Friday, June 18

Disciple Bible Study: Week 4, Reading 4

I’m participating in Disciple Bible Study, a 34 week intensive. For five days, we have different readings.  I have decided to document my initial noticings from a close reading of the scripture. Well, an attempt at a close reading.

Week 4 Theme:  Covenant

Week 4, Reading 3: Genesis 28-35


  • Chapter 28:  Blessing of Jacob
    • v. 1 - "Isaac called Jacob and blessed him."  didn't this happen already?  Isn't that the whole point of the Esau/Jacob trickery?  For Jacob to receive the blessing??
    • v. 5 - Laban re-enters the story; he didn't seem like such a jerk last time
    • Jacob forbidden to marry a Canaanite, Esau marries a Canaanite (in addition to the other wives he had).  Ham/Ishmael/Esau - Brothers/Isaac/Jacob.  Quite a history of brotherly divisions.
    • v. 10 - 17: Jacob's dream at Bethel
    • v. 11 - Slept with a stone as a pillow.  No wonder he had bad dreams.
    • v. 14 - Covenant restatement (again)
    • v. 20 - 22 - Jacob is like, "If God gives me all this stuff, I'll worship the LORD."  Really?
    • v. 23 - The pillar is "God's house."  Really?  I wonder what the real word is here.  House seems odd.
  • Chapter 29:  Jacob Meets Rachel and Marries Laban's Daughters
    • Another well story!  Woot!  What are the problems?
      • The well (fertility) of Rachel is blocked.
      • Jacob very much the hero/takes control
      • Interesting that in verse 11, he kisses Rachel and weeps
      • feast.  Where's the feast?
      • A month passes...
      • A deal for Rachel and here comes the feast! (v. 22)
      • Then Leah is there instead of Rachel.  Trickery!  Curses!!
      • What is meant by "complete the week of this one" in v. 27?
      • Is Rachel then going to Jacob one week or 7 years later?
  • Chapter 30:  Babies
    • Now it is baby war
      • Sad Leah, God loved her though and gave her a baby!  Umm.  Jacob must've wanted her at least a little!
      • Leah starts popping babies out.  Rachel is annoyed.  Then she "gives Jacob Bilhah" (eww, poor Bilhah).  Bilhah starts popping babies.
      • v. 8 - Rachel says, "with might wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister...."  Does this hint at the wrestling to come?
      • Then Leah gives Jacob Zilpah (eww again).  More babies.
      • Leah gets more babies.
      • Rachel has more babies.
      • Crazy.  TLC would've loved this family.
    • v. 27 - Laban says, "I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you."  Really.  Isn't it obvious?  Does he need divination?
    • v. 37-43 - What the heck are these rods being laid in front of the sheep when they are begetting more sheep?  I don't understand!  Aah, study notes...magical belief that speckled tree limbs can be transferred to the babies creating speckled babies.
  • Chapter 31:  Jacob Flees with Family and Flocks
    • v. 15 - Really?  Rachel and Leah look upon the father as having sold them?  Sort of ruins the love story.
    • v. 24 - God tells Laban to not say a word to Jacob "either good or bad."  That means shut up, right?
    • v. 25-30 - A whole lot of words coming from Laban to Jacob.  Certainly wasn't mute!!
    • v. 36-42 - An angry rant by Jacob because of the search for the idol.  What would've happened if Rachel told Jacob, "uh, I have the idol."  I wonder if she ever tells him?  Secret forever?
  • Chapter 32:  Jacob Going to Esau
    • First, Jacob is approaching Esau like he is not the master of the two.  More like he is the supplicant.  If that big blessing was true, wouldn't it be vice versa?
    • v. 20 - Evidence of a desire to be accepted
    • v. 24-31 - Jacob wrestling
      • Jacob wrestles him until he gets a blessing.  Isn't Jacob a blessing hog?
      • v. 28 - Name change to Israel
      • v. 29 - Desire to know God
  • Chapter 33:  Jacob and Esau Meet
    • v. 1-2 - Puts the family in order of least important to important.  How horrible.
    • v. 4 - Esau is extremely generous and gracious
    • v. 17 - Succoth appears!
    • v. 20 - The building of the altar El-Elohe-Israel.  Is this the birth of the geographical Israel?
  • Chapter 34:  Rape of Dinah
    • Amazing that it isn't rape when the slaves/maids are taken.  But it is rape here.
    • Story of love, rape, anger, destruction, revenge
    • v. 25-29 - The brothers do an awful lot of damage.  They must have had an army.
    • I wonder what Dinah wanted in this situation.
  • Chapter 35:  Jacob returns to Bethel
    • v. 10 - Jacob renamed to Israel.  Oops!  Didn't that already happen?
    • v. 16-20 - One more baby for Rachel, Benjamin.  Poor Rachel.
    • v. 22 - This is totally random.  Reuben went and had sex with Bilhah.  Poor Bilhah.

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