A Daily Genesis

Genesis 33:20

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 33:20 . . He set up an altar there, and called it El-elohe-yisrael.[/B]

El-elohe-yisrael is actually [I]'Eel-'Eloheey-Yisraa'eel [/I]which is a compound of three separate words.

'Eel is from [I]'el[/I] (ale) and means strength; as an adjective; viz: mighty.

'Eloheey is from [I]'elohiym[/I] (el-o-heem') and means: god(s) in a generic sense; but when used with the definite article "the" then 'elohiym identifies the Supreme Being

Yisraa'eel is from [I]Yisra'el [/I](yis-raw-ale') and means: he will rule as God, which, according to Gen 32:29, was Jacob's new name.

So, if we put it all together, Jacob's altar was dedicated to The Almighty God of he who will rule as God; or just simply The God Of Israel. It was the very, very, first altar to ever be named after the god of the people of Israel. A true milestone in the nation's history, and Jacob's too.

"one who will rule as God" could also refer to someone in Jacob's blood who speaks for God, speaks as God, and whose name is God. The only person in Jacob who can possibly fill that office is Messiah.

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is the one that will never be destroyed." (Dan 7:13-14)

"God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow-- in heaven and on earth and under the earth --and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Php 2:9-11)

The world has known its maker by several designations. First He was the god of creation. Later He became known as the god of Abraham. Then the god of the people of Israel. Now, He is also known, as the god of many Gentiles. So the Bible's God is available to everyone, and is everyone's god in one way or another. To some, He's a nuisance, a frightful adversary; their final judge. To others He is an enormous blessing, a faithful friend-- their rescue, and their ransom from the wrath of God.

Just exactly how much time elapsed between Jacob's temporary camp at Succoth and the events coming up in chapter 34 are unknown.

In the interval, Jacob very likely visited his dad and also traveled down to Seir to visit his brother Esau too; like he promised in verse 14. Just because the Bible doesn't say so; doesn't mean he didn't. One of the aspects of the Bible that some people find very annoying is that it doesn't record every little detail.

For example at Matt 2:22-23 it's reported that the prophets said Jesus would be called a Nazarene. But you won't find that quote in the Old Testament, so there's no use in looking for it; and that's because not every word spoken by the prophets was recorded: same as not every word spoken by Jesus was recorded in the gospels; and not every detail of the patriarchs' lives are recorded in Genesis.

Scripture's omissions can often lead people into error via a kind of logic called an Argument From Silence; which is a kind of reasoning that assumes that if something isn't clearly stated, then it's inferred from the silence that there was nothing to state.

According to Gen 36:6-8, Esau occupied two residences at this time; one in Canaan, and one in Seir. Kind of like rich movie stars who maintain a residence in Beverly Hills, plus a ranch in Montana

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