The Book of Genesis
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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise
If you remember last weeks study, we read of how Jacob came about marrying Leah and her sister Rachel.
Do you remember the last verse we read last week?
Gen 29:30 Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.
Rachel was loved more then Leah.
Let's get into this weeks study and see the results of this.
Gen 29:31-35 31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32 So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, "The LORD has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me." 33 Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also." And she called his name Simeon. 34 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." Therefore his name was called Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Now I will praise the LORD. ' Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing.
Leah was unloved but still she had four sons. You must think that possibly Jacob was using her for his own physical pleasure. The word unloved means hated or an enemy. I wonder if the hatred was really towards Leah's father Laban, and not Leah herself?
As we read through the next few chapters, we will find out that Jacob had twelve sons by four different women. It became like a battle of who was loved more, Leah or Rachel and they tried to make that determination by who had the most sons. Even though some of these sons will be through their handmaids.
But then I am getting ahead of myself again.
Back to the original thought of, is Jacob using Leah for his own physical pleasure?
Guys will read in the bible of men who had more then one wife and think that this would be great. Some of these men had numerous wives, like Solomon who had 700 wives plus 300 concubines.
1 Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
But guys let me tell you what the practice or tradition of having multiple wives included. It wasn't a man choice to decide whom he would sleep with that night. No it was the choice of the women.
In fact we will see an instance of this in the next chapter where the decision was made of who would sleep with Jacob that night with flowers.
So even though you think it would be great, just because you are mad at one wife doesn't mean you can sleep with another.
And most important is what happened to Solomon because of these 1000+ women in his life.
1 Kings 11:3b and his wives turned away his heart
This means that they turned his heart away from the Lord. And if you don't think this would happen to you, remember that Solomon was the wisest man in the world (Next to Jesus of course).
So Leah has four sons, the first is Reuben, then Simeon, next was Levi (not associated with the jeans) and the fourth was Judah.
We will take a quick look at each one of the twelve sons and their tribes. I say a quick look, because if we did a complete study on each one then we would never get through Genesis.
But I would encourage you to study each one more extensively on your own. The next few studies will give you a starting point. And if you have questions please feel free to E-mail me.
Reuben was the first born, and his name means: "behold a son" . But just because he's the first-born, that doesn't mean that he will be the head son.
The tribe of Reuben was the one that chose to stay on the other side of the Jordan when the children of Israel were lead out of Egypt into the Promised Land, Israel.
Num 32:5 Therefore they said, "If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan."
Reuben also stopped his brothers from killing Joseph (he is the son 11th born and first son born of Rachel).
Gen 37:21-22 21 But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, "Let us not kill him." 22 And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him"--that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.
But Reuben was also not a model son.
Gen 35:22 And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine; and Israel heard about it.
Before Jacob and Moses' death, they gave a blessing to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Gen 49:1-2 1 And Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days: 2 "Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father.
Deut 33:1 Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
Also the twelve tribes are indicated in the book of Revelation as the 144,000 who will live through the tribulation and become believers in Jesus Christ.
Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
I will include these with each one of the sons here.
Jacobs blessing for Reuben
Gen 49:3-4 "Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it--He went up to my couch.
Moses' blessing for the tribe of Reuben
Deut 33: 6 "Let Reuben live, and not die, Nor let his men be few."
144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation
Rev 7:5b of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
Simeon was the next son, his name means: "heard"
When Joseph was in Egypt, Simeon was detained in Egypt as a hostage until his brothers returned with their father, Jacob.
Simeon was also took part with Levi in the slaying of many men. (See Levi)
It seems Simeon and Levi where close brothers. Because in the blessings of Jacob, he includes Simeon and Levi together. Jacob speaks of them killing a man and hamstringing an ox. Or as it says in the NLT: they crippled oxen just for sport.
Not a whole lot is said about Simeon or the tribe of Simeon. In fact it is the only tribe not included in Moses' blessing on the twelve tribes.
Jacobs blessing for Simeon
Gen 49 6-7 "Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.6 Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation
Rev 7:7a of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
Levi was the next son born, his name means: "joined to"
Levi was so named because Leah thought that through the birth of this son, that Jacob would now love her as a wife and they would be joined as one as it should be in marriage. The problem is, that it's hard for a husband and wife to be one when there is another in the picture; in this case it was Rachel.
"But Jacob was suppose to marry Rachel anyway. Why should Leah be so upset?"
Possibly Rachel was hoping that Jacob would fall in love with her and not marry Rachel. But this didn't happen, so Leah now tried to be Jacob's favorite wife by having children.
Having a child will not fix your marriage, nor will it make your husband or wife love you anymore then they do now. Sure it may seem like it for a short time, but things will be back to normal.
I would encourage you to seek help for you marriage with a Christian counselor before you have children. If not then they will also pay and be a part of the hurt you are feeling right now.
"But it's to late. I'm already pregnant or have children. What should I do?"
If you tried to use children to heal your marriage and it doesn't to seem to have helped, or you are just having problems in your marriage; it's not to late or it's not over until God says it's over. And you know God wouldn't say that.
Continue, or start to seek God in prayer and in His word. Seek help from your pastor or an elder in your church. Ask for prayer from others. Don't use this as an excuse to badmouth your spouse, just let others know that your marriage needs prayer and leave it at that.
Remember that prayer request is just that, requesting others to pray for a person or a situation. It's not an excuse to gossip.
The tribe of Levi became a very important part of Israel. They where the ones who served the priests and became priests. They also helped in the sacrifices and with the temple, when the children of Israel where wondering in the wilderness and in Israel.
In order to do service you had to be at least 30 years old (See Numbers chapter 4).
When we get to chapter 34 we will read of Dinah the daughter of Leah, and how a prince raped her and then this prince wanted to marry her.
But what happened is that Simeon and Levi went in and killed all the men of this town.
Gen 34:25 Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males.
But when Jacob found out he was mad at Simeon and Levi, and this was their response.
Gen 34:31 But they said, "Should he treat our sister like a harlot?"
We'll read more about this in a few weeks.
But the same sort of thing happened when the children of Israel were going to the Promised Land.
Remember the Ten Commandments (the movie) and how the children of Israel where worshipping the golden calf (You can read about this in the book of Exodus chapter 32).
Well this was Levi's response to that.
Ex 32:26-28 26 then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on the LORD s side--come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.' " 28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
The Levites seem to love God and justice. They can't stand when someone does wrong against God or someone else. They would stick like glue to God's words and commands.
But also remember that the Priest and religious rulers are the one's who had Jesus crucified.
Jesus was also considered a descendant of Levi through Joseph's genealogy.
Luke 3:29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
Jacobs blessing for Levi
Gen 49:5-75 "Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. 6 Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
Moses' blessing for the tribe of Levi
Gen 49:8-11 8 And of Levi he said: "Let Your Thummim and Your Urim be with Your holy one, Whom You tested at Massah, And with whom You contended at the waters of Meribah, 9 Who says of his father and mother, 'I have not seen them'; Nor did he acknowledge his brothers, Or know his own children; For they have observed Your word And kept Your covenant. 10 They shall teach Jacob Your judgments, And Israel Your law. They shall put incense before You, and a whole burnt sacrifice on Your altar. 11 Bless his substance, LORD, and accept the work of his hands; Strike the loins of those who rise against him, And of those who hate him, that they rise not again."
144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation
Rev 7:7b of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
Judah was the fourth son Leah had. His name means: "Praised"
The bible speaks of Judah a lot, but a very interesting thing is, that it mentions Reuben and Judah. Remember how we read Rueben slept with one of Jacobs's concubines and from that he lost his first-born status. Well here it is in the book of Chronicles.
1 Chron 5:2 (NLT) The oldest son of Israel was Reuben. But since he dishonored his father by sleeping with one of his father's concubines, his birthright was given to the sons of his brother Joseph. For this reason, Reuben is not listed in the genealogy as the firstborn son.2 It was the descendants of Judah that became the most powerful tribe and provided a ruler for the nation, but the birthright belonged to Joseph.
Jesus is also called the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Rev 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
The lion means: "a brave and mighty hero"
Judah protected his brother Joseph.
Gen 37:26 (NLT) Judah said to the others, "What can we gain by killing our brother? That would just give us a guilty conscience.
Judah was also the first to anoint David as king.
2 Sam 2:4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, "The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul."
Jacobs blessing for Judah
Gen 49:8-11 8 "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father's children shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. 11 Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey's colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, And his teeth whiter than milk.
Moses' blessing for the tribe of Judah
Deut 33:7 And this he said of Judah: "Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, And bring him to his people; Let his hands be sufficient for him, And may You be a help against his enemies."
144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation
Rev 7:5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
So we have made it through 4 sons.
Next week we will look at Rachel's response to this and see the competition for Jacob as a husband.