Genesis 30:23-25-The birth of Joseph

Rachel was barren, as Sarah and Rebecca, as Chana and the mother of Samson. She wanted as child so much that she tried to do everything in order to give birth (conversations with Jacob, an inspiration from Bilhah, the mandrakes that Reuben brought).

Only after Jacob was a father of 8 sons, God finally remembered her and she was pregnant. The nine months are not described in the Bible, and I assume that this was a time with a lot of stress. This stress is brought to us when we read the first explanation of joseph’s name, as written:

“וַיִּזְכֹּ֥ר אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־רָחֵ֑ל וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע אֵלֶ֙יהָ֙ אֱלֹהִ֔ים וַיִּפְתַּ֖ח אֶת־רַחְמָֽהּ׃ וַתַּ֖הַר וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֑ן וַתֹּ֕אמֶר אָסַ֥ף אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־חֶרְפָּתִֽי׃”

“And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:” (Genesis 30:22-23)

However’ Joseph is the only son that has two explanations for his name, one for the past- God gathered the disgrace of Rachel; one for the future-God will add another son for Rachel in the land of Canaan, as written:

“וַתִּקְרָ֧א אֶת־שְׁמ֛וֹ יוֹסֵ֖ף לֵאמֹ֑ר יֹסֵ֧ף יְהוָ֛ה לִ֖י בֵּ֥ן אַחֵֽר׃ וַיְהִ֕י כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר יָלְדָ֥ה רָחֵ֖ל אֶת־יוֹסֵ֑ף וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יַעֲקֹב֙ אֶל־לָבָ֔ן שַׁלְּחֵ֙נִי֙ וְאֵ֣לְכָ֔ה אֶל־מְקוֹמִ֖י וּלְאַרְצִֽי׃”

“And she called his name Joseph; and said, The Lord shall add to me another son.And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.”(Genesis 30:24-25)

Only after Joseph was born Jacob can come back to the promised land- and as they say at the movies-mission accomplished!

Have a great weekend, Eli

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Genesis 29:32-34- When children are Instruments of Love.

ילדיםReading Genesis 29 is watching one of the first’s telenovelas of the old ages. In the beginning there’s a well that with the power of love Jacob moved it moved and fell in love with Rachel; after a seven years and night Jacob found out that Rachel is not going to be the first wife of him; seven more years will pass until she will be his wife, but her womb will be closed by God.

And Leah, what can we say about this unloved woman with her special eyes. She can give birth, but the eyes of Jacob is looking at her sister.

However, she tried to cause Jacob to love her, and we can see it by reading the verses of the birth of Reuben, Simeon and Levi, as written:

“וַתַּ֤הַר לֵאָה֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֔ן וַתִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ רְאוּבֵ֑ן כִּ֣י אָֽמְרָ֗ה כִּֽי־רָאָ֤ה יְהוָה֙ בְּעָנְיִ֔י כִּ֥י עַתָּ֖ה יֶאֱהָבַ֥נִי אִישִֽׁי׃וַתַּ֣הַר עוֹד֮ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּן֒ וַתֹּ֗אמֶר כִּֽי־שָׁמַ֤ע יְהוָה֙ כִּֽי־שְׂנוּאָ֣ה אָנֹ֔כִי וַיִּתֶּן־לִ֖י גַּם־אֶת־זֶ֑ה וַתִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ שִׁמְעֽוֹן׃וַתַּ֣הַר עוֹד֮ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּן֒ וַתֹּ֗אמֶר עַתָּ֤ה הַפַּ֙עַם֙ יִלָּוֶ֤ה אִישִׁי֙ אֵלַ֔י כִּֽי־יָלַ֥דְתִּי ל֖וֹ שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה בָנִ֑ים עַל־כֵּ֥ן קָרָֽא־שְׁמ֖וֹ לֵוִֽי׃”

“And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, because the Lord hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. (Genesis 29:32-34)

“Now therefore my husband will love me”
“The Lord hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also”
“This time will my husband be joined unto me”.

How miserable is Leah, and how miserable are kids there are brought to this world in order to cause a relationship to survive- don’t you think?

Have a peaceful day,
Eli

Genesis 28:16- What happens when Jacob woke up?

Genesis 28 is a chapter of journey that started in the house of Jacob and ended in a place that will be called the house of God- Beit El.
An interesting verse of this chapter is the moment when Jacob woke up and said these words-

” וַיִּיקַ֣ץ יַעֲקֹב֮ מִשְּׁנָתוֹ֒ וַיֹּ֕אמֶר אָכֵן֙ יֵ֣שׁ יְהוָ֔ה בַּמָּק֖וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹ֥א יָדָֽעְתִּי׃”

“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.”(Genesis 28:16)

Did Jacob didn’t know that there is God or he didn’t know that this is a sacred place and in this kind of place he can meet God or his messengers?
In a nut shell- what Jacob didn’t know?

I wanted to offer that no matter if this is one story or two (according to the sources theory) the revelation of The Lord (verse 13) or the angels with the latter (verse 12) caused Jacob to understand that God is not just written and told as father told him (Genesis 27:27) – God exists and when you see him as Jacob did- you understand and know!

Have a lovely day, Eli

חלום

One second in Genesis 27

I have always thought that the most interesting verse in Genesis 27 is the moment that Esau and Isaac found out that the one that was blessed instead of Esau was Jacob, who pretended to be Esau successfully, as written:

“וַיֶּחֱרַ֨ד יִצְחָ֣ק חֲרָדָה֮ גְּדֹלָ֣ה עַד־מְאֹד֒ וַיֹּ֡אמֶר מִֽי־אֵפ֡וֹא ה֣וּא הַצָּֽד־צַיִד֩ וַיָּ֨בֵא לִ֜י וָאֹכַ֥ל מִכֹּ֛ל בְּטֶ֥רֶם תָּב֖וֹא וָאֲבָרֲכֵ֑הוּ גַּם־בָּר֖וּךְ יִהְיֶֽה׃כִּשְׁמֹ֤עַ עֵשָׂו֙ אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֣י אָבִ֔יו וַיִּצְעַ֣ק צְעָקָ֔ה גְּדֹלָ֥ה וּמָרָ֖ה עַד־מְאֹ֑ד וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לְאָבִ֔יו בָּרֲכֵ֥נִי גַם־אָ֖נִי אָבִֽי׃”

“And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, who? Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.(Genesis 27:33-34)

However, re-reading of this beautiful chapter changed my mind. The moment that is described above is sad and dramatic, but there’s one second that is more, and this is the moment when Jacob went out from the tenth and Esau just entered. The commentaries tried to explain that they didn’t see each other since every one of them came from a different direction in the tenth. I would like to suggest that Jacob SAW Esau and Esau could have seen Jacob, but he didn’t pay attention to him, since he was so anxious to get the blessing. This is a second to remember, one second that is ironic when we and Jacob know that nothing would be the same after Esau will understand the “another Esau” was in the tenth before him….

Have a blessed day,

Eli

שעון

4 wells in Genesis 26

When we look at wells in the Old Testament in three times we can find the well as the place of meeting before marriage (Genesis 24, Genesis 29, and Exodus 4).

However, in our chapter there are 4 well and all of them are not in the functions as described above. 2 well are wells of fight between shepherds, as written:

“וַיָּרִ֜יבוּ רֹעֵ֣י גְרָ֗ר עִם־רֹעֵ֥י יִצְחָ֛ק לֵאמֹ֖ר לָ֣נוּ הַמָּ֑יִם וַיִּקְרָ֤א שֵֽׁם־הַבְּאֵר֙ עֵ֔שֶׂק כִּ֥י הִֽתְעַשְּׂק֖וּ עִמּֽוֹ׃וַֽיַּחְפְּרוּ֙ בְּאֵ֣ר אַחֶ֔רֶת וַיָּרִ֖יבוּ גַּם־עָלֶ֑יהָ וַיִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמָ֖הּ שִׂטְנָֽה׃”

“And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.

The third one is called Rehovot, the place that I was born, as written:
” וַיַּעְתֵּ֣ק מִשָּׁ֗ם וַיַּחְפֹּר֙ בְּאֵ֣ר אַחֶ֔רֶת וְלֹ֥א רָב֖וּ עָלֶ֑יהָ וַיִּקְרָ֤א שְׁמָהּ֙ רְחֹב֔וֹת וַיֹּ֗אמֶר כִּֽי־עַתָּ֞ה הִרְחִ֧יב יְהוָ֛ה לָ֖נוּ וּפָרִ֥ינוּ בָאָֽרֶץ׃

“And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, for now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land”(Genesis (26:22)

The fourth one is called Beersheba and many speculate that is related to the number seven (Sheba’) in Hebrew, but actually it’s related to the root to swear (Shin-Beit-‘ayin).The people there probably swore about peace that they want (See Genesis 26:31-33).

I wish we will all swear that peace should be with us!

Have a peaceful week, Eli

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya from Pexels

שלום

What’s new in Genesis 25?

The pupils in Israel learn and know usually the second part of Genesis 25, from verse 19 to 34. There in Parashat Toldot you can find all the drama in the twin’s birth, the love of Rebecca to Jacob without conditions and the love of Isaac to Esau since he is a hunter (Genesis 25:28).

However, the beginning of this chapter shed new lights for me as a reader and I wanted to share them with you.

Firstly, Abraham had another wife named Qeturrah (and I disagree with Rashi and agree with Eben Ezra that Qeturah is not Hagar).

Secondly, both Sebah and Midian is connected to Abraham (Genesis 25:2-3). Those name will be interesting when The Bible continues.

Thirdly, Isaac got everything from Abraham, but his others sons also got presents from Abraham, who lived 175 years.

Fourthly, Isaac dwelled in the place of meeting of Hagar and the angel in Genesis 16:14.

Fifthly, a question that I wanted to ask you. Ishmael was living 137 years, and in verse 18 it’s written that he fell- what happened to him?

Have a blessed weekend,
El

The first Feminist woman in the Bible?

One of the important changes of humanity in the last century was the invention of pills, often used as the birth controlled pills. This is a moment when women could decide and choose the time they want to become mothers. When I think about another change in the history of women I take Genesis 24 as a good example. There are many suggestions when this story was written (early or late), but this is not our discussion today.

When I read these verses I am excited, since the voice of Rebecca is important as written:

“וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ נִקְרָ֣א לַֽנַּעֲרָ֑ וְנִשְׁאֲלָ֖ה אֶת־פִּֽיהָ׃ וַיִּקְרְא֤וּ לְרִבְקָה֙ וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵלֶ֔יהָ הֲתֵלְכִ֖י עִם־הָאִ֣ישׁ הַזֶּ֑ה וַתֹּ֖אמֶר אֵלֵֽךְ׃

“And they said, “Let us call the girl and ask for her reply.”They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will.”(Genesis 24:57-58)

The commentary of Rashi (and others) said it all- From this we may infer that a woman should not be given in marriage except with her own consent”

The word of male and female is and must be equal.

Have a lovey day,

Eli

What happens when you hear and listen?

It’s seems to be that the author of Genesis 23 wanted us to learn the root to hear in Hebrew (Shama’- shin-mem-‘ayin). While we read about the negotiation of Abraham with Efron the root repeats six times (verses 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16) and in the last time it’s written:

“וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮ אֶל־עֶפְרוֹן֒ וַיִּשְׁקֹ֤ל אַבְרָהָם֙ לְעֶפְרֹ֔ן אֶת־הַכֶּ֕סֶף אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֖ר בְּאָזְנֵ֣י בְנֵי־חֵ֑ת אַרְבַּ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ שֶׁ֣קֶל כֶּ֔סֶף עֹבֵ֖ר לַסֹּחֵֽר׃”

“And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.” (Genesis 23:16)

The Beatles sang “All we need is Love” and I would like to add that in these days when communications problems occur many times the sentence should be also- ALL WE NEED IS TO LISTEN.

Have a beautiful day, Eli

Genesis 22:23- a verse to remember

Genesis 22 is one of the most well-known in the Bible, mainly because the famous story about the almost sacrifice of Isaac.
However, after the end of this story, and after that Abraham came back alone to his servants (Genesis 22:19), the chapter continue to share with us the genealogy of Abraham’s brother. An interesting verse is found in verse 23, as written:

וּבְתוּאֵ֖ל יָלַ֣ד אֶת־רִבְקָ֑ה שְׁמֹנָ֥ה אֵ֙לֶּה֙ יָלְדָ֣ה מִלְכָּ֔ה לְנָח֖וֹר אֲחִ֥י אַבְרָהָֽם׃

Bethuel being the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother.

Usually the mother gives birth to child and in most of the verses of birth in the Bible the name that is mentioned is a name of males. In this verse the nephew of Abraham- who is the smallest son in the house of Nachor (the eight’s son as David was!!!)- is the father of Rebbeca.

In the Midrash this verse is given as one of the examples of the sun the rising!

The sun will come to life of Isaac at the end of Genesis 24.

May the sun will shine to you this day!

Eli

Genesis 21: 9- was there a sin of Ishmael?

When someone is not loved in a text -there’s always a simple way to show it for the readers.
First, the author will give the character nicknames and will not call it by its name. Second, when we will read about him the number of words will be less than the heroes. Third, when the character is going to do something that other did, it won’t look good in the eyes of the readers/commentaries.
Whenever I read Genesis 21:9 I ask myself what was the sin of Ishmael as written:
וַתֵּ֨רֶא שָׂרָ֜ה אֶֽת־בֶּן־הָגָ֧ר הַמִּצְרִ֛ית אֲשֶׁר־יָלְדָ֥ה לְאַבְרָהָ֖ם מְצַחֵֽק׃
“Sarah saw the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham playing”

What was the play that caused Sarah to drive Ishmael and his mother away?

The traditional commentaries tried to suggest that there was worshipping idols or murder or quarrelling with Isaac about the inheritance (Rahsi, Eben Ezra and Midrashim, or that Ishmael mocked and claimed that surely Sarah must have become pregnant from Avimelech (Seforno).

The root that is shared to Abraham, Sarah and Ishmael (to laugh)is in a different Binyan (Piel) for Ishmael. Is this the reason that for Abraham and Sarah it’s not a sin or half-sin and for Ishmael it’s a sin that cannot change his destiny?

What do you think?

Eli