(“The Time of JACOB’S Trouble”)
This teaching is inspired by the TORAH Portion “VaYETZE/He Went Out.”
Jeremiah 30:4-7 King James Version (KJV)
4 And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
5 For thus saith the LORD YAHUVEH; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Video: We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (hymn with lyrics)
During his lifetime on earth, Ya’akov/Jacob faced obstacles throughout his life. Is there something we can learn from his life? The above song tells us the answer.
- He had a father who favoured his older brother, Esav/Esau; the one who came to hate him and wanted to kill him eventually.
Genesis 25:28-34 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
28 Now Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
- Ya’akov had to deal with a deceptive and treacherous father-in-law, Laban (also his Uncle) for twenty years.
- Ya’akov was tricked into marrying a woman whom he did not love (Leah).
- Ya’akov’s sons sold their brother, YAHusef/Joseph into slavery and led him to believe that YAHusef was slain by a wild animal.
Genesis 32 English Standard Version (ESV)
Jacob Fears Esau
32 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.[a]
3 And Jacob sent[b] messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4 instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”
6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, 8 thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”
9 And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him[c]with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”[d] 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children,[e] and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,[f]for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,[g] saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
While not always an exemplar of ethical behavior himself, Ya’akov can teach us about facing obstacles, of which we have many, for example the increasing Anti-antisemitism worldwide. Messianic Jews face hostility from both the traditional Jewish world and the church world. We don’t always grow in numbers as fast as we would like to. We sometimes lose people to traditional Judaism or Christianity. We sometimes despair that our movement is not growing in Yiddishkeit (a.k.a Jewishness) as we would like it to. In times like these, we can learn from how Ya’akov handled obstacles.
“Yiddishkeit” means the quality of being Jewish; the Jewish way of life or its customs and practices.
“Yiddishkeit” (Yiddish: ייִדישקייט — yidishkeyt using the YIVO transliteration rules, yidishkayt in quasi-phonetic transcription) literally means “Jewishness”, i. e. “a Jewish way of life”, in the Yiddish language. It can refer to Judaism or forms of Orthodox Judaism when used by religious or Orthodox Jews.
Ya’akov had a vision. As Ya’akov was on his way to Haran (Abraham’s adopted/new father;s homeland) located in Syria (a.k.a Assyria), YAH Almighty appeared to him in a dream (a vision withina dream). YAH assured him of his protection (Genesis 28:12–15). YAH repeated the promise that he had made to Avraham/Abraham and Yitzchak/Isaac, his fathers however, YAH changed the promise a little. YAH promised Ya’akov that his descendants would be as numerous as the dust of the earth and that the nations of the world will be blessed through him. This vision of his future from ABBA YAHUVEH GOD Almighty gave Ya’akov the fortitude to venture off into unknown territory and an uncertain future. The text tells us that he arose early. He was energised by this YAH-given vision.
What very important event preceded the Dream about Ya’akov’s/Jacob’s Ladder?
The follow Holy Biblical Scriptures (verses 31-40) tell us:
Book of Jasher, Chapter 29
1 And Isaac the son of Abraham became old and advanced in days, and his eyes became heavy through age; they were dim and could not see.
2 At that time Isaac called unto Esau his son, saying, Get I pray thee thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, rise up and go forth into the field and get me some venison, and make me savory meat and bring it to me, that I may eat in order that I may bless thee before my death, as I have now become old and gray-headed.
3 And Esau did so; and he took his weapon and went forth into the field to hunt for venison, as usual, to bring to his father as he had ordered him, so that he might bless him.
4 And Rebecca heard all the words that Isaac had spoken unto Esau, and she hastened and called her son Jacob, saying, Thus did thy father speak unto thy brother Esau, and thus did I hear, now therefore hasten thou and make that which I shall tell thee.
5 Rise up and go, I pray thee, to the flock and fetch me two fine kids of the goats, and I will get the savory meat for thy father, and thou shalt bring the savory meat that he may eat before thy brother shall have come from the chase, in order that thy father may bless thee.
6 And Jacob hastened and did as his mother had commanded him, and he made the savory meat and brought it before his father before Esau had come from his chase.
7 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Who art thou, my son? And he said, I am thy first born Esau, I have done as thou didst order me, now therefore rise up I pray thee, and eat of my hunt, in order that thy soul may bless me as thou didst speak unto me.
8 And Isaac rose up and he ate and he drank, and his heart was comforted, and he blessed Jacob and Jacob went away from his father; and as soon as Isaac had blessed Jacob and he had gone away from him, behold Esau came from his hunt from the field, and he also made savory meat and brought it to his father to eat thereof and to bless him.
9 And Isaac said unto Esau, And who was he that has taken venison and brought it me before thou camest and whom I did bless? And Esau knew that his brother Jacob had done this, and the anger of Esau was kindled against his brother Jacob that he had acted thus toward him.
10 And Esau said, Is he not rightly called Jacob? for he has supplanted me twice, he took away my birthright and now he has taken away my blessing; and Esau wept greatly; and when Isaac heard the voice of his son Esau weeping, Isaac said unto Esau, What can I do, my son, thy brother came with subtlety and took away thy blessing; and Esau hated his brother Jacob on account of the blessing that his father had given him, and his anger was greatly roused against him.
11 And Jacob was very much afraid of his brother Esau, and he rose up and fled to the house of Eber the son of Shem, and he concealed himself there on account of his brother, and Jacob was sixty-three years old when he went forth from the land of Canaan from Hebron, and Jacob was concealed in Eber’s house fourteen years on account of his brother Esau, and he there continued to learn the ways of the Lord and his commandments.
12 And when Esau saw that Jacob had fled and escaped from him, and that Jacob had cunningly obtained the blessing, then Esau grieved exceedingly, and he was also vexed at his father and mother; and he also rose up and took his wife and went away from his father and mother to the land of Seir, and he dwelt there; and Esau saw there a woman from amongst the daughters of Heth whose name was Bosmath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and he took her for a wife in addition to his first wife, and Esau called her name Adah, saying the blessing had in that time passed from him.
13 And Esau dwelt in the land of Seir six months without seeing his father and mother, and afterward Esau took his wives and rose up and returned to the land of Canaan, and Esau placed his two wives in his father’s house in Hebron.
14 And the wives of Esau vexed and provoked Isaac and Rebecca with their works, for they walked not in the ways of the Lord, but served their father’s gods of wood and stone as their father had taught them, and they were more wicked than their father.
15 And they went according to the evil desires of their hearts, and they sacrificed and burnt incense to the Baalim, and Isaac and Rebecca became weary of them.
16 And Rebecca said, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good then is life unto me?
17 And in those days Adah the wife of Esau conceived and bare him a son, and Esau called the name of the son that was born unto him Eliphaz, and Esau was sixty-five years old when she bare him.
18 And Ishmael the son of Abraham died in those days, in the sixty-forth year of the life of Jacob, and all the days that Ishmael lived were one hundred and thirty-seven years and he died.
19 And when Isaac heard that Ishmael was dead he mourned for him, and Isaac lamented over him many days.
20 And at the end of fourteen years of Jacob’s residing in the house of Eber, Jacob desired to see his father and mother, and Jacob came to the house of his father and mother to Hebron, and Esau had in those days forgotten what Jacob had done to him in having taken the blessing from him in those days.
21 And when Esau saw Jacob coming to his father and mother he remembered what Jacob had done to him, and he was greatly incensed against him and he sought to slay him.
22 And Isaac the son of Abraham was old and advanced in days, and Esau said, Now my father’s time is drawing nigh that he must die, and when he shall die I will slay my brother Jacob.
23 And this was told to Rebecca, and she hastened and sent and called for Jacob her son, and she said unto him, Arise, go and flee to Haran to my brother Laban, and remain there for some time, until thy brother’s anger be turned from thee and then shalt thou come back.
24 And Isaac called unto Jacob and said unto him, Take not a wife from the daughters of Canaan, for thus did our father Abraham command us according to the word of the Lord which he had commanded him, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; if thy children keep my covenant that I have made with thee, then will I also perform to thy children that which I have spoken unto thee and I will not forsake them.
25 Now therefore my son hearken to my voice, to all that I shall command thee, and refrain from taking a wife from amongst the daughters of Canaan; arise, go to Haran to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father, and take unto thee a wife from there from the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother.
26 Therefore take heed lest thou shouldst forget the Lord thy God and all his ways in the land to which thou goest, and shouldst get connected with the people of the land and pursue vanity and forsake the Lord thy God.
27 But when thou comest to the land serve there the Lord, do not turn to the right or to the left from the way which I commanded thee and which thou didst learn.
28 And may the Almighty God grant thee favor in the sight of the people of the earth, that thou mayest take there a wife according to thy choice; one who is good and upright in the ways of the Lord.
29 And may God give unto thee and thy seed the blessing of thy father Abraham, and make thee fruitful and multiply thee, and mayest thou become a multitude of people in the land whither thou goest, and may God cause thee to return to this land, the land of thy father’s dwelling, with children and with great riches, with joy and with pleasure.
30 And Isaac finished commanding Jacob and blessing him, and he gave him many gifts, together with silver and gold, and he sent him away; and Jacob hearkened to his father and mother; he kissed them and arose and went to Padan-aram; and Jacob was seventy-seven years old when he went out from the land of Canaan from Beersheba.
31 And when Jacob went away to go to Haran Esau called unto his son Eliphaz, and secretly spoke unto him, saying, Now hasten, take thy sword in thy hand and pursue Jacob and pass before him in the road, and lurk for him, and slay him with thy sword in one of the mountains, and take all belonging to him and come back.
32 And Eliphaz the son of Esau was an active man and expert with the bow as his father had taught him, and he was a noted hunter in the field and a valiant man.
33 And Eliphaz did as his father had commanded him, and Eliphaz was at that time thirteen years old, and Eliphaz rose up and went and took ten of his mother’s brothers with him and pursued Jacob.
34 And he closely followed Jacob, and he lurked for him in the border of the land of Canaan opposite to the city of Shechem.
35 And Jacob saw Eliphaz and his men pursuing him, and Jacob stood still in the place in which he was going, in order to know what this was, for he did not know the thing; and Eliphaz drew his sword and he went on advancing, he and his men, toward Jacob; and Jacob said unto them, What is to do with you that you have come hither, and what meaneth it that you pursue with your swords.
36 And Eliphaz came near to Jacob and he answered and said unto him, Thus did my father command me, and now therefore I will not deviate from the orders which my father gave me; and when Jacob saw that Esau had spoken to Eliphaz to employ force, Jacob then approached and supplicated Eliphaz and his men, saying to him,
37 Behold all that I have and which my father and mother gave unto me, that take unto thee and go from me, and do not slay me, and may this thing be accounted unto thee a righteousness.
38 And the Lord caused Jacob to find favor in the sight of Eliphaz the son of Esau, and his men, and they hearkened to the voice of Jacob, and they did not put him to death, and Eliphaz and his men took all belonging to Jacob together with the silver and gold that he had brought with him from Beersheba; they left him nothing.
39 And Eliphaz and his men went away from him and they returned to Esau to Beersheba, and they told him all that had occurred to them with Jacob, and they gave him all that they had taken from Jacob.
40 And Esau was indignant at Eliphaz his son, and at his men that were with him, because they had not put Jacob to death.
41 And they answered and said unto Esau, Because Jacob supplicated us in this matter not to slay him, our pity was excited toward him, and we took all belonging to him and brought it unto thee; and Esau took all the silver and gold which Eliphaz had taken from Jacob and he put them by in his house.
42 At that time when Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and had commanded him, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife from amongst the daughters of Canaan, and that the daughters of Canaan were bad in the sight of Isaac and Rebecca,
43 Then he went to the house of Ishmael his uncle, and in addition to his older wives he took Machlath the daughter of Ishmael, the sister of Nebayoth, for a wife.
YAHUVEH GOD says “dust of the earth” to Avraham and Ya’akov but says “stars of the sky” to Yitzchak as seen in the Holy Biblical Scriptures below, Why?
Click here for more…
It seems to me that Avraham and Ya’akov made various mistakes much more than Yitzchak did hence he was told that his descendants will be like the “stars of the sky.”
Also, note that YAH continually says that HE will bless Yitzchak because his father, Avraham obeyed him.
Genesis 13:14-18 Names of God Bible (NOG)
The Lord’s Third Promise to Abram
14 After Lot left, Yahweh said to Abram, “Look north, south, east, and west of where you are. 15 I will give all the land you see to you and to your descendants for an indefinite period of time. 16 I will also give you as many descendants as the dust of the earth. If anyone could count the dust of the earth, then he could also count your descendants.17 Go! Walk back and forth across the entire land because I will give it to you.” 18 So Abram moved his tents and went to live by the oak trees belonging to Mamre at Hebron. There he built an altar for Yahweh.
Genesis 22:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
Genesis 26:1-6 Names of God Bible (NOG)
The Lord’s First Promise to Isaac
26 There was a famine in the land in addition to the earlier one during Abraham’s time. So Isaac went to King Abimelech of the Philistines in Gerar.
2 Yahweh appeared to Isaac and said, “Don’t go to Egypt. Stay where I tell you. 3 Live here in this land for a while, and I will be with you and bless you. I will give all these lands to you and your descendants. I will keep the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and give all these lands to your descendants. Through your descendant all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5 I will bless you because Abraham obeyed me and completed the duties, commands, laws, and instructions I gave him.” 6 So Isaac lived in Gerar.
Genesis 28:10-22 Names of God Bible (NOG)
Jacob’s First Encounter with God
10 Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 When he came to a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had gone down. He took one of the stones from that place, put it under his head, and lay down there. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway set up on the earth with its top reaching up to heaven. He saw the angels of Elohim going up and coming down on it. 13 Yahweh was standing above it, saying, “I am Yahweh, the Elohim of your grandfather Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac. I will give the land on which you are lying to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust on the earth. You will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. Through you and through your descendant every family on earth will be blessed. 15 Remember, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will also bring you back to this land because I will not leave you until I do what I’ve promised you.”
16 Then Jacob woke up from his sleep and exclaimed, “Certainly, Yahweh is in this place, and I didn’t know it!” 17 Filled with awe, he said, “How awe-inspiring this place is! Certainly, this is the house of Elohimand the gateway to heaven!”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had put under his head. He set it up as a marker and poured olive oil on top of it. 19 He named that place Bethel [House of God]. Previously, the name of the city was Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow: “If Elohim will be with me and will watch over me on my trip and give me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s home, then Yahweh will be my Elohim. 22 This stone that I have set up as a marker will be the house of Elohim, and I will surely give you a tenth of everything you give me.”
Genesis 32:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and [a]attack me and the mother with the children. 12 For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
13 So he lodged there that same night, and took what [b]came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother:
Genesis 32:11-13 Names of God Bible (NOG)
11 Please save me from my brother Esau, because I’m afraid of him. I’m afraid that he’ll come and attack me and the mothers and children too. 12 But you did say, ‘I will make sure that you are prosperous and that your descendants will be as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. No one will be able to count them because there are so many.’”
13 He stayed there that night. Then he prepared a gift for his brother Esau from what he had brought with him:
But Ya’akov did not rely solely on this vision from YAH. He also took the initiative to work towards his goals. He did not allow his Uncle Lavan/Laban to dictate the terms of his marrying Rachel, but offered to work for her for seven years. When he was tricked into marrying her sister, he did not fall into despair but picked himself up and worked towards his goal. When Lavan pressures him into staying, Ya’akov devised a plan to prosper himself. Ya’akov was even careful about how he approached his brother when he returned home.
So it is with us. We have a YAH-given personal vision as well as other visions including that for a thriving community of Jewish followers of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH.
We need to be strengthened and emboldened by this vision.
Whenever we feel despair with our movement, we need to recall that ABBA YAHUVEH’S hand is in this and it will prosper.
It may take longer than we would like to come to fruition, and there may be many hurdles along the way, but HIS Will shall be accomplished.
But we should not sit idly by waiting for YAH’S Vision to be fulfilled. We can also strive to build our movement, as we are energised by the vision. We need to use our talents and energies to build towards the manifestation of the vision of that future.
….May add more information as time goes on….
Book of Jasher, Chapter 27
1 And Esau at that time, after the death of Abraham, frequently went in the field to hunt.
2 And Nimrod king of Babel, the same was Amraphel, also frequently went with his mighty men to hunt in the field, and to walk about with his men in the cool of the day.
3 And Nimrod was observing Esau all the days, for a jealousy was formed in the heart of Nimrod against Esau all the days.
4 And on a certain day Esau went in the field to hunt, and he found Nimrod walking in the wilderness with his two men.
5 And all his mighty men and his people were with him in the wilderness, but they removed at a distance from him, and they went from him in different directions to hunt, and Esau concealed himself for Nimrod, and he lurked for him in the wilderness.
6 And Nimrod and his men that were with him did not know him, and Nimrod and his men frequently walked about in the field at the cool of the day, and to know where his men were hunting in the field.
7 And Nimrod and two of his men that were with him came to the place where they were, when Esau started suddenly from his lurking place, and drew his sword, and hastened and ran to Nimrod and cut off his head.
8 And Esau fought a desperate fight with the two men that were with Nimrod, and when they called out to him, Esau turned to them and smote them to death with his sword.
9 And all the mighty men of Nimrod, who had left him to go to the wilderness, heard the cry at a distance, and they knew the voices of those two men, and they ran to know the cause of it, when they found their king and the two men that were with him lying dead in the wilderness.
10 And when Esau saw the mighty men of Nimrod coming at a distance, he fled, and thereby escaped; and Esau took the valuable garments of Nimrod, which Nimrod’s father had bequeathed to Nimrod, and with which Nimrod prevailed over the whole land, and he ran and concealed them in his house.
11 And Esau took those garments and ran into the city on account of Nimrod’s men, and he came unto his father’s house wearied and exhausted from fight, and he was ready to die through grief when he approached his brother Jacob and sat before him.
12 And he said unto his brother Jacob, Behold I shall die this day, and wherefore then do I want the birthright? And Jacob acted wisely with Esau in this matter, and Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, for it was so brought about by the Lord.
13 And Esau’s portion in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham had bought from the children of Heth for the possession of a burial ground, Esau also sold to Jacob, and Jacob bought all this from his brother Esau for value given.
14 And Jacob wrote the whole of this in a book, and he testified the same with witnesses, and he sealed it, and the book remained in the hands of Jacob.
15 And when Nimrod the son of Cush died, his men lifted him up and brought him in consternation, and buried him in his city, and all the days that Nimrod lived were two hundred and fifteen years and he died.
16 And the days that Nimrod reigned upon the people of the land were one hundred and eighty-five years; and Nimrod died by the sword of Esau in shame and contempt, and the seed of Abraham caused his death as he had seen in his dream.
17 And at the death of Nimrod his kingdom became divided into many divisions, and all those parts that Nimrod reigned over were restored to the respective kings of the land, who recovered them after the death of Nimrod, and all the people of the house of Nimrod were for a long time enslaved to all the other kings of the land.