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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 4108 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #247 on: July 31, 2019, 11:34:50 am »
● Gen 33:12 . . And [Esau] said: Let us start on our journey, and I will proceed at your pace.

Jacob undoubtedly told Esau his ultimate destination, which was probably Hebron, the place where their dad would later die. Isaac's last known address was Beer-sheba. Why he moved 26 miles north to Hebron is unknown; but when you're a rancher, you've got to go where the pasture is for the sake of the livestock.

● Gen 33:13-14a . . But he said to him: My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; if they are driven hard a single day, all the flocks will die. Let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I travel slowly, at the pace of the cattle before me and at the pace of the children,

Jacob's children were all still kids, the eldest being no more than 12 or so, and many of the female animals were caring for nursing young. Refusing to accept Esau's kind offer was a practical consideration. He was traveling light, probably on swift camels, and his rough-riding fighting men, desiring to get back home as soon as possible for R&R, were likely to grow impatient with the snail's pace of Jacob's unit.

● Gen 33:13-14b . . until I come to my lord in Seir.

Jacob wasn't going southward to Seir; but across the Jordan up into the highlands of Canaan. The words for "go on ahead" are ya'baar which is from 'abar (aw-bar') which means: to cross over; and used very widely of any transition (literal or figurative)

Jacob promised to visit with Esau at some later date after his household was all settled in. But for now, it was necessary to take it easy and rest his herds before making the final push on up into the West Bank. It's no simple matter moving hundreds and hundreds of head of livestock; especially over rugged country. Coming down from Paddan-aram through the Syrian Desert and the Golan Heights must have been exhausting for everyone-- women, children, and animals alike.

● Gen 33:15-17a . .Then Esau said: Let me assign to you some of the men who are with me. But he said; Oh no, my lord is too kind to me! So Esau started back that day on his way to Seir. But Jacob journeyed on to Succoth,

There is more than one Succoth in the Bible. The precise location of this one in particular is difficult to pin-point. But according to Judges 8:4-16, it was on the east side of the Jordan; somewhere between the river and the place where Jacob grappled with the angel.

● Gen 33:17b . . and built a house for himself and made stalls for his cattle; that is why the place was called Succoth.

Stalls is from cukkah (sook-kaw') which means: a hut or a lair. That has sort of a primitive ring to it. The huts, and very likely Jacob's house too, were probably just rudimentary shelters constructed of poles cut from trees (those hills grew lots and lots of trees in that day) and thatching fashioned with reeds gathered from along the banks of the Jordan and the W.Zarqa (Jabbok).

Succoth is from Cukkowth (sook-kohth') and/or Cukkoth (sook-kohth') and is just simply the plural of cukkah; ergo: huts and lairs.

There was a place by that name in Egypt too. The exact location is difficult to pin-point but it may have been somewhere north of the reed (Red) sea crossing (Ex 12:37, Ex 13:20, Ex 14:1-4). How long Jacob remained at Succoth is unknown.

It might be well to mention that not all events in the Bible relate to important spiritual truths. Many are just simply historic and mean nothing at all except that people lived normal lives in those days just like we live our lives in these days with very few events of any lasting importance; viz: we're born, we leave home, accumulate wealth, marry, buy a home, reproduce, retire, and then die; same-O, same-O.

● Gen 33:18 . . Jacob arrived safe in the city of Shechem which is in the land of Canaan-- having come thus from Paddan-aram --and he encamped before the city.

The site wasn't originally named Shechem but probably well known as that name by the time the author wrote Genesis. It was the very first place in Canaan where God met with Abraham (Gen 12:5-7). Shechem was up in the West Bank and very likely close to present day Nablus.

● Gen 33:19 . .The parcel of land where he pitched his tent he purchased from the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for a hundred kesitahs.

The word for "kesitahs" is from qesiytah (kes-ee-taw') and means: an ingot (as definitely estimated and stamped for a coin). The exact value of a kesitah is unknown. It was probably a local money, in any kind of shape; e.g. discs, bars, rods, or chunks. The metal of which a kesitah was made is unknown.

Before paper and coins were introduced as permanent forms of money, people used a variety of objects to serve for legal tender. Examples of early forms of money include rice (China), dog teeth (Papua New Guinea), small tools (China), quartz pebbles (Ghana), gambling counters (Hong Kong), cowrie shells (India), metal disks (Tibet), and limestone disks (Yap Island).

Monies can be anything so long as everybody using them agrees upon their value. In ancient time, various articles made of metals such as silver and gold, as well as of iron and bronze, were used as money; while among primitive peoples such commodities as shells, beads, elephant tusks, furs, skins, and livestock served as mediums of exchange too. Anything that's widely accepted in payment for goods and services, and in settlement of debts, can be acceptable as money-- even Pokemon trading cards.

Why would Jacob purchase property in Canaan? For a cemetery? Maybe. But some feel he did it with the intention of making Shechem his capital. I mean, after all, God promised him complete ownership of the land; so why not pick out a location for a sort of Washington DC? At any rate, a real estate investment was, at the very least, a token of his confidence in God's promise that his progeny would one day own every bit of Canaan outright. So when Messiah takes over, whoever is squatting on Jacob's land at the time is going to have to move somewhere else and maybe even pay some back rent too.

Shechem was a prominent city throughout biblical history, located on Mount Gerazim in what later became the territory of Benjamin's tribe. It was very close to the future city of Samaria, which became capital of the northern kingdom of Israel.


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