jacob uses selective breeding for spots genesis 30 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Summary of Genesis 30:25-43:

Jacob asks Laban if he may return to his home country with his wife and children and flocks.  But Laban asks him to stay for he knows he has prospered only because of Jacob so he offers Jacob to name his price to stay.  Jacob says he will stay if Laban will give him as wages every speckled or spotted sheep and every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat that is born.  He will separate out the current speckled and spotted and dark-colored animals and those will be cared for by Laban’s sons, which will decrease the odds of these being born.

Laban divided the animals as agreed upon and separated the flocks.  Jacob then placed tree branches in the water troughs so when the flocks came to drink they would mate. Jacob, caring for the solid-colored animals, kept his flocks separate from Laban’s and he only kept the strong ones.  The weak ones went to Laban.  Jacob grew exceedingly prosperous.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

9a) Laban tries to say that he has learned by “divinination” that God has blessed him because of Jacob, which he did not. Jacob agrees with the idea in mind to trick Laban into him getting more sheep and goats by breeding for colors that he thought he could choose. He made separate flocks for him and Laban. Jacob’s grew strong, while Laban’s did not.

b) God, as always

10a) I always ask to myself when these “why did God do something,” why not? God can do what He wants. Why not bless Jacob if He wanted to? Why does/should God bless anyone? None of us deserve it. Genesis 12:1-3 tells us that God has promised to bless Abraham, and since Jacob now has the blessing, God will bless Jacob. Colossians 3:22-25 says we are working for God. 1 Peter 2:18-20 says to submit to your masters even if they are harsh. 1 Peter 3:9 says to repay evil with blessings. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says to give God your worries.

b) God has a plan, and it is good. He will bless you in His time.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Funny how neither one has learned anything as they have gotten older. Both Laban and Jacob are back at scheming again.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Jacob wants to go home, so he asks his master, Laban, for permission. Laban does not want him to go, knowing that he has prospered thanks to God’s blessing on Jacob. Jacob takes the spotted sheep and goats for his flock and intends to keep only the colored ones that are born, leaving Laban with all the others. Laban thinks he is getting a great deal since the spotted ones are rarer. However, he forgot who God is blessing — Jacob, not him.

Jacob cared for Laban’s solid color animals. Laban’s sons cared for the speckled and spotted ones three-days journey away.

Jacob put branches in the troughs to increase the number of spotted animals born so they could be his. He used the modern-day practice of selective breeding to get the characteristics (in this case, spots) that he wanted. We will see in Genesis 31:10-13 that God was behind it all.

God blesses Jacob because of the covenant promise, not because of anything he does/did. We are blessed through Jesus Christ, not anything we have done/did.

We see the example through Jacob of working for others in faith God will bless you, of working hard, and of trusting God to do the rest.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Summary of Genesis 30:14-24:

Reuben gathered mandrakes for Leah. Rachel asked for some and Leah refused. Rachel told Leah she could sleep with Jacob then that night in exchange for mandraks. Jacob slept with Leah and she had another son named Issachar, meaning “reward.” Zebulon, meaning “honor” was born to Leah next. She also had a daughter named Dinah. God listened to Rachel and gave her a son as well named Joseph, meaning “may he add.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

6) We are not told this. This is speculation. As the head of the household, Jacob could end all of this mess at any point. He is weak and does not. I have no empathy for him. The kids we do not know. They are obviously impacted by their respective mother’s strained relationships, but we are not told how. Probably sibling rivalry and jealousy, but that’s common in every household tody.

7a) God listened and opened her womb.

b) God is in control and sovereign.

8 ) I learned early on to depend on God because humans in my life have let me down so often. As my husband starts a new career, we all are depending on God to help make up the shortfall in income.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

We see the desperation of both women here. Leah is still desperate for Jacob to love her, and Rachel is desperate for children. God is the only one we should be desperate for. He is our everything. In Him lies the answers to everything we seek.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Leviticus 18:18  woudl forbide the marrying of sisters. The Israelites will finally learn here that this is not a good idea.

The mandrake (called love apple in Hebrew) is mentioned in the Bible here and in Song of Songs 7:13. It is common in Israel and often grows as a weed. It is a member of the nightshade family, which contains the tobacco plant, as well as common vegetables, such as potatoes and tomatoes. It resembles a human so it was regarded with superstition in ancient times. It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to promote fertility, which is why Rachel was willing to trade time with her husband for it. While the mandrake is common in Israel, it is rare in Paddan-Aram where they lived. This shows that both women are relying on a superstitious plant to solve their problems, rather than turning to God.

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We can gather from the text that Jacob had not been sleeping with Leah all that much since she accuses Rachel of stealing her husband. Rachel uses or prostitutes Jacob to get what she wants here. Both are trading sex and love, which should never be done. God is soveign though here again. He gives both women children, the one who gave the mandrake and the one who bargained for them, too.

The Bible warns of believing superstitions in our life. (Ex. 22:18Rev. 22:15)  Do you have any superstitions?

Issachar adn Zebulun are sons nine and ten for Jacob. Leah was done having children at this point.

God is often credited (rightly so) as opening and closing wombs in Old Testament times (Genesis 25:21), (Genesis 29:31), (1 Samuel 1:5).

Finally, Joseph is born to Rachel, Jacob’s 11th son.

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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.

wild game bible jacob gets isaac's blessing www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

Summary of Genesis 27:1-13:

Isaac tells Esau to go and bring him a stew of the tasty wild game meat that he likes so that he can give him his blessing before he dies. Rebekah overhears Jacob tell Esau this, so she tells Jacob to bring her two of the choicest young goats so she can prepare him a meal just as he likes it. Then take it to him so that Jacob can receive the blessing instead. Jacob says he is not hairy like Esau, but Rebekah says the curse will fall on her if Jacob realizes he has been tricked.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

3) Jacob wanted the some good game meat to satisfy his hunger. Jacob, Esau, and Rebekah all wanted the spiritual blessing of Jacob.

4) Rebekah made sure that Jacob did receive the blessing as God intended. Jacob wanted his son, Esau, to receive the blessing instead and fully intended to bless Esau and not Jacob as God has revealed.

5) I think most of the time Christians mean to do good, but end up using trickery to do so with good intentions. However, sin and selfishness drive us so people can mean good for them and not others.

6) I think they could have talked this through. Rebekah could have talked to Jacob’s about God’s prophetic words to her, and they arrange to give the blessing to Jacob as planned without trickery involved. Jacob did this on the sly, meaning he was hoping no one found out about it. I would think this would be a big ceremony back in that time. Communication was definitely lacking here as each tried to achieve their own desires. I can improve in that as well.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

I had forgotten Rebekah’s involvement in the blessing. On one hand, you see the good intentions of a parent who only wants the best for her children. Yet, you see favoritism here as well. You see Rebekah though ensuring God’s words came true, too. You see Jacob driven by the physical need for food and his desire for Esau to have the blessing even though he knew God’s words. It’s interesting how we are constantly trying to help God out when He needs no help at all. We only end up making a muck of things.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

Martin Luther calculated Isaac’s age to be 137 during this time. Isaac lived to be 180 (Genesis 35:28), so he was not as near to death at he thought.

Since Isaac was giving Esau the blessing in secret, he knew what he was doing was wrong. Usually, there would have been a celebration and a feast of the passing of the torch. Yet, Isaac tried to scheme against God anyways. He also asked for food first instead of just giving Esau the blessing in the first place. It’s as if Esau had to work to be blessed by God. Instead of giving the gift of his own free will, there’s a condition attached. Luckily, all mankind has to do is believe in Jesus. One and done.

Rebekah knew her food would taste the same to Jacob. Rebekah was wrong to help God out here. She did not trust God to do His will; she thought he needed help. She was also wrong to lead her son into sin.

Jacob willingly went along with Rebekah’s plan, living up to his name, which means trickster. He was concerned about getting caught, not if he was right or wrong.

Esau knew the blessing was not his because he had sold it to Jacob, so he was eager when Isaac offered it. Everyone in this scene is acting for their own interest. Yet, only God can bestow a blessing. In reality, all of this was meaningless.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

Summary of Genesis 24:15-27:

Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. She was beautiful and a virgin. She had gone down to fill her jar with water. Eliezar approached her and asked her for a drink. She gave him one and offered to water his camels, too. After the camels had drunk, Eliezar asked Rebekah if he could stay at her father’s house. He offered gold as payment. She said they have plenty of room. Eliezar praised God for His faithfulness to Abraham with this sign and for leading him to the house of his master’s relatives.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

6) Rebekah offered him a drink and offered to water all of his camels when asked, which was the sign Eliezar asked for.

7) Personal Question. My answer: Our new house, new career, new direction in life, new connections

8 ) Personal Question. My answer: Immediate prayer and gratitude by the servant. A serving heart and open heart by Rebekah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

God answers reasonable prayers to show his guidance. The best part of this story is the heart of the servant. I would wager he was probably treated well by Abraham but servants in ancient times had extremely rough lives and had no social status nor class. They were nothing in the eyes of many. So the willingness of this servant to serve his master is a great picture of how we are to serve the Lord. Everything is credited to God. The servant is merely the instrument in God’s work. This is how we need to approach life.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

God knows our needs before we do and sometimes answers before we even know it.  Isaiah 65:24

Rebekah was the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother, Nahor. When the Bible says she was beautiful, she most definitely was. Other women the Bible says are beautiful include:

The servant made sure Rebekah was a woman of her word and finished the job of watering his camels and did not give up half-way through. Then he knew God had answered his prayers. He offers gifts to Rebekah, thanked God for answering his prayers.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

Summary of Genesis 19:1-14:

The two men who left God walk to Sodom and find Lot at his post at the city’s entrance. Lot recognized their significance immediately and pleaded with them to come to his house for the night. They agreed. Later that night, all of the men of Sodom surround Lot’s house and demand he send out the two men so that they can have sex with them. Lot pleaded with them not to tak the two men, and even offered up his two virgin daughters instead.

The crowd would not listen, and as they moved towards the house, the angels struck them with blindness so they couldn’t find the door. They got Lot back inside safely. They told Lot that they were sent to destroy the city due to the outcry against it, so if he had anyone he wanted to save, to get them. Lot ran to save his future sons-in-law, but they thought he was joking.

Ezekiel 16:49-50:

Sodom is described as arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned. They didn’t help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things.

2 Peter 2:5-11:

God rescues the righteous while judging the unrighteous and made an example of Sodom and Gomorrah of what will happen to the ungodly. We learn Lot was distressed by what he saw around him (but apparently not enough to leave).

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

7) Lot sat at the city gate, which is where leaders sat to make important decisions. This suggests that Lot has become one of them. Also, that Lot would allow his own daughters to be raped. That’s a new low right there.

8a) It was deep if you’re willing to let your own daughters be raped. Plus, it was a gang rape. It seemed all the men were corrupt and committing crimes.

b) God prevents this from happening. He can only tolerate so much evil, and He had had enough.

9) We are all impacted by the sins around us as crimes continue to happen every day. It can be overwhelming to think about so knowing that God has got this is comforting, indeed.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

This is a sad chapter for me. If humanity has sunk so low, the only hope is God. Deep inside, we are all capable of this type of sin.

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End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

Note we are told for sure that these are angels who have come to Sodom and Gomorrah to destroy it. Lot probaby didn’t know they were angels, but he did know they were important, and probably much different than your average visitor passing through Sodom’s gates.

Lot has been going down the path of sin since Abraham offered him the choice of land in Genesis 13 (Genesis 13:10). Now he is a leader. You could say he has compromised his soul.

What you miss out of the Ezekiel passage Ezekiel 16, is that God is comparing Judah and Jerusalem to the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah. The sins listed are shared sins.

Gang rape is serious, and it was accepted. This is bad, indeed.

Homosexuality is indeed a sin according to many passages in the Bible: (Romans 1:26-28).  (Leviticus 18:2220:13)

One interesting thing is that homosexuals say they were born with that tendency. However, the Bible says we are all born and prone to sin, so homosexuality is just one way sin manifests itself.

Lot calls them wicked (hypocrite) when he’s about to sell his daughters’ souls. In ancient times, guests held a higher place than women. Note despite Lot’s standing in the community, no one respected him.

The angels step in to stop any more grievous sins from taking place and ask Lot if there is anyone else to save. This question is one we should be asking on a daily basis. Remember only God is omniscient. The angels here truly do not know.

The fiances of his daughters were considered family even though they weren’t married. They laughed at him, probably with a heart full of sin as well.

Lot is saved; but is he? And for what? Don’t waste your life like Lot. 1 Corinthians 3:15: Turn your life to good for others.