I’m so tired: work, chores, life. I nearly just posted a new favorite song or something. But I thought, come on, look up one footnote. So Genesis 29:1-12 — Jacob goes to “the land of the people of the east.” He is looking for kin, for his mother’s brother Labon in the village (?) of Haran. So the footnote says see Genesis 25:6 — Abraham has taken another wife, Keturah, since Sarah has died, and he had more children. But the passage makes clear that Isaac gets all his loot. What did Abraham do for the other children?
“…Abraham gave gifts [to the other sons], while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.”
I love little connections like this. The next footnote references Judges 6 — “the people of the east” are enemies causing Israel suffering along with the Midianites and Amalekites.
Isaiah 11:14 — this is in a section right after the beautiful “lion and lamb lie down together” section. God will be doing still more wonderful things, says Isaiah, including having the newly united Israelites plunder “the people of the east”. Which this time, that footnote says “Arameans of Damascus”.
Jeremiah 49:38 refers to “Elam” and that footnote says “located east of the Tigris River…” The prophet says that “Elam” is going to be in trouble, but then restored.
H’mm. So kin. Far away. Not necessarily trustworthy. Not necessarily somewhere you would want to stay…. would the audience who first heard this story (“Gramma, tell us how Great-Grandpa first met Grandmother Rachel? Please!?”) get all these feelings, nuances, thoughts? Maybe. Maybe it is important to know that he went and got Rachel his wife, but he didn’t stay there, he came back home.
And that’s all for tonight, for the glory of God!