Design By Humans

Genesis 28. Tithing to a stone pillow.

Genesis 28.

1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.

    As suggested at the end of the last chapter, Isaac warns Jacob not to marry Canaanite women. I think by now we just have to accept that this tribe are racist and move on.

2 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
    Isaac instructs him instead to marry one of his first-cousins. If this tribe continue down this line there are likely some genetic troubles ahead.

3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;

    Despite knowing that he was deceived by Jacob, Isaac continues to bless him and to call on the LORD to bless him. There has been no punishment for the deception, lying therefore must truly be OK with these people and by extension by God, he hasn't punished anyone for lying and has supported this tribe in it's scams for generations.

4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.

    So we learn more about the nature of blessings. It appears they can be inherited as well as stolen. Are they written on a card or something similar?

5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.

    OK.

6 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;

    Right.

7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram;

    OK.

8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;

    Ah, OK Esau has seen the racism of his father. Is he inclined to do something about it?

9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

    ...Doesn't look like he is. That aside, how many wives does Esau have now? I count three.

10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

    Right you are.

11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

    Times must be hard. Stones for pillows? Surely he, with all of the blessings of his father, could have had an ass carry some pillows for his journey.

12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

    OK. This is interesting, Jacob's stony pillows have caused him to dream of a ladder that stretches from the earth to heaven (it would be nice if we had dimensions) with God's messengers climbing up and down it. Let's see where this goes.

13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
    OK, I know this is a dream so physical constraints don't necessarily apply. however this can't be an especially long ladder if Jacob can see and Identify the LORD stood at the top of it from his position on the ground. Again the LORD makes an effort to identify himself as the God of Abraham and of Isaac as opposed to any of the other gods that might be talking to Jacob, by now I think it is a given that there are more than one god in the universe this story inhabits. Having identified himself God finds it necessary to reiterate the promise he made to Abraham and Isaac. Odd that the promise is made in a dream this time and not in person, all of this could be coming straight out of Jacob's head, perhaps he had some bad goat's cheese before resting his head on some boulders.

14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
    The same promise he made to Abraham.

15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

    In addition to the inherited promise God promises that he will bring Jacob back to this place once he's done with travelling about.

16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

    Why is Jacob convinced that his dream has any bearing on reality?

17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

    Why if he can't see the ladder in the light of consciousness does he believe that this place is in any way special to the LORD? Why must the gates of heaven be at this place? because he dreamt it?

18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

    He anointed his pillow.

19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

    Right you are.

20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
 
    ...

21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

    I wonder what weight of evidence he will settle for. Will he in fact get food for himself and credit God? Will he buy or make his own clothes and credit God with the action. Let's find out.

22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

    Is this the origin of tithing? It seems to be.

What can we make from all of this?

Simply put. It was all a dream that unfortunately Jacob is about to dedicate his life to. All we have really learned is quite how poorly Jacob understands the difference between dreams and reality. I wonder if this lack of understanding was common to everyone in this time, It might explain a few things if it were.

Ever onwards, Genesis 29.

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