Smoky Mountain Bible Institute
Lesson #51 The Patriarchs Part 2
Break out your maps and histories as we travel again in our time machine to examine history & geography through a biblical world view. Before we get back to the biblical narrative lets do a quick fly over of some of the things going on in other places in the world from 2000 to 1500 BC. During this window of time a number of civilizations and cultures are starting to transition from pictographic and cuneiform methods of writing to literary structures built on letters and grammar, from the beginnings of the Semitic alphabet to the first of seven defined periods of Chinese literature. This is the window of time that Hammurabi and His codes become the first recorded legal system. As Europe enters the bronze age, Stone Hinge comes into existence. Other innovations during this period are Dam building, irrigation and trade routes. Those are some of the things going on in the world as Jacob spends about 20 years at His (Uncle / Father - in - Law) Laban's place in Paddan Arram.
We pick up our chronology after Jacob’s second wedding feast in one week in Paddan Arram near Haran in 1923 BC. After his four wives spend the better part of the next 7 years competing to see who can produce for him the most male heirs, his favorite wife gives birth to his 11th (and favorite) son Joseph in 1916 BC. When Joseph is about 5 years old Jacob decided it is time to return to Cannon in order to depart from the strife of dealing with Laban and see if he can reconcile with his brother Esau and live peaceably as his neighbor in the promised land.
A few years after reaching the age of 100 in 1906 BC The turn of the century brought Jacob a be a few bad years. First after being blessed with 11 sons in the first 7 years of marriage, it would be 15 years before his next son Benjamin, the only son born in the promised land caused the death of his favorite wife Rachel in around 1901 BC. Then a couple of years later around 1899 BC Joseph is sold into slavery, but of course Jacob thinks His favorite son has been mauled by wild beast.
Things seem to get better about 15 years later in 1885 BC, they start to bring in bumper corps and this goes on for seven years. Jacobs little clan of around 70 people is doing well for them selves, they have more than they need that are dwelling in the land that God promised to his grandfather, what could go wrong? Then the first year of sevier drought hit and by the end of the second year of drought and famine they had to look elsewhere for food. Jacob heard that they were selling grain in Egypt so he sent His sons to purchase some in around 1876 BC. This began a sequence of events that eventually led to the reunion of Jacob with the son he thought was dead, but was now the Grand Vizier to the whole land of Egypt, and the relocation of His humble and hungry clan on the green lands of Goshen in the eastern part of the Nile Delta in Egypt. Before He breaths his last he adopts his two grandsons born to Joseph, blesses all his sons and has them promise to bury him back in Canaan. and in the words of Genesis 49 "he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.". He lived to the ripe old age of 147 and with His death in 1859 BC would end the period known as the time of the patriarchs. The three men whom God identifies himself with when He addressed Moses from the burning bush.....Exodus 3:6 ... "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."...
So thus ends my discussion on the Patriarchs. Next month we will discuss the entry into Egypt of God's promised people. Their are some inconsistencies between the biblical chronology and the commonly held Egyptian chronology we will start to address some of those differences and likely explanations. till then have a blessed Thanksgiving.
In Christ Pastor Portier