jacob divides into 2 camps genesis 32 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

Summary of Genesis 32:1-8:

Jacob leaves Laban headed home. Jacob meets two angels and called the place Mahanaim, or “two camps.”  Jacob prepares to meet Esau. He sends messengers to him to tell Esau he is returning in order to see if he is still trying to kill him. The messengers return to Jacob and tell him that Esau is coming to meet him and is bringing 400 men. Jacob divides up into two camps so that at least one camp can survive if they are attacked by Esau.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

3a) Psalm says that the angels of the Lord camps around those who fear him and he delivers them. God sent an angel to protect Daniel in the lions’ den. Hebrews 1:14 says the Holy Spirit lives within you. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says God will judge the world. 2 Kings 6:8-23 tells how Israel was warned of approaching trouble. God sent angels to protect him.

b) Esau hated Jacob for when he traded his birthright for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:27-34) and was made lord over Esau (Genesis 27:35-41). Esau threatened to kill Jacob because of his stealing the blessing (Genesis 27:41), and Rebekah never sent for him, so he is assuming Esau still wants to kill him (Genesis 27:45)

4a) He divides up his herd so that at least part of his family will escape if Esau attacks one segment.

b) He is guided by fear. He does not seek the Lord until after he divides his belongings and family.

5a) Unsure

b) Always pray.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

Jacob reacts as most would: assuming Esau still wants to kill him. However, Jacob has spoken to God; he knows he is the promised one. Yet, he still fears for his life, and he does consult God after all the doings.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

map of mahanaim www.atozmomm.com bsf genesis bible study

Bible scholars debate why the angels of God met Jacob and what occurred here. Perhaps it marks a new beginning for Jacob as he separates from the ways of Laban, or perhaps God was showing His great love for Jacob.

Remember that angels are our servants (Hebrews 1:14). The angels were there the entire time, he just couldn’t see them. Elisha’s servant experiences this as well 2 Kings 6:15-17, The same goes for us as well. Angels are around us, too.

Jacob was humbling himself before Esau (saying he was his servant) and explaining that he didn’t want anything from him as he was a man of wealth.

Jacob was afraid because he knew he has wronged Esau, so Esau may still be mad. He had lost all courage he had with Laban (Genesis 31:36-42).

Jacob forget the angels standing next to him out of his fear. Since Rebekah never sent for him, Jacob was facing many unknowns. He needed to turn to God. Jacob divided his camps in order to preserve some of his wealth if Esau attacked. Again, God is absent here.

jacob and leah compete in kids genesis 30 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Summary of Genesis 30:1-13:

Rachel gets mad at Jacob, blaming him because she has had no children. Jacob rightly tells her that it is God, not he, that is preventing her from having children. So Rachel gave Jacob her servant, Bilhah, to have kids for her. Bilhah had Dan, which means “he has vindicated.” Bilhah had another son by Jacob named Naphtali, meaning “my struggle.” Leah, seeing what Rachel did, gave Jacob her maidservant, Zilpah, to bear kids for her. Zilpah bore Gad, meaning “good fortune, or a troop,” and Asher, meaning “happy.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

3a) Rachel says she’s jealous of Leah and angry. The names mean, “he has vindicated” and “my struggle” shows Rachel’s pain at not having children. Leah is just being petty and jealous too with Zilpah. She already had 4 kids; she does not need more. Pretty sure Leah and Rachel did not talk to each other and probably pretended the other didn’t exist, sad as sisters.

b) It’s human to be zealous of others. We all can relate, especially those who have struggled to have kids. Prayer truly is all that fixes it.

4a) He rightly corrected her, telling her God was in charge. Yet, he wrongly went along with her plan. No one learns in OT times, it seems.

b) Not slept with the maidservants and prayed to God instead.

5a) Pray about it. Pray about your feelings towards that person. Pray for that person. Love that person despite the pain or hurt. Pray to forgive them. Pray for God to solve the problem.

b) God is with you. God answers prayers, even when He doesn’t answer them, that is His answer. Have faith God knows what He is doing.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Noticed Jacob didn’t protest any of this nonsense, especially Leah’s request. She already had kids. She was being petty here. No one learned from Abraham here. You could argue Jacob was a typical man here. Who turns down an offer of free sex? Since there is no mention of Jacob’s protest, this seems likely.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Note that these are the first words recorded in the Bible that Rachel uttered, showing the depth of her despair: “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Jacob seems unsympathetic to Rachel’s plight here, probably due to the culture at the time. Still, we saw in Genesis 25 how Isaac prayed for Rebekah to have a child. What would have happened if Jacob had done the same instead of answered with “that’s your problem”? Would God have answered and no maid servants would have been needed?

Scholars debate if the surrogate (Bilpah) was sitting on the lap of the adoptive mother during conception and birth. There is no proof that this custom was followed or practiced. Some believe the child was merely placed n the knees of the one who adopted the child.

In the competition between the two women, Jacob’s 5th son was born, Dan, and his 6th, Naphtali. Rachel felt somewhat vindicted now, as Dan’s name implies.

Leah ups the ante in this petty competition by providing her maidservant, Zilpah. Jacob’s 7th and 8th sons are born, Gad and Asher, respectively.