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Bible Commentary Adam Clarke

Jacob* (The Punching Bag of the Church) - Download PDF Article

No one has been slandered, by the Church, quite like the great patriarch, Jacob and his mother Rebekah. In many of our Bibles, the man-made heading above Genesis chapter twenty-seven states, "Jacob's deception." Commentaries revile Rebekah and Jacob for their deception of Isaac. The Church calls them 'deceivers,' but the mouth of Yahweh does not utter such a word. On the contrary, Yahweh says that he ahabs (loves) Jacob. Jacob is never reproved by Yahweh for deceiving Isaac neither does Jacob repent of his actions. Could it be that Rebekah and Jacob were doing Yahweh's will by deceiving Isaac? Could it be that the slanderer (devil (diabolos)), the accuser of the brethren has deceived the Church into slandering (accusing falsely) Yahweh's own, Jacob and Rebekah? I would say yes! It is time for the Church to repent of this slander; to learn to be silent when Yahweh is silent.  

Under certain conditions, lying to an enemy is allowable by Yahweh, when it helps to accomplish the will of Yahweh. Yahweh advocates doing what is right. Deception can be justifiable when one is doing what is right. For instance, the Hebrew midwives lied to Pharaoh in order to save the lives of the male Hebrew children. They were rewarded by Yahweh for their deception. Should we call these women, 'deceivers,' because they deceived Pharaoh, thereby saving Moses and other children? Rahab deceived the king of Jericho, saving the lives of the spies that were sent by the prophet Joshua. Yahweh, through the prophet Joshua, rewarded Rahab for her deception. Do we call Rahab, 'the deceiver,' or is she our hero? The very word 'spy' denotes deception. Joshua was deceiving the Canaanites by sending spies into the land. Moses, the servant of Yahweh, also send spies into the land of Canaan. These are acts of deception. If these spies were asked by the Canaanites what their business was, they would not tell them that they were spying out the land in order to invade it. Yahweh, who is righteousness, gave the land to the Hebrews because of the wicked works of the Canaanites.  It was right to send in spies, who deceived the Canaanites in order that the children of Israel could take the land. It was right for Rahab to deceive her king in order that the children of Israel could overthrow the city of Jericho. It was right that the Hebrew midwives deceived Pharaoh in order that children would not die.

One way we can determine if lying is or is not acceptable with Yahweh is whether Yahweh reproves or rewards the individuals for their actions. Another way is to determine whether the lying accomplished the will of Yahweh. Adam and Eve were reproved for their sin as was Cain when he murdered Abel. David was reproved, by the prophet Nathan, for the sin of Bath-sheba and Uriah. Jezebel, by the prophet Elijah, was judged for her lying and the murder of  Naboth.  The prophet Jeremiah deceived the princes, according to the word of king Zedekiah, which was the right thing to do. Paul escaped from the hands of the Jews by the covering of darkness, being let down, over the wall of the city, in a basket. This was a righteous deceptive act, which accomplished the will of Yahweh. Ananias and Sapphira's deception was not righteous and was reproved by Peter. Abraham deceived Abimelech, which accomplished the will of Yahweh, when he told him that Sarah was his sister. Abraham was never reproved by Yahweh for this action. Isaac deceived Abimelech when he said Rebecca was his sister. He also was never reproved by Yahweh but rather rewarded. Abraham and Isaac were both enriched, by Yahweh, after these incidents, as was Jacob.

Religious men have made a habit of going by the letter of the law rather than by the ruah (spirit). The Pharisees and Sadducees are prime examples of religious men following the letter of the law. They would say, "Remember the Sabbath day, to hallow it: Six days, shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but, the seventh day, is a Sabbath, unto Yahweh thy Elohim,––thou shalt do no work...," even if this meant that a person would die because one would be breaking the law of the Sabbath by working to save someone's life. These same religious men say, 'Thou shalt not lie,' even though Rahab saved the lives of the spies by lying as also did the midwives who saved the lives of children because of their lie.  

In our analysis on justifiable lying, we must ask ourselves, "Who are the individuals who were seeking to do the will of Yahweh:" Abraham or Abimelech; Isaac or Abimelech; the Hebrew midwives or Pharaoh; Rahab or the king of Jericho; David or Uriah; Jezebel or Naboth and Paul or the Jews?  Could it be that Jacob lying to Isaac was the will of Yahweh; that the unrighteous actions of Isaac and Esau required Jacob and Rebekah to deceive Isaac? Could it be that the actual problem was with Isaac and Esau rather than Rebekah and Jacob? Religious men will say, "Rebekah and Jacob should have 'trusted' Yahweh and let Isaac sin by blessing Esau." Would these same men require Rahab to 'trust' Yahweh and tell the truth about the spies, which would have resulted in their deaths; require the Hebrew midwives to 'trust' Yahweh and murder the male children or die in their behalf; require the spies to 'trust' Yahweh and identify themselves as spies in the land  of Canaan, which would result in their deaths? The 'trust' these religious men are proclaiming comes about from a false man-made doctrine, which proclaims, 'God is in Control,' when he is not! (For more information, read the article, 'God is not in Control.') These individuals were trusting Yahweh by doing the will of Yahweh, which was to deceive the wicked people in order that Yahweh's will for justice, righteousness and loving kindness be done.   

Yahweh told  Rebekah and not Isaac that, "...Two nations, are in thy womb, And, two races, from thy body, shall be parted,––And, one race, shall be stronger, than the other race, And, the elder, shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25:23). She must have told this revelation to Isaac, so why would Isaac not obey this revelation by blessing Jacob? A similar event occurred when Zechariah doubted the message of a messenger. In the end he obeyed the messenger by naming his son Yowchanan (John), as he was instructed. Esau was not walking in the ways of Yahweh but Isaac ahabed (loved) him more than Jacob because he gave him tasty food. Jacob was called, by Yahweh, from the womb to rule but Isaac was going to bless Esau instead. Why? He loved the wild game that Esau provided for him. Rebekah and Jacob were walking in the light while Isaac and Esau were walking in darkness. Esau married Hittite women, which was not Yahweh's will. Esau was a fornicator and a profane person who sold his birthright to Jacob, which was repugnant in the eyes of Yahweh. Yahweh said, "...Is not Esau, brother, to Jacob? enquireth Yahweh, Yet have I ahabed (loved) Jacob, And, Esau, have I hated,–– and made his mountains a desolation, and his inheritance a dwelling for the jackals of the wilderness" (Mal. 1:2-3).

I believe Rebekah was forced into deceiving Isaac when she over heard that Isaac was about to bless Esau, which was contrary to Yahweh's will. Jacob was never reproved by Yahweh for deceiving Isaac but rather Jacob was ahabed (loved) and rewarded by Yahweh. Yahweh made Jacob to prosper as he did Abraham and Isaac. In the book of Hebrews, Yahweh said, "By faith, even concerning things to come, did Isaac bless Jacob and Esau." The name Jacob is presented before Esau in this verse. There is no reproof. Jacob, whose name is used 375 times in the Word of Yahweh is given the name 'Israel,' which is used 2591 times. Jacob received more visitations from Yahweh than did his father, Isaac. I believe that Isaac saw the error of his ways and repented of his way-ward love for Esau. After the deception, Isaac again blesses Jacob and says, "...El Shaddai [GOD Almighty], bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee,––so shalt thou become a multitude of peoples. And may he give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee,––that thou mayest possess the land of thy sojournings, which Elohim gave to Abraham" (Gen. 28:3-4).

We must be silent when Yahweh is silent. We must acknowledge that we do not see the overall picture; that Yahweh allows and encourages exceptions to his laws. Moses killed an Egyptian; Abraham said Sarah was his sister; David ate the priests bread and pretends to be a madman; Jacob pretends to be Esau and Tamar deceives Judah, her father-in-law, thereby getting pregnant with their child resulting in the continuation of the Christ line. Yahweh is silent on all  of these matters. Yahweh is not silent when David has Uriah murdered or when Solomon's foreign wives corrupted him. When Yahweh proclaims the sin of an individual then we can also but when Yahweh is silent, we must also be silent lest we become slanderers; false accusers. Someday we will meet Yahweh and these individuals who were servants of Yahweh. Calling Rebekah and Jacob deceivers when Yahweh does not, in my opinion is slander. Slander is the mantle of Yahweh's enemy. Let us not be this enemy's mouth-piece!  (For more information, read the article, " Yahweh’s Plans Accomplished in Unorthodox Ways.")

(For footnotes, read the PDF version)

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(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words Yahshua for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit).)

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