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Gets A Visitation from the Host of Angels
As Jacob had started out on his way back home, God would send some heavenly angelic messengers, out to meet with him. And after Jacob had seen the angels, he said to himself: "This is the camp of God!" And it was for this reason, he'd named that place, Mahanaim.
(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 32:1-21)
In the last article, the Sacred Record revealed, that Jacob and Laban had finally made amends -- when it came to their troubling and enduring past history together. For we find -- that they had decided, to put all the wrong that had happened between them, behind them, and move forward.
Know that this was done, through the two of them reconciling, while agreeing to some type of "friendship covenant" that they would adhere to, when it came to the two of them.
Next we find that the two, and their households, would enjoy a feast together:
"[Jacob] offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives [Laban's household] to a meal.
"After they had eaten, they spent the night there." -- Genesis 31:54
And when the early morning had ushered in, Laban had awaken, and it's at this time, he would kiss and bless his daughters (Rachel and Leah) and his grandchildren, before he'd headed out to go back home. And it would also be at this time, that Jacob had started back out on his journey as well -- for he was once again, going back home to Canaan.
And as Jacob had started out on his way back home, God would send some heavenly angelic messengers, out to meet with him. And after Jacob had seen the angels, he said to himself: "This is the camp of God!" And it was for this reason, he'd named that place, Mahanaim. Know that the name has three different, but similar meanings - (two armies/ two host/ two camps)
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Gaining Deeper Insight from the Name Mahanaim?
Now personally, I believe that the naming of this place by Jacob -- gives us some deeper insight, into what he'd actually saw, when it came to the angels? Now the reason why I'm making such a statement, simply deals with the meaning of the name Mahanaim? For one could easily assume, that the volume, or the number of angels that Jacob had seen that day, was perhaps very large or great?
Nonetheless, I also want to point out, that we're not told, what these angelic hosts had actually told Jacob? They could have been, sent by God, as a divine welcoming committee? And the reason why I see it this way -- deals with the fact, that this visitation came, when Jacob had started heading back to the land, that the Lord had promised to his grandfather Abraham, and his future seed.
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The Looming Presence of Esau?
However that may have been, we now move forward. And it's at this time, that the Sacred Record informs us -- that somehow, Jacob had found out, that his older brother Esau had settled from within the land of Seir. Now when it comes to Seir? Know that Seir, was basically a mountainous region, that was located from within the country of Edom, which ran southward of the Dead Sea.
Now we're not told, how Jacob had found out this little bit of important news, when it had came to his brother's whereabouts? But one could presume, that it was done in a couple of ways? For starters, Jacob could have received this news about Esau, through his very loving and concerning mother Rebekah? Or perhaps, he could have received the information through the angelic messengers, that the Lord had just sent out to meet with him?
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Jacob's Past Catching Up With Him?
But nonetheless, however the news came about, Jacob would prepare himself, just in case he ran into his angry twin brother Esau. Now remember, that over 20 years ago, Esau had vowed to kill Jacob. Know that this "vow" was made, behind the deceitful dealings that Jacob had with their father Isaac. Esau was upset, that their father Isaac, had been tricked by Jacob. For Jacob (along with his mother) deceived Isaac, into thinking that he was his brother Esau.
And actually, the plan of deceit, was put in play, by their mother Rachel? For Jacob had simply went along, because he was just being loyal, to the one parent -- that not only loved him with all of their heart, but who had stood constantly by his side, regardless of what Jacob was going through, especially when he was dealing with his father and brother, on a emotional level. And again, it's for these reasons, that Jacob had went along with his mother's deceitful plan.
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Rachel's Overacting Mistake?
Nonetheless, Rachel had became extremely concerned -- for she had thought, that Isaac was trying to give away something, that had belonged to Jacob. And this "something" deals with Esau's special blessing and birthright. And actually, she was right in her thinking when it came to Isaac -- but wrong, in the way that she had decided to handle it.
But remember, that one day, while he was famished -- Esau had given away his birthright to Jacob, for a bowl of red stew. Understand, that at the time, Esau didn't value his birthright. But after he'd saw, how the Lord had blessed his father Isaac tremendously, during one enduring season of dearth. Now he wanted to be apart, of what his father had.
So when Isaac had told Esau, that he had a special blessing for him. But first, he wanted him to go out, and prepare him his favorite stew -- which was a certain type of stew, that was made with the wild game that Esau had constantly hunted. Esau would jump at the chance, for he truly wanted that special blessing. But while he was gone, Jacob would get the special blessing instead of Esau, by tricking their father:
"Then Isaac said to Jacob, 'Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.' Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.' He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed [Jacob instead of Esau]." -- Genesis 27:21-23
And needless-to-say, after this had happened, Esau was furious with Jacob.
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Jacob Sends a Message to Esau?
However that may have been, we now turn our attention back towards the current account. And this is where we find, that after learning about Esau's whereabouts, Jacob would send out some messengers, in order for them to meet with his brother: "This is what you are to say to my master Esau: 'Your servant Jacob says, I've been staying with Laban and have remained there until now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.'" - Genesis 32:4,5
Now notice, that when Jacob had given this command to his messengers, he'd called his brother "master?" and he also made it clear, that he was Esau's servant. Understand, that this was done, because Jacob knew how important these issues were to Esau -- when it came to being of someone, with great importance. I mean after all, this is what Esau's birthright (before he gave it away) had entailed. So Jacob would lower, and humble himself, in order to keep the peace between him and his brother. So Jacob's messengers went out, found, and delivered the message to Esau, just like Jacob had instructed them to do.
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Now after the messengers had met with Esau, they would return back to Jacob, saying: "We went to your brother Esau and now he his coming to meet you, and 400 men are with him."
Now understand, that this is not what Jacob wanted to hear, being that he remembered the great disdain, that Esau was holding towards him. And because of this, Jacob would begin to panic, as he started to prepare for the worse. And it would be at this time, that he divides his family into two groups, along with his flocks, herds, and camels: "If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape." Jacob would say to himself.
And after doing this, next we find, that Jacob would turn to the Lord and pray for protection:
"O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,' I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted." - (Genesis 32:9-12)
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Jacob Prepares a Gift?
Now after Jacob had prayed his prayer, we find that he would spend the night at the place that he'd prayed at. And it would also be at this time, that he would prepare a gift, for Esau as well. And this gift would consist of Jacob selecting: 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 30 female camels (along with their young), 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.
Jacob would then separate each set of animals, into their own individual groups -- while placing them into the care of his servants. Now after doing this, Jacob tells the servant, who was leading the first group: "Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds. When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?' then you are to say, 'They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.'" - Genesis 32:16-18
Next, Jacob would then instruct all the other servant groups, that had followed the first group -- to do, and say the same thing, just like the one in the lead had done before them. And after doing this, Jacob would think to himself: "I will pacify (appease) him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me."
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
Know that Jacob had done all he could, when it came to curving, or avoiding the wrath of his brother Esau. But one must wonder, will God still answer his prayer? Will his gifts help to keep Esau from destroying him? Will this be where Esau finally gets the revenge, he's been longing for all these years?
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support
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54) Jacob the Prosperous
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56) Rachel the Thief
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58) Laban's Pursuit
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61) Jacob Wrestles with God
62) Jacob & Esau - The Reconciliation
63) Dinah the Daughter of Israel
64) The Plot of Vengeance
65) The Forgotten Vow
66) The Season of Passing
67) The Descendants of Esau
68) Joseph the Favorite Son
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