Genesis 30 – Jacob’s son of Leah, Rachel, and their handmaids. Man dragons?

Rachel, envious of her sister’s births, angers Jacob by demanding he give her children, when Jacob lays the blame for her closed womb on God. In another common occurrence, Rachel demands that Jacob impregnate her hand maid, and now we are told that Jacob has lain with a woman for the purpose of bearing children.

Sons of Bilnah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the sons):

5. Dan – “God hath judge me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son”

6. Naphtali – “With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed”

Rachel claims she has prevailed over Leah despite having to resort to her handmaid for her sons and being outnumbered 4 to 2. Leah, who had left off bearing, answers back by having Jacob impregnate her handmaid, Zilpah.

Son of Zilpah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the son):

7. Gad – “Fortunate!”

Reuben, the oldest son, finds mandrakes in the field during wheat harvest and brings them to his mother Leah. His aunt Rachel demands Leah give them to her (they must have had some serious value) and Leah refuses, telling Rachel that not only has she taken her husband, now she wants to take her sons mandrakes. In a telling verse, Rachel offers a trade: Reuben’s mandrakes and Leah is allowed to sleep with Jacob (does this answer the previous question: Was Jacob the father of the first four sons of Leah?)

Genesis 30:16 And Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.

Lely, Peter, 1618-1680; Reuben Presenting Mandrakes to Leah
Depiction of a young Reuben bringing mandrakes to his mother Leah. Note the ‘handmaid’ with child, most likely Dan, Naphtali, or Gad borne to handmaid Bilnah. Also note the (collared) dog in the painting, because there is correlation (warning on pursuing this connection)

We are told God hearkened unto Leah (who was no longer able to give birth aka “left off bearing” but now she was?)

Sons of Leah with Jacob (Words of Leah who named the sons:)

8. Issachar – “God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband”

9. Zebulun – “God hath endowed me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons”

Daughter of Leah (no indication Jacob was the father): Dinah.

God “remembers” Rachel, who has been barren all this time, and opens her womb (no indication Jacob was the father though it’s a good assumption).

10. Joseph – “God hath taken away my reproach; Jehovah add to me another son”

Back to mandrakes: can also be translated as “man dragons”, they seem to be a plant found in parts of the middle east. It could also be a general term for a group of hallucinogenic plants. An internet search will show that some of these tubers called mandrakes actually look like humans. The context of it in this book is unknown, however the idea that Leah would trade mandrakes to Rachel for the privilege of sleeping with her/their husband means that these items were highly valuable to Rachel, enough where she’d let another woman (even though it was his wife) sleep with him. Twice.

mandrake root
Hallucinogenic? Collectible? Why would Rachel, who was highly envious of Leah for having an open womb, allow Leah to sleep with Jacob for the mandrakes that Leah’s son Reuben had gathered? Here is an example of a creature figure like root of what is commonly known as mandrake. The mandrake in this book could be an entirely different plant however.

 

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Genesis 22 – The Test, Human Sacrifice, the Lineage to Isaac’s wife

Genesis 22:1 – And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. And he said, Take now they son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

If ever a verse would turn away the average reader into abhorrent disgust from this book, this would be it. Jehovah promises Abraham that his seed will be as countless as the sand, yet God is telling him to now sacrifice him as a burnt offering? Abraham seems response-less, not even asking for clarification. He questioned Jehovah multiple times about the future, his destiny, his covenant. But sacrifice your only son? No response.

It was a 3 day journey to the spot in Moriah, and Abraham, without emotion, separates himself and Isaac from the two young men that accompanied him. In yet another act of deception by Abraham:

22:7 – And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son…

Why couldn’t Abraham just tell him the truth? More fear from Abraham, maybe Isaac would run off and Abraham would incur the wrath of God? Then we learn it was a test, a test to find out if Abraham feared God.

Why the need for a test, doesn’t God know all peoples thoughts and motives? The only reason to test Abraham is because God didn’t know if Abraham feared him. Why go through such a test if you are all knowing? Why does anyone prove something they already know?:

  • To prove it to other people
  • To wallow in the knowledge of being right
  • They are unsure of their knowledge

The angel of Jehovah interrupts Abraham right before he slays Isaac:

22:11 – And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not they hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for NOW I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.

Abraham Isaac altar
No fear mentioned from Abraham or Isaac. Just a normal day of sacrifice?

An insecure God? He didn’t know that Abraham feared him before this test? Not knowing the loyalty of his servants with which he has performed miracles, destroyed cities, and created covenants for him and his generations to follow? The only one in this story with conviction is Abraham, who did what he was instructed without hesitation. It is God in this verse who has to test the lesser being for his devotion. This is odd and undermines the omniscient quality modern religion has applied to our understanding of God.

Not only that, was it normalized in biblical times for a man to sacrifice his children? It’s not mentioned yet but the answer is yes, and future verse will prove it. Maybe not in the realm of Jehovah but certainly in this land, and we know Abraham has traveled in all directions at this point. We already read how Lot was ready to give up the virginity of his two daughters to scores of wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah, possibly leading to their death. We know the Israelite’s fed their children to the fires of Moloch/Molech in future verse. Is this why Abraham didn’t flinch at the thought of sacrificing his son? It was already normalized?

Now I’m seeing the difference between what modern churches and interpretation apply to God as a trait and what the Bible states. They are not the same. If God knows all then why the need to test his servant and finally state “yes, NOW I know you fear me”. He admits he didn’t know before hand.

Genesis 22 ends with the lineage of Abraham’s sister in law Milcah from Abraham’s brother (including children from his concubine).

Genesis 21 – Sarah conceives, Hagar flees, Abraham & Abimelech make peace

Fulfilling his promise:

Genesis 21:1 – And Jehovah visited Sarah as he had said, and Jehovah did unto Sarah as he had spoken. And Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

What exactly did he “do unto Sarah”? Note that it is due to Jehovah’s “visit” to Sarah, and not the knowing of Sarah by Abraham that caused this conception. Sure enough it sounds like a recreation of the events in Genesis 6, when a heavenly being impregnates a “daughter of man”. We also know that the children of this union became “mighty men, men of renown” and eventually wicked and wiped out by the Flood in those days.

So is this child Abraham’s seed if Abraham didn’t contribute, physically, to the child’s conception? The child’s name was Isaac, he was circumcised after 8 days, and they held a great feast on the day he was weaned. The mother of the half Egyptian son of Abraham (truly Abraham’s seed for we know he impregnated Hagar), was seen to be mocking at the feast. Sarah asks Abraham to throw her and Abraham’s son out and that the child should not be a heir with Isaac. God comforted Abraham’s grief over this, promising that his son of Hagar will make a nation, and that he should listen to Sarah’s wishes.

21:12 –  …. for in Isaac shall thy seed be CALLED. And also of the son of the handmaid I will make a nation, because he is thy seed.

Notice the verbiage, Isaac will be CALLED his seed (though he isn’t, aka “we will call him your seed”) and God verifies that the son of Hagar is indeed his seed.

Abraham, with all the riches of gold, silver, cattle, handmaids and servants, wakes up the next day, gives Hagar some bread and a bottle of water, and sends her on her way where she wanders the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. After the bottle of water runs out, and seemingly without hope, she places the child under a bush and distances herself so that she can not witness the death of her child.

hagar child
With nothing but some bread and a bottle of water, Hagar is cast into the wilderness where the grace of God comes upon her and saves her and her child, the seed of Abraham.

The cries of the child and the cries of Hagar rise up to God, and the angel of God tells Hagar to get up and hold the child, because he will be a great nation. God opened her eyes to see a water well, where she was able to fill her bottle and give the water to her child. God was with the child as he grew, he became a great archer who dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, and eventually married one of his mother’s kin, an Egyptian.

Jehovah tells Abraham the covenant is for him and his seed (the child CALLED his seed or his actual seed?) After this Book I’m starting to see a different picture.

  • Jehovah + Sarah (whatever happened when he visited her) = Isaac who God says is CALLED Abraham’s seed
  • Abraham + Hagar = Unnamed at this point but who God says IS Abraham’s seed
  • Abraham is starting to look more like a surrogate/earthly father for the child of heavenly Jehovah and earthly Sarah
    • Can it be denied that the Bible did not say Abraham conceived with Sarah?
  • Both children are promised greatness, but it is the child of Sarah by Jehovah’s actions that is promised the covenant. If Jehovah was the “father” of Isaac, then he is protecting his own child.

As outrageous as that sounds, it is what I am reading. Is this so outrageous after understanding what happened in Genesis 6 when beings from heaven mated with females on earth? Remember, there were giants/Nephilim in those days AND after, as verse mentions. Was this heavenly being/earthly female propagation continuing after the flood?

In what really should be a separate book, Book 21 ends with a peace treaty between Abraham and Abimelech in the land of Philistines where Abraham sojourned for many days.

Genesis 20 – More wife deception, victim = King of Gerar

Abraham journeys away from the oaks of Mamre towards the land of the south and ends up in Gerar. Not really sure *why* he sojourned, possibly due to the recent events in Sodom and Gomorrah?

Not sure why he had to do this, it does not say out of fear for his life as it was previously with the Pharaoh, but this time he tells Abimelech, king of Gerar that Sarah is his wife. Guess what happens next:

  • Abimelech takes her, but does not go near her
  • God comes in a dream to Abimelech and tells him “you’re a dead man” because Sarah is someones wife
  • Abimelech explains the lie of Abraham and Sarah to him, and in his heart and innocence did he do all this
  • God says he knows, that it was HE that withheld Abimelech from sinning and it was HE who made it so he wouldn’t touch her

Genesis 20:7 (God to Abimelech) Now therefore restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her no, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

This is the first time we’ve seen Abraham be called a prophet.

In an echo of the deception put upon the Pharaoh, Abimelech calls Abraham out and asks him why he would do such a thing. Abraham says he feared for his life because of his wife. It is also at this point that Abraham admits that Sarah, his wife, is his half sister.

Reminder Sarah is well up in age, so why would Abraham worry about it now? Wouldn’t the king of Gerar have his choice of much younger women? So what exactly was he doing by taking her?

Questions remain:

  • After all that Jehovah has done for Abraham, all the covenants, all the manipulation, the promises, and destruction, why would Abraham still walk in fear for his life?
  • Is Abraham really a prophet? Or was it a sham to convince Abimelech that it was Abraham, and not God, who would be healing his family, thus elevating Abraham higher than usual?

So, for being deceived by Abraham, and not actually doing anything wrong, as even God admitted, Abimelech suffers a death threat from God, his wife and female slaves all go barren, and he ends up paying Sarah 1,000 pieces of silver to right his “wrong.” Sure enough, Abraham prays for Abimelech and his wife and female slaves are healed and can once again bare children.

Genesis 18 – Jehovah visits Abraham; scolds Sarah; Is not sure about Sodom & Gomorrah?

By the oaks of Mamre Jehovah appears before Noah. Noah, sitting at the door of his “tent”, lifts up his eyes and see 3 men. Realizing Jehovah is one of them he runs to greet them and asks them to rest and stay, to be fed a morsel of bread and water.

Note: Jehovah is there but no offering of burnt flesh is mentioned. Also note that Jehovah can appear to Abraham in human form, so why the need for visions and divination? Is it possible that Jehovah has a physical presence that keeps him from being in all places at once, the way we think of God’s omnipresence (all being) and omniscience (all knowing)?

The three “men” inquire about his wife Sarah, and Jehovah tells Abraham that he will return “when the season cometh round” which could be when the season changes to the next. Jehovah tells Noah that when he returns, Sarah will have a son.

Genesis 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

Sarah no longer menstruated “after the manner of women.” She laughs (to herself) about the idea that not only her, but Abraham were old and could not “have pleasure.”

G.D.Tiepolo, Drei Engel bei Abraham - G.D.Tiepolo / Three Angels & Abraham - G.D.Tiepolo/Trois Anges/Abraham/V.1768
Sarah listens in, laughs to herself, and is chastised by Jehovah.

Jehovah hears her thoughts, and questions Abraham why his wife laughed at the concept, questioning whether such a concept was beyond Jehovah’s capabilities. Sarah denies thinking it, but Jehovah scolds her saying “…but thou didst laugh.”

18:14 – Is anything too hard for Jehovah? At the SET TIME I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son.

The set time, as illustrated in previous verse, is the change of the season. Let’s break this down. A very old man and woman, both admitting to their inability to bear children in their age, are promised a child. A miraculous birth, if you will. Will Abraham be the physical father? The promise here is, is that Sarah will be pregnant, no specific mention that Abraham will be the father by the act of intercourse. At this point it sounds like a form of immaculate conception is in the plans, because it involves Jehovah returning to Sarah for it to take place.

Their discussion complete, the 2 angels head toward Sodom and Gomorrah, while Jehovah stays behind with Abraham.

18:20 – And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

To back up the idea that Jehovah is not omnipresent/omniscient this verse verifies it. Jehovah can “hear” the cry of the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, but he needs to go down to see for himself, and he validates this with “if not, I will know.” Meaning he doesn’t know at the time of this statement.

So we have two verses and concepts that show that Jehovah is not omnipresent or omniscient:

  • When he is away from Abraham he has to speak to him using visions and divination, but when he is physically close he can speak to him as a man. (not omnipresent)
  • He hears the cries of Sodom and Gomorrah but he has to go see for himself to make sure the actions fit the cry. (not omniscient)

Very interesting… Abraham asks Jehovah to consider any righteous who may be living among all the wicked, in hopes he can sway Jehovah not to wipe out the entirety of the cities.

 

Genesis 14 Part 2 – Melchizidek & God Most High

Abram is victorious over King Chedorlaomer, and the previously defeated king of Sodom comes out to meet Abram at the Kings Vale. Another king comes out, he is Melchizidek, the Priest-King of Salem. He is the king of Salem and a Priest of God Most High.

Genesis 14:18 – And Melchizidek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him, and said Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into they hand. And he gave him a tenth of all.

What’s interesting is that he brings BREAD and WINE for the blessing of Abram and for the blessing of God Most High who delivered Abram’s enemies into his hands. Not burnt flesh of the clean animals as Jehovah has asked for in the past.

This same deliverance has benefited the king of Sodom, who, as previously noted, are wicked and sin greatly against Jehovah.

The king of Sodom tells Abraham to give the people back to him, and Abram can keep the goods/spoils. Abraham makes a swear that he would not enrich himself by the king of Sodom with his goods. Abram’s response is curious, and you have to ask does it mesh with what we know about Jehovah and what Melchizidek’s actions were:

14:22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand unto Jehovah, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth…

This is the first reference to Jehovah being the Most High and it’s not coming from Jehovah, it’s coming from Abram. If Jehovah and the Most High are the same, why would Melchizidek simply not call upon Jehovah? Is it a language/title issue? Where are the burnt offerings if he is referring to Jehovah?

Regardless, such an expansive war, and no mention of altars, no mention of savory burning flesh, no mention of clean and unclean animals. I think there is more to God Most High in these verses versus Jehovah (sorry for the pun) so we will have to see what future verse brings.

I’m thinking a heavenly hierarchy: we know there are multiple beings in the heavens, so there is obviously rank. Can there be more than one “most high”? God Most High = bread and wine, Jehovah Most High = burning flesh.

Melchizidek
Rendition of Melchizidek meeting Abram? Even in this illustration (potentially completely historically inaccurate) Melchizidek seems to have rank/glory over those who kneel before him.

Looking into the future (biblically), we know that bread and wine are going to take a very important role in upcoming verse, so I think this is a very telling story, especially in the absence of altars and the savors of burning flesh.