Daily Bible Reading for February 17, 2014, with Commentary: Genesis 28-31
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Context and Meaning: Continuing with the story of Jacob, who at the age of 77, has to leave the land where he grew up to find a wife. Why leave the land to find a wife? It is not explicitly stated however, some scholars have suggested that it had to do with finding a wife who was pure and willing to worship the Lord God and none others. During this journey, Jacob has a dream of the Lord God. The remaining four chapters show several parallels to earlier stories about Jacob. Today, many people, even Christians, hold the view to "look out for #1." Laban appears to adhere to this philosophy. He wanted to keep Jacob with him as long as possible because he increased Laban's wealth. Laban failed to realize that it was not Jacob, but the Lord. Many today fail to recognize the Lord's achievements. All of our actions should be to please the Lord.
World History: The names of Jacob's 12 sons should be familiar. They are the fathers of the 12 tribes of Israel, previously discussed during our reading of Joshua. During this time, Egypt was likely in its Middle Kingdom, a time of expansion and increased trading. Greece was in its Middle Helladic period. Settlements were small in Greece, and farmers tended to local fields.