9: The Covenant Is Renewed (Genesis 24–27)
When we read about Rebekah generously offering to get water for not only Abraham's servant but also for all of his camels, her task seems simple enough. But have you ever stopped to consider just how much water those camels would need? And how this wasn't a matter of turning on a faucet? It might give us a little insight into what a hard worker Rebekah was. This week as we study Genesis 24–27, we'll dive into Rebekah and Isaac’s story to learn from their faithful examples. We'll also discuss their commitment to preserving the Abrahamic covenant amidst all the ups and downs of parenting two very different sons.
Lahai-roi = God sees you
Quote: “The word concubine is a term used to describe women in the Old Testament who, in the time and culture in which they lived, were legally married to a man but had a lower social status than a wife” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, Lesson 140).
- Head Kinsman – Will be in charge and take care of everyone
- Presiding authority as patriarch. A son who held the birthright inherited not only his father’s lands and possessions, but also his father’s position as the spiritual leader of the family and the “authority to preside” (Bible Dictionary, “Birthright”).
- A double wealth. The son was then responsible to use these resources to provide for the family’s needs as well as ransom those in trouble, pay off debts etc.
- Care & sustenance of mother, childless wives of father, unmarried sisters, divorced/widowed, etc.
- Goodly Raiment – the Garment of Adam
- Overall a symbol of the Savior to his people.
(Resources: “What laws governed the inheritance of birthright in the Old Testament?” and Verse by Verse, The Old Testament Vol. 1 pg. 166, by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner)
Esau = Hairy
Jacob = Heel or footprint
Fornicator = Ekporneuo – ek preposition meaning “from,” porneuo = To be unfaithful to Christ while posing as His true follower. (Not the same as porneia = the root for pornography, fornication, whoredom).
Quote: “The story of Isaac and Rebekah is an example of the man, who has the keys, and the woman, who has the influence, working together to ensure the fulfillment of their blessings. Their story is pivotal. The blessings of the house of Israel depended on a man and a woman who understood their place in the plan and their responsibilities to form an eternal family, to bear children, and to teach them.
“… Every young man and young woman should understand his or her role in this great partnership—that they are each an ‘Isaac’ or a ‘Rebekah.’ Then they will know with clarity what they have to do” (Sister Julie B. Beck, “Teaching the Doctrine of the Family,” Ensign, Mar. 2011, 16).
In the January 2022 online issue of Good Housekeeping, there was an article titled, "The 50 Best Romantic Movies to Make You Fall in Love Again". The movies spanned from 1934 to 2021 and it included the classics like "Casa Blanca", "Pride and Prejudice" (the 8- hour BBC version on VHS tape, mind you, it has to be VHS). There were also some that I had never even heard of. And I quite frankly don't plan to see. But I want to ask you this: What makes a good romantic movie? What story would make you fall in love again? Well, I believe that Genesis 24-27 has all the elements of a romantic story. And if it were a movie, it would easily make the top 50 list.
Welcome to Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus Original and it's brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now if you're new to our study group, I just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link that's in our description; it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come Follow Me study, just like my good friend, Anne Chumbley Snider who is doing it - you guys, she's taking a beginning Hebrew class. I'm so proud of her! Go Anne!
Now, my favorite thing about this study group is each week I get to be joined by two of my friends. We have a classic duo back with us. Their "Hollywood name" is "Jalia", as we've called them. They 'fell in love' two years ago when they were first paired together, when we first started this whole podcast. It's Aliah Hall and Jalyn Peterson. Hi, ladies.
Jalyn Peterson 1:33
Hey. We did fall in love.
Aliah Hall 1:36
We did, didn't we? Like we were sitting in that room and I was like, Who is this girl?
Jalyn Peterson 1:41
I know, love back in
Back when you could do this stuff in person.
Aliah Hall 1:46
I know. I was so lucky, we actually got to meet in person.
Jalyn Peterson 1:51
Aliah Hall 1:52
How lucky were we?
Jalyn Peterson 1:53
Yeah, the love was real, I was there to witness it. So Jalyn's living in Tennessee, she's a financial planner. And Aliah is our Resident Therapist. So, just so people who don't know who these two are, their wisdom surpasses all; I love what they have to say. And if you want to know more information about my guests, you can find pictures and more information about them in our show notes which are at LDSliving.com/sundayonMonday. So I'm super excited for you guys to join me! Did you feel like it was a romantic story?
Aliah Hall 2:20
It started out a romance and it then turned into something else that I, that we won't get into, I'm sure.
Jalyn Peterson 2:27
That does kind of make it like, I mean, all of the Old Testament is slightly soap operaish. I mean, it's pretty Soap Operaish. So, this us one of my, it is the, definitely the romantic piece.
Well, for those of you who are ready to fall in love again, this is going to be really fun. Some of it is love, and some of it isn't. And so I just thought I couldn't imagine two better people to join me today to talk about these incredible stories. So grab your scriptures, your scripture journals, anything to mark your Scriptures with, and let's dig in to Genesis chapter 24-27. All right, you two. Do you guys like romantic movies?
Aliah Hall 3:05
So, funny thing is, is whenever I meet with couples, I always ask them if they watch like romantic comedies, like rom-com movies, because if they do they need to stop immediately because it will ruin your life. (laughter)
Jalyn Peterson 3:22
Is there one that tops your list? Is there one that you're like, you should not?
Aliah Hall 3:26
Yes, "Serendipity". It is so warped.
Okay, good, good to know. (laughter)
Aliah Hall 3:33
I can't stand the 'fade to black', and they're 10 years later. And I'm like, WE have to live through the '10 years later'. Like we have to live through that part of the life. We don't get to 'fade to black' and be like, just wake me up when he comes home. Like no. We have to live through all that. And that's the hard stuff. That's the every day, like you want to punch your husband in the face stuff.
Jalyn Peterson 3:56
Yes. Okay, that is so awesome, Aliah. Well, here's what we're gonna do. We're going to go into Genesis chapter 24. And we're just going to start with this really great love story. And as all good love stories begin, a parent dies. Thank you Disney for setting that up for us. So there's, there is a parent who dies here and it's Sarah, and she has passed away in chapter 23. And she has been buried. I want to remind us that back in Genesis chapter 17 and in chapter 22, the Lord promised Abraham and Sarah that their son Isaac would receive all the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant. Let me do a quick lay of the land so we're all on the same page and we know who we're talking about here. We go back to Adam and Eve in the garden. And then they had all of their children.
And just a quick reminder, we have Adam, Enos, Seth, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech. And Lamech has a son named Noah. We've talked about Noah's Ark. And after the earth was baptized, Noah and his family come off the ark, and he had three sons at the time: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Through the line of Shem is where we get Abraham. And then Abraham and Sarah are married, and they have a son named Isaac. And so that's where we are in the storyline. We're going to learn about what happened to Isaac after Sarah passed away. So let's go into Genesis chapter 24 and we're going to read verses 2 and 3. Abraham tells his oldest servant to do something, we believe it's Eliezer, possibly. But what does he tell his servant to go do?
Aliah Hall 4:40
So at this point, they're trying to get his son, his youngest son Isaac, married off, but he doesn't want him to be married to any of the Canaanite women who are outside of the covenant. So he tells him to go back home where we came from, and find a wife there and bring her back.
Jalyn Peterson 5:40
Very good, yes, that's exactly it, yeah.
Sorry, but part of the, in verse 2 and 3, that I'm always, you know, wow, that's a weird little custom: "Put your hand under my thigh and make an oath." What does that mean Miss Hebrew?
I'm so glad you asked that, Jalyn. So highlight that at the end of verse 2. Eliezer and Abraham make a covenant and it says, ".....I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh." The Joseph Smith Translation of that actually says, "Put thy hand under my hand." So the retranslation is basically a gentlemen's agreement. They shake hands, they make a covenant and oath. And I love how Abraham says to him, Look, here's what I want you to do, go and do this. Because Eliezer's like, wait, what? But how am I going to find this wife? And do you have any direction or a name or anything for me?
And Abraham says to him - I love in verse 7 - Abraham says, Listen, the Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, who performed all these miracles in my life, he's gonna go with you. And if it doesn't turn out - I love how in verse 8 he says - you'll be free and clear from this house, you don't even have to worry about it. And then again, put his hand under his thigh or took his hand, they shook it. And now off they go, something that I found was very interesting, as many scholars are speculating as to why Abraham would send a servant. Like, is this a normal thing? It's not, at all. And I just wanted to get your thoughts like, Why do you think he's sending someone to do this job and not Isaac himself to go find a wife?
Jalyn Peterson 7:07
Well, he'd just lost his wife. I would assume that, you know, as a mom, you're gonna, I mean, I don't want this to sound horrible, but sometimes moms just have a sense about those things, right, of who would be a good match and who wouldn't, right? So I think that, you know, he probably would have rather had his wife's help in that maybe, and maybe this: he just has a relationship with this servant. A, that he knew he would obey it, and, that he was in tune enough to listen to recognize when an angel tells him here's where you go. And to think about, you know, to have enough faith to say, Okay, I want the woman to say this to me, and that's how I'll know it's her.
Oh, I like that, Jalyn.
Aliah Hall 7:58
I always think about, Abraham's one of my favorite characters, I guess, in the Old Testament. Because I really, not that I identify with his story, but I find it really interesting because Abraham really wanted to do right. And he was going to be sacrificed by his own father, and he had to flee the land with his family. So he and Sarah flee from Terah so that he's not sacrificed by his father who is worshipping false gods and all that sort of thing.
I think it's interesting that Abraham's like, Go back to where we came from, find a wife for my son? But he's not going back. He's like, I'm not going back! Maybe it's not safe for him to go back. Maybe, you know, maybe who knows what, you know, the family back home has been saying about him and his wife, and them fleeing and what happened. Like, they're not maybe sure exactly what the situation is back home. And so sending a servant seems, you know, practicable to send a servant because they're not sure what is going on back there. Like, Abraham had to flee from there.
Jalyn Peterson 9:12
That's such a great point. I didn't think about how that would have just really colored his whole perception of that time in his life and like, PTSD - I'm not going back there! Yeah, not goin back to the scene of the crime.
Well, yeah, and I was thinking about the grief aspect, like, would grief play a role on your ability to choose? Does it color your vision?
Grief colors everything.
Aliah Hall 9:36
Well, and I don't think that Isaac would have been able, I mean, I have lost both of my parents and, like, it affects you. It affects how you think about your future and like, you know, you think about your kids and or, you know, are they going to know their grandparents? and that those relationships? and, like, that would be a lot of grief. And like Isaac is like 40 at this point when he, so he's not like a young spring chicken. But he's, he's getting on there. He needs to like get married. And then I can imagine him wanting to just stay home and grieve and grieve his mom and, like, put that off. But his dad's like, we got to get on this, we got to move forward.
Jalyn Peterson 9:37
So what is the custom? If you don't send a servant, what is the normal custom?
Oh, you would go by yourself. For instance, in the case of Jacob, he's going to go by himself to find a wife (or wives. Stay tuned until next week). Okay, well, so in Genesis chapter 24, then, the servant leaves. And let's mark verses 12-14, because the servant comes up with an idea. I love how he's like, Alright, how am I going to do this? I'm not a matchmaker; this seems like such a huge job. And can you recall what his his plan was? What did he come up with?
He said, Okay, here's the deal God: When the woman comes, if the woman who's going to come to the well, and if I ask her if I can have something to drink, she's going to say, Yes. I'll give you water, and I'm going to get water for your camels. And that's how he would know that was the one.
Aliah Hall 11:15
which is so amazing, because I read in a commentary once about this story, that like he would have had like several camels. And camels drink, like, gallons and gallons of water. So she would have had to be like going back to the well like, it was like, dozens of times, like dozens of times doing this hard, hard labor to give him and the camels.
Jalyn Peterson 11:43
It's such a unique ask, isn't that? I mean, it made me think in my own life. And I had this question for you: I mean, have you, either one of you had a specific problem that you thought out here's how it should play out and gone to God with that, like, alright, here's how I want it to play out. And did it work for you?
I have not had it work. But I do love, it didn't work out the way I wanted it. But I did get an answer. And that's why I love this story so much, because I'm like, Wow, maybe I am just not praying, I'm not asking with enough specificity. I'm not, you know, trust and believing that I'm entitled to that kind of a response, to be that specific.
Ooo, I love that. Because it's so easy to pray in ambiguity. What do you want there to be there, God? Well, what do you want to have happen?
I think we're so, you know, it's ingrained. Like don't, we don't want to ask for something that is not outside of God's will for us. And sometimes we're so unsure of what that is, so we're trying to be faithful. And I think sometimes we're afraid like, well, I don't want to weary the Lord. But I think the Lord is like, No, please do. I'm here to give you those answers. But I also think, for me, it's probably just a lack of having that knowledge of exactly how God's gonna speak to me. So I'm not trusting it enough to say, I don't want to be let down I guess, is the thing. Like, what if I, what if I ask for that, and then I don't get it. And then I'm like, Yeah, see. See, I told you, Tam, I'm not God's favorite. You ask him for me.
Aliah Hall 13:17
And I think there's so many of us, and I think that this, this shows kind of a juxtaposition between - and maybe I'm over generalizing a little bit - but I think this shows a juxtaposition between, like, men and women. Because I think as women, that's a very common theme for us as women, as particularly as LDS women, is that we, we kind of pull back from the Lord, just like, like we have that nature of wanting to please not only like others, our family, or husbands or, you know, our fathers or brothers, whatever.
But we even mimic that with the Lord of where we just want to please. And, and He's really there, to, for us, you know, He's our Father, and He's there to love us and to protect us and to, to answer our prayers. And I think sometimes we pull back because, again, we're trying to be like, we're trying to, we're trying to be the favorite, when we already are the favorite. And this effort to not to, to not be disappointed and not to disappoint anybody, including, like, we don't want to disappoint the Lord and we don't want Him to disappoint us. And that, like that built-in thought that He would disappoint us. That even He will disappoint.
Jalyn Peterson 14:31
Yeah, Yep, I still have to struggle with that.
Aliah. Okay, that was such an important truth that you just taught us. And I'm totally thinking about the servant now, because in my mind, I'm imagining him saying, Well, why wouldn't it work? And then I'm thinking of me, because I always ask, Well, why would it work? And I'm a lot like what you just described. Man, Satan's the worst; he has us convinced that God will disappoint and that has me really thinking about myself now. And then we get to study Rebekah who wasn't afraid. I feel like she lived in the mantra of why wouldn't it work out? She wasn't afraid to ask, and knowing that God would not disappoint. Gosh, thank you, Aliah. That was so good.
Okay, okay. Wow. All right. Let's do this then, in the next segment: let's find out if the servant's plan worked. Here we go.
Segment 2 15:27
We're just gonna pick up right with verse 15. Let's go there. And Jalyn, will you please read verse 15?
Jalyn Peterson 15:31
24:15 "And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder."
So this is, Rebekah would be
Aliah Hall 15:50
Jalyn Peterson 15:51
Isaac's cousin. Yeah. Abraham's nephew.
Yep, exactly right. It's going to be a first cousin once removed, is who he's going to end up with, because it works. It's exactly the way the servant planned it. And so let's talk about Rebekah. So here she comes. She comes out and I love how it says in verse 15, before he was even done speaking to the Lord with his plan, the prayer gets answered. And Rebekah comes down, in the verse, in verse 16 it's going to describe her for us. Aliah, will you read verse 16.
Aliah Hall 16:23
24:16 "And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her; and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up."
And several times you're gonna see a word 'hasted'. I love how in verse 18, she said, "Drink my Lord; and (then) she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink." And she's gonna keep doing this. In verse 19, she had done giving him drink, and she said, "I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking." And we know - I love Aliah that you said it was a lot of water - we know he took at least 10 camels with him, that's in chapter 24, verse 10. Ten camels, a lot of water ('pie-r squared, carry the one'), that's a ton, right? So much effort. And again, it's talking in verse 20: "And she hasted, and emptied the pitcher into the trough, and ran...." So I asked you both before we met, to read this story, and tell me what did you notice about Rebekah?
Aliah Hall 17:17
I, what I love this, this depiction of Rebekah, and this whole idea of like giving water to these camels. So if he had like 10 camels, and so, like Rebecca is no wilting flower. Like she is no damsel in distress. She knows how to work. Like, she knows how to like, get in it, you know. And I love that because I mean, I think often they describe women like they do her: She was, she was a damsel, and she was fair, and she was virgin. And she was fair to look upon. She was like this wilting lilly or something.
But no, she is like a tough, she's a tough girl. Like she's going up and down these stairs. She's pulling, like pitcher after pitcher after pitcher after picture of water for these camels and for this man. Like she knows how to serve, she knows how to work, she knows how to, like, get in it. And I love that about her. And we see this further on when the servant is like, let me take her with me. I'm going to go back to my, you know, my master or whatever. And her family is like, well let her stay here for a couple of days. Like, she's not ready to go, blah, blah, blah. And he was like, Well, why don't we ask her, and she's like, I'm ready. Let's go. She's like, no, I don't need 10 days. I'm ready to go.
Jalyn Peterson 18:39
Let's look at those verses. Go to verse 55 and 58. That's when they say, she's like, I gotta go now. And in fact, leading up to that, I love it, because Rebekah then takes the servant to the family because the servant gives her earrings and necklaces and beautiful jewelry, which was a dowry, a symbol of, hey, I'm, and he explains, I'm here for my servant, (master) and I want to ask you to marry him. So she takes him to the family, the family meets him. He retells the whole story. He's like, you're not going to believe what just happened at the well. So he tells the mother and the brother of Rebekah the story.
The retelling is in verses 32-48. So go ahead and just bracket those off and right to the outside, 'retelling the story'. And then Eliezer, or the servant, in verse 53, he gives the family all these incredible jewels, and raiment, and everything, which is basically a marriage proposal. And then they stay for a night; they, in verse 54, they eat, they drink, they're there. They rise up in the morning, and then the servant's like, I gotta go, now. It's time to leave. And that's, when you said, Aliah, in verse 55 - go ahead and read that for us.
Aliah Hall 19:40
24:55 "And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us for a few days, at the least 10; after that she shall go."
And then her response is in verse 58, hit it.
Aliah Hall 19:50
24:58 "And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go."
She's like, I'm ready. Yeah, let's have at it. Like she's she doesn't hesitate. I think as much as Eliezer the servant, like he prayed about this. Like I'm sure Rebekah had been praying as well. Like, I'm sure she was like, Oh, I would like to have a husband, I would like to have children. And I just imagine, and we don't have Rebekah's point of view from this, but I imagine, just as the servant was praying and saying, How will I know? I'm sure the Lord was telling Rebekah, like, go to the well, you're going to meet a man there. Give him water, give his camels water, because God doesn't like let things happen by chance.
It's not by chance that these things, like He's very specific, and He's very into the details. And I'm sure He spoke to Rebekah, much like He spoke to Mary and said, Hey, this is what's going to happen. And you are going to be a mother of 1000s and 10s of 1000s.
The women in the Bible, women in the Scripture are important, they have important roles. And I don't think that they were, like, overlooked in receiving angelic messages or being guided in the things that they were doing. It wasn't just by chance that Rebekah was going to the well up, like, oh, it's just by chance that she showed up at the well at the same time. That Isaac's you know, servant showed up. But it wasn't by chance, like I'm sure she was prompted as well, like go to the well, you're gonna see a man there, give him water, give his camels water. This is, these are going to be your people; go do this.
Jalyn Peterson 21:30
I've often thought that, had that same thought of like, she probably had that same kind of thing, you know, if we had her side of the story.
And going back to what you said, Aliah, I love this idea. In fact, look at verse 60. Because there's something so beautifully cryptic about verse 60 that often goes overlooked. Verse 60 says, "And they blessed Rebekah." So before Rebekah left, her family comes - "they blessed Rebekah and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of 1000s of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them."
And I love how my Hebrew scholar, Dr. Carly Anderson pointed out - she believes that verse 60 is actually a remnant of the Abrahamic covenant blessing for women. And that these, this family would have known exactly what she was being asked to do by marrying the son of Abraham. And they were like, you're fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant, because they would have been of that same seed and lineage. And so how beautiful that verse is and she knows that.
And then there is just this incredible imagery here when it says, "Let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them." Okay, mark that; I think this is so cool. This would mean to let her or people have control over their city, and let them be victorious over their enemies. But ultimately, it means Christ, Christ will come through her line, and you can cross reference this verse with 2 Nephi chapter 9, verse 41, that says, "and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel." And He was hated. And He did overcome. And so the Abrahamic Covenant here shows that she has a place in this covenant. I think that's really important for us to know. And so she does, she just leaves. Jalyn, what were you gonna say, too?
Jalyn Peterson 23:13
Oh, no, I mean, it's, it's all of that, like, that's so beautiful. And that, I mean, the minute you read 60, you know, you do think that. You're like, Oh, she already knew, but I'm always, you know, as a single person of like, man, would you show up at that well?!
Where's the well? Where am I missing it? So, to me, it's kind of funny, because it's like, she was like, Heck, yeah. Let's make haste, man. I've been waiting to get out of this place. Man showed up, I'm out, put a ring on it, I'm done.
Yeah. Totally, put a ring on it. Well, and then the story's so cool. Because here we have in verse 62, then so she leaves. Verse 62 tells us that Isaac came from the way of the well, LAHAI ROI. And we've kind of talked about what that means. But I want to point it out. Again, LAHAI ROI in Hebrew means God sees you. And so I love how God saw Isaac and his grief. And He sees Rebekah. And for that matter, you guys, He sees all of us. And then Isaac went out to meditate in the field at eventide.
Wait, this is the best; you're like, you're kind of glossing over the most romantic part of the story.
Hit it. Go Jalyn, talk to us about this.
Jalyn Peterson 24:25
So like, you know, she, I don't know why, like, the minute you get to these scriptures, I think it must just have been ingrained in me that, actually, I never thought of the story like this at all until I was in a singles ward. And somebody was up teaching it and this girl is like, what are you doing? You're butchering the story, like it's wrong, man. Like, and after that, I was like, Oh, it really is like you get kind of like woo. Because he goes to meditate in the field and it says he lift up his eyes and he sees the camels coming. And she lifted up her eyes. And then when she saw him she lighted off the camel. And she's like, Who is this man? Like, look at the hottie coming across the field. And he's like, He's my master; this is the one I'm bringing ya to. Go for it.
Well, she puts a veil over her face. And the reason why she veils her face, lest any of us take umbrage with this, it's beautiful. But when a woman veiled her face, it was a symbol of her reverence, her humility, and her virtue, which means POWER. Let's remember! - a symbol of her power. Yeah, okay, carry on.
Jalyn Peterson 24:25
But then in 67. It's 67. It's just, to me, this is the best line in all of Scripture. And you can correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm not that much of a scriptorian. But it's when he said,
64:67 "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death."
But just that whole thing, like, like really reading that and like when else do you? I mean, there probably is a time in Scripture, I don't know. But it's very rare that you just have the husband say, like, "and he loved her". Like, I just, that's my favorite scripture ever, because it just says, "And he loved her".
It's a beautiful scripture.
Aliah Hall 26:16
I just think how courageous Rebekah had to have been; how faithful and like how trusting in the Lord she had to be to leave home to betrothe herself to man she's never met. So like, she just had to really trust the Lord. And I take a lot of courage and heart by Rebekah's story that like, that we can trust the Lord, like we can trust Him that He has a plan for us, you know, and that He is in the details and that we're not left in the wilderness. We're not left alone, we're not left out wandering, that He is guiding our path. And if we allow Him to, and we ask for the things that we want, that He will move heaven and earth to get those things for us.
Jalyn Peterson 27:02
Yeah, absolutely. Well, here's what I want to do really quick, then. I want to flip this on its head; I want to do something that is not normal for this story. I want to look at Rebekah as a type or symbol of Christ. As I was reading this, it dawned on me that she is a symbol of Jesus Christ. And so really quickly, look at this story and tell me how is she a type or a symbol of the Savior? How is a woman like Him? What are some of the actions and things she did that you're like, oh, Jesus did that. Jesus does that.
The serving of a servant, like no respecter of persons, it doesn't matter. You know, there's just a human being in front of me asking for water. And I see a need, and I'm just, I'm going to help fill it and it looks like your camels are hungry, I'm going to do that, too.
Yeah, right? What else? Anything else stand out?
Aliah Hall 27:56
What stands out to me, it's I think we don't always think about Christ as a continual story. We think of like the baby Jesus and then the story goes on. But Christ left his home with our Heavenly Father and ventured here. And Rebekah leaves her home. And her home was like, she had a good home, she had a good family. Like they had means, and she did not know where she was going. She did not know what was going to happen, or how she was going to get through it. But she trusted the Lord and like, and left. And I think Christ had to trust our Heavenly Father and say, Okay, like, here I am. Send me, I'll go, I will go. She was like, I will go.
Jalyn Peterson 28:14
Yeah, yeah, she was about her father's business.
Aliah Hall 28:32
I will go, I will go do this. And I think of how often do we find Christ at the well, which was a very feminine place to be,
Aliah Hall 28:50
Like Christ is constantly at the well
Jalyn Peterson 28:54
Aliah Hall 28:55
Men don't go to the well, that's not their job. They don't go to the well, but He is always at the well.
Always the well. And then he's the Spring. He's Living Water.
Aliah Hall 29:04
And he's the living, you said that. And he says, I'm Living Water. Like, you can draw this, whatever, you can from,
It's not a coincidence that she's providing water to the camels and to the servant. Ah, yeah. It's so good. If she is the Savior, and then and we're talking about us, don't you love 67, then, "and he loved her". Like, and God loved Christ, and God loves us. Like that is who we're talking about here, because then we become like her.
Aliah Hall 29:15
Well, and also, in this same place, and it says, "And Isaac was comforted after his mother's death." And what does Christ do for us? He comforts us. And He comforts us in the death of the people who have gone before us. That because of Him, we know that we will see our loved ones that have gone before us, and that we can be comforted in that grief.
That is really awesome. It is, that's the greatest love story right there. And at the end of the day, it's really a love story about how much God loves us. And He will be with you in your tent. You better believe it. I have such a testimony of that.
Okay, so here's what we're gonna talk about then in the next segment. We know that Isaac was comforted, but what about Abraham? So we're gonna learn about how he was comforted after the death of his wife, Sarah.
Segment 3 30:26
Here we go, here's my question for you: What emotions are usually involved when a parent remarries, either after a divorce, or the death of a spouse? And Aliah, you can go therapist on us, what are we looking at here?
Aliah Hall 30:39
I, so I am a, so I am my husband's second wife, and I am a stepmom. When I became a stepmom, I took that really, really seriously because I think of how stepmoms are portrayed in, Disney, and movies. Like, I am not going to be a wicked stepmom. Like I'm not going to do that. And I have like a stepmoms' group that I participate in. And one of the things that we talk about, with kind of whenever we get like a new, a new step mom, that's a part of the group is that, like, The happiest day of your life is somebody else's really sad day. It's somebody else's really sad day, because it's really hard for the kids. And like, we have to acknowledge that but like, this is my really happy day. But I know that this is like the end of a dream that you had - that your parents would get back together, or whatever the case may be. That like, my happy day is somebody else's sad day, because that is really hard for a family.
Jalyn Peterson 31:40
Like, they're just, it's complex feelings. It can't, it's not one or the other, right? It's gonna be a mixed bag of all of it. Because the situations are always so different. I know that, you know, my family always kind of talked about, I think we would have wished that my mom remarried because she's, you know, she's by herself now. And she loves it that way, though. But I think as a child, you're kind of like, Good, someone take care of him. Right? And we were older. I think it would be totally different like, I mean, you're the one that could speak to this, Tam, of little kids, you know, like Aliah said. Like, it's their sad day as well.
Yeah. And it's sad for about 15 to 20 years, just FYI. (Laughter) There's some good days but a lot of sad for sure, so. It's worthy talking about this and kind of getting into this frame of mind because, let's go to Genesis chapter 25 verse 1 and see what this has to do with Abraham. Jalyn, will you read verse 1.
Jalyn Peterson 32:37
Gen 25:1 "Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
Thank you. Let's highlight that. So he remarries. Now, I can't even imagine; I would never want to fill Sarah's shoes. Holy moly! No, thanks. So we have Keturah. And it's interesting because in this quick little story, he marries a couple of other different women and they're called concubines in verse 6. What we need to know about the word concubine is that it's not the same word that we describe as concubine. So a word concubine in the Old Testament is used to describe women who, in time and culture that they lived, they're legally married to a man, but they have a lower social status than a wife. So we have Keturah, and then some concubines that also married Abraham, and they have a lot of kids. But here's what I thought was so interesting that they kind of want us to know in this story is in verse 5. So in verse 5 and verse 6, it tells us something about how everything's divided out. Did you guys notice - what does Abraham do?
Aliah Hall 33:35
He gives everything to Isaac.
Everything. Yep. But what does he do in verse 6 for the other children?
Jalyn Peterson 33:42
He gives 'em gifts.
and then sends them away.
Jalyn Peterson 33:44
And then says, See ya.
Exactly. Alright, so knowing that this whole story right here, oh, and by the way, I forgot to point this out: I think this is kind of cool, that it's through Keturah that we get Moses' his father-in-law, Jethro. That's the family line right there. So she's a very important person in the story. And we'll find out more about them when we get to Exodus. But just highlight that, make sure you have it there. And Abraham's old because now he's going to pass away, he's 175 years old. And in verse 8, he gives up the ghost. And I love that, because I say that phrase all the time.
Jalyn Peterson 34:14
I do, too. I love it.
'gave up the ghost'. He died a good old age; boy, he surely did, and he was buried in the same cave where Sarah was buried. Now, there's something very important about this whole story. Because when Abraham gives everything to Isaac, how might you be feeling if you were one of the other siblings that just got gifts? Like let's talk real talk, if there's a ton of money, and you are part of a part family, and you don't get any of that cash? And it just goes straight to the birth - the child like, you know what I'm saying? How am I trying to say this?
Jalyn Peterson 34:44
No, I know what you're trying to say. I'm like,
Aliah Hall 34:45
I would not be happy about it, but at the same time, like culturally, I would have known that that's what was gonna happen. Like I would be like hmm. I'm the 17th kid
Yeah, and it's kind of like being the 2nd prince. Like you get some of the glory, but you'll have all the responsibility. Like good; let Isaac take it, you know. But I'm sure that I mean, the fact that, you know, it's like you said, like, we know that Isaac and Rebekah are the, they're the chosen. They're, they're the ones that are going to be, you know, she's in the matriarchal tent like, they're the, they're the leader of the kinsmen. So I think it's like, yeah that's
Jalyn Peterson 35:22
Who's been listening to the podcast!
Yeah, I have for sure.
Hey, sis. Okay, Jalyn, you framed that perfectly. Because this is all we need to know about chapter 25. Go back to verse 5, where it says "and Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac", and write in big letters BIRTHRIGHT. We have to establish what the birthright is before we can go on at all in the book of Genesis. Here's what the birthright is, and we are going to put all of this in our show notes. So don't feel like you have to hurry and write it down. You can copy and paste it, cut it out, whatever.
Basically put, if you receive the birthright, you will then become the next head kinsman, as Jalyn said, and you're going to be in charge of everybody. You become the presiding authority or the patriarch. You will get a double wealth, and because of that double wealth, you then become responsible to use that money to rescue and provide for all the family's needs. You're going to ransom people who are in trouble, you're going to pay off debts, you're going to pay off and buy people back if they are bought as slaves, you're going to also care and provide the sustenance of any mother, any widow, any of their children, any unmarried sisters, or anybody who gets divorced. They'll become your responsibility.
You also get what's called the goodly raiment. And this is believed to be the garment of Adam that's going to be handed down from Adam. And that also gives you your patriarchal duties and to perform all sacrifices. So this is a big deal. And overall, you are a symbol of the Savior to these people. And we talked about this with Kerry Muhlestein; you become this kinsman, this person who provides. And so the birthight is often passed from father to oldest son. However, righteousness was very much more important than being the firstborn. And that's why later on when we get in the story, why Reuben doesn't get the birthright, because he was very unrighteous. So just kind of plug that away for when we come back to that story.
So the birthright that Isaac received from Abraham, it also included all of the blessings and responsibilities of the Abrahamic Covenant. So I like how you both said, knowing what that birthright meant, I think some of the brothers were like, We'll just take our gifts.
Jalyn Peterson 37:26
Yeah. It's like how we put, you know, what, you know, when you're describing it, it's just like families who put things in trusts, right? You put all the wealth in a trust, and then the trust spells out, here's how you're supposed to do it. So I mean, that's how I've always took it as it was like, here you go, you're in charge, you get to divvy it out, you know, the way you see fit with the help of the Lord and pass on the covenant. So,
That's a lot of indigenous peoples are, they still operate. Like I know, Polynesians will have, you know, it's you're very much taking care of the clan. You know, it's, you're using monies from that to go to school, to do that. So they have this, you know, familial duty of coming back and paying that back. So, it's not a completely foreign concept. We still do that.
Aliah Hall 38:15
Well, and I think that there's still, even without the wealth part of it, without the money part, there's still, I mean, at least in my family, like, we all like, who's gonna take care? Like, when we were younger, like, who's gonna take care of mom and dad when they're old? You know, like, oh, it's the first daughter, of course, because
Jalyn Peterson 38:33
Have you divided it out? Have you had conversations like, you get dad, you get mom?
Aliah Hall 38:37
No, because everybody just assumed that like, oh, it will be Aliah, like it'll be Aliah for sure. Like, there was like no question.
Jalyn Peterson 38:45
We just tell the baby that she has to do it because she's the one that gave 'em the most grief on earth. She gave 'em the most grief so like, yeah, sorry, you got to do it.
Aliah Hall 38:54
So there's somebody in the family, where you're just like, yeah, that's you. Yes.
It's usually the oldest. If it's based on righteousness, I probably should mess up. Maybe I should go south real quick.
Jalyn Peterson 39:07
Yeah. Could be time for a midlife, Tam.
A Midlife. For sure, for sure. Okay, well hey, that was awesome. We kind of now know what birthright is. So then here's something fun to think about this. In the next segment, we're gonna find out how this birthright thing plays out when you have twins.
Segment 4 39:22
Everyone turn to Genesis chapter 25. We've already kind of been there and we're gonna start in verse 20. And I asked Aliah if she would come prepared to tell this story. And I'm so excited not only to hear Aliah tell the story, but maybe to give us perspective. This is gonna be good.
Aliah Hall 39:41
Well, I don't know if I have any perspective to give you but I think this is interesting. So Isaac is like 40 years old; he has married Rebekah. She is pregnant with - which I'm sure she didn't know because she didn't have like an OB to tell her that there was like twins in there - but she's like having all sorts of problems with her pregnancy. And she goes to inquire of the Lord. It's like, what is the deal with this pregnancy? Because she had been barren. And like Isaac prayed and was like, my wife spared, but we need some kids. And so the Lord was like, I'll send you some kids. She's like World War Zero going on in her stomach. And she's like, what is happening right now?
And the Lord tells her, you have two nations within you. And that one will roll over the other one, which I think would have been heartbreaking for Rebekah to know, that she has, like that she has two warring nations with like that her children aren't going to get along. And they're, that they're going to like, I can't imagine. And like later on in the story with Rebekah, and the two boys like, I don't know, I struggle with that story a little bit. But like, I can't imagine, at this point that Sarah, or that Rebekah hears this, and isn't heartbroken. That like, my boys aren't going to get along, that one's going to roll over the other one. Like that can't be happy news for her.
Jalyn Peterson 41:11
Absolutely. You know, I think it's so fascinating when I was reading for this and studying, I had never considered, that in verse 23 when the Lord answers Rebekah and says, Here's what's going to happen. There are only a few women who the Lord speaks directly to in the Bible. And this is one of them. Like He didn't go to Isaac, He came to Rebekah. It goes back to what we talked about, she specifically wants to know what is going on. Like you said, there's no one that can tell me, I can't do a sonogram. And she gets that answer. There's two warring inside your womb. And so she gives birth and who does she give birth to, Aliah?
Aliah Hall 41:44
So first she gives birth to Esau. And it says that on his heel, or that like, that Jacob, like, holds on to Esau's heel, and he's born second.
I thought this was interesting, because it talks to us about how when he came out, he was all hairy. And that's what Esau means, is 'hairy'. Jacob means 'heel' or 'footprint' in Hebrew. And so he was holding on to Esau's heel when he came out. And then verse 27 tells us a little bit about these two: that Esau was a cunning Hunter, and that Jacob was a plain man. And now highlight "plain man", because I think this word in Hebrew is awesome. It's actually the word for 'perfect', or 'having integrity'. Kind of shapes the story a little bit, because you wouldn't think he had integrity in the next part of the story. So let's turn the page. And let's go into this part of the story that I'm guessing you have a problem with. Am I right?
Aliah Hall 42:36
Talk to me about this. Let's go to verse 29-34.
Aliah Hall 42:41
It's just really bugs me. And every time I read it, I just am, and I think I was like, so excited to do this with you, Tam, because I'm like, maybe there's something in Hebrew that is going to fix this for me so that I don't have to feel bad about this. Because what happens is that Rebekah and Jacob like plot against Esau to steal his birthright?
Jalyn Peterson 43:11
But did they, did they in light of what she has just been told? Look, that you said that the Lord, you know, that God doesn't speak to women in the Bible. We don't have a record of all those women being spoken to. I think there, you know, had we have the woman perspective?
Jalyn Peterson 43:31
Yeah, they would be getting the same thing, but she is the one who got that. She knows so I think
Okay, so let's go into the story. Let's tell the story right here before we get into what Rebekah does. So here's what we need to know about this story. In verse 29 Jacob sod some pottage, and Esau comes in from the field, and it says he's faint. So Esau says, I am so faint; I need you to feed me. And then in verse 31, Jacob said, All right, well, sell me this day your birthright. Like I know it's supposed to go to you.
Aliah Hall 44:01
It is, it does. It appears shady.
Aliah Hall 44:05
Your brother comes in, he's starving to death. He's been out hunting for the family, getting food for everybody. And you take advantage of his hunger and be like, Well, if you want me to feed you, well, then give me your birthright now.
No, I'm liking Jacob. I'm Team Jacob on this.
You're team Jacob?
Let's just say though, for a minute, look at verse 32. I might tend to believe that Esau lives in hyperbole. Like, I'm gonna DIE if you don't feed me.
Jalyn Peterson 44:33
Yes, that's what I mean. Like he's being so dramatic.
You're not going to die, Esau. Just go in the house and get a piece of bread. I mean, this is me, tho. I would do that. I'm like,
Aliah Hall 44:42
That is your brother. That is your brother!
No, but it seems like something you would do like kidding.
Give him some food.
It seems like something you would do, like kidding.
And then that makes it worse.
Alright, well give me the birthright, I'll give you some of this.
And that makes it worse
Oh, Judy took it.
That's literally worse! I just feel if my kids did this, I would be so angry at them. I'd be like, What do you mean you took your brother's birthright for a piece of bread? Give him that back! Yeah. Right now!
Jalyn Peterson 45:11
You'd step in and make it right. Okay, let's do a cross reference for this then, Aliah. I love this discussion. Let's put to the outside of those verses: Hebrews chapter 12, verse 16. All right, this is a great scripture about Esau. Hebrews chapter 12, verse 16. I want us to read this verse that describes Esau; it might lend us a little bit of a different perspective on who he was as a person. I think it was interesting. Jalyn, will you read that verse for us,
Heb 12:16 "Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright."
Now pause for a second. He calls Esau a fornicator in this verse. I don't know if you noticed that, but mark it, because we talked about this word last week. Because in Greek, it comes from the Greek word EKPORNEUO. And that word means figuratively to be unfaithful to Christ, while posing as His true follower. That's what the word fornicator means. So then if we put that into the perspective of what Esau was, and then Jacob says, Sell me your birthright, now why is Jacob asking Esau to sell it?
Aliah Hall 46:23
He's not a follower of Christ,
Jalyn Peterson 46:25
Not a follower of Christ; he knows he's not the right man for the job to lead all of the kinsmen. He's not the right one to put the the family jewels in his hand.
And now do Esau's words make more sense when he says, What good is it to me if I'm dead? Like, who does he not trust will keep him alive then? There's no room for God or Christ, right? He's like, I mean, if the birthright belongs to him, surely he would have believed like, Alright, fine, then don't feed me. I don't need your stupid food. I'll just go in the house and get some food. Like it just kind of changes for me the way I've always viewed Esau, which, Aliah, I've been on your team forever, until I read this Hebrew Scripture and learned what fornicator was. And I was like, Oh, he was just posing to be a follower. Ah, maybe Jacob then knew that and was like, let's just not even give you the responsibility then, because you don't want it. You won't do it right. Right?
But this is where like, especially in light of, you know, what we're going to talk about in Chapter 27. Like, this is why I think we are so missing Rebekah's perspective. And talking about what we've talked about so far, what we know about her, right? We're pretty, she's someone who serves, she's someone, she's a type of Christ, she
has power, she is humility,
Jalyn Peterson 47:49
And how we talked about how she must have had some sort of conversation with the Lord, to know that she was supposed to go with that servant, she was supposed to do all that. So you can only you know, deduce from that, that she has been having this conversation with the Lord the whole time. And the fact that she went and said, Gosh, I got these things happenin', like, what's going on? And to be told, like, Yeah, this is what's going to happen. My guess is she had more of a divine role in that, like it was going to be almost like Eve. Like, this is how it has to happen.
I think that's awesome.
Aliah Hall 48:26
I totally get that and I totally understand that. But I still think it's shady. Don't you get it? I am putting my hand down on the shady side, like, this whole story is a little bit shady.
I think what's so interesting is, then we have in our story, you know, and you go into Genesis, and you go to Genesis chapter 26, that Esau was 40 years old. And he took to wife, Judith, the daughter of Beeri an Hittite. And Bashemath, the daughter of Elon, the Hittite. They were not of the Covenant, these women. They had nothing to do with the covenant. And Esau's like, I don't care. He marries them. But more than that, he didn't even consult with his parents allegedly. Like, he just went and did it on his own.
And it's interesting, in verse 35, "Which were a grief of mind, to Isaac and to Rebekah." And I think it's interesting in that verse, because immediately you read that and you think of the parents going, Where did we go wrong? How did we? Why didn't we teach him to marry in the covenant? But I don't think Rebekah and Isaac are thinking that way. I think they're thinking, Oh, my gosh, he's, he's not gonna be able to partake of the covenant, or his children. That to me seems more like the grief. Right?
Jalyn Peterson 49:29
Yeah. And it, to me too, this also kind of points towards, you know, if Jacob has been kind of like, we know what birthright means now. We know that it's a heavy responsibility, that you're going to have to take care of everybody. And I could see how as a younger sibling looking at - because he's obviously making choices that are different than what Jacob's making - and thinking man, if he gets the birthright is he going to take care of my family? Is he going to take care of like, I just don't know that he has it in him. And so I'm going to, like, you know, I'm going to find some sort of way to say, Yeah. I mean, you're, doing all this other stuff. If that's what you want, if you're so worried about this bowl of, you know, porridge, over taking care of people. Because he was so self-centered, that Jacob's, like, Oh, he'll go for it. And then I know, like, now I can be the one that's going to serve everybody.
It's like when they had to give all that alcohol to the guards. So they would, you know, you had to use some sort of evil thing to get them all the drops so that the plan could happen, like, the greater good.
Okay, so. Well, let's see if that happens then. So he did sell his birthright, but he still gets the birthright blessing. There's two different things. So he may have sold the birthright verbally to his brother, but let's see what happens with the birthright blessing. And we're going to find that out in the next segment.
Segment 5 50:55
Okay, so we just have to continue this discussion because it is not sitting well with Aliah, and I love it. So let's continue to chat a little bit about this. I think it's important for us to do this.
Aliah Hall 51:15
Yeah, like it just, like Rebekah, who I adore and I just think is like this amazing woman, and I'm sure she was being guided by the Spirit, because why would a mom do that to her child? You know, but like the deception of like, first Esau like sells his birthright. But then Jacob and Rebekah, trick, you know, Isaac.
I feel like we need to shift the frame the way we feel about this, though, because if you can't perform the birthright duty, though, that's far worse than giving it up. Like it is such a sacred, when when we go to
Aliah Hall 51:52
Why not go to the Prophet and say, Hey, we know that Esau cannot handle this?
Jalyn Peterson 51:58
True. True. I don't, I don't know exactly.
Maybe Rebekah and Abraham had belaboured this conversation, like parents do when someone's gone,
You have to remember, he'll marry out of the covenant before the birthright blessing thing happens. So he doesn't even really want a second chance. Why didn't he go straight to his dad and mom and say, at that point, he's like, he marries the covenant. And now marrying out of the Covenant makes him completely null and void to having the birthright.
Aliah Hall 52:26
But it doesn't give them the right to be tricky, and shady.
Okay, I like that, tho.
Aliah Hall 52:32
Like, I totally get it that he's unworthy. I totally get it but it does not give them the right to be shady.
Jalyn Peterson 52:39
Okay. This conversation could not be more perfect, because get a load of this. As I was preparing for today's lesson, I thought this was so interesting. Listen to this: LDS scholars agree that the record does not seem complete, there are key elements missing. And as a result, the overall message can unfortunately be missed. And instead shifts the focus from the Abrahamic Covenant, and instead to Rebekah, and how she fits into one of the - I call it dumb - the dumb 10 archetypes of women in Scripture. So the narrative that we read, it actually shifts the attention for what we should be focusing on to: they did a dirty deed, like you said Aliah. And I love that.
So when we read Genesis, chapter 27, let's go into chapter 27. With that in the back of our minds, which is: we don't have the whole story. We only have what's been translated right here. And so as a result, we do read it with this idea, like, Rebekah was so bad. Like, why would she trick them? And why would you do this with Jacob? The goal is the Abrahamic Covenant. That's the goal and the focus. So now we just have to read this quote by Julie B Beck, because I love how she frames the story in Genesis chapter 27. Aliah, will you read this quote for us by Sister Beck?
Aliah Hall 53:54
The story of Isaac and Rebekah is an example of a man who has the keys and the woman who has the influence, working together to ensure the fulfillment of their blessing. Their story is pivotal. The blessing of the house of Israel depends on a man and a woman who understood their place in the plan and their responsibility to form an eternal family, to bear children, and to teach them. Every young man and young woman should understand his or her role in the great partnership, that they are each an Isaac or Rebekah. Then they will know with clarity what they have to do.
And boy, Rebekah knew what she had to do. It's like that TikTok, she understood the assignment. Right?
Aliah Hall 54:38
Totally understood the assignment.
She absolutely did. So let's go into Genesis chapter 27. And we are going to talk about the assignment. What happens in this story? So I'm going to tell the story and maybe highlight some verses. And if there's anything that you're unsure of, or any questions you have, feel free to just kind of say, Okay, what are we talking about here? So we're going to start with verse 1.
It came to pass that Isaac was old and his eyes were dim. Highlight that. When it says his eyes were dim, it means he's going blind. So he really cannot see anything. And he says to his son, Esau, Hey, I want you to go out and hunt for meat and bring me in some of that delicious meat that you've prepared. And will you do that for me? And Esau's like, You bet, absolutely. In fact, in verse 3 where it says,
27:3 "....therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow and go out to the field, and take me some venison;"
The word 'take' in Hebrew is actually 'hunt'. Hunt me some venison, go out and do this for me. So Esau's like, You bet, I will go do that. Now Rebekah hears what's going on. Because then he, Isaac, also says, And after you do that, (in verse 4), I'm going to bless you before I die. That word 'bless' right there means 'I'm going to give you the birthright blessing'. And so Rebekah, in her mind, going back to when the Lord spoke to her and said, In your womb are two nations that are fighting, and the younger will serve the older, she knows what that means. And she knows that the birthright blessing now belongs to Jacob. So verbally, he got the birthright from Esau, but now he's going to have Isaac, the father who has the birthright, place his hands on his head to then transfer the blessing over.
So it's official, this is what's going to make it official. You will receive this birthright blessing. So in verse 8, Rebekah comes to her son, Jacob, and says, "Obey my voice." And I love this for every parent, I'm going to say this to my kids from now on, "obey my voice", instead of "I need you to listen". Like as Rebekah's saying, Obey my voice, and she says, Go. Go to the flock; I want you to go and bring me two kid goats, because we're going to prepare some meat for your dad. And we are going to then make sure that you get this birthright blessing. I think Jacob, even in your story, Aliah, is like, what are we doing really? Like, are we sure we want to do this? And Rebekah is like, Absolutely, we are going to provide him with the venison that he wants.
And then Jacobs' like, but dad will know it's not Esau, because Esau's hairy, and I'm smooth. And Rebekah says, Okay, what we'll do is we'll use the goat hair from the goat or the kids that we've already killed. And I'm going to put it on your arms and hands. And then look at verse 15. I love this. Rebekah took the 'goodly raiment' of her eldest son. Highlight 'goodly raiment'. And then she takes from her son, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob, her younger son. K, that's important to the story.
Then we go into verse 18. And he comes to his father and says, My Father. And he says, Here am I with, and he's basically like, Here am I with your venison. And here I am to receive the birthright blessing. And Isaac's like, wow, odd because you sound like Jacob. How do I really know this is Esau, and he eats the venison. And then he asks him to come in and he says, Well, let me touch your arms and he touches his arms and he feels that, boy, they are hairy, just like Esau. And now we're going to go into verse 25. He says, I'm going to eat on my son's venison, that my soul may bless the like, I'm going to give you the birthright blessing. He feels his arms.
And then in verse 26, "....his father Isaac said unto him, Come now near and kiss me, my son."
And then verse 27, "And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment;" He smelled the smell of the goodly raiment. And when he smells the goodly raiment, he says, Oh yeah, this is the birthright son, because nobody would put the garment on if you didn't have the birthright. And then in verse 27, Isaac blesses him. And his birthright blessing is in verses 28 and 29. Aliah, will you read the birthright blessing for us.
Aliah Hall 58:24
Gen 27:28 "Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine;
28 "Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee."
And that wording in there, there's specific wording to the Abrahamic Covenant. And I think that's so cool. So he gets the birthright blessing.
Aliah Hall 58:54
And I trust the Lord, I trust the Lord 100%. And I know that it was all meant, everything that is meant to be happens. But that is shady business.
Jalyn Peterson 59:04
I like how Jalyn keeps reminding us though, we don't have her side of the story.
Yeah, a woman's got to do what a woman's gotta do.
Right, yeah. I'd love to know her perspective. But remember, we're trying to remember this is not about Rebekah, though. We have to take that out of the picture and just keep remembering this is about the birthright. This is about the Abrahamic Covenant, and who it belongs to. I mean, again, it goes back to that whole thing where the Lord speaks to Rebekah and says, This is how it's gonna play out. She didn't necessarily want that. I mean, I think it's interesting, because now we're at this crossroads, and she's probably remembering that blessing and thinking, I've got to do what needs to be done; my husband's blind.
Jalyn Peterson 59:39
To me it's like, it's very much, you know, like Adam and Eve. She had a choice before her and she knows, she, the Lord's talked to her. And she knows like, what supposed to be the choice like,
Aliah Hall 59:53
and maybe that's how I reconcile this, that like there has to be opposition and all things, and this was Rebekah's opposition. She had to.
Okay, well, let's find out what happens when Esau comes back from the field from hunting. And Jalyn's gonna lead us in that discussion in the next segment.
Segment 6 1:00:08
Jalyn Peterson 1:00:15
Alright, Jalyn, you're up. What happened when Esau returned? And how did he react? We are looking at verses 30-41.
So Esau comes back from the field and is like, Hey, Dad, I got your yummy venison here. Sit up, and I'll feed it to you, and then you can give me the blessing. And so Isaac says, Who are you? I've already, you know, given the birthright. And Esau says, It's me, your firstborn. And it says that Isaac trembled very exceedingly. And he, that's just fascinating to me, because I think it's probably that dawning on him of, Oh what did I, what just happened here? And he said, Well, who was it that then came? Whose venison did I eat before? Like, who did I, who did I bless? And he says like, I know who it was. It was Jacob; he already took my birthright. Now he's taken the blessing.
And now he, he really throws the tantrum. And like, I'm still starving. He's like, bitter cry No, give me the blessing! You gave it all the him? And then Isaac's just like, Well, you know what, like, I'm sorry, I gave it, I gave it to him. And Esau was like, Well, don't you have anything left for me? Like, is there nothing? And Isaac's just kinda like, well, what would you have me do? And he's like, don't you just have one blessing left?, you know.
And so he does bless him. And I do find this fascinating. And this to me is where it is all about the Abrahamic Covenant, because he still gives him the material blessings. And the blessing is in 39 and 40. And so he still gives him, you know, his "shall be the fatness of the earth and the dew of the heaven....", "And by the sword thou shalt live." Here's the part where you're not getting the covenant, I'm still gonna bless you, you're gonna have, you know, a dwelling with the fatness of the earth and the dew of the heaven above, here's then the material stuff, but you are going to have to, your brother's gonna rule over you. And well,
And now I'm thinking about what Aliah said earlier, though, because Aliah, you said, If my kids were doing that, I would be like, knock it off. We're not doing this. Isn't it interesting that Isaac doesn't fix it,
Aliah Hall 1:02:22
but he does kind of fix it. And in verse 40 He says "that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck."
Jalyn Peterson 1:02:29
But he doesn't reverse the blessing. He doesn't call the boys in and say, I messed up, let's fix this. Which kind of lends me to believe, I wonder if Isaac always knew, too.
Aliah Hall 1:02:37
Well, we knew what we know from when Rebekah first gives birth to the boys that, that Isaac loves Esau but Rebekah loves Jacob. And so this has always been from the beginning: a division of favorites. Who's whose favorite?
Jalyn Peterson 1:02:58
Yeah, and when you think of, you know, this has all come down from Adam. And very, you know, like, we have covenants and ordinances now in the Gospel that it's, I could see how in that day, it's like, well, no, you don't just get a redo. Like, that was really the promise. And this is the symbol of the promise. And, and it's done. There's no, there's no takesy-backsies. I can't go in and reverse it. This is the covenant. You know, they probably took that incredibly serious. So once, you know, once it was given, once it was done, it was done. Like this was a handshake meant everything you know, that you would really want to do this. So the fact that he had done that, I think, I mean, he even asks, even asks Esau What? I gave it away, like, I don't, what do you want me to do? And so he still gives him the material stuff, and the ability to, you know, break the yoke over his brother, the yoke that his brother had the dominion over him. But there's just no way to, you know, get back that birthright and the responsibility of being the one who has to take care of the tribe and pass down the Abrahamic Covenant.
And Esau is so angry in 41, and he hates his brother, and decides, I will kill him. Like, that's it, I want him dead. And again, we have in verse 43, Rebekah says, My son. Obey my voice. Like, I need you to listen to me. And she says, You need to go, you need to leave. In verse 43 she says, Go flee thou to Laban my brother. That's Rebekah's brother. Yes, she goes, go, go live with my brother. And just for a few days, in verse 44, circle few days, because it will actually be 20 years. So that's a whole story we get to cover next week, which is another romantic story, kind of a sad story, actually, but we'll talk about that next week. But I love how she says in verse 45, Why would I want to be deprived of two sons in one day? Like, let's just, you just go and you be safe.
And then we have this story about, in verse 46. And Rebekah says to Isaac, I don't know, I'm just imagining it, at the end of the day when you come and sit with your spouse on the bed and you talk about what happened that day, you know; you're having this conversation right before the news starts. And so verse 46, Rebekah says, I am weary of my life, because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth such as these, which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me? They're just talking like, uh, alright. Esau married out of the covenant, I don't know what I'll do if Jacob does. But I think it's interesting right here, because again, it's not this, what good shall my life do me, as a parent saying, if my child marries out of the covenant it's going to be over. What does she fundamentally know when she says, What good shall my life do me? Go clear back to when she said, I will go. Like, what is she talking about right here?
Jalyn Peterson 1:05:48
Well, she's essentially made her own covenant that she's going to be the matriarch of this. And that, you know, just like Adam and Eve, like, they have to rule together to take care of the whole kinsmen, and to make sure this covenant gets passed down, and that it doesn't die out with, you know. That has to be one of the biggest fears. And so you would have a little bit of that, Man, if I just like, deceive my husband, and like, if I did all that, and then he goes and marries one of those girls anyway, like, what in the world? Like, just kind of like that whole, man, I hope this all works out; hope it all works out God, like, you've told me to do it. And I did it. And now I just kind of hope it all works out.
Aliah Hall 1:06:34
Well, I think if we go back to the beginning of Rebekah's story, where her family blesses her before she goes to meet Isaac, and it says you will be the mother of 10s of 1000s, where she's receiving that part of the, the Abrahamic Covenant, the matriarchal part of that, that she will be the mother of 10s of 1000s. And she's like, if Jacob also marries of the daughters of Heth, or marries out of the Covenant, then all of that is for naught.
Jalyn Peterson 1:07:03
Yeah, it's exactly it. She had to have such an incredible knowledge of those covenants, which tells us so much about Rebekah, that she wasn't just this flighty young virgin who was looking to get hitched. I mean, she really did have this knowledge of who God was and what her mission was here in life. And when we go back to that quote by Sister Beck, I think it was so powerful for me because it made me ask my, the question of myself: Am I getting the job done? Like, am I doing what needs to be done? Because when Rebekah sends Jacob off, she doesn't know what's going to happen. You're going to love the story next week. She's hoping for the best. She's putting all of her trust in the Lord. She's done her part. She did what she could. And now let's hope this all works out.
And so it kind of made me think like, we are all this Rebekah, every one of us. We're trusting in the Lord. But am I getting the job done? Am I learning everything I can about the covenants that I've made with the Lord? It kind of just put it back on me and about on the Abrahamic Covenant. When the prophet's asking us to gather, when he's asking us to let God prevail, what does that really look like in our lives, right? In our own individual lives, not in the lives of our children.
Jalyn Peterson 1:08:18
It's not, and I think this is, I love it, because it's a family story. It's about the family, it's about the struggles in a husband and wife. And they're just trying like, who what, who as a parent can't relate with that of like, jeez, we're doing the best we can. We're teaching them what we think; we may have disagreements and like that, you know, you're just really praying, I'm sending them out there. And I really just hope it's all sinking in, and they're gonna come back safe, and it's all going to go as planned.
But I think there's a lot of comfort in that, too, as a parent, of that, you know, we have the benefit of reading the rest of the story. And knowing how it does, we are the beneficiaries of their hard work. And so I think as parents, you just have to take faith of like, if you're listening to Heavenly Father, if you're, if you're doing, you know, what you have to do, and you're working with your spouse, you know, struggle these things out and figure these things out of what's best for the entire family. Then it is going to work out according to God's plan.
I think that applies to people who aren't married and don't have children, as well. But I think this is really a story of like putting your trust in the Lord, and in the covenant that you've made. You know, we've we've all made covenants, baptism, or in the temple, and that, that those covenants that if we keep our part of the Covenant, that the Lord will keep His part of the Covenant. Like He will, that we have to trust Him. That I think sometimes that's hard to trust that like, like I'm doing the best that I can. And I know that I fall short, and I know that I'm not always perfect, and I know that I don't do all the things I'm supposed to, but I have made covenants and I'm trying to be true to those covenants. And I have to trust that the Lord will work out the parts that I can't.
What you just said is the overall blessing of covenants. That is the role of the kinsman. That is what the Divine Kinsman does for all of us who belong to Him. This is so good. Like, he works out the parts that we can't; He delivers us, he pays our debts, he takes care of us, wow. I just want to sit with that and take some time to believe it. That's the challenge, like to believe that we can take it to Him, and that He will help us. And it's okay to weary the Lord with all of it.
And it'll be interesting, I love next week's story, because this seemingly perfect son that we like to think of as Jacob, now who has the birthright, he's gonna have a wrestle, and there's stuff he's gonna have to figure out. And so we're gonna have a lot of peace with that next week when we study that story. So think about your own wrestle, and are you getting the job done for yourself? That's kind of what our whole goal is with this. So, thank you, ladies.
Aliah Hall 1:11:02
Thanks, Tam. That was wonderful.
Jalyn Peterson 1:11:04
Boy, that was a delightful session.
Jalyn Peterson 1:11:05
Are we done?
We're done. Gather your thoughts and what was your take-away? We talked about a lot today!
Jalyn Peterson 1:11:10
So here's my takeaways. Number one, and I think I have this takeaway every time I read these scriptures, is that I need to be much more specific in my asking of blessings for the Lord, in my asking of very specific signs, to me, personally, of this is the path to take, or this is what to do. And then the other thing is, if Rebekah was, you know, so faithful and able to do all of this, and to have to choose one son over the other, you know, that didn't feel good to her, I'm sure. Like, if she had to go through all of that just to protect that Abrahamic Covenant, how much more serious should I be taking that covenant?
Like I don't think I let the, it weigh on me as much of ,man ,people sure fought and did a lot of stuff to make sure that we had that. And, you know, I think we can easily take that lightly as to what that means and how we let that guide our actions in this life. So to me, it's that. It's the importance of the covenant ,and to trust the Lord more, that I will ask with specificity and trust that that's the answer I'm getting.
Wow. I appreciate that takeaway. That was good.
Thanks, Jalyn. I think for me, my takeaway is that, like, if you're doing what the Lord asked you to do, that is the right thing. I think I often get too caught up in doing the right thing, like what's the right thing to do? According, sometimes according to the world, or according to how other people will perceive it or see it, you know, and for Rebekah, I kind of thought about, like, well, how will this be perceived that I'm doing these things and not like, what is the Lord asked me to do? Doing what the Lord asked us to do is the right thing.
Yes. Amen Aliah.
Jalyn Peterson 1:13:12
Yeah, that's really good.
Okay, I'm just having this full circle moment. Because, Aliah, when you started this out by saying, by nature, women like to make things right, we don't want to ruffle feathers. We want things to be okay. And sometimes it's to our own detriment. And now I'm just thinking that that was Rebekah. She was doing the thing that the Lord needed her to do. And I think how often we as women are afraid of how, like you said, how we will be perceived or not being the peacemaker. And so it's not so fascinating that we then read her story with that same lens, like, you could have done this a better way, you could have done this little more kind, or those were the words we put in, but really, maybe she was just doing it the same way that that's the servant Eliezer did. I don't know. I'm just kind of thinking about that right now. And Rebekah's like, here's how we're going to do this. You're going to get stuff on your arms, and you're going to go put on the garment, and we're going to get venison because that's what has to happen in order for you to have the covenant. And why wouldn't it work? Right? Yeah, whoa, I just had a full circle about that. I've been reading that story that way, this my whole life, because I'm like, I just want everyone to be happy. And let's just be peacemakers.
And sometimes we fear man more than we fear God. And I think Rebekah didn't. She did not fear man, nor, she didn't fear her husband more than she feared God. She didn't fear her children more than she feared God. She was like, This is what God wants to have happen. And I'm going to do it come hell or high water. And so she, like she did not fear men, which is why she's the mother of 10s of 1000s.
Jalyn Peterson 1:14:53
And why she trusted so wholeheartedly you know, in the Lord. Like she was in direct communication with Heavenly Father, and believed that she would get that and deserve that. I can't believe how much I now equate Rebekah with Eve. Like they both have this decision in front of them, these powerful matriarchs, yeah, that just I mean really had to, you know,
I have loved that connection, Jalyn, that you keep coming back to, and it is so good. We included in our show notes, a really cool biblical article about the 10 archetypes of women in the Bible. And it's, we need to be very aware of that as we read our stories about women because when the Bible was being translated, there were certain ways that the women were framed. So I think that's really important for us to recognize as we study the women's stories this year, which is why we're doing unnamed women. We need to tell their stories, and see the good that they did.
Aliah Hall 1:15:49
So love it. Love it.
Thank you, ladies. Wow, I love you both so much. This went swimmingly. I'm so happy about this episode.
Jalyn Peterson 1:15:57
Thanks, Tam, for having us.
All right, I love you both. Well, those takeaways went on for a while. There's just so many takeaways for this. So I would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. Now, if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook, and if you're not following us on Instagram, you should. It's a great place to ask questions. And as you study throughout the week, just go on Facebook and write a little post about what you're learning. Or if you have a question, ask it because we have such a great community where people answer each other's questions with their own experiences. It's awesome.
And then at the end of the week, usually on a Saturday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this specific lesson and let us know what you've learned. I read all of them - my favorite part of Sunday. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sundayOnMonday, and it's such a good idea to go there because that's where we're gonna have the links to all the references, as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion, and glueins - specific quotes that we felt like were important to this discussion that you can cut out and glue into your scriptures. Go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus Original and is brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our so great study group participants were Jalyn Peterson and Aliah Hall. And you can find more information about my friends at LDS living.com/sundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by Erika Free and it is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
And please remember: "he loved her". That means you, because you are God's favorite.
Aliah Hall 1:17:33
I think I'm done. This is, she's like, that was the best face ever.
You just, you're like the cartoon that Hmmm. Do I have to p?
I better go, just in case.
Jalyn Peterson 1:17:52
Okay. I'm gonna go get a water real quick.