Day 18 – The Heart of Israel

Genesis 35

1 God said to Jacob, ‘Move on, go to Bethel and settle there. Make an altar there for the God who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.’

2 Jacob said to his family and to all who were with him, ‘Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you; cleanse yourselves, and change your clothes.

3 We must move on and go to Bethel. There I shall make an altar for the God who heard me when I was in distress, and gave me his help on the journey I made.’

4 They gave Jacob all the foreign gods in their possession, and the earrings that they were wearing. Jacob buried them under the oak tree near Shechem.

5 They broke camp; a divine terror struck the towns round about, and no one pursued the sons of Jacob.

6 When Jacob arrived at Luz in Canaan — that is, Bethel-and all the people with him,

7 he built an altar there and named the place El-Bethel, since it was there that God had appeared to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

8 Deborah, who had been Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried below Bethel, under the oak tree; so they named it the Oak of Tears.

9 God again appeared to Jacob on his return from Paddan-Aram, and blessed him.

10 God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob, but from now on you will be called not Jacob but Israel.’ Thus he came by the name Israel.

11 God said to him, ‘I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will descend from you, and kingswill issue from your loins.

12 The country which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I now give to you; and this country I shall give to your descendants after you.’

13 Then God went up from him.

14 Jacob raised a monument at the spot where he had spoken to him, a standing-stone, on which he made a libation and poured oil.

15 Jacob named the place Bethel where God had spoken to him.

16 They left Bethel, and while they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labour, and her pains were severe.

17 When her labour was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, ‘Do not worry, this is going to be another boy.’

18 At the moment when she breathed her last, for she was dying, she named him Ben-Oni. His father, however, named him Benjamin.

19 So Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrath, now Bethlehem.

20 Jacob raised a monument on her grave, that same monument of Rachel’s Tomb which is there today.

21 Israel left and pitched his tent beyond Migdal-Eder.

22 While Israel was living in that district, Reuben went and slept with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel found out. The sons of Jacob were now twelve.

23 The sons of Leah: Jacob’s eldest son Reuben, then Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.

24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.

25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s slave-girl: Dan and Naphtali.

26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s slave-girl: Gad and Asher. These were the sons born to Jacob in Paddan-Aram.

27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac at Mamre, at Kiriath-Arba — now Hebron — where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.

28 Isaac was one hundred and eighty years old

29 when he breathed his last. He died and was gathered to his people, an old man who had enjoyed his full span of life. His sons Esauand Jacob buried him.

Genesis 36

1 These are the descendants of Esau, that is, Edom.

2 Esau chose his wives from the women of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah, son of Zibeon the Horite,

3 Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth.

4 Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel,

5 Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the sons of Esau born to him in Canaan.

6 Esau took his wives, his sons and daughters, all the members of his household, his livestock, all his cattle and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan and left for Seir, away from his brother Jacob.

7 For they had acquired too much to live together. The land in which they were at that time could not support them both because of their livestock.

8 That is why Edom settled in the mountainous region of Seir. Esau is Edom.

9 These are the descendants of Esau, ancestor of Edom, in the mountainous region of Seir.

10 These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel son of Esau’s wife Basemath.

11 The sons of Eliphaz were: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz.

12 Eliphaz son of Esau had Timna for concubine and she bore him Amalek. These were the sons of Esau’s wife Adah.

13 These were the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath.

14 And these were the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah, son of Zibeon: she bore him Jeush, Jalam and Korah.

15 These are the chieftains of Esau. The descendants of Eliphaz, Esau’s eldest son: the chieftains of Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz,

16 Gatam and Amalek. These are the chieftains of Eliphaz in Edom and are descended from Adah.

17 The descendants of Esau’s son Reuel: the chieftains of Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These are the chieftains of Reuel in Edom and are descended from Esau’s wife Basemath.

18 The descendants of Esau’s wife Oholibamah: the chieftains of Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These are the chieftains of Esau’s wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah.

19 These were the sons of Esau — that is, Edom — and these are their chieftains.

20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, natives of the country: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,

21 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan; these were the Horite chieftains descended from Seir, in Edom.

22 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Hemam, and Lotan’s sister was Timna.

23 These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam.

24 These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah, Anah — the Anah who found the hot springs in the desert while pasturing his father Zibeon’s donkeys.

25 These are the children of Anah: Dishon, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.

26 These are the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran and Cheran.

27 These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan.

28 These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.

29 These are the Horite chieftains: the chieftains of Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,

30 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. These are the chieftains of the Horites, by their clans, in Seir.

31 These are the kings who reigned in Edom before an Israelite king.

32 In Edom reigned Bela son of Beor; his city was called Dinhabah.

33 Bela died and Jobab son of Zerah, from Bozrah, succeeded.

34 Jobab died and Husham from the land of the Temanites succeeded.

35 Husham died and Hadad son of Bedad succeeded; he defeated the Midianites in Moab, and his city was called Avith.

36 Hadad died and Samlah of Masrekah succeeded.

37 Samlah died and Shaul of Rehoboth-ha-Nahar succeeded.

38 Shaul died and Baal-Hanan son of Achbor succeeded.

39 Baal-Hanan died and Hadad succeeded; his city was called Pau and his wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, from Mezahab.

40 These are the names of the chieftains of Esau — according to their clans and localities: the chieftains of Timna, Alvah, Jetheth,

41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon,

42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar,

43 Magdiel and Iram. These are the chieftains of Edom, as settled in the territory which they own. Esau was Edom’s ancestor.

Job 25

1 Bildad of Shuah spoke next. He said:

2 What sovereignty, what awe, is his who creates peace on his heights!

3 Who can count his armies? Against whom does his lightning not surge forth?

4 Could anyone think God regards him as virtuous, the child of woman as pure!

6 How much less a human, this maggot, the child of man, this worm!

Job 26

1 Job spoke next. He said:

2 To one so weak, what a help you are, for the arm that is powerless, what a rescuer!

3 What excellent advice you give the unlearned, you are never at a loss for a helpful suggestion!

4 For whom are these words of yours intended and whence comes that wit you are now displaying?

5 The Shadows tremble underneath the earth, the waters and their denizens are afraid.

6 Before his eyes, Sheol is bare, Perdition itself is uncovered.

7 He it was who spread the North above the void and poised the earth on nothingness.

8 He fastens up the waters in his clouds, without the clouds giving way under their weight.

9 He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his cloud across it.

10 He has traced a ring on the surface of the waters, at the boundary between light and dark.

11 The pillars of the heavens tremble, awe-struck at his threats.

12 By his power, he has whipped up the Sea, by his skill, he has crushed Rahab.

13 His breath has made the heavens luminous, his hand transfixed the Fleeing Serpent.

14 This is only a fraction of what he has done and all we catch of it is the feeblest echo. But who can conceive the thunder of his power?

Proverbs 3 [19-24]

19 Such are the paths of all who seek dishonest gain: which robs of their lives all who take it for their own.

20 Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in the public squares;

21 she calls out at the street corners, she delivers her message at the city gates.

22 ‘You simple people, how much longer will you cling to your simple ways? How much longer will mockers revel in their mocking and fools go on hating knowledge?

23 Pay attention to my warning. To you I will pour out my heart and tell you what I have to say.

24 Since I have called and you have refused me, since I have beckoned and no one has taken notice,

Thoughts and Reflection

Here we see Jacob’s life has been marked by deception and brokenness but God hasn’t forsaken him. The Lord gives Jacob a new name of Israel; promises to make him a great nation, and continues the promises make to his father and grandfather, Isaac and Abraham, respectfully.

It strikes me that Genesis shows us the true human affliction that happens. This is done by our choice, free from God’s direct intervention. We must continue to believe that the Lord is beside us and is faithful and steadfast in his love to us.

How has God stood by you?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

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