Today’s reading is: Gen. 32:1-35:27
Genesis Chapter Thirty-Two
- Jacob encountered the angels of God on his way out of Canaan, and he now encounters them again on his way back into Canaan (Gen. 32:1; 28:12).
- Jacob names the place Mahanaim: “two camps” in recognition of the angelic camp along-side his human camp (Gen. 32:2).
- Mahanaim was briefly the capital of Ish-bosheth’s kingdom after Saul’s death (2nd Sam. 2:8,12,29).
- David fled to Mahanaim during Absalom’s revolt (2nd Sam. 17:24,27).
- Jacob sends emissaries ahead of his main caravan body, in an attempt to reestablish contact with Esau (Gen. 32:3-5).
- Jacob’s servants report back that Esau is enroute with 400 men (Gen. 32:6).
- Jacob divides his camp into two companies, in a human effort to preserve some of his possessions (Gen. 32:7,8).
- Jacob then prays to the God of Abraham and Isaac, and confesses his sinful fear (Gen. 32:9-12).
- Jacob sent an elaborate procession of emissaries and gifts ahead of him to meet Esau, and to attempt to buy his favor (Gen. 32:13-21).
- Jacob finally sent his wives and children across the Jabbok, while he remained outside of Canaan for a night of prayer (Gen. 32:22-34).
- He wrestled with God in his prayers (Hos. 12:3,4).
- He wrestled with the Angel of the Lord in his body (v.24).
- Jacob understood that letting go of the angel would mean a forfeiture of blessings (v.26).
- The Lord blesses Jacob with the new name of Israel (v.28).
- Jacob goes even further by requesting a greater intimacy with the Lord (v.29; cp. Jdg. 13:17,18).
- Jacob named that place Peniel/Penuel in commemoration of seeing the Lord face to face (v.30).
- Jacob will live with a physical disability, apparently for the rest of his life (vv.25,31,32 cf. 2nd Cor. 12:7-10).
Genesis Chapter Thirty-Three
- Jacob encounters Esau with a fresh element of courage, standing in front of his wives and children (Gen. 33:1-3).
- Esau greets Jacob in a tearful, joyful reunion (Gen. 33:4-7).
- Esau inquires about the abundant gifts, and expresses no desire in keeping Jacob’s blessings, but Jacob insists on sharing the grace gifts of God’s lovingkindness (Gen. 33:8-11).
- Esau & Jacob part ways, with Jacob promising to come to him in Seir (Gen. 33:12-16).
- Jacob, however, settled his family first in Succoth (Gen. 33:17), then in Shechem (Gen. 33:18-20).
- He and his family remained in Succoth for a number of years (8-11, probably 10).
- Jacob built a house, but there is no mention of an altar being built in Succoth. Succoth is NOT in Canaan.
- After a period of time, Jacob moves into Canaan, and settles at Shechem. Reuben is 21-24 years old. Simeon is 20-23 and Levi is 19-22 years old. Joseph is 14-17. Dinah is 13-16 years old.
Genesis Chapter Thirty-Four
- Dinah became involved with the Canaanite women (Gen. 34:1).
- Shechem (the person) prince of Shechem (the city) Shechem has sexual relations with Dinah against her will (Gen. 34:2). Shechem loved Dinah, and he spoke tenderly to her (Gen. 34:3). The Hebrew here does not speak necessarily in any kind of sequence. This was evidently a seduction, over time, but was consummated prior to marriage, and without Dinah’s consent.
- Shechem’s soul was bonded to Dinah’s soul, and he requested his father to arrange for their marriage (Gen. 34:3,4). Dinah is likely kept in Shechem’s home the entire time (Gen. 34:26).
- Jacob receives news of Dinah’s rape, but fails to take leadership in dealing with the situation (Gen. 34:5).
- Hamor makes a gracious plea to Jacob and his sons, and tells them to name their price for the bridal payment (Gen. 34:6-12).
- Jacob fails again to take the leadership, and surrenders the negotiations to his sons (Gen. 34:13-17).
- The sons answer with deceit (v.13).
- They claim their obligations under the Abrahamic Covenant will not permit intermarriage with any uncircumcised gentiles (v.14), and stipulate that they will agree to the marriage if the Shechemites become circumcised like them (vv.15-17).
- Hamor and Shechem agree to the terms, and convince the Shechemites to agree with the plan (Gen. 34:18-24).
- The lie of Jacob’s sons is followed by murder, as Simeon & Levi take advantage of the Shechemites’ weakness and massacre the city (Gen. 34:25-29).
- Jacob again fails in his spiritual responsibility and stewardship, when he does not judge his sons for their great evil (Gen. 9:6). Jacob is too preoccupied with his own insecurities that he tolerates his sons’ wickedness (Gen. 34:30,31; cf. Deut. 21:18-21; 1st Sam. 3:13).
Genesis Chapter Thirty-Five
- Jacob relocates his house from Shechem to Bethel in obedience to the revealed Will of God (Gen. 35:1-15).
- Jacob makes it a priority to remove all forms of idolatry from his house (vv.2‑4).
- God graciously placed fear upon the Canaanites, and Jacob’s family travelled in peace (vv.5,6).
- During Jacob’s stay at Bethel, he will bury Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah (v.8). We are left to assume that Rebekah is dead by this time, and that Jacob never does see her again after he flees from Canaan (Gen. 28:10).
- At Bethel, Jacob enjoys the greatest fellowship with the Lord that he has ever had (Gen. 35:9-15).
- God reminded Jacob of his new name—Israel (v.10).
- As El Shaddai, He reconfirms the Abrahamic Covenant to Jacob (vv.11,12). This time, Jacob is on his way into the promised land, and walking by faith.
- Jacob sets up a pillar of stone, and offers a drink offering without any foolish vows (vv.13,14).
- Jacob moves from Bethel to Ephrath (Bethlehem) (Gen. 35:16-21).
- Along the way, Rachel will die giving birth to Ben-oni: “son of my sorrow” (v.18).
- Jacob renames the baby Benjamin: “son of the right hand.”
- Jacob buries Rachel on the road to Ephrath (vv.19,20; 1st Sam. 10:2).
- After Rachel’s death, Reuben commits adultery with Rachel’s maid (and Jacob’s concubine) Bilhah (v.22).
- Jacob is finally reunited with his father Isaac shortly before Isaac’s death at the age of 180 (Gen. 35:27-29).