judah begs for benjamin's life www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 44:18-34

Summary of Genesis 44:18-34:

Judah pleads for Benjamin’s life, in the end offering to take his place because he cannot face Jacob and tell him that Benjamin has been taken from him like they did when they sold Joseph into slavery. Judah explains to Joseph that Benjamin is the only son left of his mother and Jacob loves him deeply. He recounts the whole conversation with Jacob of taking Benjamin so that he (Joseph) would sell them grain. He says that Jacob will die if they return without Benjamin.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 44:18-34

13) Judah cannot bear to see the misery that would come upon Jacob and the fact that Jacob would die in sorrow. Just the fact that Judah does not want Benjamin taken says it all. Here, his actions speak louder than his words. All of the brothers could have left Benjamin. Instead, they stand up for him.

14) Personal Question. My answer: Age and experience has contributed to my growth. Unsure the evidence, however.

15a) Regret is when you feel sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an event that has happened or been done to you. Repentance is a feeling of regret for past wrongs and a commitment to change for the better. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary defines repentance as “a complete change of orientation involving a judgment upon the past and a deliberate redirection for the future.” Sorrow leads to repentance. Regret is the first step; repentance follows regret and is the act of change.

b) Just the fact I want to repent is God’s grace. Many people feel bad over what they’ve done, but don’t resolve to change. Resolving to change so when the situation presents itself again is repentance and that lead to salvation. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 So my answer is all the time since I sin all the time.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 44:18-34

I love how the brothers pass this test of Joseph’s of caring. What if they hadn’t? The story of God’s people would have been different, indeed.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 5: Genesis 44:18-34

Many Bible scholars call Judah’s appeal moving. Others call it pathetic. Either way, it’s one of absolute desperation. Once again, Judah is putting the blame on someone else, saying this all started because Joseph asked them questions. All they wanted was to buy some grain. He once again says that Joseph is torn to pieces. I’m wondering how Joseph is taking this. I’m surprised he never asked what happened to him/Joseph to see if he could get the truth from them.

Joseph asks “What is this you have done?” giving the brothers a chance to repent and explain themselves. This is the same question God asks Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and of Cain when he killed Abel.

You can see now that Judah does care about Jacob’s feelings when before they didn’t, even though Jacob favored both Joseph and now Benjamin. I can only imagine that Benjamin was even more favored now that Joseph is gone than before.

Since Judah is the one who volunteers to exchange his life for Benjamin’s, we see sacrificial love, which usually only occurs under the umbrella of love and is a sign of transformation (John 13:34). Since he was the one who wanted to sell Joseph  (Genesis 37:26-27), we know for sure that his heart at least has changed.

In these two chapters, we see how the brothers have matured. They stay with Benjamin, they don’t care he gets more food, they offer themselves as slaves, and they care for Jacob. They also know all of this is happening because of their sin against Joseph (Genesis 44:16) , and they accept that. This is a lot of growth, indeed.

joseph dines with his brothers www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 43:15-34

Summary of Genesis 43:15-34:

The brothers did as Jacob said. They hurried to Egypt with Benjamin. Joseph invited them to eat with him. The brothers were frightened of this action. They thought Joseph was going to attack them and seize them as slaves and take their donkeys as punishment for the silver in their bags they did not pay the first time.

The brothers approached the steward in an effort to give the money back. The steward said it was a gift to them from God. Then Simeon was brought out. The brothers prepared for a meal and retrieved the gifts to give Joseph. When Joseph arrived, they gave him the gifts and bowed low to him. He asked them if Jacob was still alive, and they replied yes.

Joseph was very moved to see Benjamin. They were probably very close as brothers. He had to excuse himself to weep. Joseph returned, and the food was served. Joseph ate separately from his brothers because the Egyptians would not eat with Hebrews. Joseph sat them in the order of their birth, and the brothers were astonished. Benjamin got 5 times the amount of the others.

joseph's brothers go to buy grain www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 43:15-34

7) Joseph invited them to eat with him. The brothers were frightened of this action. They thought Joseph was going to attack them and seize them as slaves and take their donkeys as punishment for the silver in their bags they did not pay the first time.

8 ) The steward knows of their God/God/Joseph’s God. I’m wondering if this is because of Joseph’s position and if his story is known to others.

9) I think Joseph was trying to give them a hint, but the brothers missed it.

10) Wow. Too many to pinpoint. I would say everything in my life has led to this point and God continues to lead. It’s only fear if you perceive it as that. In my life, it seems everything is unexpected.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 43:15-34

You think that when the brothers were seated in the order of their birth that they would begin to wonder what was up. That they would truly LOOK at Joseph and recognize him. It’s obvious that something is going on here, how Joseph asks after Jacob; how he invites them to dinner, etc. It’s a puzzle that I’m surprised not one of the brothers tried to figure it out. I bet Simeon doesn’t care; he is just glad to be out of jail.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 43:15-34

The brothers wonder why they are being invited to Joseph’s house. Still, they don’t put it together. Joseph mirror Jesus here in wanting us to eat (Revelation 3:20).

The brothers wanted to be transparent and do the right thing by giving back the silver. The steward said no; it is a gift from God. As promised, Simeon is released.

Joseph shows nothing but kindness to his brothers, again, like Jesus. The brothers bow down again like in Joseph’s dreams out of need, as well as honor and respect. We come to God in the smae way.

Perhaps he saw Rachel, his mother, when he looked at Benjamin.

Interestingly, the Egyptians would not eat with Joseph either, despite his status above them. Egyptians thought of themselves as gods and above all other societies. God, in His infinite wisdom, would use this as well. Because the Egyptians despised everything as foreign, including imports, they would have nothing to do with the people of God/Jacob’s family.

Jacob’s family would be left in peace to grow and multiply to the millions without intermixing with the pagan culture around them. This kept them safe from turning from God. If Jacob’s family had stayed in Canaan, this might not have been the case. God protected the Israelites, using Joseph to do so. Amazing!

The mathematical odds of getting the brothers’ birth order right was 1 in a million.

Joseph was testing his brothers’ hearts again, seeing how they would react to Benjamin getting more food, and seeing if Benjamin even made it to Egypt or he would be sold as well.

God speaks to cubearer and baker in a dream www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

Summary of Genesis 40:1-8:

Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker offended Pharaoh and were put in the same prison as Joseph. Both men had a dream that they could not interpret. Joseph saw that they were sad and asked them why. They said they could not interpret their dreams, so Joseph told them God could and to tell them the dreams.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

11) Joseph noticed that they cupbearer and the baker were sad and asked them why. They said they could not interpret their dreams, so Joseph told them God could and to tell them the dreams. This shows that Joseph knew the men well enough to know when they were dejected and cared enough to ask and to offer help.

12) My family. Be more present with them, ask more questions, listen more.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

I’m wondering about the repeated phrases here I never noticed before: the repetition of their positions and the fact they were in prison. No word in the Bible is wasted, so there has to be some reason here.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

The cupbearer was responsible for tasting all of the drink and food before Pharaoh ate it to make sure it was not poisonous. The baker cooked Pharaoh’s food. Scholars believe there was a plot against Pharaoh, and these two were accused. However, the cupbearer and the baker were in prison for God’s reasons and plans.

Note how Potiphar, who is the captain of the guard, assigned these men to Joseph. Potiphar probably believes Joseph is innocent as indicated by this action. (Genesis 39:1).

Here’s we see Joseph’s heart is like Jesus’s. He helps others and pays attention to their feelings. Most people would not have cared about the sadness of these two men. After all, they were all leading desperate lives as prisoners, so why care about others?

Joseph had a sincere desire to help these men feel better about their dreams. He knew God used dreams to foretell the future like the dreams God had given him.  (Genesis 37:5-11), Note how it’s God who knows. Joseph takes no credit for these dreams.

God Uses Dreams To Foretell the Future in the Bible

Fun Fact: The Bible records God speaking to almost twice as many nonbelievers as believers. God uses all people in His plans the world.

Not all dreams are prophetic (Ecclesiastes 5:35:7). and some are from false prophets (Deuteronomy 13:1-5Jeremiah 23:25-28).

We know God speaks to us in the Bible for sure. He can speak to us individually as well in other ways.

judah and tamar www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 38:13-30

Summary of Genesis 38:13-30:

Tamar was desperate and knew Shelah would not be her husband. So she disguised herself to go and meet her father-in-law, Judah, at Enaim on the road to Timnah. Judah thought she was a prostitute so he offered her a young goat as payment to sleep with her. She asked for a pledge since he did not have the goat with him. He gave her his seal, cord, and staff. She slept with him and became pregnant.

Judah could not find her again to give her the goat. When he found out though that Tamar was pregnant, he ordered her death, thinking she sinned as a prostitute. She presented him with her pledge and Judah had to admit he was wrong not to give her Shelah. She had twin boys named Perez and Zerah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 38:13-30

13a) Tamar was desperate and knew Shelah would not be her husband. So she disguised herself to go and meet her father-in-law, Judah, at Enaim on the road to Timnah. She then tricked him into sleeping with her in order to have kids.

b) Too many ways to begin.

c) Judah at first was angry, but then he realized he was the one who sinned against her.

14) Jesus came from Tamar’s son, Perez, and Judah

15) It challenges me to do what is right, but not to use deceit to do so. Although, in Tamar’s defense, this was ancient times, and she didn’t have a lot of rights or say in any matter.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 38:13-30

Now I see the significance of this story! I had forgotten about this until I read it again. Great stuff!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 5: Genesis 38:13-30

Tamar did not have a lot of options. It’s hard to blame her here. Judah was solely in charge if she would marry again, and it was painfully obvious he would not give her his last son.

God’s plan once again in action.

Judah fails to see his sin until he is confronted with it by Tamar. Wisely, he recognizes it for what it is.

Tamar becomes part of Jesus’ lineage!  Matthew 1:3 and Luke 3:33 Cool stuff!

Note this is another example of how God grants grace to sinners and how Jesus does not come from perfect examples of humanity (of which there are none). God can make all things work for the good of those who trust him (Romans 8:28), and for His redemptive plan.

genesis 38 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 4: Genesis 38:1-12

Summary of Genesis 38:1-12:

Judah left the family and went up to Adullam. He got married and had three sons. Judah got a wife for his firstborn, Er, but he was wicked so God put him to death. Onan, Er’s brother, was then to lie with Er’s wife, but he refused to have kids with her so he was put to death. The widow Tamar was sent to live with her father until Shelah, Judah’s final son, was of age. Judah’s wife died, and he went to Timnah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 4: Genesis 38:1-12

10) He married a Canaanite woman and so too did his sons.

11a) Er was wicked in the eyes of the Lord (that is all we are told). Onan refused to have children with Er’s widow, which violated Deuteronomy 25:5-10

b) God does not tolerate wickedness, and He enacts justice.

12) It helps me to not stray from God’s path, to remember Him, and hopefully to not sin as much.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 4: Genesis 38:1-12

I really don’t remember this chapter in Genesis. It seems out of place to me, especially if this is Joseph’s remembrances.

map of adullam and timnah www.atozmomm.comBSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 4: Genesis 38:1-12

It seems strange to me that Judah did this. Perhaps he is reminded daily of his sin against his father when he sees him so he leaves. Yet, he violates God’s wishes by marrying a Canaanite woman, which we see a lot in Genesis. (Genesis 24:328:128:8

Being required to marry the widow of your brother was one of God’s ways to care for widows. Widows would probably have lived the rest of their lives struggling if not provided for. Onan refused to have kids with Tamar because they would not be his (they would be considered kids of the one who died, in this case Er). Thus, only obeying God half-way is still a sin.

Judah was afraid his last son would face God’s judgement too so he sent Tamar away.

20 skekels of gold www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

Summary of Genesis 37:12-36:

Joseph’s brothers were sent to graze the flocks near Shechem. Jacob asks Joseph to go and check on his brothers. When Joseph arrived in Shechem, his brothers were no where to be found, so he asked about them. He was told they went to Dothan.

Joseph went to Dothan to find them. As he approached his brothers, they recognized him and plotted to kill him and throw him in a cistern and leave him to die. Reuben, the oldest, said not to kill him, but just throw him in the cistern, probably planning to come and get him once he learned his lesson.

When Joseph arrived, he was stripped of his coat and thrown into the empty cistern. Ironically, they casually sat and ate lunch when a caravan of Ishmaelites strode by on their way to Egypt. Judah suggested not to kill Joseph so they would not have blood on their hands, but to sell him to these approaching Ishmaelities. So they sold Joseph for 20 shekels of silver who took Joseph to Egypt.

Reuben who apparently was not with his brothers returned to rescue Joseph who was not there. Upon not finding him, he tore his clothes. Instead, they killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat into the blood. They took this robe back to Jacob who assumed an animal had tore him to pieces.

Jacob tore his clothes and mourned for many days. Jacob refused to be comforted and said he would mourn till the day he died. Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, who was the captain of the guard.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

6) I’m assuming Jacob did not trust his sons. Or, because of what happened to Dinah in (Genesis 34), Jacob may still be worried about the neighboring tribes taking their revenge against him and his family.

7) They immediately started to plot against him. I’m assuming anger had been boiling up inside them for quite some time.

8a) They planned to say a wild animal tore him to pieces.

b) God had both Reuben and Judah have a twinge of guilt and not want to kill Joseph.

c) Man is evil through and through to plot to kill your own brother and sell him into slavery for a mere 20 shekels of silver.

9a) Unsure. Most definitely nothing like this.

b) Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

I noticed how they used one of Jacob’s animals, a goat, and killed it to cover their crime. This was not even their animal to kill.

I’m unsure how Joseph’s brothers can sit and eat before they kill him. Joseph had to be screaming and begging for mercy. This shows just how evil man can be.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

map of joseph sold into slavery www.atozmomm.com

Tending sheep and goats is not exactly easy. You are outside in the hot sun all day, every day. You have to defend the animals against wild predators, sleep outside in the elements and on the hard ground, and hardly get any time off. Joseph, on the other hand, stayed at camp, slept in his own bed, and probably did not do much work at all.

Joseph was seen by his brothers probably a mile away due to his multi-colored coat. Here we also see Joseph is a supervisory role, not unlike his sheaves dream.

Dothan was about 10 to 15 mile walk. We see Dothan in the Bible again where God protected Elisha (2 Kings 6:13-17) like God protects Joseph here too.

Since Joseph had reported bad things before, the brothers assumed he would again. Their anger must have been great to make the leap to murder.

Fruitless to Oppose God

Interestingly, the brothers opposed God, not Joseph here. Note we see this repeatedly in the book of Genesis as humans are told God’s plans, perhaps even by God or Jesus himself, and they do everything in their power to thwart God’s plans. God wins anyway. God never fails.

We’ll see Joseph rise to become the 2nd most powerful person in the known world. Only God can do such a thing.

Reuben has a twinge of guilt, probably from God. He proposes to throw Joseph into the cistern without killing him.

Note how Reuben did not want to offend his brothers. Because of this, Joseph is sold into slavery, lost to them in essence. If Reuben had been firm as the oldest brother about returning Joseph to his father, this might not have happened. It’s funny because we all know God meant all of this to happen so Joseph could save God’s chosen family. It’s insanely hard to wrap your mind around.

Jesus in Joseph

All throughout the book of Genesis, we’ll see Jesus in Joseph. Here, we see Joseph being stripped as Jesus was. Note how even though we may lose every material thing, God can never be stripped from us.

The brothers were beyond cruel as Joseph pleaded for his life.  Genesis 42:21 When your heart has turned to evil, it can be insanely hard to break free. The brothers were not only ruining Joseph’s life, and probably killing him in a cruel way from a life of slavery, but they were about to break their father’s heart.

We see Arab traders headed the brothers’ way. Most likely, they were descendants of Ishmael, so very distant relatives.

Money turns many a man’s soul black. The idea stemmed from Judah, Jesus’ relative. However, he will be transformed from this experience.

joseph thrown in cistern www.atozmomm.com

20 Shekels of Silver

20 shekels of silver was not that much money (each shekel was probably equivalent to about $20). We don’t know what words were exchanged between Joseph and his brothers here. Perhaps Joseph was in shock and speechless. Maybe he was crying. Maybe he forgave his brothers then. Maybe the brothers laughed. All we know is what happened.

We see no signs of guilt from the brothers and probably the determination to take their secret to the grave with them. Utter selfishness and evil here.

Was Jacob wrong to mourn so long here? Many Bible scholars say Jacob should have known Jospeh would have eternal life. However, this is before Jesus. Jacob cannot know this.

Egypt at this time was a well-established culture and power. They were wealthy. The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx had been built hundreds of years before Joseph. They had no real enemies. They enjoyed life to the fullest. Joseph was about to enter a whole different world than one of a goat herder.

The Greatness of Joseph’s Story

Joseph’s story is perhaps one of the greatest because we can see the consequences of our actions in what happens to Joseph, as well as how God orchestrates it all. In fact, we can thank Joseph’s sinful brothers for what they did to Joseph for we would not be here otherwise. God’s plan never fails, ever:

  • Joseph is sold into slavery
  • Joseph is bought by Potiphar
  • Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of rape
  • Joseph is thrown into prison
  • Joseph interprets the dreams of two men in prison, Pharaoh’s baker and butler
  • Joseph then interprets Pharaoh’s dreams
  • Joseph is made 2nd in command in Egypt
  • Joseph prepares for the great famine
  • Joseph saves his family
  • Joseph saves the Messiah
joseph dreams of sheaves of grain www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

Summary of Genesis 37:1-11:

Joseph was Israel’s/Jacob’s favorite son, being the oldest son of Rachel. At age 17, he attended the flocks. He was given a rich robe as his father’s favorite, which made all of his brothers hate him. Joseph had a prophetic dream where his sheave of grain rose up and his brothers’ sheaves gathered around him and bowed down to it.  This angered his brothers who understood the meaning and said he would never rule over them. Joseph had another dream where the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowed down to him. He told his brothers this dream and his father who rebuked him, saying that does he expect his mother, him and his brothers to bow down to him? His brothers again grew jealous, but Jacob knew it was from God and remembered it.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

3) His dreams

4a) God planned for Joseph to be the leader of Egypt.

b) God is good and great.

5) Jacob knew this dream was from God.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

Joseph is my absolute favorite person in the Bible (after Jesus, of course). I love this story!

Unsure why Joseph would tell his brothers his dreams, especially his second dream. Either 1) he was bragging or 2) he was utterly clueless how everyone hated him. Then again, he is a teenager. He has A LOT to learn about the world and how it works.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

We immediately notice that the family of Jacob is dysfunctional with kids from four different women, Jacob playing favorites amongst his kids and his wives, and the brothers murdering a whole town over the reputation of their sister. Yet, the story of Jospeh, Jacob, and Abraham is about God’s triumph over sin. He uses all of us despite our sins.

Joseph tattled on his brothers, which did not help his case.

The coat of many colors was probably not a work coat but one meant to show privilege.

Joseph’s First Dream

The first dream of Joseph conveyed the fact that he would rule over his brothers with the sheaves bowing down to him. Note the symbolism of the sheaves since Joseph will meet his brothers in Egypt when they come for grain during the famine.

Joseph’s Second Dream

Joseph’s second dream revealed that Joseph would be over his father and mother, as well as his brothers. This made everyone angry. This illustrates that sometimes keeping information to yourself, even if it’s from God, is best for all involved.

Note that here Rachel seems to still be alive Genesis 35:16-20,. This shows that Genesis is not in chronological order, probably to keep the story of Joseph as one whole here.

Note that most likely Jacob is ending his tale here and Joseph is picking it up so Joseph is telling his remembrances. Genesis 37:2This is the genealogy of Jacob. You’ll see these transitions elsewhere in the book of Genesis Genesis 5:16:9 and 25:19.

The sun, moon, and stars represents those from Jacob. We see this again in Revelation 12:1 as we Jesus coming from Israe.

dinah is raped by shechem genesis 34 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

Summary of Genesis 34:1-12:

Dinah, daughter of Jacob, decided to go visit the women of the land (unsure why).  Shechem, the son of the ruler of the area, Hamor, took her and raped her. He fell in love with her. Jacob and his sons were angry over this. Hamor asked Jacob for Dinah’s hand in marriage for his son, Shechem, and invited them to intermarry with them, trade, and own property in the land.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

3) “They were filled with grief and fury.” Who wouldn’t be angry that their sister had been raped? Plus, Dinah would not be able to marry not being a virgin in that time.

4a) Shechem wanted to marry Dinah. Hamor offered Jacob and his family to settle among them, marry their daughters, live in the land, trade in it, and own property.

b) God’s people were called to not intermarry with the pagan cultures around them because then they will turn away from God to other gods.

5a) All cruelty bothers me.

b) Definitely pray about it. It can be overwhelming the sheer amount of evil in the world, but knowing God’s god it gives me peace. Help those I can.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

Unsure why Dinah went to town in the first place, and it sounds like she went by herself so she violated that rule/culture at the time. Now, they had little choice but to let Dinah get married.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

map of Shechem www.atozmomm.com Genesis 34This story is used to prove the verity of the Bible. After all, who would record such evil deeds except God?

God had called Jacob to Bethel (Genesis 31:13), not Shechem. Inevitably, when you disobey God, bad things can happen.

It falls on Jacob for allowing Dinah to go unsupervised to the city. Yet, nothing is mentioned of that fact. In those times, it seems unsupervised women were raped. Dinah, as a teen, did rebellious things that have consequences as most teenagers do.

Was it love since Shechem raped Dinah? This was probably more a desire to have something more so than love.

Jacob’s sons are more angry than Jacob himself it seems. Jacob should have done something. Instead, the sons felt obligated to, and their choice was infinitely worse without guidance from the head of the family. In ancient times, however, the revenge of the brothers was commonplace.

The marriage proposal threatened God’s plan for all of humanity. God did not want intermarriage of his people, wanting them distinct from other cultures. The fix proposed by Shechem was not a fix at all. It would set a dangerous precedent.

They thought money could erase what happened. Imagine how Dinah felt. Being raped is one of the most vile crimes on this planet, leaving a lifetime full of sorrow and pain. Dinah probably wanted nothing to do with Shechem.

jacob flees on camels home www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Summary of Genesis 31:

Laban’s sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. The Lord told Jacob it was time to return to his homeland. Jacob called Rachel and Leah to him and told them how he has worked for Laban despite the wages being constantly changed but God has been with him and has blessed him with their father’s livestock.

Jacob recounts a dream where God acknowledged Laban’s treachery and told Jacob to leave for home at once.  Rachel and Leah agree and say all Jacob has gained from their father should be theirs anyways as an inheritance.  Jacob and his family left Paddan Aram along with all of his livestock and goods for Canaan.  Rachel stole all of her father’s household gods and Jacob left without telling Laban.  They crossed the Euphrates.

Laban found out after three days that Jacob had fled.  He pursued him and caught up with him in Gilead.  God came to Laban in a dream, warning him not to speak to Jacob. Laban, in his infinite wisdom, speaks to Jacob anyways, and asks him why he had fled without saying good bye and why he has stolen the idols.

Jacob replies that he was afraid Laban would take his daughters from him (can’t blame him here) and that if someone has stolen the idols, may they die.

Laban searched and found nothing for Rachel was sitting on them and said she was having her period so she couldn’t stand to greet him.  Laban found nothing.

Jacob is mad at Laban for accusing him of stealing.  He points out how he has worked 20 years for him, 14 for his daughters and 6 for his flocks even though Laban has changed his wages on him 10 times, and God Himself even rebuked Laban for his behavior.

So Laban and Jacob made a covenant, asking Jacob not to mistreat his daughters or take any more wives and neither will cross the other’s “side” to harm each other.  They offered a sacrifice, spent the night, and the next day Laban bid his daughters farewell and left.

Summary of Hebrews 12:3-15:

The Lord disciplines those He loves and punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline for God is treating you as a son.  For if you are not disciplines then you are not sons of God.  Everyone is disciplined.  God disciplines us for our good so we may share in His holiness.

Discipline is never pleasant, but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Make every effort to live in peace and be holy; without holiness, no one sees the Lord. Do not be bitter.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

11) Jacob had noticed that Laban’s sons believed he had stolen Laban’s wealth, and Laban’s attitude towards Jacob had changed, too. But it was God who told Jacob to return.

12a) ) Verse 7 “God has not allowed him (Laban) to harm me.” verse 9 “God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.” Verse 11-13 “I am the God of Bethel” and God made the animals born spotted. verse 42 “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you (Laban) would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” They made a covenant together that resolved the bitterness.

b) Pray and thank God.

13) Verse 3 “And I will be with you.” Verse 42: But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you. It encourages me that all my work is worth it, and God is with me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Unsure whey we read Hebrews here since we weren’t asked about it. Rachel is most definitely smart in hiding the idols. However, taking them? Not so smart. She has God. She needs nothing else.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

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Just as Rachel is jealous of Leah, Laban’s sons are jealous of Jacob’s wealth. Love does not envy  (1 Corinthians 13:4). Envy is bad; it killed Jesus. (Matthew 27:18).

God is nudging Jacob back home (Genesis 30:25) and encouraging him, too.

God reminds Jacob of his Bethel (Genesis 28:10), where God has spurred him on to find Rachel. It’s good for all of us to remember times and places where God has shown up. This strengthens us and encourages us in times we feel God is far away.

It was important for Jacob to have the support of his wives. After all, they would be leaving their family for the first time ever, taking their kids with them, to an unknown land. Both women agreed for once and were ready to help in any way they could.

One cool detail you might have missed is that Jacob’s entire family road camels. This is like saying everyone drove their own car here in the US. It’s a sign of Jacob’s immense wealth.

Jacob snuck away when he did not need to. God had already told him to go. It’s evident he would be protected. Perhaps Jacob is so mad at Laban at this point he just wanted to leave.

Rachel Steals her Father’s Idols

We are not told why Rachel stole the idols. Obviously, you should not steal, especially from your mother and father (she broke two of God’s ten commandments here yet to be given to Moses). Scholars debate the reasons:

  • She herself secretly worshipped these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to worship these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to catch them through divination
  • Idols were traditionally used as deeds to property
  • She didn’t like her father, so she took something of his to anger him
  • She wanted protection on the long journey

The reason didn’t matter. She stole; this is wrong.

They left Paddan Aram and Haran for Gilead, which is about 300 miles away and close to the sea of Galilee. Since it took 3 days for Laban to notice, the families must have lived a considerable distance away from one another. Note that God cautions Laban to deal fairly with Jacob. Laban was probably angry and did intend to harm him. God’s warning meant “you touch him and you will pay.”

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Jacob and Home

Jacob is close to home when Laban catches up. It took Laban 7 days to catch up to Jacob who is now near the Jordan River and very close to home. Laban tried to shame him with a celebration and a chance to say good bye to his family. He threatens harm as well. Jacob fervently denies he stole the idols, not knowing Rachel had.

Jacob let Laban have it, citing all he had done for him in 20 years and showing him how ungrateful he was being. He was angry over it all, maybe even remembering the trickery of Leah. He helped Laban. Jacob replaced any lost animal of Laban’s with his own and tells him that God sent him away.

Note that Jacob does not claim God as his own, only Abraham and Isaac’s.

Mizpah meant God is watching and He will repay you if you sin. Laban still claims everything is his, but says he’ll let Jacob have it. The pillar was a sign of their separation. It appears they still left with much animosity between them. From here on out, Jacob’s family will be separated from everyone else.

Laban will never see his daughters or grandchildren again. He now disappears from Bible history, presumably returning home and living out his life as he always had. The separation between Laban and Jacob had to happen. Like this example shows us, it is not always pretty.