Power Grabs and Patriarchs • Firstborn Ep. 4

[Music] We are tracing the biblical theme that We're calling the firstborn it's a theme About messy family Dynamics and power Plays it's a theme about how God Subverts typical power structures by Choosing the least expected to have Power if you've been following along You've seen how this theme works out in The stories of Adam and Eve Cain and Abel and know its Three Sons today we Get to Abraham and his relationship with His nephew Lots Abraham has the Firstborn status with lots but he Doesn't use his status as a means to Gain more power instead he lets lot Decide which portion of land to settle In first which makes us wonder why is Abraham able to act with such generosity The Deep assumption is that God said He's going to bless me I don't own any Land yet but if you choose land God said He blessed me so I know there'll be some For me too from Abraham we move on to The stories of the three generations That come after him and in these stories The theme of sibling rivalry gets turned Up God has a blessing for everybody but He's gonna bring it through one family That families constantly in all these Cycles of rivalry hurting each other to Get the thing God wants to give to all Of them and God will actually turn that Rivalry into the vehicle through which

He brings the unity that will restore The blessing to everybody these stories Are full of deceptions and deceptions Within deceptions these stories are full Of people who don't trust in God's Generosity these stories are also full Of God acting in surprising ways and it Keeps us wondering why does this have to Be so messy following the god revealed In this story more than likely is going To set a person up for many rounds of This tension of waiting for exaltation That doesn't seem to materialize but the Part of what it means to have one's Heart and desire shaped by God today Tim Mackey and I look at the theme of the Firstborn in the family of Abraham I'm John Collins and you're listening to Bible project podcast thanks for joining Us here we go [Music] Foreign [Music] So we're in the middle of a conversation On the theme of the firstborn we're in The middle of our conversations but We're at the still at the very beginning Of the Bible looking at a theme about Status and Power And how God disperses his generosity and How he elevates people and we're calling The theme of the firstborn because in The ancient world Your estate your power and influence a

Father's a father or a king or a prince Or Duke or Earl [Laughter] Ier I don't know yeah no well probably Some equivalent in real time um the Queen of England just died yes that's Right and actually that made me wonder I Don't know how she became quick she's Been Queen for a long time yeah that's Right many decades yeah but usually it's Kings and now it's a king again and it Makes me wonder what it How that happened but anyways I don't Know how it works I'm sure there are Many but how it works is the logic of The firstborn yeah that's right yeah There's a logic of succession that can Be tweaked and adapted but it is still a Logic of succession yeah who's first the Norm And that doesn't create any problems [Laughter] Some people love the drama of the royal The Royals got some family members that Are so So into the British royal family yeah It's fascinating well it is fascinating To me how fast how fascinated they are With That but I would be obsessed with it if We had it here in America if we had a Royal family totally yeah I hear that All right so uh the firstborn how does Your power and influences status get

Transferred on and then who gets to be In charge who gets to be the one calling The shots and in the biblical story it's Not just who's in charge who calls with Shots but also there's this theme of the Snake Crusher where God wants to deal With the source of evil and destroy it And so he actually says from the seed of The woman a child from Humanity will Come someone who will crush the snake Yeah while being crushed or struck by it It's not simultaneous wounded Victor Type thing and so not only is the Biblical narrative interested in who Gets to have the power in any given Family it's more interested in Where is this lineage of the snake Crusher going to come from yeah and as You go throughout the especially of Genesis but then the rest of the Hebrew Bible that lineage is really what drives The impulse for what characters are on The stage at what time and this is the Theme of God choosing continuing to Choose one out of the many and it's About the continuation of this lineage Of the lineage of a future deliverer From the snake election yes yeah yep Election yep as we talk isn't as we call It and that theme of election is closely Bound up with how God chooses or who God Chooses and this is where it connects to The firstborn because the most obvious Thing for God to do is to choose the

Firstborn to be the vehicle of his Blessing yeah where the snake Crusher Will come from and because that's the Assumed cultural Backdropriate the least amount of waves And it's the cultural backdrop in terms Of ancient Israelite culture yeah so When we drop into the biblical story That's the default assumption that That's how people operate therefore That's how God would operate yeah and The Twist and the surprise of the Biblical story of the theme of the Firstborn is it is a surprise because of That assumed background and the reason Why God wants to crush the snake is for Everyone for all Humanity so by choosing One lineage it's too Bless yeah all of Humanity yeah and this brings us back to This theme of God's generosity it's wide And deep enough for everyone and so the Problem becomes do I trust in God's Method and timing yeah for how he will Disperse his generosity yeah that's Right and so we looked at how those Ideas are implicit in the garden of Eden's story With the snake and the anatomy and Adam And Eve and then we looked how they Become explicit in the first story of Sibling rivalry of Cain and Abel Genesis 4. and then we looked at how this theme Is really uniting all of Genesis 1 Through 11 together showing how the

Whole Human family Is trapped in this spiral of family Feuds and sibling rivalries that keep Spinning off lineages That lead to violence and greater ruin In the Human family because People don't trust that God will provide For them status Blessing honor they don't think that It's going to come to them and so they Take matters into their own hands which Is what Cain does yeah and it's usually Out of Envy yep and it's either it's Envy because you deserve it you think You deserve it and God's giving it to Someone else so this is Cain being Envious of his brother Abel yeah or it's Envy and that you actually are the Second or third born so ham who's the Third born Noah yeah who thinks man I Want to be in charge yeah and I can Maybe make that happen yep in my own Devious ways yeah so that was our last Discussion was it that strange story of Ham and his father and the nakedness in The tent I think if you read closely Follow the hyperlinks it's a story of The youngest son trying to exalt Themselves to family alpha male position And what God does is choose the middle Child Shem to be the vehicle of this Blessing Taking the story forward So we were talking about this theme in I

Think he's the word two streams I don't Know if that's helpful but the core idea Of power and responsibility and status And how God wants to elevate everyone But in his own timing in his own way Yeah well I think first of all the god Depicted in Genesis 1 is a God that Wants to share all that stuff with human With his powers yes with his images yeah His image bearing humans and why does it Go awry why can't that just be the end Of the story God shares it we receive it Yeah we share it with others yeah and Yeah there's a garden and it's good That's right and what happens at least In like the canyon Naval story is God Shows favor to a second born son Who offers a really really special gift As a sacrifice And what it leaves the older brother Cain wondering and the choice that God Says you have is If you do the right thing here you will Also be lifted up and exalted But it's you got a choice now buddy and The way doesn't say buddy that's what I Say to my kids when I'm trying to have a Serious conversation but that's it it's KN is left in this moment of wondering Is there exaltation and honor for me too Have you ever accidentally called your Wife buddy yes it's like yes it's the Worst thing well it's usually when You're I'm having conversations like

With one son yeah another son then with Jessica then back another side and you End up calling hey bud And then we'd look at each other and Seriously no yeah sorry you're not gonna Call me that I just called you bud Anyway yeah it's a lack of trust in God's generosity that's uh the root of Cain's insecurity and implicitly that Something like that that's underneath Bams the move that ham makes too right And so I think what's interesting to State here because we're going to see This played out in both ways I think In the generations after Abraham is that The problem is twofold one is that the Firstborn gets envious that God will Choose the second born or the latecomer But it also the conflict comes when the Second born feels like I got a raw deal That I'm the second born sure and then Tries to yeah figure out a way yeah to Get power on their own terms create or Yeah acquire get that honor status Blessing On their own terms the pattern of cane And the pattern of ham yeah the SEC yeah Yeah well said that's good good Clarity It's like you're good at understanding And explaining things I like that yeah There's the cane pattern and the Hand Pattern ah okay let's do that let's test That out here okay [Music]

Foreign [Music] Okay So starting let's go back real quick Just to get big picture starting with Adam and Eve there was a genealogy that After Cain killed his brother Abel God Provided a third born son to Adam and Eve Seth And in Genesis 5 we get a genealogy that Goes from 10 Generations from Adam to Noah and it ends with Noah and his three Sons then you get the story of the Increase of human violence in the Nephilim God purifies the land with the Flood Then you get another genealogy of Noah And his three sons when they get off the Ark and they have 70 descendants that Are 70 Nations that's Genesis chapter 10. And God chooses one of those three lines It's the line of Shem ten Generations That become 70 Nations yep the ten Generations from Adam to Noah Noah's Three Sons produced the 70 Nations oh no It's three sons no it's three sons That's right okay and God chooses the Middle child Shem of those three sons And then what you get then the story of Babylon and the scattering of Babylon Which is like the flood a new type of Flood yeah new type of God decreating What humans have made good in their own

Eyes and then out of that scattering God Preserves that line of Shem and you come Back to it and in Genesis 11 you get Another genealogy that takes you now From 10 Generations from Shem to a guy Named Tara with three sons so it's just Like from Adam to Noah Noah had three Sons now we're going from Noah sunshem To a guy named Tara who has three sons And those three sons are named nahua Quran and Abram later known as Abraham So it's just kind of cool like there's a Cycling and a design cycling happening With the generations so that the 10 Generations from Adam to Noah and his Three sons become parallel to the ten Generations from Shem leading to the Three sons that include Abram and just As God chose Shem from among those three Sons now God's going to choose Abram From among those three sons So a lot more to explore there but it's Just kind of once you go kind of macro Level for how Genesis is put together You're like dang man that's so great Attention so much intentionality in the Sequencing of the stories and I guess Maybe that's just good to point out Because when you're actually just Reading through the stories of Genesis It can feel Difficult to follow some kind of logic Or overall pattern but it really is There you just gotta know what to look

For So when you get to Genesis 11 what You're just told is that this guy Tarak Had three sons And the name of the sons are avram nahor And haran So what is interesting here is that the Name order is usually that order Abram Nachor haran And what we don't know is if the name Order indicates birth order because it Hasn't always yeah thus far it didn't When we learned of Noah's sons correct Yeah their name Shem ham in the office But the birth order is actually japheth Shaman yeah So all we know is that Abram is the son Chosen of these three to become the Vehicle of the blessing because at the Beginning of Genesis 12 God the Lord Said to Abram So I think that's significant in that For some reason even though Abram is one Of these three the narrator doesn't want To oh so we don't know his birth order Yeah the story doesn't make it clear we Know that Abram's brother haran becomes The father of a son named lot and then Haran dies and then Abram and his Brother nahor they get married And then they move with their dad Halfway to the land of Canaan they moved From Over the Chaldeans and they moved To a town named haran and they settle

There He and his brother And then he leaves Abram is the one that God calls to go to Canaan But his brother nahor stays there where He was and this is where Abram is going To send a servant to find a woman who's In the family for his son to marry this Is where Jacob goes when he's exiled is To these relatives right here okay I Think what's just interesting is you Have the stuff about one sung chosen Among the three But the narrative doesn't focus on their Birth order it's really interesting Because it's been really important until Now exactly so it's it's the first cycle Where it's not highlighted that it Causes some conflict or it's conspicuous By its absence yeah there's no conflict Here God just chooses one Abram and says Come here and he leaves his family and He goes but there's no sign of hostility Or anything like that but you have Flagged that the story of lot and Abraham the stories of them yes are Riffing off of a hostility yeah yeah a Lot is a nephew so he's not a brother Yeah but he comes to be like a stand-in For his brother especially when it comes Of who's gets the first choice of the Land which is interesting okay all right So let's think about that real quick so First of all what God said is leave your

Land leave your relatives leave your Father's house And go to the land I will show you and You read and Abram went forth as the Lord spoke to him And lot went with him You're like wait him oh and interesting Abram went as the Lord spoke to him like Sweet God said do this he did that and Then you get this little short sense at The end and lot went with him it's Almost like accept Allah yeah totally And that little deviation from the word Of God is going to cause a lot of Tension in the family in the next Because a lot is a relative and he's Supposed to leave his relatives yeah Yeah and it's implied that you would Leave now you could say lot is the Orphan because his dad right Abram's Brother died it's a lot status dead so Is this a noble act but it causes Trouble okay in the story so let's talk About that trouble so in Chapter 13 Abram and the whole crew come back from Egypt because they went down there in The famine and that's a whole thing but When they get back it turns out that lot And him sometimes passed and they've Both built up big flocks They both have lots of possessions And the land was not able to sustain Their migrating with their herds in the Same land like it's just not enough

Grass yeah to eat they're just bumping Into each other too much yep yeah and Their Shepherds don't get along they're A Strife there was hostility between the The Shepherds of Abraham and the Shepherds of lot and so what lot says is Uh listen Abram said a lot listen let there be no Hostility between you and me your Shepherds and my Shepherds look we're Brothers oh he calls it Brothers okay Yeah totally which in I mean in a Traditional culture where your extended Family is way a tighter web yeah Social Web it's very common to call your uncle Or your nephew your cousin your brother But it's certainly ironic in this sense Because Abram's actual brother his dad Died and lot becomes like his brother Yeah the stand-in So what Abram does is he's generous He says listen isn't the whole land in Front of you Listen if you separate from me if you go To the left I'll go right hmm you go Right I'll go left And so lot lifted up his eyes and he Looked and here that's really Interesting riffing on this theme of Trusting God's generosity yes right Thank you I for sure that's what this is Abraham or Abram here yeah is just like There's enough Oh thank you thanks I'm so glad did your

Attention like I don't have to try to Fight for yeah what I think I need yeah Like make the first move there's gonna Be enough yeah that's exactly what's Happening this is really important Because this is a baller move this is a Generous Super generous move yeah the Deep Assumption is that God said he's gonna Bless me yeah and I don't own any land Yet but if you choose land God said he'd Blessed me so I know there'll be some For me too this is kind of like the First narrative we have of I mean it's Ambiguous whether he is the firstborn Right right yeah that's right but he is The older Abram's the older one of Between him and long yeah because he's Awful yeah and he's the one with the Blessing so he's like the firstborn in The story and it's a story of the Firstborn saying yeah I don't need to Have a power play here yeah there's Enough so good John that's exactly What's happening it's cool yep so he Becomes the first Faults and oh yeah yeah you're right and I yeah you do you do draw attention to His faults I do because so does the Story but the story also highlights his Moments of trust and this is one of them Yeah his leaving his family in the first Place one of them yeah and this becomes He's on a good start he's a great start

He's got a role totally yeah and this is After he lied and deceived the king of Egypt that's right we skipped that story Yeah okay so I think he's also maybe Kind of You know tail between his legs he Learned a little lesson I forgot about So don't drink don't try and create my Own blessing okay and future like I did Down in Egypt yeah so this is the next Story So listen we're brothers God said he'd Blessed me he's going to bless you Choose your land and I'll I'll go find What God has for me So look at Lots just a little little Characterization here a lot lifted up His eyes and he looked And he saw All the Valley of the Jordan hmm just Streams of water everywhere Oh this is before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah that doesn't happen For seven more chapters that's what the Narrator says then the story goes back In you know what it looked like it Looked like the garden of Yahweh You know it looked like Eden yeah he Looked and he saw a well-watered Eden Garden and he looked at the fruit of That land you know that land is like Egypt too Because Egypt is going to be another Garden of Eden by the end of the scroll

The fertile valleys of Egypt so lot Chose for himself all the Valley of the Jordan and he journeyed to the east And so the brothers separate So last time Somebody looked and saw the garden by The water and chose for themselves it Didn't work out what are you referring To I'm referring to Adam and Eve at the Tree they're in the garden in the garden See what's good yeah totally they take It yeah and they have to go East yeah I Think the narrator is describing lot's Choice here As echoing the poor choice okay and Because this choice is going to put him In Sin City yeah yeah that's gonna end Up being a really bad situation for him And his kids and his daughters so this Decision ends poorly and it begins with Him lifting his eyes and looking at the Garden fruit land that he chooses for Himself now Abram on the other hand he Just stayed put in the land of Canaan Which is where God said just go there And I'm gonna I'll hook you up but you Gotta wait okay so he stayed put yeah so A lot was like I'm going over there and Then he was like okay I'll stay right Here exactly he moves his tents far away Now the Lord said to Abram after lot Separated now you lift up your eyes The lot lifted his eyes where he saw What was good now God says you lift up

Your eyes and look from the place just Right here where you are Look North look South look East look West all this land I will give it to you And your seed you know You and your seeds I will make like the Dust of the land The Adama yeah yeah the dust of the land Oh it's uh it's the afar that oh but the Dust of the earth yes exactly right yeah So this is exactly what God made Adam Out of in Genesis 2. so I think it's a Little echo of this phrase from Genesis 2 like you're the seed of the new Adam That I'm going to birth through the seed Of the woman So your lineage is the seed of this new Dust of the Earth if anyone can count The dust of the earth then you can be Numbered so get up you know let's walk About the land That I'm going to give to you and so Abram walks about so it's this cool Scene where it's a chance where Abram Could pull rank on his nephew and choose The plot of land now he doesn't know Where and what exactly but he just knows That God settlement give this land and He's super open-handed and he lets his Nephew go first yeah because the Narrative could have been Abraham's like you choose and then I'll Go and then Lots like over there looks Really nice yeah and Abraham looks up

Over there too and goes well you're Right actually you know what changed my Mind I'm gonna go over there totally you Stay put and I can change my mind Because I can't because I'm your uncle Because I'm yeah I'm the older yep I've Got The Power yep yeah but instead he's Just like great you chose that beautiful Land over there you're right that does Look beautiful yeah I'm gonna stay put Yep so that's this story cool so it's an Interesting story about it's the theme Of a firstborn or sibling rivalry even Though it goes well it's about but it Goes well because of Abraham's Generosity And it's about a uncle and nephew not an Older and a younger brother okay we're Working the same theme yeah which is Cool so yeah let's just pause and Meditate on how powerful of a story this Is On what is possible when humans are Open-handed with the much that they have Been given that's what this story is About and we saw the opposite of this in The stories of Cain and ham and that's Important to hear those tragic stories But this is really a beautiful portrait Of what happens when He really truly believed there's enough For me and for my siblings [Music] [Music]

Foreign So Abram's story also involves not just The promise of a land for his future Family but of a future family Of like many descendants that they would Be fruitful and multiply just like the Eden blessing for Adam and Eve so a big Theme Here the obstacle to this is the Fact that Sarah his wife is unable to Have children And so in Genesis chapter 16 is a story That we've reflected on many times over The years so I just want to summarize it But it's a story of how both of them Become impatient with God's timing So they do to one of their sleigh an Egyptian slave what is good in their Eyes and the language used in the story Here Also Echoes the language of Adam and Eve At the tree so it's a failure story And what Abram does is he marries and Then he impregnates this Egyptian slave And she gives birth to Abram's firstborn Son A guy named Ishmael And right from the get-go Sarah Sees this slave wife as a rival and so In a way she becomes like a firstborn But of these women it's she's the first Wife right and now there's a late Comer Wife And God gives to this Egyptian slave What he has not given to Sarah yet and

That becomes the source of division And conflict at this part of the story Notice our creative way the story is Developing and exploring this from many Angles yeah I see it so what happens is Sarah oppresses the Egyptian so that the Egyptian and her son flee oh no excuse Me why she's still pregnant she flees And what happens is the Angel of the Lord comes to Hagar and provides A little Garden of Eden for her a little Spring of Water by a tree in the Wilderness So he provides Eden blessing Also for That late Comer Who has been oppressed by the firstborn So just all of a sudden Sarah becomes Like the cane figure And Hagar becomes the Abel Seth figure That God gives the blessing to Even though Hagar and Ishmael will not Be the chosen line we don't know this Right now well we don't know this yet so Well okay so story so far is God Provides a little Eden blessing but Actually we should assume it because it Doesn't God does he say explicitly like I will give you a son through Sarah he Does after this after this that's right Okay so after Hagar goes into the Wilderness God provides a little Eden Streaming tree out there and says hey Like go back

I'm going to make you fruitful and Multiply and you're gonna get the Blessing but your son is going to live In conflict With those around him And so she goes back in chapter 17 right After that God says hey remember you Know I'm gonna I'm gonna bless you and You'll be fruitful and multiply Abraham Yep to Abraham and changes his name this Is where it changes from Abram to Abraham and so when God says you're Going to be fruitful and multiply then He specifies and he said listen you Pulled this move with Hagar trying to Produce a descendant on your own but It's through Sarah that a royal lineage A king like lineage will come from her And you're like oh yeah that snake Crashing see the woman and Abraham falls On his face and he laughs and he says Yeah right like you know Sarah being as Old as she is can have a child and then What he says is I already have a Firstborn He says oh let Ishmael be the one who Lives before you I already have one and so how's that Going to work with Sarah So it's a lack of trust moment and God Says nope it's through Sarah I think the logic here is Hmael is the product of the UN of a Rivalry between the two wives and in

That rivalry Sarah was like the Oppressive first wife and the mistrust That Abraham has right for God's Blessing yeah it's the product of a Rivalry and a mistrust correct that's Right or mistrust that turns into a Rival it turns into a rivalry So What God Says is I'm going to provide a son Through Sarah and he will be the second Born and it's that second born that will Carry the line of the royal lineage of The snake Crusher and the blessing so It's like the wives Sarah is kind of the First come wife but she'll give birth to The second born son And it's the firstborn son through the Second the latecomer why anyway it's a Really clever inversion on that but We're just kind of turning the theme Over from all these angles but it's the Same basic idea but what God also makes Really clear is just like Ishmael is the firstborn and I'm going To give the blessing to the second born Through Sarah but God says I Will Bless Ishmael too he will be fruitful and Multiply and this goes to remember Kane It means that if my brother is exalted That's it right there's no blessing not Enough and God's like listen just Because I choose one doesn't mean I Don't choose the other hmm it means I'm Working in historical sequence and you You too Ishmael will get the blessing so

That's how this theme works out in Abraham's generation and so when Sarah Finally has a son so Abraham was pretty Happy with Ishmael being his firstborn Yeah it was Sarah who wasn't down and Then it was the fact that like he wasn't Gonna have another kid yeah but then God Said no I'm going to give you another Child that's right and so later in Genesis in chapter 21 when Sarah finally Does become pregnant She gives birth to Abraham's second son Isaac And Sarah is the one who once again Becomes jealous of the status or Irritated with Ishmael and his slave Mother Hagar And so when Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian Doing something here it says mocking is The New American Standard Bibles Translation remember Isaac's name means Laughter Abram laughed Sarah laughed When they said when they heard the news And so God said you'll name him laughter Because he laughed and then what Sarah Sees is Ishmael the firstborn relating To laughter her son laughter in some way And the verb that describes what he's Doing is causing laughter Which could mean making fun of something Like that but she's ticked so she Exiles The slave woman and her son So that rivalry becomes really tragic

And so what God does is once again Hagar And her son are out wandering in the Wilderness they think they're going to Die and for a second time God provides Water and a tree in the wilderness And promises that they'll have the Blessing even though they are not the Chosen lineage of blessing for the snake Crushing seed So I think what we can meditate on here Is that this is a story about Abraham And Sarah and their struggle to trust God's generosity and specifically just They struggle with his timing Which is similar to what Kane struggled With and sometimes Abram gets it right Other times he and Sarah really don't And what God does is compensate for the Pain and ruin they cause by blessing the People who are hurt by their lack of Trust in God's blessing but he also Doesn't walk out on Abraham and Sarah Like he stays committed to them being The people That he's going to provide the seed Through even though It really feels like they don't deserve It by this point in the story such an Interesting way of exploring this theme Yeah Because in some sense Abraham he made a Good call with God's generosity was lot And then when it came to trusting in God's generosity for him in terms of an

Heir like it pushed him too far yeah he Trusted God with the land yeah but he Didn't trust God with the future of his Family because I mean he's just like Yeah I could trust God there's lots of Land I'm looking around there's lots of Land but I'm also looking around I'm Getting rolled and there's no children My wife's getting really old yeah There's no kids I gotta take matters in My own hand Now as soon as we're talking about seed And heirs we're in the realm of this Theme of the firstborn And By taking another wife having a Firstborn child from that wife It creates a rivalry between the wives Abraham's down with the Sun But then there's ravely with the wives And That then becomes a rival we also Between the sons Yeah division on both fronts and I guess What I don't fully understand maybe help This land more is God could have just Said let's use Ishmael and that would Have been kind of a you know God using The second born wife or the second wife Yeah exactly the seed of the second wife And that fits the theme of like I'm Gonna choose the late Comer yeah and Elevate yeah but instead it's like no Let's invert again

And now I'm gonna actually choose the First wife to have the Second Son second Born son yeah um yeah because the second Son feels in a way like should be the Favored son because it is of the first Wife and I've always thought of Isaac as Yeah the more important son in a way so In some way he is the second born but in Some way of the first wife yeah no I've Asked the same question myself the most Satisfactory Kind of set of Reflections that I've Come to Is Even though Ishmael is the son of the oppressed Egyptian slave Isaac is the son that Truly is a gift of sheer God's creative yeah active Grace and Power creating life out of non-life in The womb of Sarah Whereas Ishmael is the Sun that they Produced by doing what's good in their Own eyes and so my hunch is that it's The Sun that they could never point to And say look at what we did that yeah It's the Sun but what you says look what I made with Yahweh oh yeah exactly That's exactly right yeah they can't Look and uh Isaac and say look what we Made hmm thank you that's a good Reflection rather Isaac is the son that They look at and say ah look what Yahweh Did look what y'all I did yeah but what

That means is this overlooking of Ishmael but kind of but God says I'm not Going to overlook him yeah he's gonna he Gets the East blessing too so I think That's probably it does show you there's Enough generosity yep that it's hard to Predict God's method yes that is true it Is unpredictable it forces every Generation to stay alive yeah with God Right oh I get it God's Gonna always Choose the second born or the second and Here's the second wife okay I get oh Wait a second I don't get it that's good That's good each yeah you can't predict The particular way God will enact his Purpose but you can trust that the Deep Desire underneath God's purpose is good Is to bless everyone but it will Sometimes look like it's not good and That's what puts all these characters it Almost inevitably always looks like it's Not good Like than the story of the Next Generation so the next generation is the Story of Isaac's two sons Isaac and Rebecca and this is the most famous Firstborn second-born rivalry in the Bible I think Jacob and Esau yeah and They're twins and they're yes totally And they're they're rivalry is Happening in the moment of birth itself Yeah because Jacob is depicted as Grabbing at his brother Like clinging for the position of his

Brother he's born second but but he's Holding on to the heel he's grabbing the Heel [Music] So for a much longer meditation on the Jacob stories and really a lot of what We'll summarize right now we did all Series of conversations on the Jacob Story as we went through the Genesis Scroll in our journey through the Torah Before So it'll be hard I just want to condense The theme right here it's kind of so you Have Isaac who's the second born son to Abraham yeah of his first wife And then he marries Rebecca who's a Relative or a daughter of Abram's family That he left back In the day yeah So they get married and Rebecca gets Pregnant this is Genesis 25 and she can Feel that there's like a wrestling match Happening in her womb Right and she freaks out about it and She goes to pray to God about what's Happening in her stomach and what God Says is two Nations this is Genesis 25 23 two nations are in your womb Two peoples will be separated from your Body one people will be stronger than The other and the older will become the Servant of the younger so from the Beginning God's stated purpose is this Is not

Gonna go the way you think though by This point Genesis you're kind of like Well this is kind of what I thought Would probably happen But not for the characters in the story So you know God's purpose from the Beginning So what's really fascinating is the Depiction of Jacob right after this Is of swindling or scheming his way To get The right of the firstborn By his own plan and this is Jacob is Making stew one day and his brother Comes in famous story And he said I was like oh I'm so hungry I'm gonna die give me that red red give Me that red red stew and Jacob says I am Happy to give that to you along with Them the right of the firstborn Foreign I'm about to die of hunger what is it to Me you know and so he and the Hebrew Word for the right of the firstborn is Called the bechura Word firstborn so Becca Raj the right First born Then we flip it over in another story That's going to happen in Genesis 27 is Isaac is hungry one day And he brings in Esau and says Esau make Me a special stew if you make me a Really special meal that I can take and Eat

Um I'll give you the blessing the Eden Blessing that God passed on to me Now we're supposed to be thinking of These two things separately I know we've Jammed on this and it never landed for Me oh The bakura yeah did I say that right the Right of the firstborn yep the right of The firstborn and the blessing the Blessing which is spelled with the same Letters but flipped around the middle [Music] The firstborn right yeah can I make a Clear distinction and relationship Between the two Um Well what are they synonyms oh well They're clearly related they're related By the paired swindling stories Swindling to get Jacob's swindles to get The bejora and he and his mom Swindle to Get the Baraka here's my assumption so Maybe then you just tell me I'm wrong The pakora the right of the firstborn The and it would be like your Inheritance like the double portion that The firstborn son gets yeah Yeah yeah is this other theme that God Is going to choose a family where the Royal snake crushing King is going to Come from that's right but Royal in Terms of authority So in other words the the black so they Should go together yeah yeah well God

God blessed the human and said be Fruitful and multiply rule the land yeah So Authority Power responsibility and abundance are All packed into the blessing okay of Eden yeah and so that I think they are Implied abundance and Rule and Responsibility okay or a package deal I See but it could be You could in the logic of this you could Give the abundance to one son where the Blessing goes with another son right so One son gets the double portion But the blessing of the royal king oh Another son well does that ever happen Well what's fascinating is I think Isaac Thinks that he can just like Give the blessing away for food yeah so Which shows that his he's kind of like His son is within His Image because he Gives away his firstborn right for food Yeah so like father like son I think if Anything it's the Isaac I think is Portrayed here as being flippant And he doesn't seem to Value it because He'll just exchange it for food yeah but I think the real question is so when Isaac says I'll give a blessing Why should God care What Isaac thinks and what Isaac does to God's blessing yeah but God already said What his purpose was in the poem Rule And Authority would go to the younger Ones okay and Isaac is seen here as I

See thwarting God's purpose got it and We know the one who's already been Selected and it's the younger one okay As Paul says before they do good or bad Yeah God has made us mysterious choice And what is the clay to say to the Potter why did you make me this way but With the clay can't say to the Potter is I trust that you will make me into Something beautiful too hmm right there You go that's it that's what this is About so what Happens is that Rebecca and Jacob come Up with a plan to Swindle wait do you Think that's actually what Paul's logic There is N't the logic a little bit like Disney Say like God can just discard certain Mugs [Laughter] Well he holds that open as a conditional Possibility what if God were to just Choose one mug and discard another what If God were to do that and he never Finishes that sentence and then he goes On a Long Trail to show that Those whom God doesn't choose were always designed To be incorporated into the blessing Given to the chosen one interesting Which is Israel in the Nations okay it's An open-ended question that he doesn't Answer and then you realize until he Comes around to the very end when he Says therefore God has assigned all to

Disobedience so that he may have mercy On all and restore Israel and the Nations through Resurrection I guess What's confusing is that whole thing Comes out of how he dealt with Pharaoh Too correct yeah that's right which with Pharaoh I mean he does get destroyed yep That's right the point is for Paul the Jacob and Esau story isn't about Choosing one at the expense exclusion It's about choosing one to to become the Vehicle of blessing for the many yeah Which puts the nachos in in a test that They have to choose and here Esau when He realizes that his brother swindled Him he responds just like Cain did in Fact the language is exactly the same he Wants to harag his brother Which means murder and that's what Cain Did to his brother okay he murdered him Yeah so what's important here And the clever twist here is that the Second born Jacob you already know he's The one chosen from the beginning chosen From the beginning But he consistently lives and behaves as If if he's going to get the firstborn Right or the blessing on his own terms He's gonna It's Gonna Be by his own Wisdom And now in the story we don't know if he Knows that he was no it's true all we Know is that God said that to Rebecca Yeah yep so it could be that Isaac

Doesn't know yeah and he's just doing What is natural yeah that's a Possibility but Rebecca knows and so she Threw a counter deception Gets a scheme yeah she knows and she's The one and instigates the counter Deception with Jacob yeah yeah but Either way Jacob is depicted as Grabbing after the thing that God has Destined him to receive yeah but he Lives as if He is only going to get it if he does What it takes even if it means betraying Your own family members and we're back To That theme except now instead of like Cain the firstborn wondering is their Blessing for me it's like the chosen Second born acts and lives as if he Wonders It's the hand pattern yeah it's really Interesting so you can be the chosen one But choose to live as if you're not and Hurt people in order to get the thing That God wanted to give you all along And that is a perfect summary of the Story wow of Jacob so it's only the First time Jacob acts generously in his Own life story is way back it's the Night before he's about to re-meet Esau 20 years later And he heard that Esau is coming with 400 men And he's on his own at this point right

So yeah he's got four wives and all Their kids and a bunch of animals okay So I mean yeah yeah and he's like my Brother's coming last I knew He wants to kill me yeah and so this is Genesis 32 he lines up his family in Groups and he lines up his wives and all Their respective kids in the order of Most disliked to his favored wife at the Last so he protects his Joseph and like A moat for him yeah but basically he's Offering up his wife and kids like if You're gonna start killing people off in My family start with this crew that's Right and that's what he says in the Story he says well if you know he Strikes and kills me oh my gosh at least He'll strike a smaller group first and Then After he makes that plan is the strange Story of God picking a fight with him in The middle of the night and Jacob's like Give me the blessing to this stranger And he's like dude you've been Struggling with humans and God your Whole life buddy and it ends tonight and He just smashes him in the crotch and it Dislocates his hip And you're like what a weird and then The stranger gives him a blessing yeah And you find out the strangers God yeah And then the next morning what Jacob Does is he moves his little Camp to the Front so that he's the first one to meet

His brother So there's some change of heart hmm the First time he actually Acts Trusting God to be generous and to save His life is the night after he gets Smashed in the crotch by God isn't that What a wild story hmm [Laughter] Yeah and how does this connect to does It connect to this theme I mean because He he asks for the blessing yeah he Wrestles God and then asks he still Wants to give me the blessing yeah and God gives it to him but it's precisely By wounding him that finally puts Jacob In a position to receive it legitimately From God yeah in a way he's always had It yep in a way he's always had it but God doesn't let him know you know Actually it's not entirely true But that takes us down a rabbit hole in The Jacob's story and you can go listen Earlier podcast episodes God has said Actually appeared to him before in Dreams that I'm gonna bless you but Jacob consistently acts like he's gonna Have to do it by his own power so the Night before he meets his firstborn Brother Is when all this happens so Jacob walks up to his brother and he Says Esau says what are all of these Animals why'd you send me like Dozens of animals and he says I want to

Give you a blessing let me give you back The blessing that I stole from you and What Esau says this is so rad man what Esau says is I have enough brother Like I don't need your gift I have much My brother so Esau becomes the generous Like the generous Abraham that's like Yeah listen I can trust what I have I'm Good I have enough you can keep your Blessing you clearly wanted it really Bad How's that hip yeah Yeah Powerful this is really really powerful Studies in human nature and psychology [Music] Foreign [Music] Like flying high mode over Genesis yeah But I kind of like it it's good yeah Okay there's one more generation to go One more generation but maybe let's let The Jacob and He saw a story set because the story of Jacob's sons is about all of Jacob's own Flaws just like ratcheted up To with the volume at 11 and multiply by 12 Suns this time okay the last cycle of This firstborn rivalry god inverting the Blessed one is the story of Joseph and His brothers who are the sons of Jacob Jacob Jacob has 12 12 sons and one Daughter and in Genesis 37 Begins the Story of those children so just to flag

It we dedicated many episodes of working Through the Joseph story In our Series where we went through the Torah and the movements of Genesis and So on so so movement three differences The Fourth Movement of Genesis so for Deeper dive feel free to go there we Just want to summarize briefly how the Inversion of the firstborn happens in This story and it's once again it's a Twist it's always with a Twist yeah well Now there's 12 kiddos right now there's 12 kiddos and the first four sons that Jacob has are from a wife that he never Really liked no so yeah so we're kind of Jamming with the yep the Sarah and Hagar Yes Sarah Hagar thing thing and Ishmael And Isaac so the firstborn is actually Born to what turns out to be Jacob's First wife which is his unfavored wife But it's the wife he doesn't love Because he didn't want her to be his First wife it's so creative man these Stories are so creative so what Joseph Does is actually take one of his last Sons Joseph who's the 11th son And Joseph makes him the exalted favored Son by giving him the special coat Technical or Dreamcoat and then that's The son that has dreams about being Exalted as the ruler of his family and The ruler of the universe with the Stars He becomes yeah a dream about being an

Exalted image of God ruling even over The Stars which is for sure Genesis Genesis 1 thing on my right yeah you're Like I know a snake that really wouldn't Like that I really wouldn't like that Dream so I know some brothers who don't Like that and some brothers who give in To the snake and who act like Kane who Don't like that dream and so it's Joseph's older brothers that devise a Scheme to First murder And then they decide to just throw them In a pit and then sell him into slavery Into slavery in Egypt And so Joseph becomes the Abel type Figure yeah but he survives the pit he's Not murdered but his brothers lie like Snakes and get Jacob to think that he's Been murdered Yeah by showing him a Bloody cloak the Dreamcoat turned bloody And so this whole story becomes about How God preserves the life of The Chosen son chosen of his father Pulls him out of the pit pulls him out Of the pit he goes in further into a pit Down in Egypt that he calls the prison He ends up in prison in Egypt and from There the deep pit down in Egypt God Exalts The Chosen son of the father Precisely through his suffering he meets People that become the way that he's Elevated to become the second and place Ruler over all of Egypt and not only That

His wise rule is able to imagine a plan To save Egypt and all the surrounding countries In the midst of a famine so it it's Precisely his suffering that leads him To his exaltation To a second in command place over Egypt Second only to Pharaoh yeah to the king He's essentially a king yeah that's Exactly right Now what's fascinating then is that when The brothers finally come Joseph is Really suspicious they have to go to Egypt because there's a famine and They're looking that's another little Rip thing yeah yeah going to Egypt Because of a famine yeah totally yeah They go down they run into Joseph who's Now in charge lo and behold the son that They abused The brother I'm sorry the brother yeah Yeah son of Jacob Who they sell off into slavery is now The one with the power yep so Joseph Concocts a scheme to match their old Scheme where he lines it up so that the Brothers are put in prison and they're Put in a position to betray one of their Brothers And leave them in prison and Jacob wants To see if they'll still betray a brother Uh Joseph I mean Joseph wants to see if They're gonna do now what they did Decades ago to him yeah and they don't

To tell the truth And so Joseph does another round of Testing his brothers Joseph gets the Brothers to bring down his little Brother Benjamin and he puts Benjamin a Position where the brothers could take Money and run and leave And leave a brother even his next the Next the very youngest son in prison and What happens Judah the fourth born Of Leia The first wife of Jacob he steps up and He says Ah listen take me instead we did Wrong to this kid's brother a long time Ago And that's coming back on our heads We shouldn't have done that and I give My life in place of my little brother And at that moment Joseph knows like These are these brothers have changed And he reveals himself So what's interesting is the whole Conflict is resolved when the fourth Born of Leia Offers up his life as a sacrifice in the Place of the favored younger son it's Really interesting and then as you go on To the end of the book of Genesis what You learn is that for the rest of the History of this family there's going to Be two prominent Brothers in rivalry With each other For the rest of the Torah and the Prophets it's the line of Joseph and the

Line of Judah and especially once you Leave the Torah and go into Joshua Judges Samuel Kings Most of the main leaders and kings And judges are all Figures that come either from the line Of Joseph and Judah and they're often in Competition with each other and then When later when the kingdom split after Solomon's rule it's Joseph and Judah All through the story of Kings when is That the northern kingdom and the Northern kingdom is Joseph okay the Southern kingdom is Judah okay so the Rivalry of the two brothers who give up Their lives for the blessing of the many Brothers they become the heads of Clans That become rival Brothers through the Rest of this story of Torah and props Really interesting but what God promises Is that he's going to bless the line of Joseph But it's going to bring the Royal future Coming King from the line of Judah yeah So the blessing of abundance gets put on Joseph the blessing of the future rule Is this is what I was asking does Everything split up yeah yeah the bakura And the yeah and in a way it does in the Barrel shot yeah First born right and the Baraka the Blessing yeah and but yeah it's a split Between Judah Judah totally and dude This is so rad and then the rest of the

Toran prophets is about how that split Between Joseph and Judah just goes right Down through their history yeah and they Never get along and none of their Descendants get along and then Ezekiel Has this weird dream where God tells him To pick up two sticks and to write Joseph on one and Judah on the other and Then to make the two become one and when God restores the new creation and Replants Eden and restores Israel as the Nucleus of a new Humanity he's going to Reunite The brothers the brothers the older Brother and the younger brother Joseph Will become one So this is really interesting so man so I just launched through the rest of the Hebrew Bible there so but it's another Example of God's has a blessing for Everybody yeah but he's gonna bring it Through one family that family's Constantly In all these cycles of rivalry hurting Each other to get the thing God wants to Give to all of them and God will Actually Turn that rivalry Into the vehicle through which he brings The unity that will restore the blessing To everybody through those few Rivals Yeah and so the theme of the firstborn And that God Doesn't always choose the one who you

Would think has the should have the Authority and the status of the power That's been cycling when we get to the 12 it's like everything comes to this Maturation where it's like It's So Sophisticated there's 12 Brothers the very first is it Reuben is The first yeah I mean he's off the map Yeah he does what ham did he sleeps with His dad's wife oh my gosh so that takes Him off oh yeah I'm out of the running Yeah Um so you've got the fourth and the Fourth one of the first wife and then The 11th yeah of the last wife to Bear Children and so neither of them are the Firstborn And the the blessings kind of split Between them when you think of them Together there is a firstborn second Born kind of rivalry between them Because one is older than the other and One gets the Royal Line while the other Doesn't yeah and so man yeah so Fascinating it is and this all comes Down to though yeah to land the plane God wants to bless all of humanity And If you do what is right you will be Exalted that's what he tells to Cain And what's the Temptation is to go man I Don't like the situation I'm in I don't Have I don't have what I need what I Deserve this doesn't feel like

Exaltation to me it doesn't feel like Exultation right now yeah that person Has what they don't deserve like what I I need to do something yeah and so we Could call this theme like you know Coveting The theme of coveting yeah thou shall Not covet whoa I guess that's in the 10. Yeah it's important the woman saw that The tree was desirable for eating and Desirable Covetous this is the word Covet but it's coveting status and power And authority and abundance and Abundance And that's been given to somebody else That I don't think deserves it and that I think by cultural norm or practice Yeah I ought to be the one who has that Right and if I say to someone else hey You choose and I'm gonna trust that just Feels so counter-intuitive and scary and Stupid yeah Yeah like maybe there's not enough That's right yeah it's as strange as Jesus saying blessed are those of low Social status the meek or the Unimportant they are the ones that will Inherit the land he says Although you owe nothing You're the one to inherit it all it's Yeah following the god Revealed in this story more than likely Is going to set a person up for many Rounds of this tension of waiting for

Exaltation that doesn't seem to Materialize it's sort of like that the Part of what it means to have one's Heart and desire shaped by this God I guess like Jacob There's stuff that needs to we need to Shed some Some scales some sneaky scales so that We can truly receive the thing that God Wants to give to everybody but each in Its own way in its own time and that's Hard for us isn't it It's powerful stuff man okay so next We're gonna jump into the exit scroll And talk about this theme yeah when it Comes to two brothers named Moses and Aaron then some brothers that come from Aaron named nadav and avihu and Eleazar And then about a firstborn son that God Calls Israel He calls Israel his first my firstborn Son and he says that as a threat to the King of Egypt who is enslaving and Oppressing and murdering his firstborn Son okay [Music] Thank you for listening to this episode Of Bible project podcast next week we Are diving into the Exodus scroll to Continue the theme of the firstborn Israel is God's firstborn but they're Not the ones in power anymore in the Opening pages of Exodus the pharaoh who Has blessed Joseph is gone and a new

Pharaoh has brutally enslaved them and So this becomes a contrast portrait of a Governing leader who looks at an Immigrant group and all they see is Liability and a potential conflict and So with the tragic irony is that his Fear of conflict is actually what he Goes on to create through his actions Today's episode was produced by Cooper Peltz with the associate producer Lindsey Ponder edited by Dan gummel Tyler Bailey and Frank darza provided The annotations for our annotated Podcast in our app Roject is a crowdfunded nonprofit and we Exist to experience the Bible as a Unified story that leads to Jesus and Everything that we make has already been Paid for by thousands of people just Like you thank you so much for being a Part of this with us Finish eating your cookie My name's Noah Bailey From Battleground Washington when did You first hear about the Bible project Like so close to Easter what's your Favorite thing about the Bible project Yeah there's a new one that's what is The new one called it says all humans All separated from all the animals and Then Jesus give them a little rope What's your favorite part about the Bible project that there's lots of People from when Jesus was alive still

When do you like to watch the Bible Project when my mom lets me to sometimes On the TV mama when we watched it on the IPad at the baseball game it was so fun Yes I do We believe the Bible is in the unified Story about Jesus we're a crowdfunded Project by people like me find free Videos study notes podcasts classes and More at bibleproject.com at Bibleproject.com It's really hard to say [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music]

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