Sunday, August 29, 2010

Genesis 31-33: The misadventures of Jacob, Pt. 2

God tells Jacob it's time to go back home. Jacob finds his two wives and goes on this massively long and bitter rant about spotted animals and how unfair Laban has been. Then Jacob and his wives and children take off secretly. Before they left, Rachel stole some stuff from Laban.

Laban catches up with them, and asks why they ran off like a bunch of jerks, and also why did you steal my stuff? Jacob doesn't know that Rachel stole something, so he tells Laban to look through his stuff and see if anything was stolen. Rachel puts the stolen goods in her camel's saddle and sits on it, and tells her father she can't get up because she's on her period. Hilarious.

So Laban and Jacob yell at each other for a while, then make a pile of rocks and each promise not to go beyond it, and they each go their separate ways. Friendly. At least they didn't kill each other or something.

Jacob sends messengers to Esau to basically grovel. They come back and say Esau is coming with 400 men. Jacob freaks out, prays (for the first time ever, possibly? God has been awfully quiet lately) for protection, and sends a bunch of animals ahead as gifts to Esau.

One night, he is alone, and "a man wrestled with him till daybreak." The "man" couldn't overpower Jacob, so he apparently dislocates (or something) Jacob's hip, and begs to be let go. Jacob says, "no, not until you bless me." The "man" renames him Israel, and blesses him. So...apparently Jacob spent all night "wrestling" with God, and wins? Sounds...dirty? Also, what the crap kind of crap God loses in wrestling to some guy? Furthermore, why exactly did God decide to wrestle with Jacob in the first place? Or did Jacob start it? Is that even possible? As usual, I'm lost.

My first thought was that it was all some story he came up with to explain why he was limping the next day...yeah, I hurt my hip wrestling with God, I'm so awesome. But really, he just fell down, or something.

The next morning, Esau comes and hugs Jacob. They talk about the kids for a while...generally a pretty friendly and benign reunion. Those crappy messengers made it sound like Esau was coming to kick ass, but apparently all is forgotten.

Jacob goes on to...Shechem, buys some land and seems to settle down.

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