Did Jacob own any territory to rule?

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by paarsurrey, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Active Member

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    The treasure of Jacob (titled Israel) was spiritual wealth; he owned no territory to rule or to be inherited by his off-spring after his death.
    Did he?
    There is/was therefore no land to be called Land of Israel.

    Your thought please.

    Regards
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Jacob was the father of the 12 tribes.... the land was divided up between his children

    During the period of Kings there were two main territories in the area, Israel to the north and Judah to the south.

    this is interesting... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNxPA0PKFNI
     
  3. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Active Member

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    Jacob owned no land; so there was nothing to be divided among his children.
    Was there any? Please

    Regards
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    G!d gave them the land...Exodus 67'Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.'" 9So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.
     
  5. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    God may have given the land to Abraham and his descendants but the facts on the ground were probably a little different. It wasn't really theirs in anyone else's eyes until many years later when they waged war for it.

    Jacob kept a flock of sheep which he probably herded over long distances. He didn't own land in the way a farmer might but it's possible he had a large grazing territory that he considered his. But when the famine came and he and his family left for greener pastures in Egypt, all that would have been lost to him. The only "treasures" he could bequeath to his sons were his flock, his servants/slaves, and whatever other possessions he had. That may have been no small potatoes for that time and place.

    When Moses led the Israelites to Canaan 400 years later, they had to rest the land from the Canaanites. It was only then that the descendants of each of Jacob's sons, i.e., the 12 tribes, divided the land amongst themselves.
     
  6. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Active Member

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    Please provide an account/detail of the same with reference.

    Regards
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    namaste brother....

    For me this is all metaphor....not historical fact. You read the story of the dreams, and each son when he was born his mother said why she named him what she named him...it is the traits that are important, the nature of their being is what they are speaking of. Ownership of land is a need for the material.
     
  8. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    Paarsurrey,


    Is this the point that you are trying to make by initiating this discussion? It would be helpful if you could expand upon your statement so we can understand your position better.
     
  9. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Active Member

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    We are just discussing the principled positions.

    Jacob's treasure/possessions/belonging and status consists of ethical/moral/spiritual; he left no legacy of worldly possessions.

    The same could be said of Isaac and Abraham.

    The legacy of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was only ethical, moral and spiritual. Their worldly legacy was not much and could be ascertained from Genesis 15:18, Genesis 23:1-20 and Genesis 33:18-20.

    Abraham, Isaac and Jacob definitely owned no territory to rule.

    If they had then please correct me.

    Regards
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    And all this matters how and to whom?
     
  11. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    Paarsurry, I think you are right. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not appear to own any territory and they weren’t rulers. Jacob's sons did not inherit any land from him. Canaan was won in a war and divided among Jacob's descendants 400 years later.
     
  12. Taurean

    Taurean purified

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    Greetings. I am a new member. I hope I do not intrude. This subject has had my interest for long.

    What does the character of Jacob signify? Why is he favored by Rebecca over his brother, and what is the significance of the brothers hairiness versus Jacobs less hairy nature? It may be an indication of animal nature, but perhaps that is seeking too much.

    I am most interested in what exactly is seen by orthodox and otherwise learned Judaic scholars as happening between Jacob and the Angelic force that fights with him the night before he has to face Isaac.

    Why is Jacob able to pin the angel down, and make a demand of him?
    To the onlooker it has the appearance of the internal struggle to find ones courage, ones heroic self. Perhaps the wrestled divinity is here a metaphor of conscience.

    but this would not explain what happens to Jacobs leg.
    The point of the story seems to the physical nature of God.

    Any insights into this story very much appreciated.
     
  13. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    Taureen,

    Welcome to the Board.

    I’m glad you brought this up.I’ve been thinking about posting something about Jacob, myself. I wonder if you shouldn’t start a new thread about it so it will catch more attention. If you don’t want to, that’s ok too. But I’ll wait awhile to see what you do before I give a substantive response.
     
  14. Taurean

    Taurean purified

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    Thanks!
    I've searched the net but there seems to be no definitive interpretation.
    I made the thread, it's awaiting approval now.
     
  15. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Active Member

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    Please mention the subject of the thread. I will contribute my thoughts as well.

    Regards
     
  16. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    Hi paarsurrey.
    After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.
    --Genesis 33:18-20.

    "Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite - the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in Canaan - which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place . . . The field and the cave in it were bought from the descendants of Heth.”
    --Genesis 49:29-32.

    Jacob purchased directly at least one piece of land and inherited at least one other from his grandfather through his father.
    At Bethel he also put up a shrine (Genesis 35), but the Bible says nothing about whether or not he purchased the land.

    You have to think of Canaan like the America's wild west in the 1800s CE:
    Nearby to heavily settled areas, you had to purchase land because surely someone owned it. But out in the wilds, it was squatter's rights. If you homestead it, you own it.
    A prosperous herder like Jacob, with a big family, did not need land to be wealthy. His capital was his herds. He also had tents, draft animals, tools, weapons, likely the women had jewelry. And if Jacob had cash-money to buy that parcel of land near Shechem, he was not merely able to barter livestock for grain and fruit with farmers, he had sufficient surplus to sell some outright. Jacob may not have owned land, but he was very well off.

    Herder-clans in ancient times, like in the Old West, did not own the land they grazed their herds on. It was "open range." But they controlled a particular territory of open range, and ran off trespassers. To graze on a particular piece of land or to travel across it, meant you had to enter into a solemn contract (a covenant) with the clan which "controlled" it. A kind of blood pact, which often translated into a mutual self-defense treaty and an intermarriage compact with this neighboring clan. Grazing turf was significant and often fought over, otherwise. And striking an agreement was a very ceremonial event. Sacred.

    In dry years (or in times of political unrest) . . .
    When farmers, living around fortified cities, had no surplus grain to spare - this became a hardship for herders, needing to trade surplus livestock. Marginal farms failed and the farmers took to hunting and herding, using up much of the good grass and sometimes rustling the established herder's stock.
    And herders, lacking grain and fruit products (which they normal trade for), now during dry years have to turn to "patch farming" in fertile creek beds up in the hill-country or to creating terraces on the hillsides, in order to supplement their meat/milk diet.
    Instead of living in tents, herders - supplementing their diet doing patch or terrace farming - begin to build permanent housing. Small villages pop up across the hill-country, and the clan or community of clans own this land by homesteader's claim.

    This is the true story on the Israelites, Jacob's people.
    (Take a look at Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman's The Bible Unearthed.)
    In troubled times, these tent dwellers settled in the hill-country in permanent settlements, and modestly prospered. They made mutual defense agreements with other herding clans and former herding clans. And eventually made similar agreements with the agricultural dwellers in and near the fortified cities, for mutual self-defense against raiders from the north and from the sea, circa 1177 BCE. And by the time of Saul and David, they had formed a national alliance lead by the more militant herding clans, which succeeded in uniting the peoples of southern Canaan for almost a century against potential enemies - the old empires and opportunistic invaders, alike.

    This is how Jacob's ancestors came to rule the land of Canaan - by mutual self-defense treaties. Treaties established in the same way herding clans had always made mutual grazing-rights treaties with other clans. Solemn covenantal treaties.

    The Book of Joshua in the Bible is the dramatic Hollywood version of this story: "the heroic Israelites stole the land of Canaan by killing off the Canaanites." Good story, bad history.
    The true story is covenant treaties, first between hill-country herding clans, then extending to the urbanized farming communities in the Canaanite lowlands. Uniting all Hebrew-speaking clans in mutual self-defense.

    Did Jacob "own" land? Yes, but probably not much. Did he control vast stretches of grazing land? Perhaps. But his ancestors, by the time of the Judges, certainly did!
    These Hebrew-speaking people were self-reliant and relatively prosperous, they knew how to lead, and they were honest brokers. They made agreements with other groups, and kept their side of the bargain.
    And this is how the ancient "land of Israel" was built.

    It was not stolen from another group of people, paarsurrey.
    It was built.

    Jane.

     
  17. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Active Member

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    @ Jane-Q

    Thanks for your input in the matter.

    Regards
     
  18. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    Thinking about this thread a few weeks ago a question occurred to me: Who inherited Isaac's flock and the rest of his "estate" after he died? It surprised me that I never wondered about this before as I learned the story as a child and read Genesis more than a few times since.

    The answer also occurred to me but I'm not going to say, as I'm curious as to how others think. Has anyone else wondered about this? It's not anything I ever heard come up before.
     
  19. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    My understanding of ancient Israelite customs is:
    The eldest male child - or whichever male child receives the father's blessing - receives a "double portion" of the inheritance.
    Jacob: two thirds.
    Esau: one third.

    Jane.

     
  20. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    Jane, That's interesting. Where did you get this information? Was it in the Bible or some other source?
     

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