Chapter Fourteen:

To Make A Nation

Now when Abraham was old, he made one of his servants promise to seek a wife for Isaac among his own kin, but that Isaac should not return back to the land of his countrymen, but the servant was to bring a wife to Isaac. The servant would be free from his vow if he could not find a woman willing to return with him. When the servant arrived at the city of Nahor, he had the Camels kneel at the well outside the city in the evening when the women came to draw water. And the servant prayed to God that the girl to whom he should say, "Please let down your jar that I may drink", that if she answer "drink, and I will water your Camels also", that she will be the one that Thou has appointed for Thy servant Isaac." Thus, Rebecca was chosen to return with the servant for Isaac. (Genesis 24: 12-26.)

To Isaac and Rebecca, twins were born; Esau and Jacob. Esau's was the first born, red and hairy. Jacob was born holding onto the heel of Esau. Esau became a hunter and was strong. Jacob was mild mannered and thoughtful. Even when they were in their mother's womb, there was great struggling. When they were older, Esau would go out to hunt and bring in deer to make a savory meal for his father. On one occasion, Jacob cooked some pottage, and when Esau returned home he was so hungry he was faint. He asked Jacob for some of the pottage, but Jacob bargained for Esau's birthright. Esau saw no use for a birthright when he was so hungry, and sold his birthright to Jacob for the pottage.

When Isaac was old and his vision was so dim that he could not see, he asked Esau to hunt for game to make a good meal, and afterward Isaac would give him his blessing. But Rebecca overheard Isaac ask of Esau and plotted to have the blessing given to Jacob. So she made a savory meal, disguised Jacob with fur on his hands and putting on some of Esau's clothing, he went in to Isaac. Isaac was not easily deceived, but since Isaac could not see well, and feeling the hairy arms he thought was Esau's and smelling the clothing of Esau's, he ate and gave the blessing to Jacob.

(Genesis chapter 27). "See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.)

And Jacob became the heir that was in the Messianic line. Esau repented of his loss and wept bitterly, but there was no changing the blessing. (If we sin willfully, there remains no further sacrifice..... no turning back.) All Isaac could do, was to give Esau another but lesser blessing. Esau and his descendants were to dwell away from the fertility of the earth, and away from the dew of Heaven. He would live by the sword and serve his brother, until he became restless and would break the yolk from his neck.

Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing that his father had given, and said in his heart that he would slay Jacob when the days of mourning for his father would be at an end. When Rebecca heard about his intentions, she told Jacob to go to her brother Laban, and not to return until Esau was over his anger. So she told Isaac that Jacob should not take a wife among the Canaanites, but from kinsmen. Isaac then called Jacob to him and charged him to return to Rebecca's people, and there choose a wife. He asked God's blessing on Jacob, and that He give the Blessing of Abraham to Jacob. And he sent Jacob away, and Jacob went toward Haran.

Because Esau knew Isaac did not want wives from among the Canaanites, he chose a wife from Ishmael's descendants. (It is important to remember that in the Messianic line the men were to return to the family line of Abraham to choose their wives and neither were they to intermarry with the Canaanites, etc., which were of Ishmael's line, thus preserving the Messianic line. (However, there were some special considerations where the "gentiles" were included in the line because of obedience to God's commands.) That night Jacob lay to sleep with a stone for a pillow,

(Genesis 28:12-22 and he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.)

In Chapter 29 we see the meeting between Jacob and Rachel, and how Laban promised Rachel to him for his wife if he would work 7 years for him. After the 7 years were done, Laban sent Leah, Rachel's older sister, to the wedding chamber. When Jacob discovered the deceit the next morning, he confronted Laban. Laban said it was not their custom to give the younger sister to marriage first, but if Jacob would work another 7 years, he could have Rachel, also. So Jacob worked another 7 years for Laban. In the next 14 years Jacob became a rich man, and this displeased the sons of Laban. So Jacob saw that Laban was displeased with him, and decided to make the journey back to the land of his father, and with fear as to how Esau would receive him, he gathered his family and possessions and left in secret. When Laban discovered Jacob had gone, he pursued him because some of his idols were missing. Rachel had stolen some of her father's idols. When Laban caught up with Jacob, they discussed the situation, and while they were searching Isaac's camps, Rachel sat upon her camel where she had hidden them. When they were not found, Laban and Isaac made peace, and placed a pillar of stones as their agreement. Then Laban kissed his daughters and their children, and returned home.

As Jacob drew near to the land of his father he grew anxious, and sent word to Esau that he was coming, and to ask for forgiveness. The servants returned with the news that Esau was coming out to meet Jacob with 400 men. Jacob chose some of his flocks sending them ahead, in groups as gifts to Esau. Then he divided his company into two groups in order that some could escape should Esau take vengeance on him. He prayed to God for deliverance, and they spent the night at Jabbok. Then he sent his wives and children, and all that he had, across the stream. And Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he prevailed not over Jacob, he touched the socket of Jacob's thigh, and dislocated it. Then the man said "Let me go, because day is breaking", but Jacob would not let go until he had blessed him. The man asked his name, and then said it would no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because he had striven with God and with men, and had prevailed; and he blessed him. So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved". And the sun rose just as he crossed over Penuel, and Jacob was limping on his thigh.

And Esau came out and met them, and they made peace between them.

Jacob had twelve sons. Levi was the third son. Judah was the fourth son. Joseph was the eleventh son, and Benjamin was the twelfth son. These were the sons that were most significantly used in the accounts we are telling. The Kingship was to be through Judah until "Shiloah" come.

(Genesis 49:10....until He comes to whom it belongs {the scepter} and the obedience of the nations is His.)

Judah's two oldest sons were Er and Onan, but because of their sins they were slain by God. Er's widow then bore a son to Judah (read the account in Genesis 38:11-30). Through this son, Pharez, Judah became the ancestor of David. When Jacob was dying, he called all his sons together to tell them all that would befall them. In this prophetical vision, Judah was selected as the tribe of the Messiah. It is called the Shiloh Prophesy.

The physical priesthood was to come through Levi's descendants. Remember that Levi was the third son, and Judah was the fourth.

Joseph, the son that Jacob loved so because he was the son of his beloved Rachel, was a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams. He was another man who pleased God and was used to further His plan. Benjamin was the only brother of Joseph by Rachel, and was the youngest of Jacob’s boys.

Joseph was sold into slavery to the Egyptians by his brothers through the Ishmaelites because of the jealousy of his brothers when he interpreted dreams to them about their servitude to Joseph. There he earned respect and was eventually given high position. He was there to preserve his brothers, because it was necessary to remove Israel from Canaan to prevent intermarriages and contamination through the idolatrous races, and to fulfill prophesy. And Benjamin was used by Joseph to bring Jacob and his family down to Egypt during a great famine.

This was to fulfill the 400 years which God told Abraham about, and that the Children of Israel would serve strangers in a strange land. When the Pharaoh that had known Joseph was dead and the Children of Israel began to multiply, the Egyptians were concerned that they would become a great nation and conquer the Egyptians, or help the enemies of Egypt. They began oppressing the Israelites and they became slaves to the Egyptians, enduring many hardships at the hands of the Egyptians. The Children of Israel were now ready to understand servitude under the harshness of this world, and what it means to serve under conditions that bring evil into their lives. And Egypt became a symbol of the desolation of sin. When the 400 years were fulfilled, God remembered Israel and heard their cries for release, and He raised up Moses to deliver them. But it took many times to try to get the children of Israel to learn the lesson of obedience to God's will to please God. Each generation drifted further from God, until God would deliver them into the hands of their enemy, and they would remain in captivity until they repented and cried out to return to God.

In spite of the desires of man to do things his own way, God has been patient, but would perform His plan as He willed. And Moses is the next man of significance that we will study.

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Table Of Contents

God's Word - The Bible
In The Beginning
The Garden
God Reaches Out
Two Sons
And Man Multiplied
The Flood
The Rainbow
The Faith of Abraham
A Covenant Promise Fulfilled
Analogies: Sons and the Covenant
The Ultimate Test of Faith
To Make A Nation
A Prophet Raised Up
Intertestamental History
Fullness Of Time