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Genesis part XVI: Death, twins, birthright, and wives!

In case you missed it:

PART 15: The servant’s journey and Isaac meets Rebekah

PART 14: Abraham proves his faith and Sarah dies

PART 13: Abraham pulls the sister card again and Isaac is born

Part 12: Wicked cities are destroyed and Lot is saved

PART 11: Sarai’s name is changed and she is reproved for laughing

PART 10: The Promise of an Heir and Ishmael is Born

PART 9: God renews the promise and a kingly battle

PART 8: Language Confusion and Abram’s Blessing

PART 7: Noah’s Generation, a geographic history lesson

PART 6: Noah leaves the ark and God blesses him

PART 5: The wickedness of the world and the Great Flood

PART 4: The first murder and genealogy of the Patriarchs

PART 3: The Original Sin

PART 2: The making of mankind and the Sabbath

PART 1: Genesis: in the beginning

At the beginning of the month, I was reminded that God wants us to have relationships via one of my close colleagues. Not only marriageable relationships but friendly relationships as well. He wants us to embrace our brothers and sisters; to forgive where necessary. I am grateful and blessed by the people in my life for they were placed in it for a reason so I thank God always for them.

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Twins and birthright

Scripture in focus: Genesis 25

When I realized that we’ll be discussing twins today, I smiled thinking ‘how perfect!’ for it ties in wonderfully for the twin theme I’m doing this month. 😃 In this chapter, we learn that Abraham had more children and why Esau was dramatic in selling his birthright. 

Abraham took a wife, her name was Keturah and she bore him 6 sons and they were the fathers of various Arab countries (25:1-4) See note below in recap. Abraham gave his wealth and the Promised Land to Isaac the principal heir (25:5) but to the sons, he had by the concubines (Hagar & Keturah), he gave them gifts and send them eastward (Arabia & surroundings) away from Isaac for the flesh and the spirit cannot cohabit in peace (25:6). Abraham lived to be 175 years (Isaac would’ve been 75) and then he departs from this world in good old age (25:7-8). He is buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael where his wife Sarah was buried 38 years before (25:9-10). Isaac dwelled by Lahai-roi and God blessed him (25:11). Lahai-roi was near the wilderness of Beersheba and Paran, where Ishmael dwelt so these brothers were not far from each other.

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25:12-18 deals with the life and descendants of Ishmael. He had 12 sons and they were blessed right here on earth (25:13-16). These 12 princes had Egyptian ancestry and were Arabs. The genealogy is in their names. Nebajoth (Isaiah 60:7) was an Arab people (Nabathaeans) that inhabited all the country from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Kedar (Isaiah 21:13) meaning ‘dark’ or ‘mighty’ were Arabians; the Arabic language is most frequently, in Jewish writings, called the language of Kedar (bible-studys.org). Ishmael lived to be 137 years old (25:17). Havilah unto Shur refers to the vast desert of Arabia; eastward was called the wilderness of Havilah and westward was referred to as Shur. Simply put, these were Arabs living in all Arab countries surrounding Israel (25:18). 

Isaac’s story begins at 25:19. He was 40 years old when he married Rebekah the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram (25:20). ‘Syrian’ here is translated as ‘Armenia’ and was called Mesopotamia in 24:10. It is not to be confused with the Syria of which Damascus was the capital. Isaac prayed on his wife’s behalf for children because she was barren after 20 years. God heard and answered Isaac’s prayer (25:21). There was conflict in her womb so she went to enquire before the Lord as to why (25:22). God tells Rebekah that she has twins within her, they will each father nations, and one shall be greater than the other and also, the elder shall serve the younger (25:23).

When the 9 months were up, she realized that God’s word was true and there were indeed twins in her womb (25:24).

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Esau was the firstborn of the twins and he was red and hairy (25:25). Esau was the father of the Edomites and his father’s favorite. It was too bad he despised his birthright for later, he is used as an example to illustrate the non-elect of God (Romans 9:13). Jacob was born clutching the heel of his twin brother (25:26). In that day, “heel-catcher” meant “con man” or “rascal” and this personality of Jacob came to pass when he conned his twin out of his birthright. Isaac was 60 years old when they were born. 

Although twins, the boys were different from each other. Esau tilled and sowed the land and was an expert hunter whereas his twin was a godly and quiet man (25:27). In some cases, parents have favorites and Isaac and Rebekah were no different. Isaac loved Esau and his savory food whereas Rebekah loved Jacob (25:28). Jacob sodded pottage (cooked a stew) when Esau came from the field weary. Here we see that Esau hunts and Jacob cooks (25:29). Esau begs his brother for food saying that he was faint acting as if he was at death’s door if he didn’t get food (25:30). And this is where the play upon words forever cements Esau’s fate: he was born red (and hairy) and he sold his birthright for red stew. He was also called Edom which means ‘red’. 

Ooh, that cunning Jacob deviously asking for his twin’s birthright! (25:31). Esau wasn’t even thinking logically or clearly for that matter. Perhaps he went out to hunt all day in the sweltering heat, caught nothing and was so disappointed that he let false emotions cloud his thinking. He wanted food and he wanted it now! He’s also thinking that one day he’s going to die so what does a birthright matter anyway (25:32). In his dramatic moment, he overlooked how valuable a birthright is! The son of the birthright received a double portion of the inheritance. Upon the passing of his father, he’ll have the right to be the head of the family and priest/spiritual leader (Deuteronomy 21:17; Exodus 4:22; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

Somebody give Esau an Oscar! 

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And Esau sold his birthright to Jacob (25:33). While it was unfair of Jacob to take advantage of his brother, blame can also be placed at Esau’s feet for he despised his birthright. He was so concerned with his material needs, he failed to stop and consider his actions: what God considered sacred, he made common. Isn’t it ironic that Jacob was buying something that was already his base on what God said in v.23?

So Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew for he despised his inheritance (25:34).

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Isaac is wealthy and Esau takes two wives

Scripture in focus: Genesis 26

A famine was in the land (26:1), but God appeared unto Isaac (vision/dream) and told him not to go down to Egypt as his father Abraham had done (26:2) for He wanted Isaac to stay in Canaan and try his faith in Him (26:3). No matter what crisis may arise, God wants us to depend on Him and not do our own thing because of lack of faith. If you trust Him when things are easy, trust Him, even more, when things are hard. God reminds Isaac of the promise that He made to Abraham all over again in 26:4 and He also reminded Isaac of his father’s obedience to Him (26:5).

So Isaac stayed in Gerar (26:6).

Isaac repeats his father’s mistake when he lied about Rebekah being his sister (26:7). And he was doing so good in 26:1-5! Sin always finds a way to knock on the door for the flesh is weak. Technically speaking, Rebekah was a second cousin to Isaac. So one day, Abimelech looked out a window and was astonished to see Isaac sporting (showing endearment for Rebekah) with his wife (26:8). Abimelech summons Issac and wants to know his reason for lying about his relation to Rebekah to which Isaac replied that he was afraid to lose his life (26:9). 

Just as Abraham was scolded by a pagan king, so was Isaac (26:10-11).

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Isaac works hard and becomes wealthy and God has also blessed him (26:12-14). Jealousy causes people to do strange things. This was one of the factors why the Philistines had filled the well with dirt (26:15). The Philistines asked Isaac to leave and without argument, he leaves and pitches his tent in Gerar (26:16-17). In the valley of Gerar, Isaac’s servants dug the wells again finding springing water in one of them (26:18-19). Although the wells were dug by Isaac’s servants, the herdmen of Gerar laid claim to it so Isaac named the wells Esek (meaning “contention”) and Sitnah (meaning “enmity”) (26:20-21). Finally, a third well was dug without argument and Isaac named it Rehoboth (“room enough”) giving all the credit to God (26:22). 

Isaac went up to Beer-sheba where the Lord appeared to him that same night (26:23-24). He then built an altar, giving thanks to God and his servants dug a well there (26:25). He is visited by Abimelech and Phichol and he enquires of their visit given that they had sent him away from dwelling among them (26:26-27). They made peace with Isaac because God was with him just as He was with Abraham (26:28-31). On that very same day, Isaac was told that the well had water (26:32) and Isaac called the well Sheba meaning “an oath” (26:33). 

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And Esau was 40 years old when he takes two wives (26:34) thus grieving his parents (26:35). These two women were from the Hittites and God had forbidden Hebrew men from intermarrying them. Also, Esau had broken the Hebrew custom rule: instead of his parents choosing his future bride, he went and chose for himself. 

Additional Notes/Recap

^ 25:1-2: I first understood this to be Abraham remarrying after Sarah’s death, but the Bible is not in chronological order and for this reason, scholars have been arguing over the valid date of this marriage. Examing it, it opens ‘then again Abraham took a wife’ strongly implying that he took another wife, but it does not state whether before or after Sarah’s death. Abraham would’ve been over 100 years old and marrying Keturah and having 6 sons by her would’ve contradicted his statement in 17:17 although nothing is too hard for our God. Keturah was around when Sarah was alive; she was a concubine and secondary wife. The Bible does not tell us the period in Abraham’s time when this marriage took place, but in 1 Chronicles 1:32, Keturah is referred to as a concubine which implied that the proper wife was living. With Sarah’s blessing (knowing that she was about to die perhaps?), Abraham could’ve married Keturah or after the marriage of Isaac. Either way, I love how the Word makes us think.

Do you have any thoughts on this topic?

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^ “Keturah” means incense.

^ Abraham is mentioned 70 times in the New Testament alone. Only Moses is mentioned more times in the New Testament (80 times).

^ Isaac was the second of the great Patriarchs, (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

^ Are we selling out our birthright? Ephesians 1:3-14 shows us our birthright in Jesus.

^ Just as Pharoah was a royal title, so was the title Abimelech (26:8) which was a philistine dynastic title. The Abimelech Abraham would’ve encountered 97 years before would’ve already passed away.

REFERENCES/AIDS

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

*** Images and GIFs via Google Search

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Posted in Musings, Ray & Marcus da Díxon 💙

Seems like yesterday was just January…

I hope you’re using time wisely!

Just yesterday, it seemed like it was the beginning of the year and I was contemplating my next move with life, work, and this blog. Now, we’re in novembre and whoa! The year is closing to make way for another new one be it God’s willing.  

Regardless of the time getting away, I look at each month as a new beginning. 

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Challenge for novembre/NaNoWriMo

Despite having a story to work on, I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo this time around. I don’t have the energy or passion for writing as I once had. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy writing (from time to time) whether it’s short stories or blog posts, but I don’t really have that dose of special inspiration anymore. However, I’ll be sharing snippets of the story I wanted to work on for NaNo.

I’ll probably share how I came up with the title, introduce the identical duo, and tackle some twin stereotypes. I’ll also like to do the One Word At A Time Challenge syncing it with CRFT, but I’m not so sure at the moment. If you see too many twins in your reader during this month, don’t be alarmed. 😉

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And all the best to all who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year. 😄

Blessed novembre to all and keep walking with Jesus. 

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Sometimes, you can’t go home.

Short Story #29

Jack Payet absentmindedly sat in the empty office amidst the clutter of reports strewn on the floor, twisting his wedding ring back and forth bruising the pale finger in the process. Things were not as they used to be and he found himself staying later at the office pretending to throw himself into his journalistic work so he’ll be the last person to leave. 

Until he stopped leaving altogether. 

His assistant editor had found him asleep on the couch twice with an overnight bag on the floor but didn’t have the gall to say anything. However, curiosity got the best of her the fifth time she found him chasing sleep away with a yawn as he struggled to get his jacket on to begin work for seven and without holding back, breached his privacy by remarking, “Don’t you go home anymore, Jack?” 

And before he could stop himself, words were tumbling out of his mouth. “Sometimes, you can’t go home.” Before she could ask what he meant, words that he never shared with anyone since the mishap tumbled out in quick succession before he changed his mind about sharing. 

“The comfy embrace of bed and sheets no longer welcomes me. Our bedroom feels… hallowed out as if it’s suffering from a terrible loss. I used to hang on to her words. Her breath was mine to take. I just can’t accept the fact that Denise won’t be coming back. Without her, home is never going to be the same again. 

“I simply cannot go back there now that it feels like a tomb… cold and empty.” 

He bows his head in silent respect for his loss and dusty brown hair flops into tired gray-green eyes hiding stories that were yet to be told.

Not knowing what to say for she was not expecting a grieving response to her rhetorical question, his assistant awkwardly asked if he’ll like a cup of coffee. He nodded, not willing himself to speak anymore. 

His heart ached painfully for his beloved. 

So he sat alone in the empty office twirling the ring around his finger as if willing his wife to come walking through the door, but it was all in vain. 

All grammatical errors are mine.

This short is part of a serial I’m currently working on titled “Sanctimonious”. Jack Payet is one of the main characters that is dealing with a huge loss as you can tell from the story. Did his wife leave him? Did he do something regrettable and is too late to fix it? Is his wife dead? Speculations. Speculations.

I’ll like to say more, but this is a story that my bestie (You guys know Tammy!) is reading whenever I update it and I don’t want to spoil much for her. Also, I simply wanted to write a little angst. 

***GIFs via Google Search

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New to blogging? Start here.

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Hey, you there! 

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You-ooh! Over here!

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Yes, you! If you’re new to the blogosphere (even as new as late last year or early this year), the community welcomes you with open arms and if you’re reading this post, here’s a pretty good place to start so don’t be shy. Introduce yourself in the comment section below, leave links to your blog/tell us what your blog is about if possible (no profanities please!), and make some new friends. 

Although I won’t be able to follow every single blog, I’m happy to have you on board. Again, welcome to the blogosphere! Enjoy your stay.

To the not-so-newbies: feel free to share a post that you’ll like to highlight or get more reads on.

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CRFT snippet #1: In my feelings

Thanks to Kage of RLyis for this lovely cover

The following is unedited and all grammatical errors are mine:

Ramses Alexander Page III looks back and forth between Marcus and the identical mirror twin Ray, an idea forming in his mind. There was a theory he wanted to test ever since he read about it in the science journals and here, was a pair of twins that unknowingly presented themselves for the opportunity. 

“Salut!” he enthusiastically greeted Ray as the Auburn head teen sat down to lunch at their favorite table in the spacious cafeteria. It took a while to learn how to tell the twins apart although sometimes it was still hard especially when they were wearing identical expressions. “How’s Romance Lit club?”

Ray genuinely smiles. “I am happy with the last turn out. This week we’ll be looking at Pablo Neruda’s work.” he looked at the Egyptian-Greek with earnest. “Would you like to join?”

“Poetry is not my thing.” Ramses realized that Marcus was wrapping up his pep talk with the football team of which he was the captain of. He had to move fast. “So, I read something interesting about identical twins.” When he had Ray’s curious attention, he asked, “If I were to hit you, would Marc feel it?”

“No, it doesn’t work that way. I… hey!” Ray cried out as Ramses slaps him on the arm just as Marcus proceeds to sit. 

“You didn’t feel that?” Ramses asked the ever-scowling twin. 

“Feel what?” Marcus gruffly asks tearing into the beef sandwich.

Ramses shrugs and ate lunch with his buddies in silence wondering how to finish carrying out his theory without Marcus killing him. He closed his aquamarine eyes, count to ten and swiftly kicks Marcus in the shin. The result was instant. The twins let out a howl of pain and automatically reached for the offended area at the same time. As they were facing each other, it looked like they were mirroring each other.

“So that’s what they meant by mirror identical!” Ramses mused out loud. “And now I have the answer to my theory, I shall be on my way.” He makes to get up, but Marcus grabs him by the lapel of his school jacket and yanks him back down in the chair just as Ray starts ranting about painful shins.

“What is wrong with you? Do you know that the tibia is protected by a thin layer of skin? That actually hurt, you idiot!”

“You hurt my brother, you pay,” Marcus sneers.

“But I kicked you, not Ray!”

Related Post > I’ll like to include me in your will

Myth or Fact: Do twins share each other’s pain?

Although this has been proven as fiction by TONS of experiments conducted over the years, there are some accounts of identical twins who have felt each other’s pain. Sally Keeble felt her identical twin sister’s labor pains and it wasn’t a walk in the park for her. Identical twins Angela King and Elena Gatt also insisted that they share each other’s pain ranging from accidents to morning sickness. When Angela was 8, she had her tonsils removed. Meanwhile, Elena was unaware and stayed with her grandmother screamed at the exact moment Angela’s tonsils were removed. 

Science can’t explain everything nor was everything meant to be explained when it comes to identical twins and their feelings. A twin connection is simply unique to that of a normal sibling. 

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