Jacob, whose name means “deceiver”, had conspired with his mother, to dupe his father Isaac, and by deceit, obtain the blessing; the traditional passing on of the patriarchal authority of the family to the first born son. The brother who lost this birthright was Esau, the beloved first born son of his father Isaac. Because Isaac’s eyes had grown dim, Rebeccah and Jacob were able to pull this off. Jacob then having received this blessing, fled to the land of Haran for fear of his brother Esau, and also to find a wife who would please his parents, and not as the wives of Esau, daughters of the Hittites.
On his journey, Jacob came to a place called Luz, and it being late, and Jacob being weary, Jacob lay down and slept, having stones of the place for his pillows. In the night, Jacob experienced a dream of a vision. As he dreamed, a ladder was set up upon the earth, a means of climbing upward. As he beheld, the messengers of God ascended and descended (in that order) upon the ladder. Upon the ladder , the LORD stood, and was heard to say:
“I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of”.
Jacob, awaking from his dream, proclaimed , “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it”.
And he said further; “How dreadful is this place!This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven”.
Jacob set up the THE STONE that he had for his pillows, poured oil upon it, and called the place BETHEL (house of God). Afterward, the place was referred to as “Luz which is Bethel”. LUZ means “Almond Tree”.
Jacob went on to say:
“If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee”.
The LORD never answered Jacob a word. For the LORD had not been speaking to Jacob, but rather, to the anointed stone on which Jacob had laid his head. The LORD was speaking to the one seed and heir of all the promises of God , the singular seed of blessing and promise also spoken of to Abraham, the seed as of one, and not “many”, as the apostle Paul expounds in Galatians 3. Jacob, nor any other individual drawing breath, could be heir of those promises, only that one spoken of is heir. Yet Jacob and any other may be joint heir together with that one, in all that one is heir of. This indeed is the meaning of the proclamation, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed”. That seed is Christ. Jacob, by reason of where he had laid his head, was privy to the covenant between the Father and the Son, and as Jacob said, Jacob “knew it not”.
Jacob, in the course of time, had sons, among whom was Joseph. Joseph received dreams and vision from the Lord. These dreams and vision, and the telling of them, caused his brethren to hate him, and they could not even speak peaceably to him. And even Jacob was indignant upon hearing them. For in his dreams, Joseph saw his brother’s eleven sheafs bow to his sheaf. And also, Joseph had seen the sun, moon and eleven stars make obeisance to him. Jacob rebuked him and said, ” What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
What had Joseph been shown? Was there anything greater than the patriarchal vision and system delivered father to son, from Abraham to that time, concerning land and inheritance? Jacob had obtained “the blessing”, and had suffered much for it. Yet he did well to “observe the saying” coming from his young son’s mouth. The entire patriarchal vision of Jacob’s household was symbolic. It was symbolic of things that could never be attained through possessing and living out the symbols of things to come. What Joseph had seen, was in reality, the same things Jacob had seen in Luz, though Jacob did not understand them then. What both had seen, was THE RESURRECTION, the ladder to heaven. Only one can be called “The resurrection”, though many can be partakers of it.
Joseph went on to endure attempted murder, servitude, false imprisonment, and more. Nothing in his life reflected in any way, that his dreams and vision were likely to be true. For thirteen long years, until the word of the LORD came to him, the word of the LORD tried him, as read in Psalm 105. But Joseph abode in patience and faith, and eventually became Lord of Egypt and the giver of bread. In Egypt, Joseph prospered and forgot all his troubles and his former house (Genesis 41).
Jacob, now old, dwelt with his remaining sons and household, in a land stricken with great famine. In desperation, Jacob sent his sons, all but the youngest, into Egypt to buy grain. Jacob, convinced that his son Joseph was dead, could have no way of knowing that he was sending to buy grain from his own son, Joseph, grain which we see Joseph gave them, and would accept no payment for. Upon sending to Egypt the second time, Jacob sent his sons with money, the best fruit of the land, and among the gift to “Pharaoh” went some Almonds. Joseph made himself known to his brethren this second time they came, and sent them with great gifts, to fetch to him in Egypt, Jacob and all his household, where Joseph would sustain them. Jacob learned that his son, which was presumed dead, was alive, and lord of all Egypt. Jacob, on his death bed, speaking prophetically as Israel, blessed his sons. In blessing Joseph, it is revealed that Jacob had done well to “observe the saying” of his son. Jacob, speaking as Israel, which means “Prince (and heir) with God”, was speaking as the anointed stone of his vision of “Luz-which-is-BethEl”. Coming to Joseph, he blessed him as the one separated from his brethren, strengthened by God, and as the prevailer. But careful reading (Genesis 49) will reveal that Jacob comprehended the resurrection. Jacob said to Joseph, “The blessings of YOUR father exceed the blessings of my fathers”.
What could possibly make the God of Jacob, become the Father of Joseph? Joseph, in being cast into a pit by his brethren, raised, sold into bondage, and eventually rising to the highest natural position in the known world, was a figure of resurrection. The key of understanding that Jacob arrived at, was that the star and sheaf of Joseph’s dreams were not his own. They were the resurrection and the life of another, that were Joseph’s by faith. The one seed and heir of all promises Jacob experienced in the way to Haran, was Christ, and the ladder and only way, HIS resurrection. Remember the words of Jesus to us before He went to the cross. “I go to My Father and YOUR Father, to My God and YOUR God”. Only his resurrection makes this so. He is the resurrection.
Many generations later, in Egypt, the descendants of Jacob labored under cruel task masters and a Pharaoh that had long forgotten Joseph. The Lord remembered Abraham, and sent to deliver the children from Egypt by Moses. To aid Moses, his own brother Aaron was sent to meet Moses in the wilderness as Moses returned to Egypt to do as the LORD commanded him. As the brothers Moses and Aaron lead the children out, the two rods of Moses and Aaron figured prominently in the deliverance and exodus. Simple reading and counting will reveal that Aaron’s rod actually was used more times in the deliverance than Moses’, up until the crossing of the sea. After that Moses had caused a tabernacle, with furnishings, and rituals to be established (the sons of Aaron being priests of the highest things ), there arose a dissimulation and dispute among many of the prominent people, as to the place of Moses, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons, claiming that they, Moses and Aaron were taking too much authority, seeing “all the congregation are holy, every one of them”. These disputers perished. In a sign to the children of Israel, they were told to bring twelve rods, one for the head of each tribe. Upon Levi’s rod was written the name of Aaron. The twelve rods were laid up in the tabernacle before the LORD, and in the morning, the rods were examined:
“And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.”
The journey of an almond, a seed sent from Jacob into Egypt is a spectacular one. This man whose vision of the resurrection, the ladder to heaven, took place in a place called “Almond Tree”, would eventually send some almonds into Egypt. Many generations later a branch was severed from an almond tree, and become a rod in the hand of a man named Aaron. Aaron means “Light Bringer”. The rod , died, inscribed with the name “Light Bringer” and raised to life again, was not raised alone. It was raised with a crop, a generation of almonds, each almond a viable seed produced in one raised from the dead, each seed an heir of that resurrection. This is the only one to arise out of Jacob, to enter in to the holiest, passing before the man made lamp stand resembling a fruiting almond tree.
Jesus has promised “To him that overcomes, will I give the bright and morning star”. Jesus IS the resurrection, the bright and morning star. “He that looses his life for my sake, will keep it for life eternal”. Anyone, absolutely anyone, through faith, can obtain this. Little did Joseph’s household realize, that the star and sheaf of Joseph’s dreams that was superior to the patriarchal vision, were not the star and sheaf Joseph was born into Jacob’s household with. They were the Star and Sheaf he obtained by faith and patience, in the one who promised them to him.