Now a Guest post from Rev D.W. Wagner:
Over the last week and a half, we’ve been reading about Jacob and his children. Jacob, if you’ll remember, is a twin brother (Esau), and some people say that these two are the basis for Jacob and The Man In Black/Smoke Monster from the tv show “Lost.” Don’t know about that, but I’m sure there are other blogs that can help you with that one. Bean Comment: See Lost Info Here (SPOILER ALERT 1 AND SPOILER ALERT 2)
Anyway, Jacob fathers 12 sons and 1 daughter, and some of you may remember the story about his sons from the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” It’s a great story, but before Genesis tells that one, it tells about Jacob fathering all those kids. If you’re thinking, “man…13 kids?!?!?! That must’ve been one tough woman,” that’s not quite how it went.
Jacob has two wives named Leah and Rachel. Both of them are barren, so God intervenes, first with Leah. She has 4 boys (see the chart). Rachel is unhappy (jealous) that her husband’s other wife is producing children while she, Rachel, is barren, so what does she do? Well, what any sensible woman would do! She has her husband, um, “produce children” with her two of her maids, Bilhah and Zilpah. Both of them beget two boys each — so, according to custom, Rachel “has” 4 kids. Apparently, “biological parentage” wasn’t really a thing in the old days — but Rachel doesn’t become any of the 12 kids’ biological mother until later.
Long story short — it seemed like a complicated family tree, so I wanted to write it all down to try and get it straight. Hence, the chart.
Another note: between Jacob’s 10th and 11th sons, he and Leah have a daughter, Dinah. If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Dinah, read Genesis 34. You’ll be surprised that one is in the Bible, and not the premise for a violent Martin Scorsese revenge film.
Bean Comment: Like these pictured.
Essentially, she gets raped by a sleazeball named Shechem, and her brothers are (commendably) angered by this. Shechem asks Jacob for Dinah in marriage, and he and the brothers say, “okay, but only on the condition that you and all your townsfolk get circumcised like we are.” They agree, and while they’re in a weakened state, two of the brothers come in and slaughter everybody and recover their sister. Jacob scorns them for this, and the story ends with this line: “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”
Bean: Wow, Thanks David for that uplifting story of Genesis. With all that said, we’ll just slowly and quietly move out of there and go on to Exodus. (cue Family Guy Kool Aid Man slowly tip-toeing backwards out of room)