An ancient African proverb imparts wisdom about tackling huge projects: “How does one person eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.” The Genesis & Job Series is the first bite of Eyewitness Bible Series in tackling the Old Testament.
The most casual reader soon recognizes the majority of the writings of the Old Testament have to do with the history of the Israelites (also known as Hebrews or Jews). Embedded in the Old Testament is a wealth of knowledge about God and his character, books of poetry and proverbs, and a host of prophecies.
In Bibles used by most Protestant Christians, the Old Testament consists of 39 writings, called books. The Eyewitness Bible Series groups these books into three different series:
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When Jacob returned to Canaan, Rachel stole her “family’s gods.” As the story unfolds, it is clear that the family’s gods were very important. Apparently, Jacob agreed that these gods had power. Before going to Bethel, Jacob requires that they abandon all of their foreign gods and purify themselves. This may be the point when the family finally accepts God as their only God. It is shortly after abandoning their gods, that God reaffirms that Jacob’s name is changed to “Israel.”
Although Jacob and Esau had a contentious relationship virtually their entire lives, when their father, Isaac, died, they came together to bury him. This could have been a time for the brothers to mend fences for good, but they apparently did not. History shows their descendants fought for centuries.
Choices have consequences, and Jacob’s choices had everlasting consequences. He had twelve sons by his two wives, and their handmaidens. Here is the list:
Leah: Reuben, the firstborn; Simeon; Levi; Judah; Issachar and Zebulon.
Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
Rachel’s handmaiden, Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali
Leah’s handmaiden: Gad and Asher.
As the Bible unfolds, we find that Reuben does have special responsibilities as the firstborn. We don’t know the reasons, but Jesus will come from the tribe of Judah.
Paul – Brian Shoop
Japheth – Bryan Chatlien
Satan – Christian Heep
Job’s Wife – Leticia Magaña
Job – Bob Reed
Lot – Patrick Arnez
Isaac – Tod Upchurch
Esau – David Burkhart
Rachel – Magdalen Vaughn
Reuben – John Ruegsegger
Joseph – Blake McNamara
Benjamin – Jackson Kelly