Abraham was the 10th generation after Noah (global flood), who was the 10th Generation after Adam, the first created man. Abraham and his wife Sarah conceived a son in their golden years, and named him Isaac, which means laughter. Sarah laughed because she had difficulty believing God’s message, that she would bear a son in her 90th year of life. But, God’s Word is true, and Sarah delivered a son when she was 90 years old.
Sarah died at age 127 and was thought to be buried in Kiryat Arba, presently located in Hebron. The Cave of Machpelah, commonly known today as the Cave of the Patriarchs or the Sanctuary of Abraham to the Muslims is believed to be the burial place of Abraham and Sarah, their son Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and their grandson Jacob and his wife Leah. The cave was purchased by Abraham from the Hittite named Ephron.
Isaac was not the Promised Seed, but through his lineage the Prophesied Promised Seed (Messiah) would eventually come. God had told Abraham very clearly, the Promised Seed (Messiah) was to come through Isaac, NOT Ishmael!!
In an arranged marriage, Isaac took Rebekah to be his wife. Rebekah was from the land of Mesopotamia, and was of the same lineage as Isaac, NOT a Canaanite! Abraham had been adamant that Isaac NOT marry the daughter of a Canaanite. The Canaanites (descendants of Canaan) were a cursed people and a pagan people. Why were the Canaanites cursed? After the Great Global Flood, Ham (Noah’s son), uncovered his father’s nakedness and shamed him in front of his brothers Shem and Japheth. Noah became very angry with his son Ham, and cursed Ham’s son Canaan, which carried over to Canaan’s descendants, the Canaanites. A rebellious people, the Canaanites worshipped pagan “gods”, one of which was baal, who basically is the devil. God was keeping the bloodline pure for the eventual arrival of the Promised Seed.
Isaac and Rebekah had a very long marriage. Like Sarah, Rebekah began to grow old without producing an heir. They were beginning to wonder, as Abraham and Sarah did, whether they would ever have a son. But, unlike Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah remained faithful to each other and did not try to produce an heir through a servant. I have a feeling that Abraham and Sarah taught Isaac to trust and wait upon the Lord, rather than trying to force the fulfillment of a promise by God.
After about 20 years of marriage, Rebekkah found herself pregnant with twins! God always fulfills His promises!!!
Genesis 25: 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger.”
Isaac and Rebekkah had twin sons, Jacob and Esau. God told Rebekah that her younger son Jacob would receive the birthright. The birthright Blessing determined who would be the head of the family once the father died. The birthright generally went to the eldest son, but in this case God specifically selected Jacob, the younger son, to receive the Birthright Blessing. What made this Birthright Blessing particularly important is that it follows the lineage of Jesus. Through the ones who received the Birthright Blessings would eventually come the Promised Seed, the Fulfillment of the Edenic and Abrahamic Covenant, the Savior of the World. Why did God select Isaac and Jacob to receive the birthright over Ishmael and Esau? The Bible isn’t specific, but what we do later see is that both Ishmael and Esau married pagan women and became entangled with pagan gods. In contrast, Isaac and Jacob remained devoted to the God of Abraham, the God of the Bible. God knows in advance what each person on this earth will ever think, say, or do!
As the boys aged, Jacob and Esau did not KNOW that God wanted the Birthright Blessing to be given to Jacob. As a young man, Esau, who grew up assuming that the Birthright Blessing belonged to him as the elder son, literally sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of soup. This shows how little Esau really cared for the Birthright blessing, and also another indication that the Birthright belonged to Jacob, not Esau.
Rebekah KNEW that Isaac would never give the birthright to his younger son Jacob (even though the Lord had told Rebekah that Jacob should receive the Birthright) Therefore, Rebekah took matters into her own hands and tricked Isaac into giving the birthright to Jacob by dressing Jacob up like his brother Esau. Jacob then went to Isaac, whose eyesight was failing, to receive the blessing of the birthright. Esau, who had long since forgotten the day that he had sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of soup, came home from a long day of hunting, and went to his dying father Isaac to receive the Birthright Blessing. But it was too late! Isaac had accidentally promised the Birthright to Jacob, even though he did it thinking that Jacob was Esau.
Esau was enraged and determined to kill his brother Jacob. Because his father Isaac was approaching death, Esau planned to kill his brother Jacob after the days of mourning for his father were over. During that time, Rebekah learned of the plot and she and Isaac sent Jacob away, to her brother Laban. It was also at this time, that Isaac blessed Jacob again and told him NOT to marry a Canaanite woman. Jacob was to follow the same “model” for a bride as Isaac had followed, with Rebekah.
Jacob went to live with his Uncle Laban. Esau, still angry over the lost birthright, rebelled against his father and married an Ishmaelite and a Canaanite. Esau was rebellious and purposely married many women from pagan tribes because he knew it displeased his father. Of course, this was forseen by God, who had told Rebekah that Jacob should be the one to have the birthright. The Promised Seed, the Covenant, would continue through the line of Jacob.
On his journey to Laban’s house, Jacob met God, and the Covenant was renewed with Jacob. Jacob ended up marrying both of Laban’s daughters, Leah and Rachel. Jacob worked for Laban for 14 years in order to gain permission from Laban to marry his daughters. During this time, the Lord was with Jacob, and he prospered Laban greatly, with an increase in livestock and income. Jacob also “married” Leah and Rachel’s handmaidens Billah and Zilpah.
When the Lord told Jacob to leave Laban’s house and return to his childhood home with his family, four wives, 12 sons and 1 daughter, also servants and much livestock, Jacob again met God. This time, Jacob “wrestled” with God, and God renamed Jacob “Israel”. The family of the man named Israel (aka Jacob) would later become the nation of ISRAEL, through whom the Promised Seed was finally fulfilled in Yeshua Jesus. Jacob’s 12 sons ARE the 12 Tribes of Israel.
In the Bible, we see God using numbers to teach us important concepts. This is NOT the same thing as numerology, which is looking at the numbers apart from the Creator to guide or direct us!!! We should NEVER look to the Creation for revelation, but only to the CREATOR YHWH, and His Son Yeshua, through the Holy Spirit!!! God uses the number 12 to represent His Divine Order. Twelve is also a number of completion and perfection. Israel had 12 sons (tribes). Jesus had 12 Disciples. There are 12 Constellations in the sky. As a matter of fact, we see this number 12 over and over again in Scripture. The Bible has layers and layers of meaning, and as you pull back the skin of the onion, you will learn more and more and more!