Genesis 38-40

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Genesis chapters 38-40.

XXXVIII. Judah’s Family and His Liaison with Tamar (Genesis 38).

• This is a sad and sordid chapter of disobedience and death yet – a ray of
grace appears.
• Judah went to visit his friend Hirah, an Adullamite, and has an extended
relationship with an unnamed Canaanite woman, a daughter of Shua, who bears
him three sons: Er, Onan, and Shela.
• Before Er dies for his rebelliousness, Judah found a wife for him named
• Judah then explains to Onan that the brother of a dead husband must marry
the widowed wife (his sister-in-law) and produce an heir in order to keep
the lineage of the deceased brother alive.
• This is called a Levirate marriage in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Levir means
• Onan knew any baby Tamar bore would not be his heir but his brother’s so
he resists getting her pregnant.
• This was a serious thing to the Lord and He takes Onan’s life.
• Judah sends Tamar back to her father’s house until Judah’s youngest son,
Shelah, is old enough for marriage.
• Though Shelah has grown up, Judah does not keep his promises and Tamar
takes matters into her own hands.
• She disguises herself as a cult prostitute and Judah visits her.
• She asks for three things as a pledge of payment – a signet, a cord, and
a staff – until Judah pays her with a young goat from his flock.
• When Hirah is sent to find her and make the exchange she could not be
• Judah discovers that Tamar is pregnant by immorality and orders that she
must be put to death.
• Tamar reveals that the father is Judah and she has his signet, cord, and
staff to prove it.
• Tamar gives birth to twin boys, Perez (‘breach’) and Zerah (to arise or

XXXIX. Joseph Resists Seduction but is Sent to Prison (Genesis 39).

• Joseph becomes a successful steward in the house of Potiphar for the Lord
was with him.
• He is put in charge of all of Potiphar’s house.
• Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph.
• He resists her efforts at seduction by refusing to displease God (What a
shining star Joseph is amid some of the dark stories within his own family).
• Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses him of assault and holds the
circumstantial proof – his garment.
• Joseph is dumped into prison for two years (The word for “pit” and
“dungeon/prison are from the same word in Hebrew).
• Even in prison Joseph assumes a place of successful management.

XL. Joseph Accurately Interprets the Dreams of Pharaoh’s Cupbearer and
Baker (Genesis 40).

• Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker offend the leader of Egypt and are sent to
prison where Joseph is confined.
• Pharaoh’s former officials have dreams while in prison.
• By God’s intervention, Joseph accurately interprets the dreams of
Pharaoh’s former cupbearer and baker – good news for the cupbearer but not
so much for the baker.
• Though the cupbearer promised to remember Joseph once he was restored he
promptly for got him.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• By the grace of God, the great blessing of hope flows through undeserving
Judah, the predecessor of Jesus.

• Another limb appears in Jesus’ family tree because both Tamar and Perez
are listed in His genealogy – demonstrating the grace of God. Boaz, who
marries Ruth, comes through Perez’s line (cf. Ruth 4:18-22; Mathew 1:3).

• Joseph is a type of Christ who shows, in all he does, that God is with
him (cf. Luke 2:52).

Genesis 36-37

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Genesis 36-37. Tin chapter 37 we begin an
extended look at the life of Joseph and the unfolding plan of God for His
covenant people.

XXXVI. The Descendants of Esau (Genesis 36).

• Esau took foreign wives among the Canaanites, an action deliberately
avoided by the patriarchs throughout the narrative.
• Esau lives in Edom, away from Jacob.
• An extensive record of Esau’s descendants is listed including the chiefs
of clans and kings while the line of promise continues through Jacob.
• The Edomites become the avowed enemies of Israel.
• Esau’s son, Eliphaz (v.10) is the father of Amalek (v. 12) and the
Amalekites also becomes enemies to Israel.

XXXVII. The History of Jacob and the Life of Joseph (Genesis 37).

• The biblical narrator gives a record of Jacob’s family, indicating the
separate human destinies between Jacob and Esau.
• Repeating the same mistake of his own parents, Jacob favors his second
youngest son, Joseph, the firstborn of his beloved Rachel, over his eleven
other sons.
• Over the next 14 chapters Joseph will be mentioned more than twice as
many times as Jacob.
• At the age of 17, Joseph gave a poor report to his father about his
• Jacob openly shows his favor of Joseph by giving him a robe of many
• Joseph has a dream about his brothers’ sheaves bowing down to his sheaf,
then foolishly sharing his dream with them, provoking their hatred and
• Joseph has a second dream about the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing
down to him, tells everyone about it, and this even irritates his doting
• Joseph’s brothers are tending their father’s sheep when Israel (Jacob)
sends Joseph to check on his brothers and report back to him.
• Joseph’s brothers see him coming and conspire to kill him, toss his body
him into a pit and say some wild animals attacked him.
• Reuben intervenes, suggests just tossing him into a pit (a dry cistern) –
so that he might later rescue him.
• When Joseph arrives, they strip off his coat and throw him into a pit.
• As the brothers are eating they observe a group of Ishmaelite traders
traveling from Gilead to Egypt.
• Judah suggests selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites, avoiding murder, and at
least making a profit.
• The words Ishmaelites and Midianites are used interchangeably.
• The brothers sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver.
• The brothers take Joseph’s robe, kill a goat, dip the robe in the blood,
and bring it to their father.
• Jacob is devastated.
• The traders who bought Joseph take him to Egypt and sell him to Potiphar,
the captain of Pharaoh’s bodyguard.

Jesus in the Old Testament

The story of Joseph contains some of the richest parallels (types) of Jesus
in the OT. Typology can go too far but, used carefully, it also provides
another layer of understanding to the life of Joseph, revealing God is in

• Jesus is loved by His heavenly father, as Joseph was loved by his earthly

• Jesus is hated and rejected by his own, as Joseph was rejected by his

Genesis 33-35

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Genesis 33-35.

XXXIII. Jacob is Reunited with Esau (Genesis 33).

• Jacob sees Esau coming towards him with a band of 400 men.
• Esau unexpectedly embraces Jacob and marvels at his brother’s family and
evident blessings.
• Esau refused any other gifts from Jacob, being content with what he had,
but after Jacob’s insistence receives them.
• Esau’s face was like the face of God to Jacob for it was the face of
• Esau offered Jacob assistance in traveling but went ahead of Jacob to
• Jacob journeyed to Succoth (‘booths’) where he stayed a while and built a
house for his family and booths for his livestock.
• Later on Jacob moved to Shechem, bought land, and built an altar. His
time in Shechem would have terrible implications for his family.

XXXIV. Jacob’s Daughter is Assaulted and His Sons Seek Revenge (Genesis 34).

• Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob, heads out to see the other women
of the territory.
• While she is away from her family, Shechem rapes her.
• Jacob and his sons are enraged.
• Men are supposed to protect their women and failure to do so implies
• Hamor suggests that Jacob’s sons intermarry with the Hivites and Jacob’s
sons answer Hamor and Shechem dishonestly.
• They want revenge for the way Shechem treated their sister.
• They claim that they cannot give their sister to Shechem in marriage
because he’s uncircumcised.
• Jacob’s sons offer a condition: If all the males among Hamor and
Shechem’s clan get circumcised, then they can all intermarry.
• Hamor and Shechem agree to the deal. Now all they have to do is sell it
to persuade the rest of the men in the city.
• Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, go to the city and slaughter all the
men, including Hamor and Shechem, while they’re still recovering from their
procedure while the other brothers loot the city.
• This act of revenge put not only the family at risk but God’s promises to
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

XXXV. God Blesses Jacob but He Loses Rachel and Isaac in Death (Genesis 35).

• God commands Jacob to go to Bethel (‘house of God) where he had seen the
angels ascending and descending on a ladder and to build an altar.
• When Rebekah’s nurse Deborah dies, she’s buried near Bethel under an oak
which is called Allon-bakuth (‘oak of weeping’).
• God reappears to Jacob and refreshes His covenant with Jacob and his name
change to Israel.
• In verse 11 God identifies Himself as the God Almighty (‘El Shaddai’).
• Rachel goes into labor and bears a son with the help of a midwife, who
encourages her with the news that she’s bearing a son.
• Rachel died in childbirth giving her son the name Ben-oni (‘son of
sorrow’) but Jacob gives him the name Benjamin (‘son of the right hand’).
• Rachel is buried on the road to Bethlehem. Jacob sets up a pillar to mark
her grave.
• Reuben sleeps with his father’s concubine. This will have drastic
consequences for him later on.
• Isaac dies at 180 and is buried at Hebron.

Jesus in the Old Testament

God promises to Jacob the land, many descendants, and nations and kings –
for through his line will come the King of kings.

Death is an inevitable reality in Genesis but because of the gospel is the
promise of life through Jesus Christ.

Genesis 31-32

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Genesis 31-32, the heart of the Jacob

XXXI. Jacob and His Family Flee from Laban for His Homeland (Genesis 31).

• Six years earlier Jacob had a yearning to return home (30:25).
• God in His grace, spoke to Jacob at every major turning point of his life.
• Since he was aware that his wealth (God had been unusually blessing him)
was causing his wife’s family’s attitude toward him to change, God directed
him to return to the place of his birth.
• Rachel and Leah were in agreement that if God was in this, it was time
for them to pack up and move.
• While Laban is shearing his flocks, unknown to Jacob Rachel steals all of
Laban’s household idols, and they flee in fear (31:31).
• Rachel took the household idols because she was hurt by her father’s
deceptive behavior.
• Laban tries to go after Jacob and Rachel, but God intervenes through a
dream and warns Laban to back down.
• It took one week for Laban to catch up with Jacob, and after some
idol-searching and Jacob fuming, the idols were discovered.
• Jacob and Laban made a truce, built a watchtower of stones that served as
both a symbol of their agreement and a boundary marker dividing their lands.
• Jacob offered a sacrifice to the Lord and swore by the, “Fear of his
father Isaac” or, the God Isaac feared.

XXXII. Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau but He Meets God (Genesis 32).

• As Jacob moves closer to his homeland the angels of God attend to him.
• Jacob sends messengers ahead of him to meet Esau in an attempt to make
• Esau receives the message and sends word that he and 400 of his men will
meet Jacob.
• Jacob reacts in panics fearing that Esau is going to kill him (cf. 27:41).
• He sends a gift to Esau to pacify him.
• Jacob prays to God for protection, and afterwards, divides his family
into two camps.
• He crosses over the Jabbok river alone where he wrestles with a “man”
until daybreak.
• The Lord pulls Jacob’s out of joint yet, ironically, the Angel said that
he prevailed.
• Jacob said he saw God face to face and prevailed.
• This was the moment Jacob learned to wholly depend on the Lord.
• Jacob walked with a limp for the rest of his life, a constant reminder of
this moment when he learned dependence and God transformed him.
• Jacob is renamed Israel – ‘striven with God’ or ‘prince with God.’

Jesus in the Old Testament

The “man” Jacob wrestled with was “God’ (v. 30), “the Angel of the Lord”
(Hosea 12:4. Jacob wrestled with Jesus in a remarkable pre-incarnate
theophany of the Second Person of the Trinity.

Genesis 29-30

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Genesis 29-30.

XXIX. Jacob is Tricked by Laban and Marries Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29).

• Jacob heads east when he encounters some shepherds at a well with a large
stone at its mouth.
• Shepherds would roll the stone away daily to water all their flocks at
• Laban’s daughter, Rachel, arrives to water her sheep.
• In an act of sheer prowess, Jacob removes the stone all by himself and
waters his uncle’s sheep for Rachel.
• God will do what He needs to in Jacob’s life so that he does not rely on
his physical strength.
• Spontaneously, Jacob kisses Rachel and weeps.
• When Jacob lets her know he is her relative, Rachel runs to tell Laban
that Jacob had arrived.
• Laban runs to welcome Jacob and calls him “my bone and my flesh” and he
stays and serves Laban for a month.
• Laban desires to pay Jacob a fair wage and Jacob declared his desire to
work for seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage.
• Leah’s eyes were weak, the Hebrew word is soft.
• The seven years passed quickly for Jacob but on the night of his wedding
Laban throws a big wedding party but eventually sends Leah to Jacob’ s tent.
• Come morning, Jacob realizes it’s Leah and confronts Laban about the
deception. The heel-grabber has been tricked by the deceiver.
• Laban points out that it’s not custom to marry off a younger sibling when
the older is still unmarried.
• He offers the same terms for Rachel and Jacob able to marry her before
the seven years of service are up.

XXX. Jacob’s Family and Wealth Expands (Genesis 30).

• God blesses Leah because she is unloved by Jacob, while Rachel is left
• Leah gives birth to Reuben (son), Simeon (heard), Levi (attached) and
Judah (praise).
• She thought Jacob would love her because she bore him sons.
• It was with Judah’s birth that a breakthrough occurred. The fuller
meaning of Judah’s name is “this time I will praise the Lord.”
• Rachel is envious of her sister’s children and in despair gives her
servant, Bilhah, to Jacob and gives birth to Dan (judged), and later
Naphtali (wrestling).
• Leah then gives her servant, Zilpah, and she gives birth to Gad (good
fortune) and Asher (happy).
• Leah bargains for her husband’s attention with her sister from some
mandrakes and gives birth to Issachar (wages).
• Then Leah conceives again and gives birth to Zebulun (honor) and a
daughter, Dinah.
• God opened Rachel’s womb and she gives birth to Joseph (may He add).
• Leah has eight children to Rachel’s three children.
• Jacob asks Laban for permission to move out on his own with his family
and pays him with all of the speckled goats.
• Jacob had figured out a way for the flocks to produce more speckled goats.

Jesus in the Old Testament:

• Jacob’s fourth son is Judah, the kingly tribe, the one through whom the
covenant continues and his future descendant will be known as the lion of
the tribe of Judah.

Genesis 27-28

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Genesis 27-28.

XXVII. Jacob Commits Identity Theft and Steals Esau’s Blessing (Genesis 27).

• Isaac’s vision is fading as his years advance.
• He calls for Esau to visit him desiring to bless his eldest son after he
first hunts and prepares a meal for hm.
• Rebekah overhears the conversation between Isaac and Esau and devises a
plan for Jacob to acquire his father’s blessing.
• Jacob puts on some of Esau’s clothing and straps some animal fur on his
back and hands as Rebekah prepares a meal.
• Jacob approaches his nearly blind father pretending to be Esau.
• Isaac eats and drinks and then kisses Jacob, sensing the smell of Esau
but hearing the voice of Jacob.
• Isaac feels the goatskin Jacob is wearing which deceives him into
thinking it was Esau.
• Isaac gives Jacob his blessing.
• When Esau returns Isaac and Esau both realize what Jacob had done and
Esau erupts in despair.
• Verse 33 says, “The Isaac trembled very violently.” Literally, “he
trembled a trembling, a great, unto excess.”
• Esau pleads for a blessing of his own and the best Isaac can pronounce is
a “blessing” away from the land.
• Esau would live by the sword.
• Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, would become persistent enemies of the
• Rebekah overhears Esau plotting to kill Jacob so urges Jacob to flee to
her extended family in Haran.
• Jacob’s flight to Laban for a “little while” became twenty years and
Rebekah never saw him again.

XXVIII. God Appears to Jacob En Route to Uncle Laban’s Home (Genesis 28).

• Isaac blesses Jacob and prohibits him from marrying a Canaanite.
• He is to marry a woman from Rebekah’s family.
• Isaac blesses Jacob making it clear that he is the heir to the promises
God made to Abraham.
* As he flees to Uncle Laban’s home, he stops for a night, and using a
stone for a pillow, falls asleep.
• Jacob dreams of a ladder that rises all the way to heaven.
• In his dream he sees angelic messengers going up and down the ladder.
• God appears to Jacob and tells him that land of Canaan will be given to
him and his descendants.
• Jacob is aware that God has appeared to him, takes the stone he used as a
pillow, sets it apart as a pillar, and re-names the place Bethel – or
“house of God.”
• Jacob dedicates himself to the Lord.

Jesus in the Old Testament

Jesus applies the image of Jacob’s ladder to Himself as the Mediator
between God and man (cf. John 1:51; also, 1 Timothy 2:5).

Genesis 25-26

?#?OTin52? – Today we read Genesis 25-26:

XXV. The Death of Abraham and the Birth of Esau and Jacob (Genesis 25)

• Abraham marries Keturah, she gives birth to six sons, Abraham dies full
of years (175), and is gathered to his people.
• He left all of his inheritance to Isaac to preserve the patriarchal line
and gave gifts to the rest.
• Isaac and Ishmael bury him with Sarah in Machpelah in Ephron, the cave
Abraham bought years earlier.
• God blesses Isaac as he settles in Beer-lahai-roi.
• Ishmael’s descendants become twelve princes and he dies at 137 and was
gathered with his people.

Isaac prays to the Lord for barren Rebekah to become pregnant and after
twenty years of marriage God answers with twins.
• The babies wrestle in her womb causing Rebekah to inquire of the Lord.
• God prophetically tells her two nations are within her womb and, contrary
to the social custom of the day, the elder will serve the younger.
• The firstborn is Esau, and he’s red (‘adom, from which we get Edom) and
hairy (se’ar, from which we get Seir).
(Physical descriptions of someone’s appearance in the Bible are very rare).
• The second-born is Jacob – ya’aqob – who is grabbing the heel – ‘aqeb –
of Esau. Jacob literally means, “a heal-grabber, conniver.”
• Isaac loves Esau because he is a skillful hunter.
• Rebekah loves Jacob who is quiet and stays near the tents.
• One day Jacob is preparing some stew as Esau comes in from the field
absolutely famished.
• Jacob barters some stew for his brother’s birthright.
• Esau is so hungry he’d give anything for some food so he heedlessly parts
with his birthright, and in return, Jacob gives him some lentil stew (with
some bread, free of charge!).
• Esau eats and drinks but he didn’t value his birthright.

XXVI. The Promise of God’s Protection and Provision to Isaac Amid Famine,
Fear and Fights over Wells (Genesis 26).

• Isaac leaves Canaan to escape a famine and lives in Gerar.
• God repeats to Isaac the covenant He made with Abraham but like his
father, out of fear, tries to pass off Rebekah as his sister within
Abimelech’s domain.
• God blesses Isaac with great wealth.
• He quarreled with the Philistines in the land over wells his father once
• God appears to Isaac in Beersheba, repeats His promise and Isaac builds
an altar and worships.
• He forms a treaty with Abimelech.
• Esau marries two Hittite woman caused great turmoil for Isaac and Rebekah.

Jesus in the Old Testament

In spite of the flaws and weaknesses of His people God still works out His
purpose and keeps His promise to one day send the Redeemer and Redeem the


Come join us for worship this Sunday.

Pastor Paul will continue his series *The Sent Church* with his message
“Good News for Rebels and Terrorists.”

His passage will be Acts 9:1-19

Service times are 9 and 11 am.

Genesis 24

XXIV. Abraham’s Servant Secures Rebekah as Isaac’s Wife (Genesis 24).

• Isaac is 40 years old and unmarried.
• Two things were very important to Abraham in securing a wife for Isaac:
(1) He did not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman because the Canaanites
worshipped false gods. (2) Abraham wanted to be sure Isaac did not go back
to the land that Abraham had come from.
• Abraham binds his servant, may have been Eliezer, his oldest and most
trusted servant, with an oath to find a wife for Isaac among his own
• The servant will be released from the oath only if the selected woman
refuses to return to Canaan with him.
• Abraham’s servant prepared for his trip to Mesopotamia and upon arriving
in the city of Nahor, near Haran or possibly Haran itself. Nahor is also
the name of Abraham’s brother. He waits outside the city at evening as
women come to the well to draw water.
• Abraham’s servant prays to God and arranges a test to see which woman
would give him water to drink as well as his camels.
• Rebekah arrives and offers the servant water to drink and draws water for
the camels.
• The servants presented her with a ring and arm bracelets for water!
• She also offered him lodging for the night in her father’s home and straw
and fodder for the animals.
• Bethuel, Rebekah’s father, and Laban, her uncle agreed to offer Rebekah
to Isaac as his wife.
• While in the field meditating one night Isaac saw the caravan approaching
and Rebekah covered her face with a veil (The bridal veil is drawn from
this account).
• Isaac took Rebekah as his wife.

Jesus in the Old Testament

God remains faithful in His promises to Abraham by ensuring the
preservation of his line through Isaac and his pregency which will reach
its summit in Jesus.

Genesis 22-23

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Genesis 22-23:

XXII. God Tests Abraham’s Faith by Commanding the Binding of Isaac

• God tests Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his long-awaited son
Isaac. The command is startling for several reasons, but most of all,
because the promises in 13:16, 15:5, and 21:12 all revolve around Isaac.
• God commands Abraham to go to the land of Moriah and offer Isaac as a
burnt offering (The same command to “go” appears in 12:1).
• The narrator pays a lot of attention to the details in the story as the
pace slows, and the suspense is heightened. For instance, Abraham rises
early, loads a donkey, orders two servants to accompany them, and even
splits the wood needed for the offering.

– After three days of travel, Abraham instructs his two servants to stay
behind as he and Isaac go to worship but Isaac carries the wood on his back
and Abraham the knife.
• Along the way Isaac says, “Father” and Abraham replies, “Here I am, my
son.” The intimate language intensifies the pathos of the story.
• Isaac sees the wood and the fire, but he wants to know where the lamb for
the offering is.
• Abraham responds, “God will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my
• Dwell on Abraham’s response. This man of faith believes that God will
provide the lamb.
• In verse 8 the words, “burnt offering” and “my son” are juxtaposed to one
another. It’s possible Abraham said, “God will provide for a burnt
offering, which will be my son.”

– They finally arrive at the appointed place and Abraham gets busy building
an altar, laying out the wood, and binding Isaac.
• The Hebrew verb for “bind” is ‘aqad. This story is often given the title,
“Akedah,” or “the binding.”
• Abraham places Isaac on top of the wood on the altar, reaches out his
hand, and takes the knife.
• An angel calls out to Abraham and tells him that he doesn’t have to go
through with it. It’s clear that he truly “fears” God.
• A ram caught in the thickets is sacrificed instead of Isaac.
• Abraham names the location, “The Lord will provide” which in Hebrew is
YHWH-yireh or “Jehovah-Jireh.”

XXIII. Abraham Secures a Burial Plot for Sarah (Genesis 23).

• Sarah is 127 years old when she dies at Hebron.
• Abraham mourns her death for an extended period but since he is an
immigrant he owned no lot for her burial.
• He buys a cave at Machpelah in Canaan in an extended act of negotiation
from the Hittites for 400 shekels – far more than the land was worth.
• All the patriarchs and matriarchs of Israel are buried at this site.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Mt. Moriah anticipates the cite of the future temple and the vicinity of
Jesus’ crucifixion.

• On the third day Abraham experienced the reversal of his son’s imminent
death to life.

• Abraham believed that God would provide the sacrifice as He ultimately
did in giving His only begotten Son. It is in God’s nature to provide what
He requires.

• Abraham bound his son to the wood of the altar as Jesus was nailed to a
wooden cross but while Isaac was spared Jesus was not.

• A ram was substituted in the place of Isaac on the altar as Jesus was
substituted in our place on the cross.

On Monday we read just one chapter, Genesis 24.