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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 3839 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #221 on: July 03, 2019, 08:52:12 am »
● Gen 29:7 . . He said: It is still broad daylight, too early to round up the animals; water the flock and take them to pasture.

The Hebrew word for "broad" is gadowl (gaw-dole') which means great (in any sense). Gadowl is variously translated as high day, the sun is high, early in the day, and much daylight.

Apparently the usual time for watering flocks was later in the afternoon just prior to bedding them down for the night.

Jacob just blew into the neighborhood and he's already telling strangers what to do! No doubt an attitude he brought with him from Isaac's ranch. Down there the servants jumped when Jacob said something. Up here in Haran though, things were just a wee bit different.

● Gen 29:8 . . But they said: We cannot, until all the flocks are rounded up; then the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well and we water the sheep.

Actually, someone may have owned that well; and set the rules for it's use. In those days, whoever dug for water usually had the rights to it; somewhat like a prospector's claim in the gold fields out in 1850's California. Apparently the owner didn't mind people using the water as long as they respected his feelings about it. But Jacob had a mind of his own, and seemed to care very little for the property rights of others.

There's a clash of civilizations going on in this scene. Jacob was from the frontier lands of Canaan where men of mettle did pretty much as they wished. I'm guessing that Haran was a bit more sophisticated.

And then too; Jacob was a privileged kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I've seen the kind of superiority complex that kind of upbringing sometimes instills within children. Well; that's going to change. Jacob is entering the school of hard knocks, and he's going to learn a thing or two from professor Laban. But when it's all over, Jacob will be a better man for it.

● Gen 29:9-10 . .While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's flock; for she was a shepherdess. And when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, and the flock of his uncle Laban, Jacob went up and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well, and watered the flock of his uncle Laban.

Violating local customs is an insolent thing to do; and almost certainly guaranteed to get you off on the wrong foot. And besides: fair is fair. The other shepherds were there ahead of Rachel, and no telling how long they'd been waiting. Word of Jacob's favoritism, and his disdain for fair play, would surely spread.

Coming from a privileged family; Jacob was accustomed to doing pretty much as he pleased and answering to no one for it. But arriving in Haran, he was a nobody: a homeless drifter. Now he's going to learn what it's like to be just another face in the crowd; and he is also going to learn what it's like to do as you're told. Unkie Laban is just the bull o' the woods for some long overdue rich-kid attitude adjustment.

● Gen 29:11 . .Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and broke into tears.

Poor Jacob. He'd been under a lot of stress lately; and probably feeling very alone in the world. His cousin must have seemed to him like an angel of mercy come to rescue his soul from the abyss. First he helped water her flock; for no apparent reason to Rachel other than courtesy; which she seemed to accept without any fuss. But then he impulsively kissed her (on the cheek I hope) and started sobbing. Rachel must have stared at Jacob like a man gone mad from a brain tumor.

● Gen 29:12 . . Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, that he was Rebecca's son; and she ran and told her father.

Zoom! Out of there like a bottle rocket (so to speak). Boy that girl sure takes after auntie Becky. Rachel lit out of there like the critters sent from Jessie the Cowgirl to fetch Sheriff Woody in Toy Story2.

● Gen 29:13a . . On hearing the news of his sister's son Jacob, Laban ran to greet him;

I seriously doubt that Laban sprinted. The man was over 100 by now and near the age of Jacob's mom; maybe even older than her. Isaac and Rebecca were married twenty years before she became pregnant for the very first time, and Jacob is around 75 at this point. For a man Laban's age "rushed" and/or "hurried" seems more reasonable than ran.

● Gen 29:13b . . he embraced him and kissed him,

Foreign customs often offend Americans. I was visiting the home of a Portuguese man in San Diego a number of years back when his son and daughter-in-law showed up unexpectedly. Dad and son greeted each other with a hug; and kissed full on the lips. I just about died; it was so gross. And then he kissed the daughter-in-law full on the lips too. I think you have to grow up in those kinds of customs to really be comfortable with them.

● Gen 29:13c-14a . . and took him into his house. He told Laban all that had happened, and Laban said to him; You are truly my bone and flesh.

Adam said pretty much the very same thing about Eve at Gen 2:23 because she wasn't created from the dust as he had been, but was manufactured from already existing human tissue amputated from his body. In other words: ol' Laban was saying "You and I are one and the same" because tricking a father in order to supplant a brother was just the thing Laban would have thought of himself had he been in Jacob's shoes.


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