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Gen. 48

7/31/10 Sometime later Joseph heard that Jacob was sick so he came to him with his two sons. We don’t know how old they were, but still young enough to sit on is knees (v. 12). These two sons of Joseph Jacob claimed as his own, installing them as part of the 12 tribes of Israel.

After bowing before his father Joseph brought the boys to him for his blessing. He brought Manasseh to his right hand and Ephraim to his left, but Jacob crossed his hands so that Ephraim received the right hand. Joseph was displeased by this and tried to switch his father’s hands since Manasseh was the firstborn, but Jacob knew what he was doing. He prophesied that the younger would be greater than the older in the future, which indeed came true later in Israel’s history.

Then Jacob gave Joseph an extra portion of the land he owned in Shechem, not that Joseph would ever see it. But he gave it to him and Joseph was buried there 400 years later.

Jacob also mentions taking the land from the Amorites. This is the only reference to this escapade. Some think this was a prophecy about Israel and the Amorites later, but it makes more sense that Jacob really did this. After he purchased the land he lived there until his sons massacred the Shechemites. Jacob then moved to avoid any repercussions. It seems that even though the Amorites were afraid to attack Jacob they still took his land when he left. When returned he had to take the land back by force.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Gen. 34

7/16/10 This chapter begins with the ominous phrase, “Dinah…went to visit the daughters of the land.” The intermingling of God’s people with the wicked never ends well for God’s people. Dinah was seen and raped by Shechem, son of the leader of the town, Hamor. The towns of Canaan were small towns with small numbers of people. The fact that two men end up killing them and that the Shechemites would be interested in having the wealth of Jacob enough to be circumcised to gain it indicates that they were few in number.

Shechem was deeply attracted to Dinah and wanted to marry her, so he came with his father to Jacob to make the request. Jacob waits for his sons to return and when they did they were very angry about what happened. However, they veiled it enough to come up with a scheme.

Jacob, presumably, was not in on their lie. For sure not the murder part, but the intermarriage part isn’t clear. Could he have agreed to intermarry with the people? It seems unlikely, but it also seems unlikely that he left his sons to make this decision alone, although it is possible.

So Shechem and his father go back to the town and convince the men to be circumcised so that they could become one with Israel. (This seems to be the first time the word is used to denote the area and people rather than just Jacob himself). Motivated by greed, the men were circumcised. Then Simeon and Levi fell upon them and killed all the men. Afterward, all of the sons, except Joseph and Benjamin, came and looted the town taking away the valuables and even the people.

Jacob understood the implications of what his sons had done and that they were no longer secure there. He also understood the moral problem (see Gen 49). But his sons argued that the wrong done to their sister had to be put right.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Gen. 12

6/21/10 Abram was living in Haran, but God wanted him to go all the way to Canaan. So God told Abram to move on. If Abram would obey then God promised to make him into a great nation and to protect him. Through him the entire world would be blessed because through him Jesus would come. So Abram obeyed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness, we find in Gal 3.

At Shechem, where so much would later happen, God made a promise to Abram to give him all of this land. Abram built and altar and worshiped there. Then he moved on to a place between Bethel and Ai, and there built another altar.

A famine came that was severe, so Abram moved temporarily to Egypt. Fearing for his life because of Sarai’s beauty, Abram lied. He asked Sarai to join him, which she obediently did. Sure enough, she quickly attracted the attention of Pharaoh and he took her and enriched Abram because of her.

But God wouldn’t let his promise die because of Abram’s lack of faith. He struck Egypt with plagues. Pharaoh, this time, recognized and obeyed God and returned Sarai to Abram.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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