kjv@Genesis:3:1@ Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
kjv@Genesis:3:2@ And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
kjv@Genesis:3:3@ But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
kjv@Genesis:3:4@ And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
kjv@Genesis:3:5@ For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
kjv@Genesis:3:6@ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
kjv@Genesis:3:7@ And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
kjv@Genesis:3:8@ And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
kjv@Genesis:3:9@ And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
kjv@Genesis:3:10@ And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
kjv@Genesis:3:11@ And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
kjv@Genesis:3:12@ And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
kjv@Genesis:3:13@ And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
kjv@Genesis:3:14@ And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
kjv@Genesis:3:15@ And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
kjv@Genesis:3:16@ Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
kjv@Genesis:3:17@ And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
kjv@Genesis:3:18@ Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
kjv@Genesis:3:19@ In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
kjv@Genesis:3:20@ And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
kjv@Genesis:3:21@ Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
kjv@Genesis:3:22@ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
kjv@Genesis:3:23@ Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
kjv@Genesis:3:24@ So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
...and should be converted... converted to what? The complaint is that Christianity is something new, that Judaism is being added to, the Law is being removed/diminished. The Law is not diminished it is being fulfilled in one person. It is not being added to, it is being completed in the manner it itself has long prescribed. It is not something new if it's leader is someone anticipated ever since kjv@Genesis:3:15.
A great many things are given and allowed in the garden. One simple thing is not. It is the one thing that often occupies our mind. People are to some extent defined by what they can't have, by what is forbidden just as they are defined by the fear of death. Not only is there what is forbidden, there is what is threatened, and there is someone readily willing to deceive.
The deception is a subtle twist of words over the meaning/extent of death. If the serpent had said that she'd die spiritually first, be exiled from the garden, live her and her generations in toil and turmoil, suffer famine and war and horrid transgressions from one another, and die a slow degenerating sometimes cancerous death, the deception would not have been as inviting. What is at question here is whether God would stand behind what He said and follow through; if so why? The why gets us into areas far beyond the thoughts of man.
Many liberal interpretations have been made of this story as to what the forbidden fruit might have been. The fruit however is not the import object here however, it is the transgression. The fruit could have been anything, the fact is that they were told not to do it, the transgression that they did it anyway. Some see the freedom of choice given Adam/Eve as broad as their own, and hold the freedom of choice as essential to sin. The fact is that because of the sin of these two all of mankind has been cursed and quarantined, the choice not to sin removed, not one man escaped. This is why the prophecy of a particular seed of Eve against the seed of the serpent.
This is the first of three times that the Lord appears to Abraham (kjv@Genesis:17:1kjv@Genesis:18:1). If no one can look upon the Father and live the Lord must be the Son or else this is figurative. Jacob also has an appearance but, specifically states that he saw the Lord face to face kjv@Genesis:32:30 .
Some fun at the Jacob household huh? In the context of a single chapter I am sure our lives would sound pretty crazy as well. This home however? This is reality television material here! Seriously, life is what it is. God has to work in it and on it and through it and around it and somehow by the end make it work to His purposes. I am just glad it is Him that does it. I'm just saying!
In our day, we would have legal documents written and the weight of our legal system available to enforce such an agreement (whatever weight that be). In Jacob's day what was there beside a heap of rocks, an oath between men of questionable pasts, and a suggested threat of God's judgment? The Lord had made Himself clear to both men to this regard. It seems to me that this pact was an exercise of manly oneupmanship cloaked in necessary compromise. Maybe I am seeing it wrong!
Jacob had left the land previously in fear of Esau for his life. Now he returns cautiously by order of God. Esau seems surprisingly willing to accept him. The two jostle for gifting favor to each other. The Lord may want us sometimes to do something though it may be uncomfortable, though we may not feel the timing is right. Think if Esau had not been so cordial; would it still not be important for Jacob (us) to proceed forward anyway?
It may be tempting to want to fit in with others. There is always the enticement of being as one and sharing the purse as one together. It is not ever God's will. We are to be peaceable but set apart, peacemakers but abhor evil, engaged but not compromised. These men portray a noble desire of commune, it is easy to lose sight that these are the same men that just raped a sister; now they want the rest of our daughters. I am not sure that the use of deceit (by a token of God's covenant) is sanctioned or warranted but, the end result is similar.
Jacob takes on the role of a proper spiritual father. He leads all of his children, as old as some may be, as a whole. He insists that they put away their strange gods, to be spiritually pure, to be circumspect in their dress and adornments. He became inclusive of them participating in the spiritual projects and worship that he himself was driven to accomplish. He set the tone and pace and they indeed followed along.
His name is being changed from Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (he will rule as God). It not only marks a change in the present perception but, in the goal or direction spiritually for him to follow. Name changes were more common in that day and notated the turning over of a new leaf.
Leah's first born Ruben is sleeping with Rachel's handmaid Bilah who bore Jacob Reuben's brothers Dan and Naphtali. This is like sleeping with his stepmother, a woman that his dad has already slept with. Not good at all. The incident is noted here but, the consequence not fully discussed.
Sometimes the story line moves on without you even before your death. Less frequently to that, it may even come back to you for a final mention. Isaac was a great enough patriarch to have had both. How he had spent this time was no doubt important for himself, hopeful peacefully and content and richly blessed, important to those closest to him. God's written record allows him that privacy yet pays him the respect at his end.
The Lord had promised to make Esau a mighty people. He did; Edom. The history between these two brother states is as long and combative as any brother to brother family relationship. Edom would be asked to do something and they would simply refuse because it was Israel etc... The list here goes through several generations.
The harder we work against something at times, the quicker it comes to be. Did anyone stop to think that the dreams Joseph was dreaming might be from God? Did Jacob? If anyone did, their judgment was clouded by the image that they had of their brother/son. It is one thing to dislike a sibling but, to dismiss that God could work through them is another. Some brothers became uncomfortable with outright murder; that would have been a good place for them to check their intents, but to substitute murder with slavery and forgery not much different.
The tradition in this culture favored the continuation of ones seed by providing a young widow one of her deceased husband's brothers to care for and continue his line. We see this in other places as well. This woman's husband was slain by the Lord. His brother willing refused the tradition for unknown reasons and died as well. Appearances may seem be pointing to this woman so that Judah when another son was of age held his son off from her, she took matters into her own hand. The whole story seems to be a horrid mess, one event triggering an avalanche of reactions and impulses. The Lord's work is like working in a house of cards.
The Lord's favor is always good even though it may not at present be observed as so. How other people react can cause the recipient trouble. Not only has his jealous brother sold him into slavery, his masters wife has sold him into prison. Joseph takes it all in stride believing in the Lord, thankful for the favor. Again he receives the Lord's favor in prison but, notice that the favor does not deliver him immediately from prison. Where His favor is leading us may be a lengthy process start to finish and involve tests of courage, obedience, and or patience. It is tremendous favor none the less.