Genesis chs. 32 to 36, VaYishlach
The Book of Beginnings
Genesis chs.32:3 to 36
AND HE SENT
We saw how Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were about to give rise to the Chosen People. Jacob had taken the blessing away from his brother, Esau, by disguising himself as Esau. This was symbolic of the Future. The descendants of Jacob were destined to divide into two sections, headed by Judah and Joseph. Judah was to keep the Law and be recognizable in the world. Joseph to loose awareness of his ancestry and not be recognized by others. Nevertheless, Joseph was to enjoy many of the blessings promised to the Patriarchs. He was also to adopt much of the characters and outward form associated with Esau. In effect he was to disguise himself once again as Esau. When Esau realized that Jacob had recevied the Blessings he plotted to kill him. Jacob was therefore sent away to Padan Aram, to uncle Laban. He married the daughters of Laban and begat 11 sons, one son (Benjamin) being born later. Having experienced difficulties with Laban Jacob took his wives and children and everything he had and returned to the Land of Canaan. Jacob sent a mesage to Esau anouncing his intention. Meanwhile, Esau had moved to the Land of Seir to the sutheast. As they were entering the Land, they heard that Esau with 400 men was coming to meet them, his intentions uncertain. Jacob faced this meetign with some trepidation.
This section is called VaYishlach (And [he] sent) after the word meaning "And He Sent" in the first verse.
[Genesis 32:3] AND JACOB SENT MESSENGERS BEFORE HIM TO ESAU HIS BROTHER UNTO THE LAND OF SEIR, THE COUNTRY OF EDOM.
Seir is the country of Edom: Seir connotes goat. We believe that Alexander the Great was a descendant of Esau. Alexander is said to be represented by a goat in the Book of Daniel.
Thev name Seir in Hebrew also connotes hairy, windy, demonic (satyr). "Seir" in Hebrew also means "demon." The Greek concept of Satyr may derive from it. A pagan cult involving the worship of hairy human type beings with the legs of goats is also mentioned in the Bible. Leviticus 17:7 forbids Israelites from g sacrificial offerings to "sairim," meanig "satyrs." Jeroboam the King of the break-away Trbies of Israel set up altars tot hem as well as to goldencalves, 2-Chronicles 11:15. As well as the Greeks other ancient peoples also worshipped them. This includes the Irish and Scots, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyr
The People of Seir were Horites who appear to have been assimilated amongst the descendants of Edom.-
[Genesis 32:4] AND HE COMMANDED THEM, SAYING, THUS SHALL YE SPEAK UNTO MY LORD ESAU; THY SERVANT JACOB SAITH THUS, I HAVE SOJOURNED WITH LABAN, AND STAYED THERE UNTIL NOW:
[Genesis 32:5] AND I HAVE OXEN, AND ASSES, FLOCKS, AND MENSERVANTS, AND WOMENSERVANTS: AND I HAVE SENT TO TELL MY LORD, THAT I MAY FIND GRACE IN THY SIGHT.
Jacob was a hero but he recognized reality. He did not overduly rely on miracles even though he was a prophet who had had face-to-face encounters with angels. Esau had bigger guns on his side at that moment so Jacob took steps to placate him.
[Genesis 32:6] AND THE MESSENGERS RETURNED TO JACOB, SAYING, WE CAME TO THY BROTHER ESAU, AND ALSO HE COMETH TO MEET THEE, AND FOUR HUNDRED MEN WITH HIM.
[Genesis 32:7] THEN JACOB WAS GREATLY AFRAID AND DISTRESSED: AND HE DIVIDED THE PEOPLE THAT WAS WITH HIM, AND THE FLOCKS, AND HERDS, AND THE CAMELS, INTO TWO BANDS;
He split his people into two: Does this symbolize the eventual splitting of the Israelite people into two parts headed by Judah and Ephraim?
[Genesis 32:8] AND SAID, IF ESAU COME TO THE ONE COMPANY, AND SMITE IT, THEN THE OTHER COMPANY WHICH IS LEFT SHALL ESCAPE.
[Genesis 32:9] AND JACOB SAID, O GOD OF MY FATHER ABRAHAM, AND GOD OF MY FATHER ISAAC, THE LORD WHICH SAIDST UNTO ME, RETURN UNTO THY COUNTRY, AND TO THY KINDRED, AND I WILL DEAL WELL WITH THEE:
God would be with him when he returned to the holy Land, the Land of God. Is this symbolic of future events? Nevertheless there was danger in the return.
[Genesis 32:10] I AM NOT WORTHY OF THE LEAST OF ALL THE MERCIES, AND OF ALL THE TRUTH, WHICH THOU HAST SHEWED UNTO THY SERVANT; FOR WITH MY STAFF I PASSED OVER THIS JORDAN; AND NOW I AM BECOME TWO BANDS
No matter what was going to happen to him he never stopped acknowledging the greatness and goodness of God.
[Genesis 32:11] DELIVER ME, I PRAY THEE, FROM THE HAND OF MY BROTHER, FROM THE HAND OF ESAU: FOR I FEAR HIM, LEST HE WILL COME AND SMITE ME, AND THE MOTHER WITH THE CHILDREN.
He was afraid of Esau. He knew his nature. Esau was already then quite capable of exterminating Jacob and wiping out men, women, and children.
[Genesis 32:12] AND THOU SAIDST, I WILL SURELY DO THEE GOOD, AND MAKE THY SEED AS THE SAND OF THE SEA, WHICH CANNOT BE NUMBERED FOR MULTITUDE.
He had been promised that his seed would be enormously numerous. Note the constant repetition of this promise. This justifies us identifying the Lost Ten tribes with large groups of people.
[Genesis 32:13] AND HE LODGED THERE THAT SAME NIGHT; AND TOOK OF THAT WHICH CAME TO HIS HAND A PRESENT FOR ESAU HIS BROTHER;
[Genesis 32:14] TWO HUNDRED SHE GOATS, AND TWENTY HE GOATS, TWO HUNDRED EWES, AND TWENTY RAMS,
[Genesis 32:15] THIRTY MILCH CAMELS WITH THEIR COLTS, FORTY KINE, AND TEN BULLS, TWENTY SHE ASSES, AND TEN FOALS.
[Genesis 32:16] AND HE DELIVERED THEM INTO THE HAND OF HIS SERVANTS, EVERY DROVE BY THEMSELVES; AND SAID UNTO HIS SERVANTS, PASS OVER BEFORE ME, AND PUT A SPACE BETWIXT DROVE AND DROVE.
[Genesis 32:17] AND HE COMMANDED THE FOREMOST, SAYING, WHEN ESAU MY BROTHER MEETETH THEE, AND ASKETH THEE, SAYING, WHOSE ART THOU? AND WHITHER GOEST THOU? AND WHOSE ARE THESE BEFORE THEE?
[Genesis 32:18] THEN THOU SHALT SAY, THEY BE THY SERVANT JACOB'S; IT IS A PRESENT SENT UNTO MY LORD ESAU: AND, BEHOLD, ALSO HE IS BEHIND US.
[Genesis 32:19] AND SO COMMANDED HE THE SECOND, AND THE THIRD, AND ALL THAT FOLLOWED THE DROVES, SAYING, ON THIS MANNER SHALL YE SPEAK UNTO ESAU, WHEN YE FIND HIM.
[Genesis 32:20] AND SAY YE MOREOVER, BEHOLD, THY SERVANT JACOB IS BEHIND US. FOR HE SAID, I WILL APPEASE HIM WITH THE PRESENT THAT GOETH BEFORE ME, AND AFTERWARD I WILL SEE HIS FACE; PERADVENTURE HE WILL ACCEPT OF ME.
[Genesis 32:21] SO WENT THE PRESENT OVER BEFORE HIM: AND HIMSELF LODGED THAT NIGHT IN THE COMPANY.
[Genesis 32:22] AND HE ROSE UP THAT NIGHT, AND TOOK HIS TWO WIVES, AND HIS TWO WOMENSERVANTS, AND HIS ELEVEN SONS, AND PASSED OVER THE FORD JABBOK.
[Genesis 32:23] AND HE TOOK THEM, AND SENT THEM OVER THE BROOK, AND SENT OVER THAT HE HAD.
[Genesis 32:24] AND JACOB WAS LEFT ALONE; AND THERE WRESTLED A MAN WITH HIM UNTIL THE BREAKING OF THE DAY.
This Man was an angel. According to tradition he was the guardian angel of Esau.
The word for angel in Hebrew is Malakh: This literally means messenger. A "malakh" is therefore a messenger. It can be a human messenger or a spiritual one. When Jacob began his struggle with this man he may have thought him to be human being. His Divine Nature became apparent in the course of the struggle.
Notice the style of the Biblical narrative. We are introduced to the scene as if indeed the angel is a man. In fact until the very end the Bible never tells us expressly just who this-so-called man was.
Perhaps this comes to tell us:
1. An emissary from God can be anyone. It does not really matter whether it be a spiritual being or a mortal one.
2. Jacob was at such a level that to him it was pretty much all the same: Humans, angels, etc. They were all different aspects of his day-to-day reality.
At the beginning of his life Jacob is introduced as simple person who prefers to sit in tents, and as a favorite of his mother, a mothers boy. We learn however almost just incidentally that he also reveals himself as capable when the hour needs it of super-deception, of confrontation with his warrior-hunter brother, of superhuman physical strength lifting alone a rock that a whole crowd of outdoors he-men shepherds were not capable of moving, of living outdoors in the wild day and night in the heat and cold of wilderness extremities for years on end, of keeping four young women as his wives all fighting each other for his attentions, of fathering twelve sons and at least one daughter (some say eleven or twelve daughters), of outwitting his local warlord of a father-in-law, of being prepared for a life-or-death encounter with his warrior brother, of talking directly to God Almighty, of physically wrestling with an angel all night long, subduing the angel, and demanding a blessing. There is more to Jacob than meets the eye. Maybe Jacob was a Clark Kent (alias Superman) type of person? A sissy boy who turns out to possess the archetype capabilities of a macho personality?
My father once quoted to me a saying of Theodore Roosevelt (President of USA 1901-1909): Talk quietly but carry a big stick.
[Genesis 32:25] AND WHEN HE SAW THAT HE PREVAILED NOT AGAINST HIM, HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF HIS THIGH; AND THE HOLLOW OF JACOB'S THIGH WAS OUT OF JOINT, AS HE WRESTLED WITH HIM.
HOLLOW OF HIS THIGH was understood to hint at sexual matters. The adversary did not defeat Israel but he does manage to weaken him by causing some of his great men to sometimes somehow fall down in sexual matters.
[Genesis 32:26] AND HE SAID, LET ME GO, FOR THE DAY BREAKETH. AND HE SAID, I WILL NOT LET THEE GO, EXCEPT THOU BLESS ME.
[Genesis 32:27] AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, WHAT IS THY NAME? AND HE SAID, JACOB.
[Genesis 32:28] AND HE SAID, THY NAME SHALL BE CALLED NO MORE JACOB, BUT ISRAEL: FOR AS A PRINCE HAST THOU POWER WITH GOD AND WITH MEN, AND HAST PREVAILED.
The name "Yisrael" is a play on words: It can connote "rule with-" or "wrestle with- (God)" or both together.
[Genesis 32:29] AND JACOB ASKED HIM, AND SAID, TELL ME, I PRAY THEE, THY NAME. AND HE SAID, WHEREFORE IS IT THAT THOU DOST ASK AFTER MY NAME? AND HE BLESSED HIM THERE.
[Genesis 32:30] AND JACOB CALLED THE NAME OF THE PLACE PENIEL: FOR I HAVE SEEN GOD FACE TO FACE, AND MY LIFE IS PRESERVED.
The man was an emissary of God. A spiritual being, a representative of God Himself. At what stage had Jacob become aware of this?
[Genesis 32:31] AND AS HE PASSED OVER PENUEL THE SUN ROSE UPON HIM, AND HE HALTED UPON HIS THIGH.
"HIS THIGH": Sexual failings are often the Achilles heel of the Israelite people. All of us are liable to fall down in this area.
[Genesis 32:32] THEREFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL EAT NOT OF THE SINEW WHICH SHRANK, WHICH IS UPON THE HOLLOW OF THE THIGH, UNTO THIS DAY: BECAUSE HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF JACOB'S THIGH IN THE SINEW THAT SHRANK.
[Genesis 33:1] AND JACOB LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND LOOKED, AND, BEHOLD, ESAU CAME, AND WITH HIM FOUR HUNDRED MEN. AND HE DIVIDED THE CHILDREN UNTO LEAH, AND UNTO RACHEL, AND UNTO THE TWO HANDMAIDS.
[Genesis 33:2] AND HE PUT THE HANDMAIDS AND THEIR CHILDREN FOREMOST, AND LEAH AND HER CHILDREN AFTER, AND RACHEL AND JOSEPH HINDERMOST.
JOSEPH HINDERMOST the descendants of Joseph still are the most distanced section of the Israelite people. They are separated out in islands or geographical extremities (ends of the earth) such as Britain, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and even to a degree New Zealand. The other Israelites are closer to Edom assuming that Edom is dominant in Germany and other parts of Europe in general. According to some understandings, Edom, dominates in germany and to some degree throughout Europe. Nations that adjoin Germany are greatly influenced by here consciously and subsconconsciously. This is natural. Germany is populous, culturally influenctial, wealthy, outgoing, and often powerful. She is going to influenmcve her neighbors. Joseph being at first in Britain on an island has less chance of being under the sway of German example and opinion.
[Genesis 33:3] AND HE PASSED OVER BEFORE THEM, AND BOWED HIMSELF TO THE GROUND SEVEN TIMES, UNTIL HE CAME NEAR TO HIS BROTHER.
The Rabbis say that because he bowed down to Esau his descendants were condemned to be exiled.
[Genesis 33:4] AND ESAU RAN TO MEET HIM, AND EMBRACED HIM, AND FELL ON HIS NECK, AND KISSED HIM: AND THEY WEPT.
"AND FELL ON HIS NECK": Winston Churchill once said that the Hun (i.e. German) is either at your feet or at your throat.
THEY WEPT these two were destined to spend a lot of time together for good and for bad.
[Genesis 33:5] AND HE LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND SAW THE WOMEN AND THE CHILDREN; AND SAID, WHO ARE THOSE WITH THEE? AND HE SAID, THE CHILDREN WHICH GOD HATH GRACIOUSLY GIVEN THY SERVANT.
[Genesis 33:6] THEN THE HANDMAIDENS CAME NEAR, THEY AND THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEY BOWED THEMSELVES.
[Genesis 33:7] AND LEAH ALSO WITH HER CHILDREN CAME NEAR, AND BOWED THEMSELVES: AND AFTER CAME JOSEPH NEAR AND RACHEL, AND THEY BOWED THEMSELVES.
[Genesis 33:8] AND HE SAID, WHAT MEANEST THOU BY ALL THIS DROVE WHICH I MET? AND HE SAID, THESE ARE TO FIND GRACE IN THE SIGHT OF MY LORD.
[Genesis 33:9] AND ESAU SAID, I HAVE ENOUGH, MY BROTHER; KEEP THAT THOU HAST UNTO THYSELF.
[Genesis 33:10] AND JACOB SAID, NAY, I PRAY THEE, IF NOW I HAVE FOUND GRACE IN THY SIGHT, THEN RECEIVE MY PRESENT AT MY HAND: FOR THEREFORE I HAVE SEEN THY FACE, AS THOUGH I HAD SEEN THE FACE OF GOD, AND THOU WAST PLEASED WITH ME.
The Rabbis interpreted this to mean that Jacob was indicating to Esau that Jacob had met the guardian angel of Esau (THE FACE OF GOD), face-to-face, and obtained his sanction.
[Genesis 33:11] TAKE, I PRAY THEE, MY BLESSING THAT IS BROUGHT TO THEE; BECAUSE GOD HATH DEALT GRACIOUSLY WITH ME, AND BECAUSE I HAVE ENOUGH. AND HE URGED HIM, AND HE TOOK IT.
[Genesis 33:12] AND HE SAID, LET US TAKE OUR JOURNEY, AND LET US GO, AND I WILL GO BEFORE THEE.
[Genesis 33:13] AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, MY LORD KNOWETH THAT THE CHILDREN ARE TENDER, AND THE FLOCKS AND HERDS WITH YOUNG ARE WITH ME: AND IF MEN SHOULD OVERDRIVE THEM ONE DAY, ALL THE FLOCK WILL DIE.
[Genesis 33:14] LET MY LORD, I PRAY THEE, PASS OVER BEFORE HIS SERVANT: AND I WILL LEAD ON SOFTLY, ACCORDING AS THE CATTLE THAT GOETH BEFORE ME AND THE CHILDREN BE ABLE TO ENDURE, UNTIL I COME UNTO MY LORD UNTO SEIR.
Rashi quotes the Sages as saying: WE have gone through the entire Bible and not found that Jacob fulfilled his promise: UNTIL I COME UNTO MY LORD UNTO SEIR. When will he fulfill it and go to Esau?
When the following verse is fulfilled: AND SAVIOURS SHALL COME UP ON MOUNT ZION TO JUDGE THE MOUNT OF ESAU; AND THE KINGDOM SHALL BE THE LORD'S [Obadiah 1:21]. See the Brit-Am Commentary to the Book of Obadiah.
See also Isaiah 63 and our Commentary there.
[Genesis 33:15] AND ESAU SAID, LET ME NOW LEAVE WITH THEE SOME OF THE FOLK THAT ARE WITH ME. AND HE SAID, WHAT NEEDETH IT? LET ME FIND GRACE IN THE SIGHT OF MY LORD.
[Genesis 33:16] SO ESAU RETURNED THAT DAY ON HIS WAY UNTO SEIR.
[Genesis 33:17] AND JACOB JOURNEYED TO SUCCOTH, AND BUILT HIM AN HOUSE, AND MADE BOOTHS FOR HIS CATTLE: THEREFORE THE NAME OF THE PLACE IS CALLED SUCCOTH.
[Genesis 33:18] AND JACOB CAME TO SHALEM, A CITY OF SHECHEM, WHICH IS IN THE LAND OF CANAAN, WHEN HE CAME FROM PADANARAM; AND PITCHED HIS TENT BEFORE THE CITY.
[Genesis 33:19] AND HE BOUGHT A PARCEL OF A FIELD, WHERE HE HAD SPREAD HIS TENT, AT THE HAND OF THE CHILDREN OF HAMOR, SHECHEM'S FATHER, FOR AN HUNDRED PIECES OF MONEY.
"HAMOR" means donkey. We may think this a strange name to give somebody. But a male donkey has strength, stamina, persistence, virility, intelligence, and individuality. These are not negative qualities.
[Genesis 33:20] AND HE ERECTED THERE AN ALTAR, AND CALLED IT EL-ELOHE-ISRAEL.
"EL-ELOHE-ISRAEL" means God, the God Of Israel.
Rape and Bloody Vengeance
[Genesis 34:1] AND DINAH THE DAUGHTER OF LEAH, WHICH SHE BARE UNTO JACOB, WENT OUT TO SEE THE DAUGHTERS OF THE LAND.
Perhaps she should not have gone out? Even if she was to go out however she should not have been harmed. These days in some circles it has become fashionable to look for blame in the victim. Sometimes there is a point in this approach but even so it cannot absolve the victimizer. A person should not be provocative or make himself or herself susceptible. However even if they do so they have a right to protection and redress if wrong is done to them.
[Genesis 34:2] AND WHEN SHECHEM THE SON OF HAMOR THE HIVITE, PRINCE OF THE COUNTRY, SAW HER, HE TOOK HER, AND LAY WITH HER, AND DEFILED HER.
"HE TOOK HER, AND LAY WITH HER, AND DEFILED HER": The word for defile is derived from the word inui meaning oppression or torture. This was much worse than simple seduction. It was rape combined with sadism. Even simple seduction however was also an offence.
Incidentally the root of inui is ina or ana or alternatively anoi. In my opinion it is the source of the English word annoy.
[Genesis 34:3] AND HIS SOUL CLAVE UNTO DINAH THE DAUGHTER OF JACOB, AND HE LOVED THE DAMSEL, AND SPAKE KINDLY UNTO THE DAMSEL.
HE LOVED: after rape and affliction came love.
DAMSEL: she was very young at the time.
"SPAKE KINDLY": There have been a lot of case studies of young women being kidnapped, sometimes raped, and eventually being led to identify with their oppressors. There was the famous case of Patty Hearst that followed the said pattern. It happens that women in such situations do acquiesce after the fact. In Hebrew Law if the beginning of the deed was forced it is considered rape even if the woman later agrees.
Psychologically we have case histories of people identifying with their oppressors.
This is known as the "Stockholm Syndrome".
Stockholm Syndrome describes the behavior of kidnap victims who, over time, become sympathetic to their captors. The name derives from a 1973 hostage incident in Stockholm, Sweden. At the end of six days of captivity in a bank, several kidnap victims actually resisted rescue attempts, and afterwards refused to testify against their captors.
Stockholm Syndrome: Unequal Power Relationships
On August 23rd 1973, Jan Olsson began a bank robbery that would add a new interpretation to the world's view of hostage situations, and the psychological effects behind unequal power relations. It started with the storming a local kreditbanke in downtown Stockholm, Sweden, and the shooting of the police officers who had gone in after Olsson. With this action, a six day ordeal and hostage situation known as the Norrmalmstorg Robbery began. Four hostages were taken into the bank's vault. Dynamite was strapped to them, and they were rigged to snare traps so that in case of a gas attack by the police, the hostages would be killed regardless of any rescue attempts. Three women and one man were confined to this small room, fighting to survive. (7) Yet when these captives were released, they had more sympathy for their captors than the police who had rescued them and went so far as to publicly decry their own rescue. Two of the hostages became friends with the captors, a fund was set up by them to help pay for the defense fees accrued through their trial, and continue to support their captors against the police even today. (8) Psychologist Nils Bejerot named the captives' attachment towards their abusers "Stockholm Syndrome," and from this case, a new behavioral attachment disorder began. (7)
Jewish people in Israel who feel overdue sympathy for Palestinian terrorists are suffering from a form of this sickness. The same applies to American citizens who support the Arab cause.
The Nazis and Communists and other tyrants always found plenty of people to assist them amongst those they oppressed.
Somewhere within all of us there exists a tendency to respect force and to give in to the powers that be no matter what they do. In some cases this is necessary (as perhaps in the early stages of military training?) and justified but there are times when we are expected to resist to the extent of our capability. On the whole evil should always be resisted or at least kept away from and not acquiesced with.
[Genesis 34:4] AND SHECHEM SPAKE UNTO HIS FATHER HAMOR, SAYING, GET ME THIS DAMSEL TO WIFE.
In some societies (such as certain areas of the Caucasus but also elsewhere) abduction followed by marriage is an accepted procedure.
[Genesis 34:5] AND JACOB HEARD THAT HE HAD DEFILED DINAH HIS DAUGHTER: NOW HIS SONS WERE WITH HIS CATTLE IN THE FIELD: AND JACOB HELD HIS PEACE UNTIL THEY WERE COME.
[Genesis 34:6] AND HAMOR THE FATHER OF SHECHEM WENT OUT UNTO JACOB TO COMMUNE WITH HIM.
[Genesis 34:7] AND THE SONS OF JACOB CAME OUT OF THE FIELD WHEN THEY HEARD IT: AND THE MEN WERE GRIEVED, AND THEY WERE VERY WROTH, BECAUSE HE HAD WROUGHT FOLLY IN ISRAEL IN LYING WITH JACOB'S DAUGHTER: WHICH THING OUGHT NOT TO BE DONE.
IN LYING WITH JACOB'S DAUGHTER: Even seduction is not tolerable. Even in modern terms Dinah was well underage at the time this event took place.
WHICH THING OUGHT NOT TO BE DONE: All of mankind are commanded to institute systems of justice. Raping and oppressing women are not to be tolerated.
[Genesis 34:8] AND HAMOR COMMUNED WITH THEM, SAYING, THE SOUL OF MY SON SHECHEM LONGETH FOR YOUR DAUGHTER: I PRAY YOU GIVE HER HIM TO WIFE.
[Genesis 34:9] AND MAKE YE MARRIAGES WITH US, AND GIVE YOUR DAUGHTERS UNTO US, AND TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS UNTO YOU.
The case is not as simple as it seems. Dinah was very young. She was a little girl from a family of traveling foreigners who had come temporarily to the city. She went out to pay a courtesy call to the females of the area. This may have been the custom of the time and may have been an expected thing to do. Schechem the local prince seized her, lay with her, oppressed and defiled her and KEPT HER with him in his house. She was abducted and abused. She had been disgraced. After that he tried to legalize the situation and took steps to retroactively make it more socially acceptable. The power was in his hands. The family of Jacob was being pressured to assimilate amongst the Canaanite natives of the area. From one point of view their survival as an independent self-respecting entity was at stake.
[Genesis 34:10] AND YE SHALL DWELL WITH US: AND THE LAND SHALL BE BEFORE YOU; DWELL AND TRADE YE THEREIN, AND GET YOU POSSESSIONS THEREIN.
Give us your daughters, take our women, live with us, and prosper. And if not? Dinah was already there.
[Genesis 34:11] AND SHECHEM SAID UNTO HER FATHER AND UNTO HER BRETHREN, LET ME FIND GRACE IN YOUR EYES, AND WHAT YE SHALL SAY UNTO ME I WILL GIVE.
[Genesis 34:12] ASK ME NEVER SO MUCH DOWRY AND GIFT, AND I WILL GIVE ACCORDING AS YE SHALL SAY UNTO ME: BUT GIVE ME THE DAMSEL TO WIFE.
[Genesis 34:13] AND THE SONS OF JACOB ANSWERED SHECHEM AND HAMOR HIS FATHER DECEITFULLY, AND SAID, BECAUSE HE HAD DEFILED DINAH THEIR SISTER:
The people of Hamor had the power. Jacob and his sons were just wayfarers, few in number, and aliens in the land. They had to resort to subterfuge.
[Genesis 34:14] AND THEY SAID UNTO THEM, WE CANNOT DO THIS THING, TO GIVE OUR SISTER TO ONE THAT IS UNCIRCUMCISED; FOR THAT WERE A REPROACH UNTO US:
[Genesis 34:15] BUT IN THIS WILL WE CONSENT UNTO YOU: IF YE WILL BE AS WE BE, THAT EVERY MALE OF YOU BE CIRCUMCISED;
Note they requested that these people be circumcised as if circumcision were simply a cultural matter without connection to religion.
[Genesis 34:16] THEN WILL WE GIVE OUR DAUGHTERS UNTO YOU, AND WE WILL TAKE YOUR DAUGHTERS TO US, AND WE WILL DWELL WITH YOU, AND WE WILL BECOME ONE PEOPLE.
[Genesis 34:17] BUT IF YE WILL NOT HEARKEN UNTO US, TO BE CIRCUMCISED; THEN WILL WE TAKE OUR DAUGHTER, AND WE WILL BE GONE.
[Genesis 34:18] AND THEIR WORDS PLEASED HAMOR, AND SHECHEM HAMOR'S SON.
[Genesis 34:19] AND THE YOUNG MAN DEFERRED NOT TO DO THE THING, BECAUSE HE HAD DELIGHT IN JACOB'S DAUGHTER: AND HE WAS MORE HONOURABLE THAN ALL THE HOUSE OF HIS FATHER.
BECAUSE HE HAD DELIGHT IN JACOB'S DAUGHTER: His motivation was to continue enjoying the fruits of what he had taken illegally and unjustly. All this time he kept her in his house. He did not send her home.
[Genesis 34:20] AND HAMOR AND SHECHEM HIS SON CAME UNTO THE GATE OF THEIR CITY, AND COMMUNED WITH THE MEN OF THEIR CITY, SAYING,
[Genesis 34:21] THESE MEN ARE PEACEABLE WITH US; THEREFORE LET THEM DWELL IN THE LAND, AND TRADE THEREIN; FOR THE LAND, BEHOLD, IT IS LARGE ENOUGH FOR THEM; LET US TAKE THEIR DAUGHTERS TO US FOR WIVES, AND LET US GIVE THEM OUR DAUGHTERS.
[Genesis 34:22] ONLY HEREIN WILL THE MEN CONSENT UNTO US FOR TO DWELL WITH US, TO BE ONE PEOPLE, IF EVERY MALE AMONG US BE CIRCUMCISED, AS THEY ARE CIRCUMCISED.
[Genesis 34:23] SHALL NOT THEIR CATTLE AND THEIR SUBSTANCE AND EVERY BEAST OF THEIR'S BE OUR'S? ONLY LET US CONSENT UNTO THEM, AND THEY WILL DWELL WITH US.
Notice the motivating factors that were appealed to: To obtain access to the maidens, to get hold of possessions and livestock. The people of the city apparently knew about the rape. They did not punish the rapist, nor do they seem to have condemned him. They seem pleased with the whole situation. This made them culpable. Their psychology was similar to that of the Arabs in Israel. In 1948 the Arabs in Palestine expected to defeat the Jews. They had agreed amongst themselves how to divide up the wives and daughters and possessions of the Jews. Even now they are prepared sometimes temporarily to do things legally in order to obtain what they want but as soon as a little power is in their hands they resort immediately to violence.
This is what they themselves say openly and publicly sometimes through their own media.
The Canaanite people of the City of Schechem were the same as the present-day Palestinians.
Read the passage carefully.
They said to themselves: We have already taken and defiled the daughter of the head man. Let us legalize the acquisition. Let us humor them and carry out this circumcision rite. The have plentiful herds and possessions. They will dwell with us. We will take their women and give some of our women to them. We will gain possession of all that is theirs if necessary by force in the same way as our prince took their princess.
[Genesis 34:24] AND UNTO HAMOR AND UNTO SHECHEM HIS SON HEARKENED ALL THAT WENT OUT OF THE GATE OF HIS CITY; AND EVERY MALE WAS CIRCUMCISED, ALL THAT WENT OUT OF THE GATE OF HIS CITY.
[Genesis 34:25] AND IT CAME TO PASS ON THE THIRD DAY, WHEN THEY WERE SORE, THAT TWO OF THE SONS OF JACOB, SIMEON AND LEVI, DINAH'S BRETHREN, TOOK EACH MAN HIS SWORD, AND CAME UPON THE CITY BOLDLY, AND SLEW ALL THE MALES.
Two of Jacobs sons, Simeon and Levi, go into the city and execute all the males who had plotted to take their sisters and daughters and all that they had. When you consider the different characteristics of the Sons of Jacob you realize what variegated qualities were buried deep within Jacob himself.
Simeon and Levi were destined to become prominent amongst the Jews and amongst the Celtic peoples. Some of Simeon was also found amongst the Anglo-Saxons and other groups.
They came against the city and slew all the males. The males were suffering from the after effects of the operation but even so they would have been able to defend themselves to some degree. It was a frontal attack against a numerically superior enemy. The enemy had been weakened beforehand but not totally incapacitated.
[Genesis 34:26] AND THEY SLEW HAMOR AND SHECHEM HIS SON WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD, AND TOOK DINAH OUT OF SHECHEM'S HOUSE, AND WENT OUT.
[Genesis 34:27] THE SONS OF JACOB CAME UPON THE SLAIN, AND SPOILED THE CITY, BECAUSE THEY HAD DEFILED THEIR SISTER.
"THEY HAD DEFILED": From this Biblical testimony we learn that the whole city in some way was responsible for what had happened to Dinah.
[Genesis 34:28] THEY TOOK THEIR SHEEP, AND THEIR OXEN, AND THEIR ASSES, AND THAT WHICH WAS IN THE CITY, AND THAT WHICH WAS IN THE FIELD,
[Genesis 34:29] AND ALL THEIR WEALTH, AND ALL THEIR LITTLE ONES, AND THEIR WIVES TOOK THEY CAPTIVE, AND SPOILED EVEN ALL THAT WAS IN THE HOUSE.They did to others what others had intended to do to them.
[Genesis 34:30] AND JACOB SAID TO SIMEON AND LEVI, YE HAVE TROUBLED ME TO MAKE ME TO STINK AMONG THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND, AMONG THE CANAANITES AND THE PERIZZITES: AND BEING FEW IN NUMBER, THEY SHALL GATHER THEMSELVES TOGETHER AGAINST ME, AND SLAY ME; AND I SHALL BE DESTROYED, I AND MY HOUSE.
Different Commentators take differing approaches to the actions of Simeon and Levi. Some justify it while others are critical. Jacob before he died appears to criticize the violent inclinations of this fraternal pair.
SIMEON AND LEVI ARE BRETHREN; INSTRUMENTS OF CRUELTY ARE IN THEIR HABITATIONS [Genesis 49:5].
"INSTRUMENTS OF CRUELTY" in Hebrew clei chamas i.e. tools of violence.
O MY SOUL, COME NOT THOU INTO THEIR SECRET; UNTO THEIR ASSEMBLY, MINE HONOUR, BE NOT THOU UNITED: FOR IN THEIR ANGER THEY SLEW A MAN, AND IN THEIR SELFWILL THEY DIGGED DOWN A WALL [Genesis 49:6].
"THEY SLEW A MAN" i.e. the menfolk of Schechem?
"A WALL" in Hebrew "shor". The same word "shor" in Hebrew also means "bull" and a bull symbolizes Joseph. England is nicknamed "John Bull".
CURSED BE THEIR ANGER, FOR IT WAS FIERCE; AND THEIR WRATH, FOR IT WAS CRUEL: I WILL DIVIDE THEM IN JACOB, AND SCATTER THEM IN ISRAEL [Genesis 49:7].
Simeon and Levi destroyed the city of Schechem.
Simeon and Levi (and Simeon especially) are also considered as primarily responsible for the later selling and intended murder of Joseph. The question is which of these two offences was Jacob referring to?
At all events at this point the criticism of Jacob is more against the possible dangerous consequences of the deed rather than against the deed itself.
[Genesis 34:31] AND THEY SAID, SHOULD HE DEAL WITH OUR SISTER AS WITH AN HARLOT?
Israelite women should respect themselves and should be respected by others. Their menfolk should do what they can to ensure that such is the case.
[Genesis 35:1] AND GOD SAID UNTO JACOB, ARISE, GO UP TO BETHEL, AND DWELL THERE: AND MAKE THERE AN ALTAR UNTO GOD, THAT APPEARED UNTO THEE WHEN THOU FLEDDEST FROM THE FACE OF ESAU THY BROTHER.
God spoke to Jacob but he did not condemn the action of Simeon and Levi.
[Genesis 35:2] THEN JACOB SAID UNTO HIS HOUSEHOLD, AND TO ALL THAT WERE WITH HIM, PUT AWAY THE STRANGE GODS THAT ARE AMONG YOU, AND BE CLEAN, AND CHANGE YOUR GARMENTS:
STRANGE GODS: not necessarily for worship but good luck charms or what not associated with idolatry that they had picked up. These gods probably included a lot of the booty they had taken from the city. This booty would have included gold and silver statuettes inlaid with precious stones done in skillful workmanship and of great aesthetic appeal.
If you were in a similar situation and a priceless statuette by say someone like Michelangelo, had fallen into your hands, would you be in a hurry to get rid of it? Canaanite art work was at least as good as the Greek if not better. Even Greek architecture in a lot of ways really originated in Canaan or Israel.
The Family of Jacob was now in a dangerous situation and had to perform a strategically vulnerable evacuation. It was even more important than usual that nothing be with them that was liable to upset their receiving Divine Protection.
PUT AWAY THE STRANGE GODS in a symbolic sense can also refer to foreign non-Biblical habits and thought-processes such as those engendered by the media and certain social-psychological approaches. These beautiful ego-pleasing pseudo-scientific explanations allowing us to justify bad behavior will just have to be discarded at some stage or other.
In our times maybe he would have said to throw away the telly? And maybe not.
[Genesis 35:3] AND LET US ARISE, AND GO UP TO BETHEL; AND I WILL MAKE THERE AN ALTAR UNTO GOD, WHO ANSWERED ME IN THE DAY OF MY DISTRESS, AND WAS WITH ME IN THE WAY WHICH I WENT.
A lot of times when we genuinely pray God answers on the spot. At all events prayer is always heard. The problem is being able to pray which is not always easy. When we do succeed in praying well we should therefore do it for as long and as well as we can. A lot of times plain obvious miracles happen to us and we just do not see them or even would rather not do so.
Jacob and all his family were in terrible danger. Jacob showed us the way. When we are in trouble or bad things happen to us or threaten to happen let us become more humble, gather ourselves inward, put away whatever false gods that have accrued to us, ands get back to the place of favor the Almighty once held us in and answered us.
[Genesis 35:4] AND THEY GAVE UNTO JACOB ALL THE STRANGE GODS WHICH WERE IN THEIR HAND, AND ALL THEIR EARRINGS WHICH WERE IN THEIR EARS; AND JACOB HID THEM UNDER THE OAK WHICH WAS BY SHECHEM.
The Druids of Celtic Britain worshipped under oak trees. Is there a connection?
[Genesis 35:5] AND THEY JOURNEYED: AND THE TERROR OF GOD WAS UPON THE CITIES THAT WERE ROUND ABOUT THEM, AND THEY DID NOT PURSUE AFTER THE SONS OF JACOB.
They were in terrible danger. They were foreigners, a small band of itinerant livestock herders, almost like Gypsies. They came to a major city in the land, made a pact of friendship and then took advantage of the physical vulnerability they had induced to massacre all the males, took all the females, took all valuable and then just took off. The natural reaction of the kinsmen of Hamor and his people in neighboring cities would have been to seek vengeance or at least punish the perpetrators even if only out of an instinct of self-preservation. God cast fear in their hands and they were paralyzed.
[Genesis 35:6] SO JACOB CAME TO LUZ, WHICH IS IN THE LAND OF CANAAN, THAT IS, BETHEL, HE AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WERE WITH HIM.
Luz is another name for Beth-El. Beth-El was near the present settlement of Bet-el in Samaria. Yair Davidiy lived in that settlement for a while. It is a very beautiful very spiritual region: high up, mountainous, green, misty, wild herds of deer, numerous remains of ancient buildings in every direction. It was once one of the capitals of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The e-mail aspect of the Brit-Am Project began in Bet-el.
[Genesis 35:7] AND HE BUILT THERE AN ALTAR, AND CALLED THE PLACE ELBETHEL: BECAUSE THERE GOD APPEARED UNTO HIM, WHEN HE FLED FROM THE FACE OF HIS BROTHER.
ELBETHEL means EL-BETHEL = the God of Beth-El or The God of the house of God. Bethel is a Jewish settlement north of Jerusalem. I lived there for a while. Lost Israelite Identity was completed written and published from there (1996). It is an extremely beautiful area, wild, green, yellow, high-up, hilly, mountainous, healthy, moist air, a lot of dew, a lot of wild deer. A lot of ancient ruins and unexcavated Israelite remains are to be found in the area.
It was on the border between Benjamin and Ephraim. It was a center of King Jeroboam who set up one of his golden calves there.
The country is perhaps similar to the highlands of Scotland some of whom descend from Benjamin.
It is a very spiritual area.
The Canaanite Arabs cause a lot of trouble in that region. They are against the Jewish presence there and anywhere else.
The Bible tells us how after Jeroboam had led the split of Northern Israel away from the house of Judah he set up his own altars to golden calves one in Dan and one in Beth-el.
AND JEROBOAM ORDAINED A FEAST IN THE EIGHTH MONTH, ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, LIKE UNTO THE FEAST THAT IS IN JUDAH, AND HE OFFERED UPON THE ALTAR. SO DID HE IN BETHEL, SACRIFICING UNTO THE CALVES THAT HE HAD MADE: AND HE PLACED IN BETHEL THE PRIESTS OF THE HIGH PLACES WHICH HE HAD MADE. [1-Kings 12:32] .
A Prophet of the Almighty "A MAN OF GOD OUT OF JUDAH" [1-Kings 13:1] came to Beth-el while Jeroboam was sacrificing to his idol.
"AND HE CRIED AGAINST THE ALTAR IN THE WORD OF THE LORD, AND SAID, O ALTAR, ALTAR, THUS SAITH THE LORD; BEHOLD, A CHILD SHALL BE BORN UNTO THE HOUSE OF DAVID, JOSIAH BY NAME; AND UPON THEE SHALL HE OFFER THE PRIESTS OF THE HIGH PLACES THAT BURN INCENSE UPON THEE, AND MEN'S BONES SHALL BE BURNT UPON THEE" [1-Kings 13:2].
Jeroboam was angry and he raised his hand and called upon his men to seize the Prophet. The arm of Jeroboam was frozen in its place so that he could move it. The altar was suddenly rent in sunder and the ashes spilled out. Jeroboam asked the Prophet to entreat God to heal his hand and the Prophet did so (1-Kings 13:6). Jeroboam then asked the Prophet to come with him to his house and receive a reward. The Prophet refused saying that he had been commanded to deliver his message and then return by a different route and not take anything from anybody. Another "Old" Prophet who lived in Beth-el was told what had happened by his sons. He got on his donkey and went after the Prophet from Judah. When he reached the Man from Judah he told him that he too had received a message from God via an angel saying to tell the Messenger from Judah that God had changed his mind and that he must now turn into the house of the "Old Prophet" from "Israel" and eat bead and drink water 1-Kings 13:18. The Man from Judah did so. After eating the Old Man told the emissary from Judah that because he had not obeyed the word of God but had relied on hearsay he would be punished. The Man from Judah went out and was killed by a lion (1-Kings 13:24). From this we learn that God does not change HIS mind!
[Genesis 35:8] BUT DEBORAH REBEKAH'S NURSE DIED, AND SHE WAS BURIED BENEATH BETHEL UNDER AN OAK: AND THE NAME OF IT WAS CALLED ALLONBACHUTH.
DEBORAH REBEKAH'S NURSE: The Scythians (who were at least partly from Israel) made this event part of their cultic world.
ALLONBACHUTH = ALLON-BACHUTH i.e. the oak of weeping. Note the continued association with oaks. The oak had great significance amongst the Celtic Druids.
BACHUTH also pronouncable as Baccus. The god Baccus (Dionysus) was linked with weeping, mourning, and wild behavior. The figure of this Greek god had Canaanite or Israelite origins. Baccus was also identified with Tammuz. Ezekiel (8:14) mentions women weeping for Tammuz. The ancient pagans had a spiritual world of their own with deep and powerful attractions of its own. In some ways we may be on a lower level than they were.
A castrated male who does not fornicate is less praiseworthy than a healthy male who refrains.
The trick is to have the ability but only use it in the right direction.
[Genesis 35:9] AND GOD APPEARED UNTO JACOB AGAIN, WHEN HE CAME OUT OF PADANARAM, AND BLESSED HIM.
[Genesis 35:10] AND GOD SAID UNTO HIM, THY NAME IS JACOB: THY NAME SHALL NOT BE CALLED ANY MORE JACOB, BUT ISRAEL SHALL BE THY NAME: AND HE CALLED HIS NAME ISRAEL.
Jacob became Israel. God confirmed the blessing Jacob had forced the guardian angel of Esau to give him.
[Genesis 35:11] AND GOD SAID UNTO HIM, I AM GOD ALMIGHTY: BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY; A NATION AND A COMPANY OF NATIONS SHALL BE OF THEE, AND KINGS SHALL COME OUT OF THY LOINS
The Rabbis say that Jacob was afraid that perhaps innocent people had been killed in the city of Schechem and that God would be angry and take away the blessings. The contrary happened, God protected them and then came and confirmed the blessings and added to them.
BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY: we should try and have as many children as we can.
A NATION: The USA?
AND A COMPANY OF NATIONS the British Commonwealth and other Israelite nations?
A NATION = The Jews.
AND A COMPANY OF NATIONS the Lost Ten Tribes? This latter explanation is the most reasonable. The NATION means the Jews and the COMPANY OF NATIONS means the Lost Ten Tribes.
Notice that Jacob was critical of Simeon and Levi BUT God cast HIS fear on the surrounding peoples who did not pursue the Israelites. God also almost straight away blessed and renewed the blessings to Jacob.
In other cases in the Bible when someone had acted wrongly then the whole community suffered or had to make some form of atonement. In this case the Israelites were protected, blessed, the fear of them was on other peoples and they received an increase of possessions. Dinah unfortunately had suffered and in some ways no complete rectification could be offered.
What happened to Dinah?
Different traditions exist.
One tradition says that Dinah became the wife of Job. Job suffered undeservedly and his wife told him to give up hope. Maybe this advice was a reflection of her own bad experience?
Another tradition says that Dinah married Simeon. This would have been incest and is unlikely.
A third tradition says that from the union of Dinah and Schechem came a daughter who was adopted by Poti-Phera the Priest of On in Egypt and she married Joseph. This is also unlikely. As far as I can see the Bible does not recognize adoption. If it says that Osnath was the daughter of Poti-Phera then it means physical daughter.
A fatality seems to have been attached to Shechem. in connection with Israel's sorrows. The capture of Dinah took place at Shechem. Joseph was sold there into slavery. David's kingdom was split in Shechem; and the advent of Jeroboam also took place in Shechem.
In the same year, the year of Joseph's misfortune, all his other brethren married, too. Reuben's wife was named Elyoram, the daughter of the Canaanite Uzzi of Timnah. Simon married his sister Dinah first, and then a second wife. When Simon and Levi massacred the men of Shechem, Dinah refused to leave the city and follow her brethren, saying, "Whither shall I carry my shame?" But Simon swore he would marry her, as he did later, and when she died in Egypt, he took her body to the Holy Land and buried it there. Dinah bore her brother a son, and from her union with Shechem, the son of Hamor, sprang a daughter, Asenath by name, afterward the wife of Joseph. When this daughter was born to Dinah, her brethren, the sons of Jacob, wanted to kill her, that the finger of men might not point at the fruit of sin in their father's house. But Jacob took a piece of tin, inscribed the Holy Name upon it, and bound it about the neck of the girl, and he put her under a thornbush, and abandoned her there. An angel carried the babe down to Egypt, where Potiphar adopted her as his child, for his wife was barren. Years thereafter, when Joseph travelled through the land as viceroy, the maidens threw gifts at him, to make him turn his eyes in their direction and give them the opportunity of gazing upon his beauty. Asenath possessed nothing that would do as a present, therefore she took off the amulet suspended from her neck, and gave it to him. Thus Joseph became acquainted with her lineage, and he married her, seeing that she was not an Egyptian, but one connected with the house of Jacob through her mother.
Beside the son of Dinah, Simon had another son, whose name was Saul, by Bunah, the damsel he had taken captive in the campaign against Shechem.
There is a description of a 15th century English Poem about Asnath the wife of Joseph. It is interesting.
Asneth's chambers are in a tower apart, but they have windows - three of them. She has a room with several views and can see in three directions. From her window she sees Joseph's arrival, immediately recognizes his chaste beauty, falls in love with him, and regrets her strong words. What pleases her about Joseph is his independence and his piety, which is manifested in his refusal to eat unclean food. He lives by a higher law which she yearns for but does not yet understand. When Joseph sees Asneth watching from her window, he scorns her as a designing woman, one of the hordes of Egyptian women who are trying to get into bed with him. But her father defends her, praises her chastity and cleanness, comparing her to Joseph himself - which pleases Joseph, who asks to meet her. But when Joseph refuses to kiss her because her mouth has touched unclean food, Asneth is humiliated and again withdraws to her room to enter into a seven day penitential fast, casting out the idols of her parents, covering herself with ashes and tears, and praying to the God of Joseph for forgiveness. Her prayer is a superbly modulated piece, resonant in the language of the penitential Psalms, a model of self-chastisement. If part of a young woman's training was the study of the Psalter, she would be especially receptive to this moment in the poem as she contemplated the verbal echoes.
[Genesis 35:12] AND THE LAND WHICH I GAVE ABRAHAM AND ISAAC, TO THEE I WILL GIVE IT, AND TO THY SEED AFTER THEE WILL I GIVE THE LAND.
[Genesis 35:13] AND GOD WENT UP FROM HIM IN THE PLACE WHERE HE TALKED WITH HIM.
[Genesis 35:14] AND JACOB SET UP A PILLAR IN THE PLACE WHERE HE TALKED WITH HIM, EVEN A PILLAR OF STONE: AND HE POURED A DRINK OFFERING THEREON, AND HE POURED OIL THEREON.
"A PILLAR OF STONE" i.e. a menhir, or dolmen. See our work "Ephraim".
See Also our article on Dolmens.
[Genesis 35:15] AND JACOB CALLED THE NAME OF THE PLACE WHERE GOD SPAKE WITH HIM, BETHEL.
[Genesis 35:16] AND THEY JOURNEYED FROM BETHEL; AND THERE WAS BUT A LITTLE WAY TO COME TO EPHRATH: AND RACHEL TRAVAILED, AND SHE HAD HARD LABOUR.
[Genesis 35:17] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN SHE WAS IN HARD LABOUR, THAT THE MIDWIFE SAID UNTO HER, FEAR NOT; THOU SHALT HAVE THIS SON ALSO.
[Genesis 35:18] AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS HER SOUL WAS IN DEPARTING, (FOR SHE DIED) THAT SHE CALLED HIS NAME BENONI: BUT HIS FATHER CALLED HIM BENJAMIN.
Benjamin was prominent amongst the Jews, also amongst the Belgae (Walloons) of Belgium, Normans, and Norwegians.
I have an article somewhere to be published in a future issue of BRIT-AM. The author is a University Professor in South Africa. In the article he suggests that the Benjaminites were especially tall, and good runners with their own distinctive style of running.
They were also known as aristocratic, militaristic, great warriors, expert slingshot marksmen; one passage suggests that there were a lot of left-handed people amongst them (?).
[Genesis 35:19] AND RACHEL DIED, AND WAS BURIED IN THE WAY TO EPHRATH, WHICH IS BETHLEHEM
[Genesis 35:20] AND JACOB SET A PILLAR UPON HER GRAVE: THAT IS THE PILLAR OF RACHEL'S GRAVE UNTO THIS DAY.
A PILLAR In Hebrew Matzava just as likely a dolmen i.e. two upright rocks with another laid like a table-top between them. Dolmens form a trail from Israel to the Caucasus, to Spain, Western France, Holland, Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia. This trail has ethnic implications. Jeremiah 31;20 according to the Hebrew text and rabbinical Commentators (see Ephraim) told the exiled Israelites to set up a trail of dolmens showing their path of migration in order to facilitate their return in the Last Days .
Jeremiah ch.31 talks of Ephraim and refers to him as a young bull or Aegel which was an alternative term for the Angles who gave their name to England. He speaks of the Lost Ten Tribes and then continues:
Jeremiah 31;21: "SET YOURSELF UP WAYMARKS, MAKE HIGH HEAPS: SET YOUR HEART TOWARDS THE HIGHWAYS; THE WAY YOU WENT IN: TURN AGAIN, O VIRGIN OF ISRAEL, TURN AGAIN TO THESE, YOUR CITIES.
The word translated above as "WAYMARKS" in the original Hebrew is "Tzionim" which strictly speaking means "signs" but in spoken Hebrew is usually used to denote a stone erection marking a grave or event.
The most literal explanation of this verse amongst the Classical Authoritative Rabbinical Commentators is that given by the "Radak" (Rabbi David Kimchi, 1157-1236) of Narbonne, France. The Radak says:
"SET YOURSELF UP WAYMARKS" (Jeremiah 31): This was directed to the Community of Israel, that in the generation when they would be exiled they should set up waymarks [i.e. "tsionim"] such as PILED-UP STONES OR STONE MONUMENTS. The purpose of these monuments was to mark the paths [of migration for the sake of future recognition]. The meaning was to say that even though you will be exiled, hope is not lost and you are still destined to return to these your cities. "MAKE YOURSELF HIGH HEAPS" [Hebrew: "tamrurim"]. The same message is repeated though the wording is changed since both "tamrurim" [i.e. "high heaps"] and "tsionim" (i.e. "waymarks") connote elevated-height [from the root "tamar"]...
Bearing in mind that according to the previous verse (31;20) Jeremiah is addressing himself to Ephraim, the verse in Jeremiah 31;21 may therefore be understood to say:
"Set yourself up stone monuments [menhirs, dolmens] and high heaps of stones [cairns] [i.e. Megalithic monuments!]. Set your heart towards the prepared way: The way in which you went. Turn back o virgin of Israel, return unto these cities of yours.
Dolmens and related monuments are found in the Land of Israel, in Jordan, in the Caucasus, in Spain, Brittany (France), Ireland, Britain, and Scandinavia. here are several types of dolmens and examples have also been reported from Ethiopia, Japan and India. Eastern dolmens are somewhat different from those of Israel and the west. The type of dolmen found in the area of ancient Israel (on both sides of the Jordan River) is the same as that found in Western Europe.
Dolmens provide a trail mark of migratory peoples from the land of Israel to certain areas of Western Europe. The date given by conventional researchers for dolmens is way before the period of the Assyrian Exile of Israel BUT in this case they are wrong. Most dolmens in the west should be dated to ca 700-300 BCE or even later. Jeremiah predicted that through the dolmens the true origins of the descendants of Israel would be determined.
[Genesis 35:21] AND ISRAEL JOURNEYED, AND SPREAD HIS TENT BEYOND THE TOWER OF EDAR.
[Genesis 35:22] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN ISRAEL DWELT IN THAT LAND, THAT REUBEN WENT AND LAY WITH BILHAH HIS FATHER'S CONCUBINE: AND ISRAEL HEARD IT. NOW THE SONS OF JACOB WERE TWELVE:
Some say that Reuben did not actually sleep with Bilhah but he did something else that was imputed to him as if he had have done.
Whatever the case Reuben was not put out of the Tribal Quorum. The very verse that speaks of his offence goes on to as if to emphasize this point:
NOW THE SONS OF JACOB WERE TWELVE
REUBEN WENT AND LAY WITH BILHAH HIS FATHER'S CONCUBINE: This action was understood by the Zohar (a spiritual work of great value) as if to say that Reuben will try to take Jerusalem and fight in the Land of Israel. The implication is that when he does this the time will not be right and Jerusalem will not rightly belong to him. As if he is taking something not his own but pertains to the rest of his family symbolized by his fathers wife.
Brit-Am identifies Reuben with France due to tribal namesakes, geographical location, national characteristics, and historical sources. The Franks (of France) were the primary instigators (along with German and later Norman-English assistance and the participation of others) of the Crusades. They massacred Jews in Germany and France, conquered Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land and after a few hundred years of ups and downs moved out. We made the identification of Reuben with France without connection to the Zohars passage linking Reuben with an attempt to take Jerusalem and fight in the Land of Israel: But it fits better than any other solution.
[Genesis 35:23] THE SONS OF LEAH; REUBEN, JACOB'S FIRSTBORN, AND SIMEON, AND LEVI, AND JUDAH, AND ISSACHAR, AND ZEBULUN:
[Genesis 35:24] THE SONS OF RACHEL; JOSEPH, AND BENJAMIN:
[Genesis 35:25] AND THE SONS OF BILHAH, RACHEL'S HANDMAID; DAN, AND NAPHTALI:
[Genesis 35:26] AND THE SONS OF ZILPAH, LEAH'S HANDMAID: GAD, AND ASHER: THESE ARE THE SONS OF JACOB, WHICH WERE BORN TO HIM IN PADANARAM.
The order of the Tribes is mentioned 16 (or 14 depending on how you count) times in the Torah. Each time it is different and each time the difference comes to teach us something.
Brit-Am studies at present only superficially scratch the surface of Scripture but one cane already see that they have the potential to explain a lot.
In "The Tribes" we explain how these relationships of the Tribal-head Patriarchs to each other were prototypes of traditional relationships between their descendant nations: The order of birth of the Tribal Forefathers, what mother they had, whether the mother was a full-fledged "matriarch or handmaiden, and if she was a handmaiden which Matriarch was she attached to etc.
[Genesis 35:27] AND JACOB CAME UNTO ISAAC HIS FATHER UNTO MAMRE, UNTO THE CITY OF ARBAH, WHICH IS HEBRON, WHERE ABRAHAM AND ISAAC SOJOURNED.
Isaac spent his last days in Hebron. This is a very important place. Quite a few descendants of Edomites now live in Hebron and identify themselves as Palestinians.
They are usually somewhat fairer than the average Arab and more murderous.
Hebron was the capital of David and should belong to the Jewish people. A small community of Jews does now live in the Old City of Hebron. Another large Jewish city called Kiryat Arba is nearby. The Jews of the area (especially those of Hebron itself) are very brave and endure a lot of provocations from the Arabs, from the Israeli left-wingers, and even from traveling American by passers who often turn out to be agents of the CIA or American Embassy staff.
Do not misunderstand us.
The USA is in effect the only friend Israel has.
I just read a report that despite all the worlds problems 90% of the UNs meetings concern Israel. [Exaggerated I think, another report suggested ca 75%: Anyway out of all the worlds problems ONLY the Jews in Israel seem to worry the UN]. Most decisions in the UN are against Israel but the USA usually casts its veto to protect Israel. Sometimes kindred nations (such as Britain and Australia) when they are in a benevolent mood also help the USA defend Israel from harmful UN decisions. At other times the USA stands alone with Israel. Micronesia also votes for Israel. This is due to the leader of Micronesia who has an American Evangelist as his personal advisor. Micro means small and Micronesia is a small country that with a simple gesture of decency has earned for itself Eternal Glory in World History.
Even so the USA has pressured Israel to give into the Palestinians.
The attitude is: Make peace with these people who want to kill you. All right do not expose your throat to their knives but just let us cut your legs off and you trust in their good intentions. American Jews are sometimes just as bad as American Gentile Liberals and their anti-Semitic allies in this regard.
The Nazis once complained to the King of Denmark about the Jews of Germany. The King replied: A nation gets the Jews it deserves. Denmark got the best. My maternal great-grandfather was a Jew from Denmark. The King of Denmark also once said: In Denmark there is no anti-Semitism because the Danish never felt inferior to the Jews.
On the positive side regarding the recent Presidential elections: The Gore-Lieberman team may have lost the elections but the phenomenon was significant. Bush may be better for everybody. Gore and Lieberman for all I know may not have been such a good choice. At the same time Lieberman was represented as an Orthodox Jew who keeps the Sabbath and eats Kosher and all other Orthodox peculiarities. He increased Gores chance of winning. A lot of American non-Jews seem to have gotten a kick out of the notion of having such a person occupy a position of importance. This shows something very positive occurring in the sub-consciousness of the American soul.
"The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim" (Isaiah 11:13).
"..I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my firstborn" (Jeremiah 31:9).
"Is not Ephraim my dear son? Is he not a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him: I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 31:20).
[Genesis 35:28] AND THE DAYS OF ISAAC WERE AN HUNDRED AND FOURSCORE YEARS.
He lived 180 years. My grandfather lived to be a 106 and he was quite healthy until the end.
[Genesis 35:29] AND ISAAC GAVE UP THE GHOST, AND DIED, AND WAS GATHERED UNTO HIS PEOPLE, BEING OLD AND FULL OF DAYS: AND HIS SONS ESAU AND JACOB BURIED HIM.
[Genesis 36:2] ESAU TOOK HIS WIVES OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CANAAN; ADAH THE DAUGHTER OF ELON THE HITTITE, AND AHOLIBAMAH THE DAUGHTER OF ANAH THE DAUGHTER OF ZIBEON THE HIVITE;
[Genesis 36:3] AND BASHEMATH ISHMAEL'S DAUGHTER, SISTER OF NEBAJOTH.
[Genesis 36:4] AND ADAH BARE TO ESAU ELIPHAZ; AND BASHEMATH BARE REUEL;
[Genesis 36:5] AND AHOLIBAMAH BARE JEUSH, AND JAALAM, AND KORAH: THESE ARE THE SONS OF ESAU, WHICH WERE BORN UNTO HIM IN THE LAND OF CANAAN.
[Genesis 36:6] AND ESAU TOOK HIS WIVES, AND HIS SONS, AND HIS DAUGHTERS, AND ALL THE PERSONS OF HIS HOUSE, AND HIS CATTLE, AND ALL HIS BEASTS, AND ALL HIS SUBSTANCE, WHICH HE HAD GOT IN THE LAND OF CANAAN; AND WENT INTO THE COUNTRY FROM THE FACE OF HIS BROTHER JACOB.
[Genesis 36:7] FOR THEIR RICHES WERE MORE THAN THAT THEY MIGHT DWELL TOGETHER; AND THE LAND WHEREIN THEY WERE STRANGERS COULD NOT BEAR THEM BECAUSE OF THEIR CATTLE.
[Genesis 36:8] THUS DWELT ESAU IN MOUNT SEIR: ESAU IS EDOM.
[Genesis 36:9] AND THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF ESAU THE FATHER OF THE EDOMITES IN MOUNT SEIR:
[Genesis 36:10] THESE ARE THE NAMES OF ESAU'S SONS; ELIPHAZ THE SON OF ADAH THE WIFE OF ESAU, REUEL THE SON OF BASHEMATH THE WIFE OF ESAU.
[Genesis 36:11] AND THE SONS OF ELIPHAZ WERE TEMAN, OMAR, ZEPHO, AND GATAM, AND KENAZ.
[Genesis 36:12] AND TIMNA WAS CONCUBINE TO ELIPHAZ ESAU'S SON; AND SHE BARE TO ELIPHAZ AMALEK: THESE WERE THE SONS OF ADAH ESAU'S WIFE.
[Genesis 36:13] AND THESE ARE THE SONS OF REUEL; NAHATH, AND ZERAH, SHAMMAH, AND MIZZAH: THESE WERE THE SONS OF BASHEMATH ESAU'S WIFE.
[Genesis 36:14] AND THESE WERE THE SONS OF AHOLIBAMAH, THE DAUGHTER OF ANAH THE DAUGHTER OF ZIBEON, ESAU'S WIFE: AND SHE BARE TO ESAU JEUSH, AND JAALAM, AND KORAH.
[Genesis 36:15] THESE WERE DUKES OF THE SONS OF ESAU: THE SONS OF ELIPHAZ THE FIRSTBORN SON OF ESAU; DUKE TEMAN, DUKE OMAR, DUKE ZEPHO, DUKE KENAZ,
Duke in Hebrew is Aluph meaning general or commander.
"Aluph" is from the root "aleph" connoting train, teach, assist. The English word "help" may come from this root.
Traditionally part of Edom would have rulers who were not really hereditary. Edom is identified with Rome and Germany and other places in Europe. Rome was ruled by Caesars who are referred to in denigration in the Talmud because they were homosexual or bi-sexual and because they were not hereditary. It is interesting the Mussolini was called Il Duce or The Duke. Mussolini the fascist leader of Italy in the Second World War is not taken seriously by historians these days. This is deceptive. Mussolini set the tone. He was the model for all the others. Hitler and all his friends imitated Mussolini who in the beginning made quite an impression.
It is also interesting that Italy, Germany, and Japan, together with Hungary, Austria, and Rumania did get together and try to take over the world.
"Duke" derives from the Latin "Dux" meaning leader. This is a good equivalent to "Aluph".
The leadership or "frueher" principle was very important in fascist and Germanic-Nazi thinking and quite effective. It must have reflected some deep aspect of the peoples it was applied to and utilized by.
[Genesis 36:16] DUKE KORAH, DUKE GATAM, AND DUKE AMALEK: THESE ARE THE DUKES THAT CAME OF ELIPHAZ IN THE LAND OF EDOM; THESE WERE THE SONS OF ADAH.
[Genesis 36:17] AND THESE ARE THE SONS OF REUEL ESAU'S SON; DUKE NAHATH, DUKE ZERAH, DUKE SHAMMAH, DUKE MIZZAH: THESE ARE THE DUKES THAT CAME OF REUEL IN THE LAND OF EDOM; THESE ARE THE SONS OF BASHEMATH ESAU'S WIFE.
[Genesis 36:18] AND THESE ARE THE SONS OF AHOLIBAMAH E
SAU'S WIFE; DUKE JEUSH, DUKE JAALAM, DUKE KORAH: THESE WERE THE DUKES THAT CAME OF AHOLIBAMAH THE DAUGHTER OF ANAH, ESAU'S WIFE.
[Genesis 36:19] THESE ARE THE SONS OF ESAU, WHO IS EDOM, AND THESE ARE THEIR DUKES.
Descendants of Esau became some of the greatest soldiers and conquerors who ever lived. Others also hated them but their over-all effect was to civilize and elevate humankind.
[Genesis 36:20] THESE ARE THE SONS OF SEIR THE HORITE, WHO INHABITED THE LAND; LOTAN, AND SHOBAL, AND ZIBEON, AND ANAH,
The Horites of Seir intermingled with the Edomites and became one nation.
Horites are otherwise known as Hurrians. They are recorded all over the Ancient Middle East. They also went to Europe. Perhaps where the Hurrians went so did Edom? Why else would the Torah go to such length to link them with Edom and give their genealogies?
[Genesis 36:21] AND DISHON, AND EZER, AND DISHAN: THESE ARE THE DUKES OF THE HORITES, THE CHILDREN OF SEIR IN THE LAND OF EDOM.
Is Seir Japan? Did Edom intermarry with different peoples and that is why his descendants are of all different types? There are some Identity people who claim the Jews are Edomites but they themselves probably are. They fit the profile better. They should be proud of it however.
Being an Edomite should not be considered a negative quality.
Questions About Judah especially queries nos. 4 & 5.
Queries on Peoples and Places #1. Who is Edom?
#2. Are there Edomites Amongst Us?
[Genesis 36:22] AND THE CHILDREN OF LOTAN WERE HORI AND HEMAM; AND LOTAN'S SISTER WAS TIMNA.
[Genesis 36:23] AND THE CHILDREN OF SHOBAL WERE THESE; ALVAN, AND MANAHATH, AND EBAL, SHEPHO, AND ONAM.
[Genesis 36:24] AND THESE ARE THE CHILDREN OF ZIBEON; BOTH AJAH, AND ANAH: THIS WAS THAT ANAH THAT FOUND THE MULES IN THE WILDERNESS, AS HE FED THE ASSES OF ZIBEON HIS FATHER.
[Genesis 36:25] AND THE CHILDREN OF ANAH WERE THESE; DISHON, AND AHOLIBAMAH THE DAUGHTER OF ANAH.
[Genesis 36:26] AND THESE ARE THE CHILDREN OF DISHON; HEMDAN, AND ESHBAN, AND ITHRAN, AND CHERAN.
[Genesis 36:27] THE CHILDREN OF EZER ARE THESE; BILHAN, AND ZAAVAN, AND AKAN.
[Genesis 36:28] THE CHILDREN OF DISHAN ARE THESE; UZ, AND ARAN.
[Genesis 36:29] THESE ARE THE DUKES THAT CAME OF THE HORITES; DUKE LOTAN, DUKE SHOBAL, DUKE ZIBEON, DUKE ANAH,
[Genesis 36:30] DUKE DISHON, DUKE EZER, DUKE DISHAN: THESE ARE THE DUKES THAT CAME OF HORI, AMONG THEIR DUKES IN THE LAND OF SEIR.
[Genesis 36:31] AND THESE ARE THE KINGS THAT REIGNED IN THE LAND OF EDOM, BEFORE THERE REIGNED ANY KING OVER THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
Some say that the Edomites chose deliberately kings not of their own people. I am still checking the source for this.
[Genesis 36:32] AND BELA THE SON OF BEOR REIGNED IN EDOM: AND THE NAME OF HIS CITY WAS DINHABAH.
[Genesis 36:33] AND BELA DIED, AND JOBAB THE SON OF ZERAH OF BOZRAH REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
[Genesis 36:34] AND JOBAB DIED, AND HUSHAM OF THE LAND OF TEMANI REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
TEMANI was in northern Syria and northern Turkey. From this area people migrated to Central Europe. Alexander the Great claimed descent from the Temenu. I would think that being descended from somebody like Alexander the Great would be quite respectable. He was a great soldier, brave, ingenious and a truly enlightened ruler of noble qualities who contributed much to world history.
[Genesis 36:35] AND HUSHAM DIED, AND HADAD THE SON OF BEDAD, WHO SMOTE MIDIAN IN THE FIELD OF MOAB, REIGNED IN HIS STEAD: AND THE NAME OF HIS CITY WAS AVITH.
[Genesis 36:36] AND HADAD DIED, AND SAMLAH OF MASREKAH REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
[Genesis 36:37] AND SAMLAH DIED, AND SAUL OF REHOBOTH BY THE RIVER REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
"REHOBOTH BY THE RIVER" was on the Euphrates in the North. Edom was all over the place with entities and ruling dynasties established in many nations.
[Genesis 36:38] AND SAUL DIED, AND BAALHANAN THE SON OF ACHBOR REIGNED IN HIS STEAD.
[Genesis 36:39] AND BAALHANAN THE SON OF ACHBOR DIED, AND HADAR REIGNED IN HIS STEAD: AND THE NAME OF HIS CITY WAS PAU; AND HIS WIFE'S NAME WAS MEHETABEL, THE DAUGHTER OF MATRED, THE DAUGHTER OF MEZAHAB.
[Genesis 36:40] AND THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE DUKES THAT CAME OF ESAU, ACCORDING TO THEIR FAMILIES, AFTER THEIR PLACES, BY THEIR NAMES; DUKE TIMNAH, DUKE ALVAH, DUKE JETHETH,
[Genesis 36:41] DUKE AHOLIBAMAH, DUKE ELAH, DUKE PINON,
[Genesis 36:42] DUKE KENAZ, DUKE TEMAN, DUKE MIBZAR,
[Genesis 36:43] DUKE MAGDIEL, DUKE IRAM: THESE BE THE DUKES OF EDOM, ACCORDING TO THEIR HABITATIONS IN THE LAND OF THEIR POSSESSION: HE IS ESAU THE FATHER OF THE EDOMITES.
DUKE MAGDIEL was the real founder of Rome according to tradition.