed in verses 7-17. The table below provides a complete list. Note: the prohibitions are addressed to men. The reverse applies to women.

    Forbidden Marriages Passages to consider are the following:

    • Between mother and son. (Note that sexual relations between father and daughter are prohibited by Lev. 18:6 and 21:2-3) - Leviticus 18:7-8
    That is a complete list of the marriages that God forbids. This list includes those found in Leviticus 20:11-21, Deuteronomy 22:30, and Deuteronomy 27:20-23..in additition to 1 Corinthians 5:1 where a man was married to his mother. But marriage with a first cousin is not prohibited. God does not prohibit marriage with a brother's wife in the case of a Leverite marriage (Deut. 25:10). Before God established these laws, marriage between brothers and sisters was allowed....and the same with incest, with one of the most prominent examples being Moses. As said earlier, even though he was a Hebrew, it seems that the line he came from already seemed to have some sticky situations tolerated. He was the son of Amram, son of Kohath, and grandson of Levi. He married his own aunt, Jochebed, Kohath's sister, by whom he became the father of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (Exodus 2:1, Ex. 6:18-20, Num 3:19/Numbers 3:18-20, Numbers 26:57-59 , 1 Chronicles 6:1-3 /1 Chronicles 6, 1 Chronicles 23:11-13 , etc.) From him were descended the Amramites, a Kohathite branch of the tribe of Levi. This family is mentioned in the record of the Mosaic census (Numbers 3:26-28) and in 1 Chronicles 26:22-24/ 1 Chronicles 26 where is given the account of the organization of the Levites in David's time.

    The fact that Moses had a father who married his aunt is very disturbing, although it seems that incest was allowed in differing forms prior to the Mosaic Law when the Lord forbidden----but it still was problematic, like with Lot having relations with his daughters when he was drunk ( Genesis 19:29-31 /Genesis 19 ) and Tamar having children by her father-in-law (Judah) in Genesis 38 (very controversial). The Lord chose to work through the situations....and the same seemed to be the case with Moses, who perhaps had similar if not circumcised by his incest-prone father.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  13. sevengreenbeans

    sevengreenbeans Remember Yosef

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    There again, uncle is not in the list, for whatever reason.

    Was it a typo when you said Moses was married to a sister?

    Also, Amram marrying his father's sister cannot be taken literally, since the exact genealogy is not recorded. "Sister" can mean female relative having common ancestry, it does not necessarily mean Jochebed was Amram's literal aunt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  14. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Doesn't need to be anymore than the term "Bisexual" or "orgies" ( Romans 13:13, Galatians 5:21, 1 Peter 4:3 ) needs to be in the list of sexually immoral sins. It doesn't follow logically that nephews cannot marry aunts but neices can marry uncles when it was all condemned in that era...and that's the issue of things not needing to be mentioned explicitly on all points as if to be comprehensive since some things were generalized. Folks often look at the list when they want to do something and say "See, the specific words don't say this - so I'm gonna do it" and forget the principles that were made clear for proper boundaries.

    Didn't say Moses was married to a sister - although I didn't include incest, which was to follow Moses.
    The geneology is recorded exactly, seven. He was a son of Kohath, and grandson of Levi. (Exodus 2:1, Ex. 6:18-20, Num 3:19/Numbers 3:18-20, Numbers 26:57-59 , 1 Chronicles 6:1-3 /1 Chronicles 6, 1 Chronicles 23:11-13 , etc.) From him were descended the Amramites, a Kohathite branch of the tribe of Levi. This family is mentioned in the record of the Mosaic census (Numbers 3:26-28) and in 1 Chronicles 26:22-24/ 1 Chronicles 26 where is given the account of the organization of the Levites in David's time.
    One plays with the text when ignoring the meaning of the words - as aunt is aunt ..not "sister" due to how it can mean in other contexts a female relative. That's something folks in Judaism have noted for a LONG time when it comes to the context.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  15. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    I do wonder at times to what extent cursing others is allowed for the believer.

    I do recall seeing a video by Benny Hinn on the issue---as David Wilkerson had issue with it, as seen in The Curse of Benny Hinn . ..and here as well. Additionally, the same thing occured in reverse with Paul Crouch's son when a lady apparently rebuked him/indicated that she prayed for the Crouch Family to have medical problems/illnesses and that it came to pass, as seen in TBN: Paul Crouch Jr. Gets Rebuked by a Prophet of GOD

    On what Paul did when it came to cursing:
    Romans 9:3
    For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,
    Romans 9
    1 Corinthians 12:3
    Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
    1 Corinthians 12
    1 Corinthians 16:22
    If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord !
    1 Corinthians 16:21-23
    Galatians 1:8
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

    Galatians 3:10
    All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."
    Galatians 3
    1 Timothy 1:20
    Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
    1 Timothy 1:19-20/1 Timothy 1
    There're, of course, other NT instances---such as with the famous example of what occured with Paul proclaiming against Bar-Jesus/smoke surrounding him as a result (Acts 13:18 )...and of course, what occured with Christ and his teaching on Cursing/Blessing with the Fig Tree, Mark 11:17 . On the issue of cursing, scripture must be what we go to in order to establish our views.Proverbs 28:27 And of course, scripture can be abused in the process----as I Cannot tell you of the many times people had issue with another--whether due to being threatened or harrassed---and pronounced cures/judgements upon them expecting results....and yet, for what cause...especially when it may've been done in the wrong spirit/without basis to one's neighbor -as well as in neglect of the instances in the Word where cursing was forbidden (Proverbs 20:19-21 (/Ecclesiastes 10:19-20 /Ecclesiastes 10 /Romans 12:13-15 /Romans 12 James 3:8-10 / James 3 / )? Reminds me of what occured with the disciples:
    Luke 9:53-55/ Luke 9
    A Samaritan Village Rejects the Savior

    51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”[e]

    55 But He turned and rebuked them,[f] and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them[g] And they went to another village
    Proverbs 26:2
    Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.


    Of course, however, many valid times when curses were indeed spoken/came to fruition. In example,
    Elisha Is Jeered

    23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. 2 Kings 2:22-24 2 Kings 2
    Joshua 6:26
    At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: "Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates."
    Joshua 6
    1 Kings 16:34
    In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
    1 Kings 16:33-34 (in Context) 1 Kings 16



    The example of what occured with Joshua's curse is intriguing, seeing that to a point what he proclaimed came to pass when others were disobediant.

    Another famous example I forgot to mention would be that of Jotham---who pronounced a curse upon his brother for murdering all of his other brothers and becoming Israel's first self-proclaimed King.
    Judges 9:4
    15 "The thornbush said to the trees, 'If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!'


    16 "Now if you have acted honorably and in good faith when you made Abimelech king, and if you have been fair to Jerub-Baal and his family, and if you have treated him as he deserves- 17 and to think that my father fought for you, risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian 18 (but today you have revolted against my father's family, murdered his seventy sons on a single stone, and made Abimelech, the son of his slave girl, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is your brother)- 19 if then you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today, may Abimelech be your joy, and may you be his, too! 20 But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelech and consume you, citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelech!"

    21 Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.
    22 After Abimelech had governed Israel three years, 23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech. 24 God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal's seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers. 25 In opposition to him these citizens of Shechem set men on the hilltops to ambush and rob everyone who passed by, and this was reported to Abimelech.
    56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelech had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also made the men of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.
    Judges 9:4
    Abumelech clearly had a curse placed upon him as a form of Divine Judgement--through the use of the tongue of one of his brothers who survived his wickedness.....and it came to pass. And there're a great many other scriptures on the issue of cursing in the Word that're highly insightful--from what happened with King Saul/Jonathan ( 1 Samuel 14:23-25 /1 Samuel 14 ), David ( 1 Samuel 14:23-25/1 Samuel 14 /2 Samuel 16:9-11 /2 Samuel 16:10-12 2 Samuel 16), Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 10:28-30 / Nehemiah 10 ) and many others----especially when it came to prophetic judgements/curses pronounced upon others not walking as the Lord said.


    One may wish to consider studying the issue of BLESSINGS And CURSES in scripture and whether or not the same can occur today. One story comes to mind of a pastor who was driving down the road and witnessed a shop dedicated to Pornagraphy/Sexual Immorality---and in remembrance of the Fig Tree analogy, the pastor decided to CURSE the establishment and pray it'd fail. Not too long after that, the establishment burned down to the ground for some reason...and it surprised the PASTOR. Same things, IMHO, are possible when it comes to certain actions not of the Lord. The ultimate issue, IMHO, is whether or not what's spoken is done through the leading of the Holy Spirit........
    __________________
     
  16. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    If interested, there is a book that I remember learning of by Derek on the issue, known as Blessing or Curse: You Can Choose .....for it may end up being a blessing. And the same with other ministries that deal with the issue, such as "Ancient Paths" by Criag Hill (should you look him up on Google Video under the title of "Craig Hill--Generational Blessings & Curses" ( //www.viddler.com/explore/AncientPaths/videos/2/ )....which I went through last year in one of their seminars and was very much blessed by). For I learned much from it regarding the issue of how seriously blessings/curses were taken in Hebrew Culture.....especially in regards to Parents and their Children and how they interacted with one another. When the concept of blessing/cursing was belittled in my home growing up, some of the effects were a trip. And After investigating the material, I decided to implement much of it...and I've indeed seen a huge difference. I make it a point to guard what I say over those entrusted to me, such as my little sister and others I'm near.....as in reading the Word, I do see how our words do indeed make a difference...

    And beyond guarding what I say in negative terms, I constantly aware of how much it is the case that I MUST Declare over those entrusted to me who it is that they're called to be...never causing their destruction with my words.
    Proverbs 12:18
    Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing
    It's already amazing to see the reality of what people did to get a hold of their parents blessing, as seen in Genesis 27:1-3 Genesis 27 and Genesis 28:1 with Jacob and his father.......as there was literally a CAUSE-AND-EFFECT principle going down. The same thing happened repeatedly with Jacob and his sons afterward when it came to blessing them, as seen in Genesis 48 / /Genesis 49 ...and other examples besides that.


    Personally, in light of what Proverbs says as well as James 3:11--as the tongue is indeed a little spark that sets the forrest aflame , I think it's interesting to see others claim there's no literal power of life/death in words..

    For really, how many wars/battles have occured that were all started apart from something pertaining to application of WORDS---as in declarations against something another believed in....or, as was the case with World War I, accusing another nation of error due to confusion/setting off a "powder keg" as what happened with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand that took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1914--with later accusation made that triggered World War I.......

    The same can be said of nations politically making promises to others one did not keep..with it resulting in Violent Revolution (some like the French Revolution, which was among the most violent of all time)....and of course, what occured in World War II when the nation of Germany was destitute/frustrated---with it only taking one man named Hitler to speak to the youth/convince them that they were indeed worth something and could solve their problems...by joining his Third Reich among many other things. Historians have consistently noted that many times, what Hitler said was not really profund---and yet, due to his charismatic nature and how he spoke, it was very captivating...as well as how he was able to connect with the people.

    But, of course, we all know where that led...millions murdered afterward....and all of it started with WORDs used without caution.

    Hence, the entire reason why anyone doing work in International Laws or Diplomacy will quickly alert others to be cautious of what one says/why. For another example, ” in light of what occured with Christians and the Crusades which began in 1095—with eight in all—during ancient history, as to some Muslims they are as fresh as yesterday’s insult. It's the reason why Osama bin Laden can so easily invoke the image of “Crusaders” when he rallies al-Qaida terrorists to strike Westerners...and again, why advisers quickly told President Bush to drop the word crusade from his speeches about the war against terrorism.


    Words do have LITERAL affect regarding Life and Death, whether people wish to admit it or not. It's no more different that the use of a gun or any weapon--which has the ability/potential to take away life literally...or, in the case of a knife used in surgery, give life. Same with the use of the tongue. And on the issue, of course no one is saying that God is not the Ultimate Holder of the POWER OF LIFE/DEATH itself---but as He has made a world with rules/laws that affect us, so it is with the tongue. Whether or not one believes in the force of gravity does not mean that one will be KILLED if they jump off of a building and say Gravity cannot kill them--as they'll be drawn to the ground regardless. And the same with the principle of words in what they're able to produce in others/influence them toward good or evil.

    The word is clear on the issue---and it's futile trying to argue against it.
    Proverbs 18:21
    From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled;
    with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied

    The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
    Proverbs 13:3
    He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin
    Proverbs 12:14
    From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him
    .................................................. .........................

    The Lord created with His Words...and being made in His Image, He gave his creation ability to create or destroy with what they say/place their minds to. There was never any seperation, additionally, between literally create and literal effect apart from what critics try to place on others....as the entire basis for "Death and Life in the tongue" as that literal consequences always follow regardless

    From another perspective, one of the most powerful scenes I remember came from one of the stories of a man known as Brother Andrew...which he shared on p.g 80 in the book entitled "God Smuggler", where he was describing his initial depature for the trip to USSR /Soviet Union (where Christianity was outlawed due to the influence of Communism/Loyalty to the State). In his words,
    "My suitcase was heavy. In it were just a few clothes---a change of linen and some extra socks. Most of the bag was filled with small thirty-one page booklets entitled "The Way of Salvation." If the Communists had attracted me to their country with literature, I was going to carry in literature of my own. Karl Marx had said "Give me twenty-six lead soilders and I will conquer the world," meaning of course the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Well, this game could be played both ways: I was going to Poland with editions of this powerful little book in every European language.


    To this day, that still has me stunned----the Power of Words...the MIGHT of LANGUAGE....ABC's....and how even a missionary realized the importance/power of language just as Karl Marx did...

    Makes me even more aware of the power of the tongue (or in practical illustration, COMMUNICATION between people)---whether for GOOD or EVIL


    Something that blessed me from the ministry of Charles Stanley on the issue of what others have said for ages on the issue (for a brief excerpt):
    When God created the world and everything in it, He did so with words. He said, “Let there be,” and there was. Amazingly, when God created man in His own image, He also gave us the powerful tool of language. With a simple word, we can create a smile on a discouraged child’s face or lighten the heart of a husband weighed down with burdens. Our words can fan into flame the dying embers of a friend’s smoldering dreams, cheer brothers and sisters in Christ to run the race with endurance, and bring Jesus’ message of hope and healing to a wounded world. Words are one of the most powerful forces in the universe. And remarkably, God has entrusted them to you and me.

    How will we use this priceless gift? The Bible tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21), and we don’t have to go any farther than our front door to see the difference our words can make. Let’s look at two areas where we have incredible impact

     
  17. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Concerning the OP, the same principle of wrongly cursing others who did not deserve it goes beyond Simeon and Levi - as it seems to apply to others such as Reuben in what occurred for him when he himself was mistreated due to the actions of his father.

    For he lost the rights of the Firstborn and the Blessing that went alongside of it....though that does not mean that the man/his tribe was not used in any kind of way to impact God's work in Israel/redeemptive history...

    With Reuben, I still find it noteworthy in examining the blessing that Reuben recieved from his father when he was told that he would be turbulent as the waters.

    3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
    my might, the first sign of my strength,
    excelling in honor, excelling in power.
    4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,
    for you went up onto your father’s bed,
    onto my couch and defiled it.

    As seen in scripture, Reuben still did great things through his people on many occassions..even though he in many ways was shortchanged due to his sins. Its interesting that Jacob, in addressing him, never says that he is NOT the firstborn. That's significant since the firstborn still had duties to live out when it came not only to the inheritance, but leadership of the family......and we see that Reuben still arose to the occassion many times. He came through in seeking to protect Joseph from being killed and intended to rescue him. He also came through when promising to even give up his sons for the sake of Benjamin if the boy was harmed....and of course, there's again the many exploits that came through others in his family line. Nonetheless, due to Reuben's sin, it seems that he was placed in a gridlock.

    For as the firstborn/eldest of the brothers, he was effectively responsible for leading them in one way or another......and legally, that can never go away unless the firstborn desires such. But he would not necessarily have the stability with the rights/double-portion of the firstborn that came when one had the Blessing to secure it...a Blessing that was given to Joseph. A best, Reuben would have a POSITIONAL power/influence rather than FUNCTIONAL power/influence---much as it was with Esau who lacked control/restraint needed to truly honor his birthright blessings.....and sold his birthright and lost the blessing needed to walk in the privelages of the Firstborn.

    The imagery of "turbulent as the waters" is intriguing when considering the very nature of water. For in its natural form, its changing. I'ts harsh many times...and its untamable. It can be used for so many things, from generating electricity to providing nourishment to other creatures.....affecting the hydrolic cycle/eco-system and even destroying much when it gets wild/out of hand (i.e. tsunamis, flash floods, monsoon, hurricane, etc).

    Water is key to literally everything that's done in this life---and when we mess with that, we inevitably damage ourselves. But on the same token, water that's not utilized can be limited in so many ways....the potential of it never being realized...and for practical demonstration of this, some excellent documentaries on this subject can be found at the following


    [​IMG]

    In the same manner that water is powerful/has potential to be destructive and yet can be controlled, it seems that's what occurred with Reuben. For he still had potential to do amazing things on behalf of his brothers----and as the firstborn, he'd be required to do so on many occassions. He could still look to/rely upon the Lord to come through.....but due to his father's restraining curse that came with the blessing, Reuben would never be able to do anything at his peak level on a long-term basis. Like water that has been largely tamed/domesticated (like a Dam) even though its powerful by its very nature---and at times, can STILL break out in radical/deadly ways---Reuben would struggle with the battle of having so much to offer and yet having hands tied that kept him from doing so. ...but still having moments where he surprise everyone. Jacob knows his son … knows his strength, loves him as his firstborn, knows his turbulent, uncontrolled, untamed nature.

    A wild and undisciplined man, he never mastered his own impulses. In spite of his greatness, his power, and all his admirable qualities, Reuben dishonored his father....and so his punishment would be to live knowing that he'd never be able to access his full potential. What occurred later was that his descendants became a shepherd people east of the Jordan (Num. 32:1-33).

    Its sad when considering how Reuben was Jacob's firstborn - his pride and joy...the beginning of his strength...carrying an "excellency of dignity," "power," rank, and authority above his brethren. ..and yet he lost it all due to his passionate nature. Because he had uncontrolled lusts in his life which were comparable to turbulent waters - being unruly and wild as the waves of the sea - he forfeited the "double portion" blessing on his life. ..much as it is with others who have great promise for their lives yet they are not experiencing it because they are given over to unruly lusts and passions. Its always a pity seeing when God had laid His hand upon others from an early age for greatness but they can never seem to reach that spiritual plateau because their flesh is too much in control..... "unstable as water" and so unpredictable....never being able to reach their God-given destination or purpose.

    Nonetheless, despite Reuben's error, God seemed to still have his hand upon Reuben as it concerns the glorification of the Messiah/His Dominion over men when investigating Revelation 7:1-8 and witnessing how the tribe of Reuben is listed among the tribes who are promised the Seal of God for 12,000 of their members, alongside what the prophet Ezekiel notes how Reuben will have a portion in the new kingdom to come, as seen in Ezekiel 48:5-7 and Ezekiel 48:30-32.

    And I think that what occurred with Reuben is possibly a mistake on the part of Jacob for a couple of reasons. Many assume that Judah was given the blessing he had with the Messianic title because of his work with Joseph--and being deemed the most "righteous" of his brothers. However, when seeing the person who had the greater error, it was Judah....with Reuben actually being the one who seemed to be more righteous than Judah in a number of places.

    When Judah was younger, he showed NO regard for his brother Joseph or his father, Jacob. First he convinced his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave (Genesis 37:27); then he joined his brothers in lying to his father about Joseph's fate (Genesis 37:32). But he changed over the years. The man who sold one favored little brother into slavery now offered to become a slave himself to save another favored little brother (Benjamin). He was so concerned for his father and younger brother that he was willing to die for them. In Genesis 44:18-33, when Judah stepped forward to plead their case, it was risky since Joseph could have had him killed. But Judah courageously defended himself and his brothers in pleading for mercy.....offering to put himself in Benjamin's place. This should have been expected of him since he was largely the RING-Leader in choosing the fate of Joseph.

    Its commendable to see how Judah took responsibility for his actions/sought to sacrifice himself.


    Nonetheless, in context, it seems that it was Reuben who was willing to give of himself FIRST---consistently showing concern for Joseph...and that's consistent with Reuben's role.....the Firstborn and one who acted FIRST in looking out for Joseph. He was the one who sought to rescue Joseph later in Genesis 37:29 from being sold into slavery (though he came too late)---being the most tender toward Joseph, grieving for him (as tearing clothes was a sign of during times of sorrow) and noting later on how he warned that evil would occur if bloodshed happened and Joseph was sinned against (Genesis 42:22-24).


    19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
    21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
    Genesis 37:29 29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”

    To be continued in the next post...
     
  18. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Continuning from before..

    The majority wanted to kill him, whereas Judah later changed his mind and said there was no real profit in killing him and they might as well get some money out of the endeavor. Genesis 37:26-27 is clear on that, concerning how the brothers were worried about bearing the guilt of Joseph's death...and Judah suggested an option that was not right, but would leave them guiltless of murder. ...just as we sometimes jump at a solution because it seems like the lesser of two evils, but still is not the right action to take. Although Joseph's brothers didn't kill him outright, they probably didn't expect him to survive for long as a slave. They were quite willing to let cruel slave traders do their dirty work for them. Joseph faced a 30-day journey through the desert, probably chained and on foot. He would be treated like baggage, and once in Egypt, would be sold as a piece of merchandise.

    Only Rueben was the one who sought to rescue the boy and give him back to his father (Genesis 37:30), knowing full well that Joseph would tell on his brothers on what they did---just as scripture notes he was in the habit of doing since he had already given a bad report about them (Genesis 37:2)....a report which could have easily influenced Jacob in his view of the other siblings and made Joseph out to seem more favorable than the others.

    For there's no indication that the bad report Joseph brought about before was necessarily true, just as it is the case that younger siblings always telling bad reports to their parents about their older brother/sister may not be accurate and yet the report is accepted by the parents.....with the older siblings being punished unfairly because of it. That Reuben was willing to deal with that possibly show his maturity as the Firstborn in the family----and concern for Joseph since he was greatly grieved that Joseph was gone.


    Genesis 37:21 shows that ONLY Reuben was the one who NEVER was for killing Joseph. It says explicitly in the text, "
    Genesis 37:12-24
    Joseph Sold by His Brothers
    12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father&#8217;s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, &#8220;As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.&#8221;
    &#8220;Very well,&#8221; he replied.
    14 So he said to him, &#8220;Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.&#8221; Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.
    When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, &#8220;What are you looking for?&#8221;
    16 He replied, &#8220;I&#8217;m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?&#8221;
    17 &#8220;They have moved on from here,&#8221; the man answered. &#8220;I heard them say, &#8216;Let&#8217;s go to Dothan.&#8217;&#8221;
    So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
    19 &#8220;Here comes that dreamer!&#8221; they said to each other. 20 &#8220;Come now, let&#8217;s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we&#8217;ll see what comes of his dreams.&#8221;
    21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. &#8220;Let&#8217;s not take his life,&#8221; he said. 22 &#8220;Don&#8217;t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don&#8217;t lay a hand on him.&#8221; Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe&#8212;the ornate robe he was wearing&#8212; 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

    There's no escaping the fact that Reuben may've been amongst his brothers in envying Joseph (Genesis 37:9-12) and despising him for his arrogance/pride as well as special treatment (Genesis 37:4, Genesis 6-8)....but Reuben was NEVER supportative of them in their plans to KILL Joseph in cold blood. He was the only one who was supportative of Joseph and desiring to protect him---and though he knew that he'd not be listened to, he still tried to give something of a solution that would immediately satisfy the brothers in their desire for punishing Joseph (i..e throwing him in the pit) while also using that as a temporary means for SPARRING Joseph's life....coming back later on to rescue.

    It'd be akin to an undercover cop being exposed in a gang and one of the close friends of the cop suggesting that others beat up the cop and leave him locked up somewhere as punishment.....knowing that saying outright sparring of the cop's life would NEVER be recieved and thus having to resort to saying things in ways that would at least give something of a cover so that they could come to the rescue later.

    Reuben didn't leave Joseph alone knowing he'd not be protected, as they indeed WENT through with Reuben's plan and left him in the cistern. They could have killed Joseph and then thrown the body in the cistern (as was the original plan). However, they went through with Reuben's suggestion in Genesis 37:22 and then tossed Joseph into the pit---as seen in Genesis 37:24. Reuben's influence was clear....and as he had suggested the plan so that they'd obey and give him time to get things together to rescue him, its not necessarily an issue of Reuben not being concerned.

    Bear in mind that cisters are EXTREMELY deep....and it takes alot to get one out. Jeremiah 38:1-13 is one example of such, as the prophet was once thrown into a cistern. A cistern was a large hole in the ground lined with rocks to collect rain water. The bottom would have been dark, damp, and in the case of Jeremiah, full of mud. Jeremiah could drown, die of exposure, or starve to death in the cistern. With the cistern that Joseph was in, he may've been in dire straights....but at least he had more of a chance for SURVIVAL/lasting longer than if Reuben had simply done nothing and allowed them to kill him. As Reuben did not necessarily have the tools needed to immediately get Joseph out, of course he would have had to go get them before he could go further.

    Moreover, as he was trying to rescue Joseph without the brothers seeing, he would have had to wait for a time when they would not be noticing. Most scholars assume that in the time that passed before the slave traders came along, it could have been awhile........days, perhaps. Scripture does not always give dates/time when describing the transition of one event to another. But as it took awhile for even Joseph to get to the location they were herding Jacob's sheep at, it would have taken him SOME time to travel..

    The Best Reuben could do was pray that his brothers would be content to leave Joseph in the cistern as he suggested and do no more. Reuben simply sitting there would do nothing. The stakes were HIGH---and there were NO easy options at play, as they could have killed Reuben outright for trying to fight them physically. That would have left Joseph with no one left to look out for him. Thus, Reuben had to play along (to a degree) with their desire to inflict punishment on Joseph but make a solution that would at least leave a door open for him to do the best he could in protecting the boy.

    Reuben was not responsible for the murder, though he was grieved by it and vexed in not being able to save Joseph. Reuben was not the one who who sought to murder and sell Joseph into slavery---counter to Judah and the rest of the brothers. Reuben's guilt was in choosing to remain silent for years when the brothers tore Joseph's coat/made it seem as if he was killed by a wild animal (Genesis 37:31-36), as decieving Jacob into thinking he lost a son caused him to be in much sorrow continually. As Reuben also felt that he was an accessory to murder due to his "cistern" idea back-firing on him and him not being able to rescue Joseph as he had hoped, he was also willing to go back up to Egypt with the brothers-----with NO Real guarantee, mind you, that they'd automatically live if showing up.

    Something else noteworthy about Reuben is that FAR before Judah ever mentioned anything about sacrificing himself for Joseph (Genesis 43:3-10, Genesis 44:11-34, etc), it was first Reuben who offered of himself to take responsibility.
    Genesis 42:35-38
    35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man&#8217;s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, &#8220;You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!&#8221;
    37 Then Reuben said to his father, &#8220;You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.&#8221; 38 But Jacob said, &#8220;My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.&#8221;

    What a strange proposal made by a son to his father, concerning his grandchildre...but they show the honesty and affection of Reuben's heart. For he felt deeply for his father's distress, and was determined to risk and hazard everything in order to relieve and comfort him. There is scarcely a transaction in which Reuben is concerned that does not serve to set his character in an amiable point of view, except the single instance mentioned in Genesis 35:22. However, as he felt connected with his father losing a son and went along with the deception that brought his own father near death--and would definately kill him if Benjamin was lost, he was willing to inflict grief upon his own self just as significant by cutting off his family for the sake of justice so that it would not only be his father who was bereaved.

    All of those things, IMHO, does give room for saying that perhaps Reuben got more of a bad reputation/blessing from his father than he deserved...

    Again, when studying the narrative of who had greater error---again, it seems it was Judah. He organized it and suggested the idea to make profit off of Joseph, with it being a parallel for what happened to Christ when he was sold into bondage for silver (Matthew 26:14-16, Matthew 27:2-4, Mark 14:11, Zechariah 11:12, ) ---30 pieces of silver, to be exact, as that was the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32). He bore the weight of the issue, r.....whereas Reuben did what he could to rescue Joseph despite any feelings of ill-will he had toward him

    Continued in Next post....
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  19. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Continued from before...

    Reuben has been noted by most scholars to have noted what he did to Jacob (with sacrificing his sons) BECAUSE he understood from the jump that murder is ALWAYS wrong---no matter how much one may dislike someone. Its what got CAIN in trouble in the first murder (Geneis 4) and of course, other consequences come with murder that one may fear. God warned on that in Genesis 9:5-6, in light of how the previous creation that existed before was FULL of nothing but wickedness (Genesis 6:5-9).

    Some say Reuben's willingness to sacrifice his sons must mean he didn't know what love was and only cared for himself. However, IMHO, his being fearful for his sons is NOWHERE NEAR as large as his concern for the grief it'd cause his father. For the man made clear he was willing to even kill his own sons/grand-children if Benjamin came to harm (Genesis 42:36-38). To lose others of his family would have brought MORE GRIEF rather than RELIEF to Reuben---but even he understood the principle of justice so well that he was willing to inflict pain upon himself and lose more of his own if it'd mean protecting the one whom Jacob loved (Benjamin). That's not a picture of someone who's only concerned about what would happen to his family line----and to note, if others trip about Reuben being willing to do that, it should be noted that a similar incident happened in 2 Samuel 21:1-14 when David realized he had to kill some of Saul's sons to avenge the blood shed of the Gibeonites that he shed.

    For in Near Eastern cultures, including Israel's, an entire family was held guilty for the crime of a father because the family was considered to be an indissoluble unity. Saul broke the vow that the Israelities made ot the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:16-20)..and that was a serious offense against God's Law (Numbers 30:1-2). The Lord was so frustrated that he caused a famine lasting for 3yrs...and David knew what he had to do. Either David was following the custom of treating the family as a unit, or Saul's sons (at least some of them) were guilty of helping Saul kill the Gibeonites

    With that said, its of importance to see what Reuben was willing to do. As he was the only one who grieved/tore his clothes when Joseph was gone, he was not willing to lose another one of his father's favored sons. As he bore shame in Joseph being lost, its noteworthy to see what he'd be willing to do to his own family----for in many ways, it'd be akin to one deciding to punish themselves when seeing shame brought due to their failure to protect another loved one. Reuben could've easily been seeking to account for the Blood of Joseph being taken by taking that of his own---and that' striking..

    With what occurred with Reuben, it seems he was the most willing to do whatever it took to take responsibility...and far earlier than all of his brothers....as he was the one who stood up for Joseph and Benjamin

    And with that said, this brings the topic back to the question, "Was it right for Jacob to bless Joseph and not Reuben?"




    3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
    my might, the first sign of my strength,
    excelling in honor, excelling in power.
    4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,
    for you went up onto your father’s bed,
    onto my couch and defiled it.

    The reason that's asked is due to how Jacob was in NO WAY a righteous man in his youth---just as Reuben was not righteous in his youth. As Jacob decieved his father to steal the blessing, so the Son of Jacob tried to decieve his father by sleeping with the maidservant of his father either out of love or entitlement since he was the firstborn. Yet Issac showed mercy to Jacob by blessing him anyhow (Genesis 28:1-5, etc). One would wonder why it was the case that Jacob seemed to not try showing the same kind of mercy to his own sin despite his short-comings.

    For both Reuben and Jacob displayed the SAME tendency to look to themselves before God/take matters into their own hands if they felt that it was all apart of God's plan.....much like people sleeping around with their girlfriend/boyfriend due to them thinking that its okay since they're engaged/desire to get married anyway. Reuben truly was a reflection of who Jacob was on so many levels......and If Jacob could have recieved blessings despite his wrongdoings, why is it that he had to do differently with his own sons?

    Something else interesting to note is how Joseph seemed to have JUST as many character issues as his brother, Reuben. As a yougstr, Joseph was HIGHLY overcofident. His natural self-assurance, increased by being Jacob's favorite son and by knowing of God's designs on his life, was unbearable to his ten older brothers, who eventually conspired against him. Growing up, I used to read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 and assume that Joseph was innocent in all that occurred to him. However, as I grew older/saw similar dynamics of little braggarts in other families, I began to think more and more than what Joseph did was by no means something that caused him to be "innocent" in how his brothers hated him.

    As seen in Genesis 37:6-11, Joseph's brothers were already angry over the possibility of being ruled by their little brother. Joseph then fueled the fire with his immature attitude and boastful manner. No one enjoys a braggart....and it seems that Joseph learned his lesson the hard way when his angry brothers sold him into slavery to get rid of him. In Egypt/slavery, after several years of hardship, Joseph learned that because our talents and knowledge come from God, it is more appropiate to thank him for them than to brag about them....and later, Joseph gave credit to God rather than himself (Genesis 41:16)

    But in his youth, it seems Joseph was consumed with self--and that's sin that God hates ( Proverbs 11:1-3 , Proverbs 13:10, Proverbs 8:13
    , Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 29:23, Amos 6:7-8, Amos 8:6-8 , 1 John 2:15-17, etc )

    In Genesis 37:3, Joseph recieved a very beautiful coat. In Joseph's day, everyone had a robe or cloak. Robes were used to warm oneself, to bundle up belongings for a trip, to wrap babies, to sit on, or even to serve as security for a loan. Most robes were knee length, short sleeved, and plain.

    In contrast, Joseph's robe was probably of the kind worn by royalty---long sleeved, ankle length, and colorful. The robe became a symbol of Jacob's favoritism toward Joseph.....and it aggravated the already strained relations between Joseph and his brothers. Favoritism in families may be unavoidable, but its divisive effects should alwawys be minimized. However, Jacob chose to go counter to that.......no doubt due to his favoritism of Rachael and Joseph being a child of hers/his old age (Genesis 30:22-24, Genesis 44:20, etc). This was not godly on the part of Jacob ( Acts 10:33-35 , Romans 2:10-12 , Ephesians 6:8-10 , Ephesians 6:8-10 , 1 Timothy 5:21, James 2:1-3 , James 2:8-10, Proverbs 24:23, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Deuteronomy 16:19, Deuteronomy 10:17, Deuteronomy 1:17, etc)


    In the same way that Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the sin of decietfulness (Genesis 27:35) on his part and the blessing his father had given him despite how Isaac showed favoritism toward Easu (Genesis 27:41, Genesis 25:28, etc), with Jacob being placed into exile, it seems a generational curse repeated itself in the family of Jacob when he chose to show favoritism toward Joseph (Genesis 37:3-4)..with his own sons holding a grudge on the one whom Jacob had given his blessing--except that they chose to exile their own brother themselves and decieve Jacob in the SAME WAY that he had decieved his father (Genesis 37:31-35, etc).

    Though blessed by God, he had to still face the consequences of his actions.......and on the issue, it really has me thinking as to whether Jacob really learned his lesson. His father, Isaac, was going to wrongly bless Esau and yet Jacob took matters into his own hands when favoritism was seen that was misplaced....as God said Jacob would be the one who would rule (Genesis 25:23-27). However, there seems to be NO INDICATION at all that the Lord ever said to Jacob as he had to his mother (Rebekah) that Joseph was the one who was destined to rule the family in ALL things.....

    Granted, Joseph had dreams of his brothers bringings sheaves that bowed---and the same with the moon/stars bowing as well...and Joseph made clear that God blessed his work for the sake of the Lord's Glory (Genesis 39:1-6, Genesis 39:20-23, Genesis 41:15-16, Genesis 41:22-57, Genesis 45:1-15, Genesis 47, etc).

    However, that does not necessarily have to imply that Joseph was MEANT to have the blessing of the Firstborn. For there have been many instances where God blessed believers to have more resources than others in IMMENSE Ways so that they can aid others, even though its still the case that another in the family has been given the blessing of leading the family/having a right of influence.....much like God blessing someone who's the youngest in a group of siblings to be a rich buisnessman so that they can provide for the family at hard times--even though there's still the eldest of the siblings who the younger one looks to for guidance and knows that God has blessed him with the family inheritance/double-portion so that he still has leadership in the group.

    Jacob in addresseing him is obviously indignant with Reuben. His crime was lying with Bilhah, his father's concubine (Genesis 35:22)--counter to God's heart ( Leviticus 18:8)...and Jacob decided to denounce his own son.

    By the withdrawal of the rank belonging to the first-born, Reuben lost the leadership in Israel; so that his tribe attained to no position of influence in the nation (compare the blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy 33:6). The leadership was transferred to Judah and the double portion to Joseph (1 Chronicles 5:1-2), by which, so far as the inheritance was concerned, the first-born of the beloved Rachel took the place of the first-born of the slighted Leah. That can't be coindicence, seeing how much Jacob actually DESPISED Leah many times.....and how often Leah actually hoped her husband would honor her ( Genesis 30:19-21 ).

    Adding to that is the fact that it seems that Jacob NEVER confronted his son about this. Perhaps it is that he could not bear to look at Reuben, but turned himself to his brethren. And who's to say that it isn't possible....in fact, most likely very probable, that Reuben had repented of it, and had forgiveness of God.

    I think its more than possible that perhaps Jacob was WRONG in what he chose to do when he decided to give the Sons of Joseph the Double-Portion blessing reserved for the Firstborn....and that Jacob's struggle with showing favoritism when its not warranted was something he never truly overcame. ....and it seemed that just as earlier in Joseph's youth, he had a tendency to lean toward always thinking the best of his son and the worst of sons who seemed to reflect him in more ways than one.

    There doesn't seem to be any reason in saying that Reuben was not deserving of being the Firstborn in some kind of way-----yet once the Spoken word was given and blessing pronounced, that was it.

    One's Word was binding (much like a written contract)---and in his offense, it seems that perhaps Jacob was not really willing to consider Reuben for all he had done and forgive him for any wrong doing. He seemed to make light of any errrors Joseph had done, but what Reuben did with his maidservant was something Jacob just didn't want to let go of.....and perhaps God decided to honor Jacob's choice regardless of whether it was right.

    If it was possible that Hagar/Ishmael came up with Abraham (Genesis 16-17 ) where God chose to work it into His plans even when it was not originally what He ever intended, then why is it not possible that the same could be said of Genesis 49:22-26 when Jacob chose to bless Joseph with the Firstborn Blessing? Yes, Joseph was indeed fruitful, with some heroic descendants....among them being Joshua, who would lead the Israelities into the promised land (Joshua 1:10-11) and Deborah, Gideon, and Jephtah--judges of Israel (Judges 4:4, Judges 6:11-12, Judges 11:11, etc). But still, is it not possible that all of that was a matter of God working in SPITE of Jacob's pronouncements rather than because of it?

    IMHO, I think many times we're prone to simply read the text and assume that all the actions done by the patriarchs are automatically good just because they did them---yet we may never stop to consider that perhaps much of what was recorded was just that.....a recording of what they actually did without necessarily saying that all actions of theirs are to be interpreted as right.

    Just a thought......
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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  20. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Something else that I was hoping to mention earlier was that many have said that Joseph's distinct blessing (which included the birthright Reuben had as the firstborn) was apart of the Lord's desire for him to have a distinct blessing. The scripture cited is the following:
    Heb 11:21
    By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
    In processing over the issue, I've come to the conclusion that Blessing someone by Faith doesn't necessarily mean that the action itself is of God, as it concerns Jacob and Joseph.



    By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
    21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph&#8217;s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
    Jacob was Isaac's son and Abraham's grandson. Jacob;s sons became the fathers of Israel's 12 tribes. Jacob in Genesis 48:1-4 is noted to have been dying....and at that point, he had little time left. Nonetheless, he knew he needed to bless the sons of Joseph...and so he "rallied his strength" (Genesis 48:2). Even when Jacob (also called "Israel") was dying in a strange land, he believed the promise that Abraham's descendants would be like the sand on the seashore and that Israel would become a great nation (Genesis 48:1-22). For true faith helps us to see beyond the grave.


    When it came to Jacob exercising faith, this can also be seen in the fact that scripture notes that Jacob was nearly blind/"LOSING Sight" (Genesis 48:10-11)---and thus, he couldn't really tell who it was that he was blessing outside of simply being told such.

    This can be seen clearly when Jacob has to ask Joseph "Who are these?" in Genesis 48:8-9----and there's no logical reason for Jacob to ask that as if he has never seen Joseph's children until that moment. For Genesis 47:28-31 notes that Jacob lived in Egypt for over SEVENTEEN YEars. In that amount of time, it would have been ridiculous for him to never have seen his grand-children by Joseph.


    By the time he was becoming ill/dying and his sight going away, he may've seen Ephraim and Manasseah many times...but he could no longer recognized them easily. And in many ways, there could easily be a FEAR of having a similar circumstance occur to him like the one he did with his own father.

    For when Isaac was old, he too could not see. His eyes were weak, as Genesis 27:1-4....and he could only go by what he heard or felt. But even that could be something one couldn't trust in fully---as Jacob grew up knowing how to DECIEVE. Even without having the same build as his brother or body texture, his father could not tell by his voice alone if it was Esau or Jacob (Genesis 27:11-25).

    Isaac was uncertain for a GOOD bit...and had to ask a couple of times if it really was Esau---despite all of the times he had seen/heard his sons.

    What Jacob was doing in blessing Joseph's sons----in light of how Jacob favored Joseph above all (even when it was unwarranted)---is very much similar to/parallel with what happened with Isaac and Esau when Isaac favored Esau above Jacob....and Jacob chose to act as the "favorite" son to get his father's blessing when he knew his father was determined to bless only one regardless of any other factors.....even if God already told Rebekah that Jacob would be the one to rule..and implying that Isaac should have really been giving the blessing to Jacob even if he didn't favor him as much as the other.

    If understanding that, it is more than reasonable as to why Jacob was in faith at that moment. For the SAME thing he did could have EASILY happened to him with one of his Sons...and just as Isaac had blessed Jacob/Easu in faith despite uncertainty at points, so Jacob did the same. He trusted that the one before him that he desired to bless would be the one he expected---even if he could not verify for certain.

    As it concerns the Blessing he gave to Joseph's sons, some things to consider are that he had already given a blessing WAY before it came time for him to bless all of his sons with inheritance. In Genesis 48:8-20, Jacob gave Ephraim the GREATER Blessing instead of Mannasseah. When Joseph objected, Jacob refused to listen because God had told him that Ephraim would become greater. He placed Ephraim AHEAD of Manneseh.

    That by itself is more than enough verification that Jacob indeed blessed the sons of Joseph as Hebrews 11:21 notes. For indeed, it'd take faith to bless the sons of Joseph when he was near death.

    Nonetheless, the BLESSING given to the Sons of Joseph in that instance is not necessarily the same as the Blessing given to Joseph in Genesis 49:22-26...and just because Jacob blessed the sons of Joseph doesn't mean it was RIGHT for him to give the does the blessing of the Firstborn/Double portion to him as well---nor does that mean that God approved of it when it was done.

    God could have easily HONORED it due to his relationship with Jacob/using it ultimately for His glory while still knowing it was NEVER what he desired above all.

    One can easily be on a roll in making God-Ordained choices....and yet mess up at other points.

    On the issue of patriarchs being able to make mistakes in actions, bear in mind that others were also included in the Hall of Faith that did horrendous things...and yet, they had the audacity to believe in the Lord---with God honoring that.

    Examples coming immediately to mind are folks such as Samson (Hebrews 11:32).
    Hebrews 11:31-36
    31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.[a] 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

    He was included into the Hall of Faith, with many scholars saying that it was due to trusting in God to restore him/use him for His glory. They base this off of what Judges 16:28 when Samson, being blinded by the Philistines and made a prisoner of theirs. Again, the common view is that Samson, in spite of his past, still had his prayers answered by God and used Samson to destroy others. They say that God was willing to hear Samson's "prayer of confession and repentance"---and the common response/sentiment given by others...especially among a number of writers and preachers....is that Samson made alot of mistakes but finished well. They feel that since Samson sacrificed his life to wipe out a multitude of Philistines and died with a prayer on his lips, he must have gotten his act together at the very end.

    However, that sentiment often ignores the reality of how Samson had FEW, if any, other options as he stood before the Philistine leaders. Even with his strength returning (Genesis 16:22) he was still blind, which made it impossible for him to plan an escape, let alone attempt one. He also knew that his heartless captors would never grow tired of mistreating and humiliating him for all he had inflicted upon them. Their cruelty had never known any limits, and it would surely be spurred to new heights of creativity, and it would surely be spurred to new heights of creativity as the months and years passed. Simply put, Samson knew that he was doomed to a life of misery. And its only natural that he would consider suicide. But even beyond that, what's more compelling/intriguing is the prayer that Samson offered.
    Judges 16:28
    Then Samson prayed to the LORD, &#8220;Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.&#8221;
    For there were NO words of repentance...or any signs that Samson regretted his MANY transgressions...or even understood his transgressions.
    What you see is a man who hadn't changed a bit. For after a lifetime of "me-first" living, Samson was still preoccupied with himself. Notice all of the personal pronouns in his prayer:
    ...remember me again...
    ...please strengthen me.....
    ...so that I may pay back the Philistines...
    ...for the loss of my eyes...
    ...let me die with the Philistines....
    Sadly, Samson ended his life the way that he had lived it: selfishly. His actions were not born out of a heroic desire to fulfill his life's calling. They were simply an attempt to get revenge. He wasn't pushing against those pillars because he LOVED God. He was pushing against them because he hated the Philistines captors and wanted to pay them back for gouging out his eyes. After a life-time of matching wits, they had pulled a fast one on him and he was bound but determined to have the last laugh. Even if it meant taking his own life.
    From day one, Samson's mission was clearly stated.

    He was to"rescue Israel from the Philistines" (Judges 13:5). He was to get them fired up and organized and to lead a crushing revolt that would set them free and eliminate the Philistine threat against God's people forever. But he did not do that. As far as we know, he didn't even try....or care. The best we can say for Samson is that he carried on a lifelong feud with the Philistines. He aggravated and frustrated them---as seen in Judges 14, Judges 15, and Judges 16:1-3---and was constantly womanizing/sleeping with the girls from their camps...but he never did the thing he was supposed to do in pulling the Israelites together/wiping them out. His own people seemed to be highly disconnected from him in relationship.


    Anyone studying Samson's life can seen how the man made MANY mistakes and yet the Spirit of the Lord chose to operate through him regardless. One example can be seen in how Samon's parents objected to his marrying the Philistine woman he fell "in love" with in Judges 14:1-11...seeing that (1) it was against God's law (Exodus 34:15-17, Deuteronomy 7:1-4, Judges 3:5-7, etc) and (2) the Philistines were Israel's enemies. Marriage to a hated Phillistine would be a disgrace to Samson's family.....and yet Samon's father gave in to Samson's demand and allowed the marriage. The text of scripture makes clear that despite Samon's error, the Lord used this NONETHELESS since he was seeking an opportunity to confron the Philistines...and God still chose to work it out (Judges 14:4).

    The Lord came in power on Samson a number of times, even though what he did with that power was often questionable.

    .....Though God's Spirit was upon Samson at other times, he often used his gift for the wrong purposes----as also seen when he torn down the gates of a city where he went to for having sex with prostitutes (Judges 16:1-3). It caught up with him eventually when the Lord eventually left him (Judges 16:19-20).....but God was still faithful. Although God did not completely abandon Samson (Judges 16:28-30), he ALLOWED Samson's decisions to stand...and the consequences of his decision to follow naturally (Judges 16:21)-----as God will often weave mistakes into his ultimate design. Samson didn't HAVE to be in the Dungeon as a slave--and he didn't choose to be captured....but he chose to be with Deliah and couldn't escape the consequences of his decision.
    Hebrews 11:31-36
    31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.[a]
    32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again.
    If I had been calling the shots, I probably would have blown Samson off somewhere around his twenty-fifth birthday. I would have grown completely frustrated and found another person to work through. Someone who would take the Nazarite vow seriously and follow orders. But God stuck with Samson..and in doing so, confirmed what Daniel said when saying "The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him..." (Daniel 9:9). Of course, there's always the chance that someone might read Samson's story and feel emboldened to disobey God. A man might say, "If Samson can fool around and still be saved, why can't I?"...but anyone doing so misses the point of the narrative. For its not so much about what he did----but what he could have done.

    The same could've been the case with Jacob in what he did...for just because he chose to bless Joseph doesn't necessarily mean that all actions done by him were in the perfect will of the Lord.. and also goes for Reuben, as well as Simeon and Levi.
    _________________
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
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