*Updated on May 8, 2019
There is a fascinating trend of sibling rivalry in The Bible. It began with Cain and Abel. Cain, the eldest, saw his blessing given to his younger brother. In jealousy, he murdered Abel. He was then once again usurped by Seth. Ishmael was also passed over for his younger brother, Isaac, and became lifelong enemies (Muslims vs Jews). Jacob (Israel) would then receive God’s blessing over Esau (Rome), in which Esau decided he would hunt and kill Jacob. Rachel’s son, Joseph, would supplant all his eleven older brothers to become the ruler of Egypt. Rachel was also younger than her sister who gave birth to sons that would later serve Joseph.
There are many times where Christ’s line was in danger of being derailed (Cain killed Abel, Ishmael hated Isaac, Esau hunted Jacob, Haman, Pharaoh, and Herod all attempted genocide on the Jews), but Satan’s plans were thwarted at every turn.
Another uniting of Esau (Rome) and Semitic Arabs (Muslims) occurs in Genesis 28:9. Esau’s first wife was Hamitic (Muslim), and his new wife was Arab (Muslim). I mentioned before that Edom (Esau/Rome) and Babylon (Iraq/Muslims) team up against Israel in Psalm 138. These two religious-political factions (Catholic and Islam) have a 4,000-year-old partnership. They will have one again soon.
Rachel was barren, yet miraculously gave birth to Joseph. There are seven women who are “types of Mary” in The Bible, who had this same affliction overcome by divine intervention. Sarah (mother of Isaac), Rebekah (mother of Israel), Rachel (mother of Joseph), Hannah (mother of Samuel), the Shunammite woman (whose son was resurrected by Elisha), Manoah’s wife (mother of Samson), and Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist).
These seven women, plus Mary, equals eight. Eight is the number of “resurrection,” “regeneration,” or “a new beginning.” Consider their children: Isaac (the father of Israel – a new beginning), Jacob (who became Israel – a new beginning), Joseph (Jacob thought him dead – resurrection; went from slave to prince – regeneration), Samuel (the last Judge of Israel who anointed the first King of Israel – a new beginning), the Shunammite’s son (resurrection), Samson (his strength was regenerated), John the Baptist (baptism is regeneration), and Jesus Christ (a new beginning, regeneration, AND resurrection).
Jacob (Israel) kissed his father when he betrayed him and Esau (Antichrist). The favor would later be returned as Judas Iscariot (Antichrist) kissed Jesus Christ. This is another “Law of First Mention.” The context of betrayal is constant in the time between these two events. However, AFTER Judas’ betrayal, Paul instructs us to greet one another with a HOLY kiss (Romans 16:16, 1 Cor. 16:20, 2 Cor. 13:12, 1 Thess 5:26) or a kiss of charity (1 Peter 5:14), thus changing the context.
*In Genesis 29, when Jacob met and fell instantly in love with Rachel, he met her at a well from which her sheep drank water. This reminds me of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.
Jesus referred to himself as “living water” (v. 10), and the Samaritan woman mentioned that Jacob gave them the well (v. 12).
In Genesis, Jacob had to “roll the stone away” from the well so that Rachel’s sheep could drink, just as the stone on Christ’s tomb was rolled away during his resurrection. Furthermore, those who follow Christ are called “sheep” in John 10.
So the stone of the tomb had to be rolled away so that saved Jews (the sheep in John 10) and Christians (the “other sheep” in John 10:16) could drink from the “living water” to be saved.
This is another interesting example of a Messianic prophecy found in the Old Testament that can easily missed when we do not study God’s word and “rightly divide the word of truth.”