THE EARTHLY INHERITANCE SERIES of BIBLE SUBJECTS
Various Bible study guides in subjects pertaining to
New Earth prophecy, as taught by Paul Phelps.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth. Psalm 37:9
The JACOB ALLEGORY
Bible quotes are from the New Revised Standard Version
except for my own translations or as otherwise indicated.
Abraham and his Servant with Isaac and Rebecca represent
the Triune God and the Church, but who does Jacob typify?
A Bible study project by Paul Phelps.
After several years of study this writing was completed in 2012.
The story of Jacob begins in Genesis Chapter 28. This story is history but is
also an allegory of symbolic meaning about God’s salvation plan for mankind.
In this allegory we should first of all explain Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because
“I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” Exodus 3:6.
In allegory, Abraham represents God the Father—as husband of the covenants
and as the father of Isaac (Galatians 4:22-28). Isaac represents Jesus, God’s Son
as the son of sacrifice (ref. Gen. 22). Abraham sent Eliezer,his ‘faithful servant’
to find a bride for Isaac, typifying the Holy Spirit, (third Person of God), seeking
a bride for Christ. Rebecca, the chosen bride for Isaac therefore represents the
Church of Christ. The Triune God, and the Church, are thus representeded by:
Father Abraham, Isaac the son, Eliezer ‘the servant’ —and Isaac's bride Rebecca.
Rebecca was barren twenty years but was healed by God. Her barrenness
signifies that men cannot be alive or be resurrected without God because the
opening of her womb was an act of God, and her twenty years of wait signifies
the twenty centuries of the Church age waiting till kingdom resurrection time.
We now consider Isaac’s twin sons, Jacob and Esau. They cannot signify God
because the three Persons of God are already represented. Isaac typifies Jesus,
the one who created humanity; his two sons Jacob and Esau therefore represent
humanity, but they signify two different kinds of humanity.
As the firstborn son, Esau had the birthright to all the family possessions and
with it the family destiny (blessing). Esau kept the family possessions but was
willing to give Jacob the blessing, not having regard for it. This was foreknown
(Gen. 25:23; Rom. 9:11-13), so the blessing would have been Jacob’s without his
connivance, but his connivance exposes human nature inherent sin and shows his
human identity in this allegory. Esau’s disregard of godly blessing also shows
Esau’s human identity in this allegory. Both have inherent sin of human nature.
Jacob and Esau represent two kinds of humanity, wise and foolish. Both have a
sin nature. But Jacob’s desire for goodness is the distinction separating the wise
from the fools. Those whose desires are only for this world are fools, but people
that desire goodness and whose hope is for the new world, are the wise. People
that love wisdom will hear the voice of their conscience, but the unwise will not.
Esau represents the fools whose rewards can only be of this world; they have
no destiny in the Abrahamic promises. But Jacob represents those who are wise,
who have a destiny in the promise given to Abraham. Such people will be in the
resurrection of the righteous (promised in Luke 14:14), and their inheritance is
the future new world—that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob looked for; (Heb. 11:8-12).
Isaac and Rebecca did not want Jacob to take wives from the Canaanites, and
he obeyed their counsel (Gen. 27:46). They told him to leave home and go east
to choose a wife from his people, as did his ancestors before him (Gen. 28:1-6).
In this, Jacob honoured his parents and secured for his children a pure heritage
with a blessed destiny. Jacob received that blessing and was promised that his
offspring (a) will inherit the land of his forefathers (Gen. 28:13), and (b) will also
“be like the dust of the earth (v 14), spreading abroad to the west and to the east
and to the north and to the south.” Jacob’s children increased to become Israel’s
twelve tribes, who at first inherited the land of Canaan—but later went east and
through assimilation expanded into eastern nations. Jacob’s family, expanding
like a dust cloud, has an allegorical typology applying to all humanity because
nations are like dust (Psalm 103:14; Isaiah 40:15). The dust of earth has no limit.
Jacob’s uncle Laban had two daughters, Leah and Rachel. They both became
wives to Jacob in formal marriage. Two serving maids, Zilpah and Bilhah were
also taken as wives. All four of Jacob’s wives gave birth to sons—twelve in all,
who were fathers of twelve tribes; (there were daughters also; Gen. 37:35; 46:7).
Born to Leah were: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
Born to her serving maid Zilpah were: Gad and Asher.
Born to Rachel were: Joseph and Benjamin.
Born to her serving maid Bilhah were: Dan and Naphtali.
In twenty years of work for uncle Laban, Jacob was cheated numerous times.
With no matchmaker nor money for a bride price, Jacob had to work for a bride
and after faithfully working seven years he was given the wrong bride, and had
to work seven more years for the one he loved. This disappointment probably
became a soul-sorrow that was felt throughout all his life. He may have thought
there was no blessing from God in this world. Jacob told Pharaoh in Gen. 47:9:
“few and hard have been the years of my life.” His hard life refers to this world,
the reality of this life for everyone. Jacob’s blessing is for the future new world.
In this allegorical study, the ‘blessing’ indicates a God-given new world destiny
and Jacob typifies that portion of humanity who will inherit the future Kingdom
through a resurrection of the righteous, (the sheep judgment of Matt. 25:31-46).
Esau dishonoured his parents by choosing wives from among the Canaanites
(Gen. 26:33-35; 28:8-9), a grief to his parents and an insult to God. His offspring
became the nation of Edom that included the Amalekites, Israel’s worst enemy,
(which prophetically will come to a full end and never again exist in the earth).
Esau typifies those that do not have an inheritance in the future Kingdom, (the
goats that fail judgment day and are reserved for a resurrection of the wicked).
The Jacob allegory reveals the earth aspect of God’s New covenant kingdom
and further clarifies the typology of the twelve tribes regarding all of humanity.
In the thousand-year kingdom of Christ (that begins at his return), the restored
twelve tribes will gradually absorb all nations, gathering all of earthly humanity
into the family heritage of Jacob. Ezekiel 47:21-22,
So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel.
You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who
reside among you and have begotten children among you.
They shall be to you as citizens of Israel; with you they shall be allotted
an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.
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