90 Days through Bible, Day 3 readings

Day 3: Genesis 28:20-40:11

Today we read the rest of the Jacob cycle of the story and get into the Joseph narrative. One of the questions I ended up with as I read was; what happened to the passage which tells of Joseph having the coat of many colors? Well, come to find out the translation of the Hebrew is difficult even for scholars to fully translate, so in the NIV Genesis 37:3 reads “richly ornamented robe” and the NRSV reads “a long robe with sleeves.” Some think it may have been a coat made up of many different materials, thus maybe like a quilted robe. What’s important is that the robe Jacob gave Joseph set him apart as special in his father’s eyes and above his brothers.

This was just something I ended up wondering about, one of several things but the one I decided to do some research on.

Within our reading today was also a famous quote that is shared between lovers when they are apart from one another, the Mizpah. In Genesis 31:49 we hear; “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.” It’s said by Laban to Jacob asking God to judge the one who crosses this boundary line to take what is the others.

Between couples the Mizpah is said so that God watch over and protect their loved one while the one is away from the other. I’m sure many a couple has said this to one another as a loved one went off to war, to battle.

Here’s an image of jewelry a couple may give one another. Each wears their half of the saying to remind them of their love one for the other.

In the case of our reading today, the Mizpah is said at the signing of an agreement that one not harm or take from the other. A professor of mine said it really says; may God strike dead the one who breaks the vows we make this day. The Mizpah takes on a different meaning when heard in this context.

We all have loved ones that are away from us, today may we ask God to watch over and protect them and pray that they seek God out where God can be found – right in their own back yard.

O Lord, thanks for watching over and keeping us. May we always seek to be faithful to you, as you are faithful to us. Amen.

28:20-22 – Jacob’s vow to God

29:1-14 Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram (Jacob falls in love with Rachael, Laben’s second daughter at first sight)

29:15-30 – Jacob Marries Leah and Rachael

29:31-30:24 – Jacob’s children: by Leah, by Bilhah – Rachael’s servant girl, by Zilpah – Leah’s servant girl, and finally by Rachael a son is born.

30:25-34 – Jacob’s Flock Increase

31: Jacob Flees From Laban – Rachael takes, steals, her father’s household god. This is what Laben comes after, comes searching but never finds. Rachael keeps it hidden from her father and from Jacob.

32:1-21 – Jacob prepares to meet Easu

32:22-32 – Jacob wrestle with God – Jacob’s name changed from Jacob to Israel because he struggled with God and with men and overcame.

33 – Jacob meets Esau – Esau glad to see his brother who has been away for years.

34 – Dinah and the Schechemites – Dinah (daughter of Jacob violated, raped)

35:1-15 – Jacob returns to Bethel

35:16-22 – The deaths of Rachel and Isaac – Rachel dies after giving birth to Jacob’s twelfth son Benjamin.

35:23-29 – Listing of Jacob’s sons

36 – Esau’s descendants

37:1-11 – Joseph’s dreams (revelations from God)

37:12-36 – Joseph sold by his brothers and ends up in Egypt as a slave

38 – Judah and Tamar – important when following the lineage of David (much later in our readings.)

39 – Joseph and Potiphar’s wife

40 – King of Egypt’s cupbearer and the baker and their importance to the Joseph story.

Readings for Day 4 – Genesis 40:12-50:26 (rest of Genesis)

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