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Laban's "gods"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg New Member

    Nov 19, 2004
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    Genesis 31 records Jacob's leaving his father-in-law Laban to return back to his own land.

    Part of this story mentions the fact that Jacob's wife Rachel stealing her father's "gods."

    What exactly were Laban's "gods," and did he actually worship them? Did Rachel also worship them, and did she intend to worship them when she arrived in her husband's own land?

    What are your thoughts about this?
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    Archeologists have unearthed thousands upon thousands of clay images of local gods in ancient Israel, particularly during the times of Israelite occupation in the land.

    It was an ancient belief that a god was sovereign over certain domains, deeply connected to the land.
    A monotheistic sovereign like Israel's LORD was unique.

    Later, when the Israelite conquered the land they were warned not to take on the practices and beliefs of the local Canaanite population.
    Despite the warnings, the mingling of the worship of YHWH and other god's occurred because Israelites were trying to placate the local gods of the land.
    YHWH abhorred the practice as revealed prominently in the first of the Ten Commandments.

    Because Rachel was being taken from her god's land and traveling to another land, in order to claim the protection of her family's god, she took its image.

    An interesting demonstration of this deeply ingrained belief of a god's connection to the land is seen in 2 Kings 5 where even though Naaman professed the LORD as sovereign over all the land he needed greater assurance of his continuing presence.
    #2 Deacon, Jul 27, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014