In my, S.T.E. Commentary on Genesis and Judges,* I explain why Joseph was legally the firstborn of Jacob (which is why Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were elevated as full sons of Jacob — though they were grandsons — and constituted equal tribes among the other 11 tribes, as Joseph received the double portion of inheritance as the firstborn**). I also explain information surrounding Jacob pretending to be Esau, heeding the scheming dishonesty of his mother, in order to trick his father Isaac, into giving to him (Jacob) the Divine “blessing”, instead of to Esau. God had planned for Jacob to receive the firstborn inheritance, because the stronger brute Esau, possibly muscled the smaller, but scrappy Jacob out of the way, and was born first (as Scripture records they wrestled in the womb). However, when we take dishonorably, that which God intended for us honorably, we also reap Judgment. As a result, Jacob later had troubles with Esau, and Jacob also had troubles with his father-in-law to be, Laban, who tricked and cheated him ten times (which was not an “exaggeration”, as some myopic commentators and preachers claim; as I clearly show in my commentary). Rebekah, who told Jacob what to do and assisted him, and who told him that his sin would be upon her, indeed, also suffered ignominy and Judgment: She is never mentioned again in Scripture in regard to her subsequent life, she dies without ever seeing Jacob again, and without meeting her dozen grandsons and granddaughter, and daughters-in-law, and her death and burial is not even mentioned in Scripture (though Sarah’s and Rachel’s deaths were mentioned).
[* See end of this Study for details.
** Jacob also gave Joseph an “extra portion above thy brethren”, which is a curiosity in Scripture, an event of which we receive no other details in Scripture (Genesis 48:22) in which, Jacob (with his sons and servants) had gone to war against some Amorite-Canaanites, and conquered them with his sword and bow. Abraham had purchased a plot of land from Ephron, a member of a clan of Hittites, near Mamre, which was a field that contained the cave of Machpelah, in which Abraham buried Sarah; and in which, subsequently, Isaac had buried Rebekah, and in which Jacob had buried Isaac and later Leah (Rachel, having died in childbirth on the way home to meet Isaac in Beersheba, and she was buried under an oak near Bethlehem). It is possible that at some point the Amorite-Canaanites took possession of this field for themselves, and Jacob had waged war against them, and drove them out. But it is interesting that no mention of this is made elsewhere in Scripture. No doubt there are many such things of which Scripture does not inform us; but since this is mentioned, specifically, a little more information would have been nice.]
Laban first cheated Jacob concerning his wages, after Jacob had labored hard for 7 years for Rachel. Can you imagine waking up the morning after your honeymoon night — and finding that after you had labored 7 full years for your true love’s hand in marriage, your father-in-law had tricked you and you slept with your true love’s sister...! I can imagine Jacob was furious, even muttering some imprecations under his breath. Laban lied and pretended that it was the “custom” to marry off the eldest daughter first — which was a bold-faced lie, as it was not part of the contract. Had Jacob been told, “You will first labor 7 years for Leah and marry her, then you can marry Rachel, for another 7 years’ labor in lieu of dowry”, certainly Jacob would have said, “The deal is off! I will not work one day for Leah. I have nothing against her, but I love Rachel. If this is how you are going to treat me, I will go find other kinfolk who will be glad to marry one of their daughters to the wealthy heir of Abraham and Isaac”. If you remember, Abraham had sent his chief servant Eliezer, an Aramaean,* back to Haran,** in Padan-Aram (the highland plateaus of Aram*), Laban, when he heard that the wealthy family lord Abraham was seeking a wife from among his own people, as God always commanded, Laban (figuratively speaking) began rubbing his greedy hands and seeing shekel signs before his eyes, and undertook himself to broker the deal to sell off at considerable price, his sister Rebekah. So, when Jacob arrived in Padan-aram, and took a liking to Laban’s daughter Rachel, Laban’s mind began to scheme.
[* Throughout the Old Testament the Hebrew word Aram / Aramaean is wrongly translated “Syria, Syrian, Syriack”. The translators erroneously “back translated” the name (Syria) that would over a millennia later, replace the name of the nation, people, and language (Aram). The word Syria is actually derived from the Hebrew name of the rock-island* city-state of Tyre, meaning, “rock”; eventually becoming the Greek word Suria; misrepresented as Syria. There is no letter y in Classical / Ancient / Biblical (Koine) Greek. The capital letter U (upsilon) looks like a Y; but it is not, and translators knew this. It is an “oo” sound. However, in Modern Greek, the Upsilon is often pronounced as an “i” (or y) sound—but the Bible was not written in Modern Greek! Hence, all words like Babylon, mystery, martyr, Smyrna, etc., in the New Testament, are mispelled and mispronounced. Furthermore, Babylon (or Bah-boo-lone) is the Anglicization of the Greek word; but the Old Testament was not written in Greek. It was written in Hebrew; and in the Old Testament, the word is Babel (baw-bel), not Babylon. The conglommeration of these technical and seemingly minor errors adds to general misconceptions. It was not the Syrians against whom the Israelites often fought, but against the Aramaeans; who were kinsmen, descended from Shem’s son Aram; even as the Chaldaeans, as I show in my commentary, most probably descended from Shem’s son Arphaxad. However, the modern “Syrians”, as with most all the peoples in the Middle East and Eurasia, have been completely replaced with Hittite-Canaanites and other Canaanites and cursed peoples; Turkey (formerly Anatolia / the Near East) being completely absorbed into the Hittite Kingdom that spread and engulfed all in the region, including Byzantia / The Eastern Roman Empire, and down into North Africa, Egypt, Carthage, Mauretania, and what was named for the Moors, Morocco, who then spread and northward into Southern Europe, into Spain and Portugal (the Visigothic Kingdom falling to the Moors, A.D. c.711), who also spread to Southern France, Italy, and Greece; replacing the true inhabitants of all those lands. However, orginally, the entire coastline and islands of the Mediterranean was civilized by and dotted with Greek-city states; all of which eventually fell to and were replaced Turks (who, like the Huns and Mongols, like a giant mud slide, absorbed all peoples with whom they came into contact). Esau sinned against God and he married two Canaanite women, a Hittite and a Seirite-Horite-Hivite. Esau’s descendents became known as Edomites (and the only Edomites that were “brethren” was solely that branch from Esau’s third marriage to the daughter of Ishmael, son of Abraham and Hagar — and only for as long as that branch of Ishmaelite-Edomites did not marry peoples cursed by God); and there was a subtribe of especially vile Edomites known as Amalekites.
* Originally, Tyre was a Canaanite possession, and the Phoenicians took it from them and made it the center of their trading capital. Many centuries later, Alexander the Great, while laying seige to the island, undertook a mighty earth-moving campaign (as the Romans would later do against Masada) and turned the island (which was maybe a third of a mile off the coastline of the territory of the Tribe of Asher) into an isthmus, to conquer it.
** Named for Abraham’s eldest brother, who had died before they had even left Ur of the Chaldees; which in my commentary I show was in far-northeastern Mesopotamia, not in southeastern Mesopotamia / Sumer.]
Contrary to a lot of ignorant teaching, Jacob did not swindle Laban. GOD told Jacob what to do, and GOD transferred most of Laban’s wealth back into Jacob’s pocket, not only for Laban having cheated Jacob ten times, but also as recompense for having taken the money from Abraham’s servant, and most probably then establishing his own wealthy dynasty (and the purpose of a dowry was to assure the financial security of the married daughter, should anything ever happen to the husband; and later, as Jacob and his family are about to leave Laban and return to Canaan, Leah and Rachel acknowledged that greedy Laban “hath quite devoured also our money”, Genesis 31:15, referring to the dowry of Jacob’s 14 years of labor). Similarly, centuries later, God would have the Israelites “borrow” whatever items of wealth that they could from their Egyptian neighbors; and God gave the Israelites favor in the eyes of the Egyptians (whose nation had just been destroyed in a little over a week as a result of God’s Mighty Plagues) as recompense for possibly a century of slavery.*
[* The Israelites were not slaves in Egypt for “400” years. That is a misreading / misinterpretation of Genesis 15:13. The passage refers to the total time that Israel would be oppressed in lands that were not theirs, which started with at the time of the weaning of Isaac. From the time that Joseph died, to the time of the Exodus, was 144 years (a significant number). We don’t know if the new Pharaoh that arose (who did not respect / recognize / know Joseph) came to power immediately, or if it was after some period of years. The House of Jacob only relocated to Egypt, during famine, when Joseph was 39 years old, which means that their entire time in Egypt until the Exodus was only 215 years. For more details see my STEC on Genesis / Judges, and also my A Coordinated Chronological Table of the Patriarchs.]
Now, despite Leah turning out to be a very good and loyal wife (her rivalry and bad attitude with her sister Rachel, notwithstanding), I explain in my commentary how Leah herself was complicit in Laban’s treachery. She was not merely a hapless “victim”, but an accomplice. It is clear (though not mentioned in Scripture) that Laban told her not to say a word: for if she spoke, the con would fail. What I did not realize, until the other day, is another way, in this epsiode, how Scripture records yet another way that God sees to it that we reap what we sow. Most probably, Laban, after the wedding feast, late at night, after Laban had made sure that Jacob had plenty to drink, to the point of his senses not being keen, then had Leah dress in some of her sister Rachel’s clothes, which would smell like Rachel, and then had Leah enter the tent in the dark to lay with Jacob. If you remember, this is what Rebekah did with Jacob, putting some of Esau’s clothes on Jacob, so that he would smell like his brother (which Isaac did notice, though he noted that the voice oddly sounded more like Jacob).
Similarly, King David reaped chaos and defilement and murder in his own house, as a result of his sin in the affair with Bathsheba and his attempted cover-up of his adultery concerning his dealing with Uriah.*
[* For more details of this story, see my Apologetic Expositions (#8) I Chronicles 11-21, Uriah “Hittite”...? Zelek “Ammonite”...? Ismah “Moabite”...? & other stumbling blocks REMOVED: David, Bathsheba, Joab, why David wasn’t put to death; why it was a sin to number people; 83pp., 7.00 + P&H.]
Sow True To Reap
July 27, 2023
Be sure your sin will find you out,
as you have sown so shall you reap;
the curse uncaus’d shall never come,
many, therefore, are sick and sleep.
God never shall be mock’d or spurn’d,
He does not slumber, never sleeps;
as consequence, like wages earn’d,
each sin that’s sown ev’ry man reaps.
Sow to the flesh a crop of sin,
corruption, death, like sheaves heap up;
he who cheats God shall never win,
who treads the grapes shall drink the cup.
Be drunken not with wine of grapes,
be drunken not with lust to sin;
be careless not in evil traipse,
else you shall reap a whirlwind.
The seeds of sin spawn noxious weeds,
invasive, toxic, fatal too;
only when true repentance pleads,
God saves man from his toxic brew.
None shall evade Justice Divine,
Judgment can none ev-er to thwart;
no lame excuse, no whimp’ring whine,
shall ev-er con High Heaven’s Court.
So go ye on, mea-sure, fill full!
sow wickedness or right and true;
on harvest bountiful you’ll sup,
Judgment or Blessing shall accrue.
For far-more insight, from the Call of Abraham to Israel going down into Egypt, see my S.T.E.C. on Genesis and Judges (which many readers have said is almost like watching a movie).
Titles mentioned herein:
S.T.E. Commentary on Genesis 31-37, 48, 49:5-7 & Judges 19-21 — Culminating in Dinah’s Defilement with an Examination of the Near-Extermination of the Tribe of Benjamin (Including: Origins of Adamkind, most in-depth History of Jacob-Israel (Call of Abraham to Israel going into Egypt) detailed accounts of “call of Abraham,” rescue of Lot, flight of Lot from Sodom, sacrifice of Isaac, origin of Abraham, true location of Ur of Chaldees, detailed exegisis of Genesis 31-33 (history of Jacob from when he left father-in-law Laban, wrestling with angel, fearful reunion with Esau, relocation to Succoth, Shechem); 34 (Simeon & Levi’s massacre at Shechem); 35 (flight to Bethel, etc.); 48/49 (judgment on Simeon / Levi) exegeses also covering significant portions of Genesis 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, & many other passages); includes numerous charts; (+3 fold-out maps); illuminating study unlocks many mysteries of Scripture, ties together large segments of Israel’s history (& prophecy) resolution of chronological conundrums; detailed analysis of Nimrod/Tower of Babel, foundation of Ninevah, history/origins most all important peoples/empires of Bible (Akkad, Aramaeans, Assyrians, Babylonian, Canaanites, Chaldaeans, Edomites [“Esau-ology”], 9 tribes of Giants, Ishmaelites, Medes, Parthians, Persians, Philistines, Sumer, etc.); proof Simeon & Levi’s extermination of Shechem for kidnapping/raping sister Dinah not unusual (God ordered similar things, some are covered, including complete exegesis of grisly, odd history of Judges 19-21 with near-extermination of tribe of Benjamin). Extra-biblical sources consulted/explained. After reading this, you will understand, better than ever, early Adamite/Israelite history, racial identity of majority of nations/races in O.T., Bible prophecy, & God’s overall plan. Deepest study of many of these key Biblical stories ever written. Truly fascinating. 60 commentaries were consulted, + other books, deep exposition of historical & spiritual truths. 711pp., pb., 40.00 + P&H.
A Coordinated Chronological Table of the Patriarchs: From Adam to the 12 Tribes of Israel and the death of Moses... From Creation to the Exodus... [Covering 26 generations and 2,553 years of history, with around 3,000 co-ordinated dates.] — a 10-year project - 38” x 50” full-color wall chart showing all Patriarchs from Adam to Moses; how old each was at time of all other Patriarchs; age in relation to Flood, 2 Calls of Abraham, Tower of Babel, Sodom & Gomorrah, Exodus; dates in terms of age from Adam, and B.C. dates by 8 different methods / chronologists; incorporates 2 other small charts: calendar of events of the Flood & difference between Masoretic and Septuagint chronologies; clears up numerous chronological mysteries, 2 dozen pictures. Most-detailed, comprehensive work of this kind ever attempted. wealth of info. Invaluable to any Bible student, pastor, author, researcher. Easily see who was alive and when; in relation to everyone else & key events. 27.50 + 8.50 P&H in rolled tube.