Jacob's Household Gods
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Jacob's Household Gods
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Household GodsGenesis 31.19 told us the story of Laban and his daughter Rachel. "When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household gods." These small possibly metal household gods or cult objects used by ancient semitic peoples were also known as "teraphim" which was a Hebrew word found only in the plural. Genesis 31.34-35 explained, "Now Rachel had taken Jacob's household gods and put them inside her camel's saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing." Genesis 31.37 continued, "Rachel said to her father, 'Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us." In Genesis 31.41 Jacob added, "It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times."

Jacob and his Household

Genesis 34.30 told us about households in another instance, "Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, 'You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.'" Genesis 35.2 added, "So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, 'Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.'" So we read in Genesis 36.6, "Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock and all his other animals and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan, and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob."

"Jacob's Household Gods"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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