1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

Lesson 28, Geography Study Concerning the Scriptures, Patriarchal Migrations and Wanderings, Continued

 

MAP 26, Great distances and thus great faith were involved in moving an elderly patriarch from Mesopotamia to the land where his God would show him. 

 

Patriarchal Migrations and Wanderings (cont.) 

Jacob returns to Shechem after having lived in Paddan-aram (Plain of Aram) for 20 years (Red line, Damascus to Shechem)

Aram (Modern Syria)

 

[AIR-uhm; ďhigh; exaltedĒ] An ancient country of indefinite extent, formed of a collection of city-states. Among those mentioned in the OT are Damascus, Zobah, Geshur, Maacah, Beth Eden, and Beth Rehob. The territory of Aram was largely confined to the plains ne of Palestine and sw of the Euphrates. The Aramean kingdoms were absorbed into the Assyrian Empire by Tiglath Pileser III. 

Genesis 33:16-20,  So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir (in Edom).  And Jacob journeyed to Succoth (near Shechem), and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth (Shelters).  And Jacob came to Shalem (shaw lame), a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.  And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechemís father, for an hundred pieces of money.  And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel (the mighty God of Israel) . 

There are several other features found in the writings of, or about the Patriarchs that point towards the Middle Bronze Age era of history as the setting in which these events take place. 

Joseph was sold for 20 shekels of silver which represented the average price given for a healthy male slave during the Middle Bronze Age according to extra biblical sources. 

Genesis 37:28, Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. 

The average price of a slave had increased to about 30 - 40 shekels of silver in the first millennium B.C. and to between 90-120 sheckels of silver by the time of the Persian Empire. 

Also fitting into Middle Bronze Age social customs were the customs whereby a man without sons could adopt his own slave. 

Genesis 15:2-6,  And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

 

A barren wife could provide her husband with a slave-girl by which to bear a son.

 

Genesis 16:1-2, Now Sarai Abramís wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her.

 

The practice of granting birthright to the eldest son.

 

Genesis 25:5-6, And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

 

The gift of a female slave as part of a dowry at marriage. 

Genesis 16:1,  Now Sarai Abramís wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 

A fatherís prohibition forbidding a prospective son-in-law from taking another wife.

Genesis 31:48-50,  And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; 49And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee. 

The arrangement of marriage by a brideís brother, assuming that her father was deceased. 

Genesis 24:29-33,  And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sisterís hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the menís feet that were with him. 33And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on. 

Genesis 24:50-61, Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy masterís sonís wife, as the LORD hath spoken. 52And it came to pass, that, when Abrahamís servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.