Jacob’s Dream on the Rock

I. The “Official” Blessing from Isaac (Genesis 27:28-29

A. The beginning of this exile is difficult to identify.

1. Jacob is 20 years in land of Haran (31:41) in exile

2. Joseph born in exile as last son in Haran (31:34-35) = 14+ years – date of birth not known.

a. Joseph (Jacobs son) is 17 when he goes to Egypt (Genesis 37:2)
1) Jacob is in Beersheba at least 10 years after exile
2) If Joseph born in 14th year of exile, 6 years remaining.
3) If so, Joseph is 6 or 7 when he enters into Beersheba.
4) Jacob at least 30 years beyond initial exile date.
b. Joseph is 30 when he begins to reign in Egypt (Genesis 41:46)
1) Joseph is in Egypt 13 years when he begins to reign.
2) Joseph rules over 7 years of plenty.
3) Joseph begins to control the 7 years of famine.
4) Three trips into Egypt- then to Goshen (3 years?)

3. Jacob is 130 at entrance into Egypt (Genesis 47:9)

a. Subtract 20 for Jacob’s years in exile
b. Subtract at least 10 years for years prior to Joseph being sold into Egypt.
c. Subtract 23 (13 + 7 + 3) for Joseph’s reign in Egypt

3. Jacob is approximately 77, Isaac is approximately 137. 

4. Isaac dies at 180 (Genesis 35:28) – before all go to Egypt.

B. Jacob is finally blessed by Isaac with the blessing that he was supposed to have – (Genesis 27:28-29).

1. God’s physical blessings.

a. The dew of heaven (natural favor)
b. The fatness of the earth (unusual favor)
c. Plenty of corn and wine (wealth and happiness)

2. God’s political blessings.

a. Let the people serve thee (willing cooperation)
b. Let nations bow down to thee (global domination)
c. Be lord over thy brethren (all of Abraham’s seed).

3. God’s spiritual and sovereign blessings.

a. Both the blessing and the curse of the Creator on those who would dare to cross God’s pronouncement.
b. Repeat of blessing to Abraham (12:2-3 and 22:17-18 and 26:4).  Now repeated in specificity to Jacob – NOT Isaac.

C. Isaac then repeats the blessing (after being exposed in defiance through the intervention of Rebecca and Jacob).

1. Isaac now endorses the blessing that he thought he had given to Esau, in full compliance and recognition that Jacob is the one to receive the blessing.

2. Isaac emphasizes the necessity of the pure line through Abraham.

a. Do not take a wife among the Canaanites (28:1).
b. Go to your mother’s relatives and take a wife from them (28:2).

3. Isaac now repeats the blessing with full understanding that Jacob is the correct recipient.

a. God Almighty (El Saddai) bless thee
1) This is the “revealed” name to Abraham (Exodus 6:3).
2) This invokes the “blessing of Abraham” to Jacob.
b. The full blessing is repeated (28:3-4).

D. Esau tries to redeem himself in the eyes of Isaac and Rebecca.

1. When he “saw” that Isaac blessed and directed Jacob (28:6)

2. When he “saw” that Jacob obeyed is father and his mother (28:7-8)

3. Then – says an awful lot about the character of Esau (28:9)

a. Obedience after “seeing” or “hearing” others is questionable.
b. Psalm 18:44; 1 Peter 2:18; 3:1-2; 4:14

II. Jacob’s dream upon the rock in Beth-El (the House of God).

A. Jacob “lighted on a certain place” (28:11) – not chance- Jeremiah 10:23.

1. There is nearly a 60 mile trek from Jacob’s home to Beth El.         

2. He might have been on the road for 3 days prior to this event.

B. Jacob’s dream is one of 8 personal visions/encounters with the LORD.

1. More than Abraham – more than any other Patriarch.

2. Dreams were rare even in ancient times (Hebrews 1:1).

a. To pagan Abimelech (Genesis 20:3).
b. To Jacob (Genesis 28:12; 31:10)
c. To Laban in warning (Genesis 31:24)
d. To Joseph (2 times – Genesis 37:5)
e. To Pharaoh’s Butler and Baker (Genesis 40:8-16)
f. To Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1-8)
g. To Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1)
h. To Daniel (Daniel 7:1)

3. Dreams are never for personal use (Jeremiah 23:16-32; Jude 8)

4. Dreams were to verify the coming of the Messiah and the beginning of the Last Days (Acts 2:7; Joel 2:28-31).

a. The prophecy of Joel extends way beyond Pentecost.
b. The “dreams” probably applied to the time of the Apostles
1) Mary and Joseph each received “dreams”
2) Ananias who healed Paul (Acts 9:10)
3) Cornelius told to send for Peter (Acts 10:3)
4) Peter and the sheet of animals (Acts 10:17)
5) Paul’s “Macedonian vision” (Acts 16:9)
c. Very few recorded until the book of Revelation (John)

C. Jacob’s “Ladder” was much more than a human construction.

1. The Hebrew word [KPAH LAMED MEM] is used only this once.

2. The root Hebrew word [KAPH LAMED LAMED] is similar.

a. The basic meaning is “highway” or “corridor” or “pathway.”
b. It carries the connotation of “lift up” (Psalm 68:4)
c. It indicates a “plain way” (to go) (Proverbs 15:19)

3. The vision is probably a “picture” of the Mediator role of Christ

a. It surely pictures the interrelationship between earth and heaven.
b. “Angels” are going up and down between earth and heaven.
1) There are “innumerable” angels (Hebrews 12:22)
2) They are “mighty and excel in strength” (Psalm 103:20)
3) They are “spirits” who are designated to minister to the “heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14)
4) They are able to “fly swiftly” (Daniel 9:21)

D. Jacob’s “ladder” (highway- causeway) is probably the Lord Jesus Himself.

1. Jesus says to Nathaniel that he would see the angels ascending and descending UPON the Son of Man (John 1:51).

2. Much of the imagery of the final Judgment seems to verify this all-encompassing role of the Lord Jesus.

a. Daniel 2:44 and 7:9-14
b. Revelation 21:1-3

3. Angels are involved with the work and ministry of God to the Saints.

a. The spirit of the saved dead go directly to God (Philippians 1:23)
b. When absent from the physical body we are present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8)
c. At death, the angels accompany us into the presence of the Lord (Luke 16:22).

4. This “vision” seems to be to verify to Jacob that God was with him and that He would secure the eternal promises to Abraham.

E. God now speaks to Jacob and renews, personally, the promises (Genesis 28:13-15).

1. I am the LORD god of Abraham.

2. I will give you this land

3. Your seed will indeed be like the dust of the earth.

4. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.

5. I am with you – and will keep (guard, protect) you – and will bring you again to this land.

6. I will not leave you – until I have done what I have said.

7. “All power is given unto me in heaven and earth …. Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Amen! (Matthew 28:18-20).

F. Jacob now marks the spot (Beth-El ) on which the vision occurs.

1. Abraham had not seen this kind of revelation.

2. This becomes named “The House of God” (Beth-El).

3. Jacobs builds an alter – later on his return, he builds a permanent alter.

4. Jacob vows “Since” God….(Genesis 28:20-23).

a. This is not a bargain with God.  It is a promise.
b. It is an expression of confidence and of thanks.

5. Jacob promises to give the “tithe” to the LORD.

a. This is a voluntary vow at this time.
b. Later, the tithe becomes incorporated into the Law.
c. God releases the “obligatory” nature of the Law to the New Covenant saints – now expects the tithe out of gratitude and joy at being part of the Kingdom (2 Corinthians 9:7).
The Patriarchs
ch. 27-28


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