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Today is a big day for Jacob in that he finally returns to Bethel - the same place where his pilgrimage began with God in Genesis 28:10-22! Bethel is where Jacob had his dream of the angels ascending and descending the staircase, when he was leaving the promised land for 20 years in Haran. Below is a map of Jacob's journeys for his entire life:
Bethel was the place where God first gave to Jacob His covenant promise that was also given to Abraham and Isaac - and the covenant promise is reconfirmed in today's readings in chapter 35 verses 11 and 12: "Then God said, "I am God Almighty. Multiply and fill the earth! Become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! And I will pass on to you the land I gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants." These 2 verses are essentially thought to be the climax of the Isaac-Jacob portion of Genesis. In tomorrow's readings we begin the Jacob-Joseph portion of Genesis. (which is an amazing narrative that begins tomorrow...) The covenant continues!
Today we read about the passing of Isaac and Rachel. What was interesting to me today about the death of Isaac was that he passed away after Jacob and Esau reconciled. I honestly forgot that Isaac had lived this long - I thought when he gave Esau's blessing to Jacob 20 years prior that he was on his deathbed! Obviously not. However, even with Jacob and Esau being reconciled at this point, going forward in the Old Testament we will see that this reconciliation didn't carry forward to their descendants. The nation of Israel (Jacob) and the kingdom of Edom (Esau) will have much strife in their coming generations toward each other, which we'll read about later this year. The red area in the map below shows the kingdom of Edom at its largest extent in approximately 600 B.C.:
In chapter 36 we read about Esau's descendants. One interesting note on verse 11 per Zondervan's NIV Study Bible - "Eliphaz: Teman - One of Job's friends was named Eliphaz the Temanite (Job 2:11), and Job himself was from the land of Uz (Job 1:1). Thus Job probably lived in Edom (see verses 28 & 34 in Genesis readings today)." Interestingly, I have a friend reading a Chronological Bible where Job is the book that is read just after this portion of Genesis - I think even before the Jacob-Joseph narrative coming up, some Chronological Bibles place the book of Job in the timeline of being read at this point. Below is an image of Eliphaz the Temanite and Job:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Genesis chapter 35 titled "The Way Back" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today’s readings reminded me of the Chris Tomlin song "How Great is Our God" with the line "Name Above All Names!" Please watch this video from start to finish. It's incredible to see Chris start with the piano only, then have the band play along, and to hear the crowd sing. Please feel free to worship along with this one!
How great is our God? Click here and find out!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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