. . . One in My Hand . . .
The Creator speaks through the Prophet Isaiah, saying “Remember the former things,those things of long ago;for I am God (El), and there is none other; I am Elohim, and there is none like Me. 10 I make known the end out of the beginning,and from ancient times, that which is still to come.I say: My purpose is established,and I will do as I see fit.” (Isa 46:9-10)
No place do we see a greater testimony to this truth than in the leading verses of the 29th chapter of Genesis. In those verses, we see the prophetic format for the ‘restoration of the two sticks of the house of Israel’ by Messiah Yeshua, even before a ‘House of Israel’ had even come into being.
Let’s recap briefly a previous teaching that is connected to the passage in Genesis 29. The encounter of Yeshua with ‘The Woman at Well’ in John chapter 4, details an event that marks the beginning of the promised restoration of ‘The Two Sticks’, beginning with the ‘stick of Ephraim’, in the place where it was said you are not my people, there you will be called sons of the Living God. (https://prodigalmin.com/the-woman-at-the-well-2/)
And even though Judah’s final exile for her treachery would begin at a later date, the foundation for her restoration is laid in Yeshua’s earthly ministry, an example of which is portrayed in the ‘Woman Caught in Adultery’ as well as Yeshua’s presentation at the sixth hour to Judah by Pilate as ‘The King of the Jews.’(it is interesting both events occurred at the ‘6th hour – John 19:14). Peter’s vision of the gentiles coming in also happened at the 6th hour. We see another example of the beginning of this restoration process in the ‘Two Donkeys’ brought into town by Yeshua at His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. (https://prodigalmin.com/johns-wayward-women-whats-the-word-say-03-31-16/ ) (https://prodigalmin.com/johns-wayard-women/)
So how does that recap tie into the Scripture portion beginning in Genesis 29? Should it give insight into the prophetic picture of the opening scenes of Genesis 29? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
We see three flocks waiting on the arrival of the fourth so that the ‘stone can be rolled away’ from The Well and all the flocks partake of the much needed Water. We know that eventually Jacob (whose name would become Israel) would father twelve tribes by four women, or four flocks, if you will.
So let’s go back to that first scene in which there are three flocks in waiting. We submit this is a picture of all those faithful in the past, diligently and expectantly looking forward to the time of the coming of Messiah when the stone is rolled away from The Well. The 4th flock is the flock of Rachel – Joseph and Benjamin, also known as The Northern Kingdom. Yeshua began the process of bringing that 4th flock back in with the strategic meeting at Jacob’s Well and now all the flocks are ‘now on site’ and ready to receive the Living Water, once the stone is rolled away.
We see, in Genesis 29, a picture of the conception of the House of Israel, a picture of their eventual regathering after their exile due to sin, an exile we see take place for The Northern Kingdom in 2 Kings 17 ( as prophesied in Hosea) and Judah’s eventual expulsion from The Land in 70 AD due to her sin and treachery. (Jer 3:10-11)
And, along with the regathering of the ‘Two Sticks’ will also come the harvest from the nations. Isaiah 56:7-8 – ” these I will bring to my holy mountainand give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrificeswill be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations 8 The Sovereign LORD declares– he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gatherstill others to them besides those already gathered.”” (Isa 56:7-8) We see it again in John 10:16 – ” I have other sheepthat are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (Joh 10:16) “Ephraim mixes with the nations” Hos.7:8 and “they will return to Egypt” Hos.8:13 & 9:3
And although all this was prophesied and portrayed well in advance, it could only begin at the ‘consummation of the ages’ ( Hebrews 9:26), with the advent of Messiah in the earth, the One Who would bring the reconciliation and atonement. Genesis 29 is a prequel to all that was prophesied, both judgment and restoration, the restoration promised from of old and begun by Messiah Yeshua in His earthly ministry.
Now let’s look at some other interesting numbers in the Genesis passages. We have 4 flocks, 14 years for two sisters/two daughters, 20 years in a foreign house, 6 years for one flock and 10 changes in wages.
But what can these numbers and images mean in light of Biblical prophecy? The number 20 carries the concept of expectation – looking forward to that which is to come. Jacob spent 20 years in a foreign house and now – expectancy – he is going home – the 21st year. 20 = 4 x 5. ‘5’ represents mercy and grace and it is the redemption price, according to Scripture. Here we see the hope – tikvah – the expectancy of the provision for redemption for all 4 flocks, for they/we ALL need a Redeemer.
The number 14 is 2 x 7, seven years for each of the two sisters. Seven, in Hebrew, is sheva and comes from the word ‘shava’ which means ‘oath’. By this prophetic and symbolic ‘7’ for each sister, The Creator is sealing His promise to bring them back in and back home. ‘14’ is also the same number of lambs slain each day during the seven days of Sukkot, until there is only one set of seven lambs slain on the 8th day, symbolizing the completed unification of the two sticks into One Stick in His Hand.
After working for the two sisters, ‘two sticks of his house’, Jacob worked 6 years for ‘the flock’. It has been 6 days or 6,000 years since the fall of man. During those ‘six days’ our Heavenly Father has been working to bring about the return of ‘His Flock’. Yeshua stated that, in addition to ‘the two sisters’, there are other sheep that still remain to be brought in.
Finally, we have the number 10. ‘10’ signifies, among other things, ‘divine order’. That does NOT mean every incident along the way is ‘divine’. It does remind us however of our Creator’s divine presence in the order of events and, even though we muddle around and muddy the waters, our Creator’s divine order and sovereign plan will come to pass. ‘For He makes known the end out of the beginning,and from ancient times, that which is still to come, and says: My purpose is established,and I will do as I see fit.” (Isa 46:9-10)
” . . . My wordthat goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purposefor which I sent it.” (Isa 55:11)
So our Father YHVH did all this, and not only for His good pleasure and the sake of His reputation and kingdom, but He did it for ‘all the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ Of course, that statement begs the question, who ARE the lost sheep of the House of Israel’? There are many who believe the lost sheep are comprised of only the northern kingdom (Ephraim). There are those that believe the ‘lost sheep’ are just those of out of the nations. Although produced by Catholic Press, an interesting footnote in The Complete Jewish Bible says the lost sheep are ‘the Jews’. So who ARE the ‘lost sheep’? Are they the Ephraimites, are they the nations or are they the Jews?
According to The Word of Our Father – it is all three.
So who WAS Yeshua referring to when He spoke on two separate occasions concerning “ the lost sheep of the House of Israel”? In Matthew 10:5, Yeshua specifically instructs the disciples to not go into the cities of the Samaritans, or to the gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the House if Israel. The cities of the Samaritans would be the territory of the northern kingdom. So, if they were not to go the samaritans, nor to the gentiles, that basically only left them with the territory of the southern kingdom (Judah) and it’s inhabitants which would be, for all intents and purposes, the Jews. In Matthew 15:22-28, Yeshua uses that same ‘lost sheep’ phrase again when confronted by the Canaanite woman in the territory of Ephraim. Did you know, through the Prophet Jeremiah, the Creator refers to both Judah and Ephraim as ‘lost sheep’? (Jeremiah 50:4-6)
The Prophet Isaiah declares “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
“And Yeshua, the One on Whom the iniquity was laid, said to them then and to us today – “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me.”” John 14:6
Therefore remember that you, formerly gentiles in the flesh– who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands– 12 were at that time without Messiah, being aliens from the citizenship of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua, you who formerly were far off, have been brought near by the blood of Messiah . . . 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ/Messiah Yeshua Himself being the chief corner, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Eph 2:11-13,19-22)
So, who are the lost sheep of the house of Israel? It is every soul down through the ages in need of a Savior, a Redeemer, in need of the miraculous work brought about through the death, burial, resurrection and first ascension of the Promised Messiah of Israel – Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth that came in the flesh . . . and He’s coming again to finish what was started. Will we be found faithful and ready? Will we be found doing His work in the earth?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Rom 1:16)
And (Yeshua) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
Feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, clothe the needy, visit the captive . . . “And the King will answer and say to them,`Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Mat 25:40)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters (the kavod) of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. (Mat 23:23)
“And as you go, preach, saying,`The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Mat 10:7-8)
“ . . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Mat 28:20)
And through the work of Messiah Yeshua, the four flocks become the two loaves, the two donkeys, the two sticks. And the two become one in My Hand, says YHVH. (Eze 37:19) And Who is the Hand of YHVH? Messiah Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth that came in the flesh.
And no one comes to the Father, but by Him. Shalom