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The Blessing of Rebekah - Genesis 24:60 - Part 1

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The Blessing of Rebekah - Genesis 24:60


Part 1

Once Doesn't Count?

Before we can really get started with our topic, we have to look at one scene in more detail, and to do this we go to the book of Genesis, chapter 24. Abraham's servant is to look for a wife for Isaac, but not just any wife - she has to be from his own family. And so Eliezer sets off on a journey to Haran, where he does indeed find a wife - Rebekah. Now Eliezer does not want to stay in Haran for long, but wants to travel home with Rebekah immediately. Before they set off for Canaan, Rebekah is blessed by Laban and her mother. They say to her: "You, our sister, become thousands - ten thousands, and let your seed possess the gate of his enemies."

The fact that Laban calls Rebekah his sister is in the nature of things, but the fact that the mother also calls her a sister in the blessing is worth studying in more detail, which we will do at a later date if we have the time. Today we would like to focus on another detail. First of all, a question: Who are Rebekah's enemies?

If you wanted to summarize the blessing of Genesis 24:60 with a short headline, it could read something like this: Let numbers speak! And indeed, the groundbreaking interpretation can be found in the numbers.  During our research, we found that the translators have interpreted the numbers as multiplication, as in the German Elberfelder Bible, for example, but this changes the actual meaning and also obscures the mystery of the blessing. However, if we leave the thousands and tens of thousands to stand on their own, then we can take a first prophetic hint from this: Rebekah will give birth to twins. What was the blessing? "Her seed will be thousands and tens of thousands."

The first number stands for the first-born and his descendants and the second number for the second-born and his descendants. Now the first number is smaller than the second, which indicates that the number of descendants of the first will be smaller than the number of descendants of the second. At the same time, the smaller number represents the smaller blessing for the first and the second number represents the greater blessing for the second. And this is how it actually happened historically. Rebekah gives birth to twins. Esau, her first-born, sold the birthright to his brother Jacob, the second-born. We find the change from the first to the second several times in both the Old and the New Testament.

Told Twice Is A Better Testimony

A second time we read about the change in the history of another pair of twins. Even if it is still unknown, the two we are now talking about were twins. We are told about them in the story of Joseph. These were Manasseh and Ephraim. It is easy to deduce the twin birth from the translation of the name Ephraim, because his name means: double fruit. The word double contains a temporal moment that indicates approximate simultaneity, meaning that Asnath, Joseph's wife, gave birth to two boys on the same day.

Prophetically, the name also indicates that Ephraim will take precedence over Manasseh. And as we will now see, the numbers come full circle for the first time when Moses pronounces the blessing on Joseph. Deuteronomy 33:17: "His is the majesty of the firstborn of his bull (Joseph); and horns of the wild ox are his horns (Manasseh and Ephraim). With them he will strike down the nations all the way to the ends of the earth. And these are the tens of thousands of Ephraim, and these are the thousands of Manasseh."

The Horns Of The Wild Ox

In Micah 4:13, the horn of Manasseh is described in more detail: "Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion! For I will turn 'your horn' into iron and your hooves into brass, and you will crush many nations; and I will banish their spoil to the Lord and their wealth to the Lord of all the earth." We have thus identified the right horn of the wild ox. Now let's look at the description of the left horn. In Jude 1:14 we read about the coming of the sons of Ephraim, who will strike down the nations with - his horn. The fact that the prophecy refers to Ephraim is indicated by the number: "Behold, the Lord (Joseph) has come in the midst of his holy ten thousands (Ephraim)".

From the overall context of what has been said, we can conclude that Manasseh's thousands are on earth and Ephraim's tens of thousands come from heaven. Together, they cast down the nations. They then rule with a rod of iron, just as the Lord personally prophesied in Revelation 2:26-28: "And he who overcomes and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations; and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron, as potters' vessels are shattered, just as I also received from my Father; and I will give him the morning star."

Let us summarize what has been said so far. Rebekah's seed refers directly to her two twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau stands for the thousands and Jacob for the tens of thousands. With the second pair of twins, the prophecy is continued by repeating and confirming the numbers in reverse order (according to their position). The prophecy is then expanded with a figurative description that sheds a brighter light on the numbers, on the wild ox and its horns. Joseph forms the wild ox and his sons represent the horns; Micah 4:13 and Jude 1:14. Jacob's decision to choose Ephraim over Manasseh is independent of their behavior, thus God's hint to Rebekah that the older Esau will serve the younger Jacob is taken up again and continued. In this way, God also confirms that all things are right and that they are going according to his plan.

All Good Things Come In Threes

Now there is another pair of twins, the sons of Tamar. We have already dealt with their story in another script, see here, but in this script we want to look at the position of the sons. As Tamar's birth approached, the midwife realized that she was carrying twins. However, something strange happened during the birth. The report records the following: "And it came to pass, while she was delivering, that one put forth his hand, and the midwife took it, and bound a thread of scarlet about his hand, saying, This one came forth first. And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out, and she (the midwife) said, "How did you break through? Upon you be the breach! And they gave him the name Perez."

In the genealogy, Perez is listed as the firstborn and is therefore always named before his brother Zerah, for example in the Gospel according to Matthew: "But Judah begat Phares (that is Perez) and Zara (that is Zerah) of Tamar." The genealogy then continues with Perez, but Serah (Zara) remains unmentioned: "Phares begat Esrom, and Esrom begat Aram ..." Although the midwife had clearly identified Zerah as the firstborn according to the birth record, this fact is tacitly ignored throughout the Bible. What does God mean by this?

It's time to do the puzzle again and so we look for the pieces in the Scriptures. The first time a certain Zerah is mentioned in the genealogy of Esau is in Genesis 36. Esau? We pick up the scent. The previous chapter describes the future history of Esau and this is supplemented by the story of Tamar. The central message of the birth of the twins Perez and Zerah is: "The third change" and this in turn is confirmed by the Zerah of Genesis 36.  

The father of Zerah in Genesis 36 is called Reghuel; his name means friend of God, a designation that only applies to believers in the Old Testament, such as Abraham or Moses. The last friend of the Old Testament era is John the Baptist. Serah's grandfather is called Esau and we know that he sold the birthright for a red lentil. The red crimson thread on the hand of the other Zerah indicates that he will heal the breach with his brother Perez.

The Crimson

Before we come to the description of the crimson, a note: In the following sections, the reader will find a series of coincidences over which – Injun's honor  - we have no influence. But now we come to the description of the crimson thread. The cord on Serah's wrist is the color of arterial blood and is mentioned in Genesis 25 as the material for building the mobile sanctuary, in sixth place. Now all the building materials can be assigned to the letters of the apostle Paul in order, i.e. the crimson is assigned to the sixth letter of the apostle Paul, the letter to the Philippians. The apostle re-establishes the connection between the unequal twins with the letter to the Philippians (metaphorically with the crimson thread).

After the connection is made, the thirteenth letter, the one to Philemon, heals the broken relationship and that is a fragrant odor for God, which is represented by the thirteenth material for the mobile sanctuary, the fragrant spices. It may be hard to believe, but the mother of the other Serach confirms the attributions through her name - Basmath - which quite coincidentally means: fragrant. We then find the blissful finale to the story of the unequal twins in the 3rd letter of John. The relationship between the brothers is restored and cordial, making them true friends. The apostle John puts it quite simply at the end of his letter: Friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

Where Aand How Does Reconciliation Take Place?

The place of reconciliation is in the sixth church of Revelation, in Philadelphia. The Lord has given Esau - or should we say Perez? - an open door to heal the breach with Zerah and also with the Messiah. The work of our beloved Lord offers forgiveness to all, including Esau and Jacob (or was it Peres and Zerah? So be it!) In the letters to the Philippians, Philemon and the third letter of John, the twins have solid and at the same time lovely instructions for action, also for new eventualities arising in Philadelphia. Reconciliation works like this, made possible by the one who loves us both, our beloved Lord Jesus Christ.

The Meaning of The Gate In The Bible

Do we remember the opening verse? "You, our sister, become thousands, tens of thousands, and your seed possess the gate of its enemies." Now, the gate is considered a metaphor for law, jurisdiction and general administration. As we learned above from Revelation 2, the overcomers, Ephraim and Manasseh (or was it Jacob/Esau or Perez/Serah?), are given the power of government in the 1000-year kingdom of peace. What this could look like in its sweetest version is impressively described in the Book of Ruth.

They Are Coming In Order To Stay

It happened one spring day that a small group of travelers entered the tranquil town through the gate, not to move on, but to take up residence. The townspeople soon remembered the older woman and suddenly realized that trouble was coming. The arrival of the two women has challenged the town with unresolved legal issues, but none of the town leaders dare to tackle the tricky matter, perhaps also because it requires extensive legal knowledge of immigration law, real estate law, inheritance law, family law, social law, etc. and then there are also registry office matters to sort out. In short, the Bethlehemites feel that they are not responsible for the affairs of a foreigner and are almost overwhelmed, except for one person.

And he enters the scene almost as if in passing. Nevertheless, he finds time for a personal conversation. On the side, he observes attentively, asks friendly questions, informs himself carefully and discreetly. And then it comes the day when he takes matters into his own hands. One morning we see him hurrying straight to the town hall and once there, he puts Ruth's affairs, and therefore also those of her mother-in-law, on the agenda. The events are described straightforwardly with the words: And Boaz went up to the gate and sat down ... Chapter 4:1.

By the end of the story, all legal matters will have been settled to everyone's satisfaction. And the best thing about this story is that all the inhabitants of Bethlehem share in the exuberant joy and great happiness of the Moabitess Ruth, but Naomi, her Jewish mother-in-law, is particularly happy. All this was only possible because of the One, the friendly Ephraimite.

Note: The most famous Ephraimites were Joshua and Samuel, who are also a foreshadowing of the Messiah.

Who are the enemies?

Do we still remember the opening verse? "You, our sister, become thousands and tens of thousands, and let your seed possess the gate of its enemies." It is difficult to identify enemies in the book of Ruth, so we have to go further back in history and hurry to Egypt and back. Moses led the people out of the land of their bondage and after 40 years of wandering, Israel conquered the land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. From then on, Israel dwelt in their land promised by God and their judges sat in the gates of their cities and judged, as we find described in the Book of Ruth and the Book of Judges. For this reason, no accounts can be found from that era that could tell of the seed of Rebekah sitting in the gates of their enemies. And if Israel remained faithful to the Lord, such a situation would never occur. The prophetic blessing of Laban and the mother of Rebekah would thus be invalid and we could conclude the script with these words.

But firstly, everything turned out differently and secondly, than you might think.

Dividing Of The Kingdom And the Deportations

The period of the Judges was followed by the period of the kings, with the first three kings ruling over the whole of Israel for around 120 years. After the death of King Solomon, however, the kingdom split into two kingdoms: the northern kingdom, which from then on was called Israel, and the southern kingdom, which from then on was called the Kingdom of Judah. Despite the division into two kingdoms, neither Israelites (from the northern kingdom) nor Jews (from the southern kingdom) sat in the gates of their enemies. It was only as a result of the exile that Israel and Judah were scattered throughout the world, with the majority of them not living in their own country.

In The Time Of The Diaspora

The inhabitants of Israel were taken into exile by the Assyrians in 722 BC. Around 606 BC, Nebuchadnezzar began to depopulate the land of Judah and deport them to Babylon. In four stages, the country was emptied except for a small remnant. However, after just a few years in exile, some Jews, such as the prophet Daniel, rose to high positions through their willingness to learn and diligence, including Mordecai, who is explicitly referred to as "Mordecai the Jew". Esther 10:3 emphasizes that he sat in the gate of King Ahasuerus.

During Mordecai's term of office, a certain Haman climbs the political ladder at breakneck speed. Having reached the pinnacle of power, he turns out to be an enemy of the Jews. Esther, who is Mordokai's cousin, becomes queen and, together with Mordokai, exposes the enemy of the Jews, who is then hanged on the king's orders. In the twelfth month of that year, all other enemies of the Jews were killed on the very day that Haman had planned to exterminate all the Jews of the Medo-Persian Empire.

Haman proved to be an enemy of the Jews and enemies also lived in all 127 regions. Their numbers can be roughly estimated by the number of those who were killed. On the 13th of the twelfth month, the Jews killed a total of 75,500 men throughout the empire and on the following day another 300 men were killed in the castle of Shushan by order of the king.

Is this the blessing of Laban and the mother of Rebekah? Let us read the verse again: "You, our sister, become thousands, tens of thousands, and let your seed possess the gate of his enemies." It is true, Mordecai sat in the gate, but it did not belong to him, it belonged to King Ahasuerus and he was not an enemy of the Jews. His name reveals something of his fine character, it is translated as: "Quiet and pure". What a beautiful name, isn't it? His name reminds us of the blessed ones in Matthew 5.

  • "Blessed are the pure in heart ...; let us hear it: Pure!
  • "Blessed are the meek ...; there he is again, the quiet and meek.
  • "Blessed are the afflicted ..." Those who have such a king can truly count themselves lucky.

Before the Quiet and Pure One takes up his messianic kingship and places the government of the cities in the hands of his faithful workers, the storm of indignation and rebellion will blow through the gates and shoo over the whole earth. Then there is no stopping it. We hope that every reader is aware that this hurricane cannot be stopped by anyone, not even by men of the caliber of Noah, Daniel and Job. Only through their own righteousness, God says, these three would only be able to save their own souls. We can take comfort from the fact that God will still find such righteous people.    

In the next script, we take a closer look at the gate occupiers. -> Part 2

Berlin, February 29, 2024


© Copyright by H. Randy Rohrer

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