Our current woman to study is Rivqah and last we learned about the powerful blessing that she gave Ya’aqov in Part 1. Now we are going to see how she witnessed an important time in his life.
Just like in Bereshith 27, Rivqah sees that Esau is about to get the blessing from Yitschaq. Rivqah probably remembered the words of Avraham in Yovheliym 19:15-31 and sees this is the moment that she must take action! She gives Ya’aqov instructions on what to do and prepares a disguise for him (Yashar 26 & 27 and Yashar 29:1-10). Yashar further says that Ya’aqov is very afraid of Esau, so he flees to the house of Eber (the son Shem – whom he had already spent 32 years with see Yashar 28:18-25) for the next 14 years.
During this time Esau becomes a big problem to his parents (Yashar 29:12-17). He is so angry that he moves away from them for six months, when his anger seems to have subsided just a bit, he returns he places his wives in his fathers house.
“And the women of Esau vexed and provoked Yitschaq and Rivqah with their works, for they walked not in the ways of YAHUAH, but served their father’s elohiym of wood and stone as their father had taught them, and they were more wicked than their father. And they went according to the evil desires of their hearts, and they sacrificed and burnt incense to the Ba’aliym and Yitschaq and Rivqah became weary of them.” Yashar 29:14-16
Finally 14 years later, Ya’aqov desired to his parents so he returns home. When Esau sees him, his anger is rekindled and again he plans to kill him! In Yashar 29:23-43 and Yovheliym 27:1, Rivqah is told what Esau is planning to do. Here again, she probably recalls what Avraham told her in Yovheliym 19:15-31, so again she takes action! In Yovheliym 27:2 she calls Ya’aqov to her and tells him to go and flee to Lavan’s house awhile until Esau’s again calms down and then she will send for him.
He then says he is not afraid of Esau, then she says:
Although she did not agree with Esau’s choices, she still loved him. She still would have been sadden by the loss of only the son who she had a closer relationship, but also of the one whom she did not. Most parents, love all their children – even the ones that cause them pain nor would they want their children to die at the hands of one another. She wanted the best for both of them and later on we will see how she tries encourages the relationship between the two.
Then he says he will go but that he is not going to go without his father knowing what he is doing. Rivqah agrees then goes and talks to Yitschaq. Yitschaq calls Ya’aqov and tells him to go to Lavan’s house and take a woman from there, then he blesses him and sends him off. I highly suggest reading the account in Yashar 63, however here are some other interesting things to know:
- Ya’aqov was 63 years old when he fled to the house Eber (Yashar 29:11)
- Ya’aqov was 77 years old when he went to Lavan (Yashar 29:30)
- Yitschaq sent Ya’aqov out with wealth-gifts, silver and gold (Yashar 29:28,38)
- Esau sent his son Eliyphaz to follow Ya’aqov and kill him, but YAHUAH gives Ya’aqov favour in the site of Eliyphaz, and instead of killing Ya’aqov they take all the wealth that his parents had given him (Yashar 29:38)-this is why he arrived at Lavan’s house empty handed.
Back to Rivqah.
Rivqah is heartbroken. Her son, whom she loves so much, just returned home after 14 years, only to leave again for who knows how long. Yitschaq sees her weeping and speaks these kind words to her:
What loving and comforting words she received from her husband. He didn’t condemn her tears. He didn’t ignore them. He spoke gently to her heart. It is truly a blessing when my husband speaks comforting words to my heart.
Fast forward 14 years later, Yoceph is born (Yashar 31:19-21) and Rivqah longed to see her son so she sends her nurse Deborah and two servants (Yashar 31:22-31) to him. However this is when Lavan convinces Ya’aqov to stay a bit longer – six years longer in fact! Deborah chooses to stay with Ya’aqov but the servants return home to Yitchaq’s house. I can only imagine Rivqah’s disappointment when her son did not return home with the servants.
When he finally does begin his journey back home, Lavan comes after him and after they make a covenant – which Lavan breaks it immediately. Lavan sends his son Be’or and some servants to Esau to lie about Ya’aqov. Esau again prepares to kill Ya’aqov. Lavan’s son and servants, then go to Rivqah and tell her that Esau is leaving to kill Ya’aqov (Yashar 31:69-77). Immediately she sends 72 men from the servants of Ya’aqov to hopefully get to him before Esau. When Ya’aqov sees the 72 men coming he believes that YAHUAH has sent some people to him. After greeting him, they give him the message from his mother:
Inspite how Esau treated his parents, inspite of the words that Avraham spoke about Esau, she still tells Ya’aqov to honour him “because he is the elder.” She knew that YAHUAH had chosen Ya’aqov and not Esau, but she did not encourage Ya’aqov to be prideful about it. She encouraged him to supplicate which means to pray humbly to; entreat or petition humbly (dictionary.com); to speak kind to him – no smart mouth answers; to give him a present – sort of a peace offering and to be honest with Esau. This is rich wonderful motherly wisdom regarding the relationship between their sons.
Ya’aqov listens to her advice and you know the next part of the story. They met up, eventually Esau accepts the gifts and they depart (Bereshith 32-33; Yovheliym 29:12-14; Yashar 32).
In Yovheliym 29:15-20, we learn how Ya’aqov was a good, caring and unselfish son. He sent his father some of the substance he had: clothing and food, and meat, and drink, and milk and butter, and cheese, and some the dates of the valley. He also went to go see his mother four times a year and kept taking care of this parents as they had need.
Next, Dinyah is taken, Shimon and Leviy take righteous vengeance and their actions are recorded in heaven (Bereshith 34; Yovheilym 30, Yashar 33-36) and Levivy and all his sons are set apart as priests unto YAHUAH:
“And the seed of Leviy was chosen for the priesthood, and to be Leviyiym, that they might minister before YAHUAH, as we continually, and that Leviy and his sons may be blessed forever; for he was zealous to execute righteousness and vengeance on all those who rose against Yisra’el.” Yovheliym 30:18
So then Ya’aqov tells the people that they need to clean themselves up because they are going up to worship YAHUAH (Bereshith 35 and Yovheliym 31) and invited his father and mother to come to witness the fulfillment of his vow to YAHUAH (Bereshith 28:10-22; Yovheliym 27:19-27 and Yashar 30:1-3). Yitschaq tells Ya’aqov to come to him so he does. He brings with him Leviy and Yahudah. When Rivqah hears some one tell her that he is back, her ruach is strengthened and she blesses his sons that are with him:
Then he continues on to his father, where the Ruach of Prophesy goes into the mouth of Yitschaq and he prophesies over Leviy and Yahudah. In the evening, Ya’aqov tells his father about all the things that happened to him and invites him up to worship. His father says that he is too old but to take his mother.
I am sure that she is so happy, and how blessed she must have felt that she had the opportunity to witness this important time in Ya’aqov’s life. I can just see her walking around with gleam in her eyes and joy in her bones as she packed a bag or two! She was going to witness her son fulfill his vow to YAHUAH and do something with one of his sons that is awesome!!!!
That night on the 13th of the 7th month (Yovheliym 31:3 and Yovheliym 32:1-29) Leviy dreams that he is ordained priest. The next morning, Ya’aqov gets up and prepares to give a tithe of all that he has. But who does he give it to? Ya’aqov took a count of all his sons and the portion fell on Leviy, so Ya’aqov then clothes him in garments of the priesthood and filled Leviy’s hands with the tithe that he had prepared. Ya’aqov then gives his offerings and sacrifices daily for seven days. Furthermore, Leviy officially started in his role of priesthood before YAHUAH and his family.
After Ya’aqov fulfills his vow, Ya’aqob returns his mother to his fathers house. What a time she must have had. Oh, I can imagine how her heart exploded with joy. She saw her son-an honorable man, who kept his vow to YAHUAH, install the first priest, give the tithe and offer the best of all that he had unto YAHUAH. She witnessed his worship. What an awesome privilege and honor! She was able to see his family all 12 sons that she prophesied about.
I know that she was overflowing jubilation when she told her husband all that she saw and had experienced.
Part 3 – Rivqah’s Parting Words and Encouragement for Mothers coming up soon!