January 16: Read through the Holy Bible in a year.

John 11:1-44 describes how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (on the fourth day no less).

Jacob arrived in Paddan Aram in Genesis 29, fell in love with Rachel, worked seven years to be allowed to marry her, but her father Laban tricked Jacob, so he got Leah instead. Then he worked another “seven years for Rachel”. But it was Leah that gave him his first four children, Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.

Genesis 30 records the remaining children born to Jacob (except Benjamin, who will be born later). It also tells a story about Rachel, desperate to get a child of her own was bargaining with Leah for Reuben’s mandrakes. After Joseph was born, Jacob wanted to leave and go back to the promised land, but Laban bargained with him to stay and make them even more prosperous. Through selective breeding Jacob acquired the majority of the flocks, and became wealthy.

Psalm 6 is a prayer, this time of a humble David asking for mercy, but also asking God to humiliate David’s enemies.

Genesis 35, The birth of Benjamin and Rachel’s death, Altar at Bethel, Jacob’s sons.

1 John 5:21  Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

 

From Wikipedia:  After an attack on Joseph’s Tomb and its subsequent takeover by Arabs ceded to the Palestinian Authority after the Oslo accord, hundreds of residents of Bethlehem and the Aida refugee camp, led by the Palestinian Authority-appointed governor of Bethlehem, Muhammad Rashad al-Jabari, attacked Rachel’s Tomb. They set the scaffolding that had been erected around it on fire and tried to break in. The IDF dispersed the mob with gunfire and stun grenades, and dozens were wounded. In the following years, the Israeli-controlled site became a flashpoint between young Palestinians who hurled stones, bottles and firebombs and IDF troops, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

At the end of 2000, when the second intifada broke out, the tomb came under attack for 41 days. Fatah operatives and members of the Palestinian security services who were responsible for curbing militant activity against Israelis actively participated in it. In May 2001, fifty Jews found themselves trapped inside by a firefight between the IDF and Palestinian Authority gunmen. In March 2002 the IDF returned to Bethlehem as part of Operation Defensive Shield and remained there for an extended period of time. In September 2002, the tomb was incorporated on the Israeli side of the West Bank barrier and surrounded by a concrete wall and watchtowers.

 

Genesis 30, Jacob’s children, mandrakes, Jacob’s breeding method.

Mandrakes are both narcotic and hallucinogenic, and were used for sorcery and divination, but were also believed to cure sterility. Rachel kept trying anything.

Hitler practised mysticism, and possessed mandrakes. Nowadays mandrakes are used in some Wiccan rituals. And then there was the early 20th century cartoon “Mandrake the Magician”.

So Laban used divination. Many believe that the best way to find water is using a divining rod. If bent the right way it will point down to where water can be found.