Its Representation and the Right to Bear It
Including a Prophetic Look at Whale Rider
One of the most unusual accounts in the entire Bible is found in Genesis 30 where we find Jacob effecting genetic change in Laban’s goats and sheep by placing in front of them rods with peeled white strips. Here is that account.
Then Jacob took rods of green poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted (vss. 37-39).
Have you ever wondered what this might mean spiritually, prophetically? Without question, this process was not natural, but supernatural. Peeling white stripes on rods and letting goats and sheep see them when they mate cannot in any way effect genetic change, but it did here in Jacob’s six years of labor for his uncle/father-in-law Laban. So what could this mean?
Strangely, this is the question that arose after watching a movie that Kyle Nixon brought over. The name of that movie is Whale Rider. Later in this writing we will consider the movie; but for now, let us consider this most unusual account regarding these striped rods.
The first question that arises from this account is – What could these striped rods represent that brought forth striped, spotted, and speckled? The answer to this question is found by examining the stripes themselves.
We read here that the stripes were specifically “white” – “and (Jacob) peeled white stripes in (the rods).” The Hebrew word for “white” used here is “laban.” This should strike you as being unique, insomuch that it is the identical Hebrew word as his father-in-law’s name for whom he was laboring – Laban. Jacob made “laban” stripes in rods and placed them in front of the flocks that belonged to Laban.
In the Addendum to the writing, All’s Well That Ends Well, we address the occasions in the Scriptures in which this word “laban” is used, and found it most revealing. Someone had written me regarding Lebanon, which comes from the same word as “laban.” Following is this highly revealing examination of the same Hebrew word used here to describe the stripes Jacob made on the rods.
Lebanon comes from the Hebrew word – “laben.” This word might sound familiar to you – Laban was the father-in-law of Jacob. Both Laban and Lebanon come from the Hebrew word “laben” (all of which of course mean “white”), and in the case of Laban, there is only one vowel point difference from its root word. What do we know about Laban? For one, he was a deceiver royale. But even so, it was from Laban that Jacob received his two brides – Leah and Rachel.
Let’s look further at the use of this word. You would not know the following without studying the Hebrew word itself. When Moses came to Egypt to deliver the sons of Israel, you will recall that Pharaoh made them make the same amount of bricks, but they had to start gathering their own straw as well. It is quite interesting that they were in fact using this straw to make “labans.” The word here for “brick” is “laban.” So, the affliction of the sons of Israel in their bondage was that they had to make “labans,” along with gathering straw.
And this is not the only place where these “labans,” or bricks, were made. We find that the tower of Babel was equally made of “labans” burned by fire, with tar used for mortar. Thus we see that the tower of Babel that reached into heaven was fired “laban,” united with tar.
Where else do we find “laban”? In Leviticus 13 we find this word used sixteen times as the key indicator of leprosy – the sore or hair became white, or “laban.” Thus we see that the attesting sign of leprosy was this matter of the sore being “laban.”
Thus far the testimony concerning “laban” is not looking too good. Jacob received his two brides through and manipulated by deceptive Laban. The affliction of the sons of Israel in their bondage in Egypt was that they had to make “labans,” as well as gather straw for them. And even Babylon’s tower was constructed of “labans.” And even more disturbing is the fact that the sign of leprosy was that the sore or hair became “laban.” So, we now have to wonder how positive a testimony we have here with Lebanon. Let us consider a few examples that support this doubt.
And we continue reading:
So what can all of this mean? This Hebrew word that means white, though quite sparingly seen as purification, far more prevalently is seen just the contrary – leprosy, bricks made in bondage and those that formed the tower of Babel. Laban himself was a deceiver and manipulator. Lebanon will indeed become righteousness, yet only after being chopped down and burned for their haughtiness. And with the fall of these cedars, “There is a sound of the shepherd’s wail, for their glory is ruined.” Even so, the two brides of Jacob were obtained from Laban. Again, what can all of this mean? What is being said in this testimony concerning “white,” which is generally thought of as being pure? And what is this strange testimony of bricks in Egypt and the tower of Babel being called “white”?
This is a testimony of the kingdom of God given to man while in this earthly flesh and producing a work that is leprous. It is the efforts of earthly man to reach God, and is indeed a tower of Babel. It is man in bondage to this earth, to Egypt, laboring to produce the kingdom while gathering his own straw. It is indeed the garden of God, restored by Yahshua as a Nazirite and given to earthly man. It is the body of Christ, which places men under the mark of the beast seven in order to get not just one bride, but two – the two-part Remnant Bride. It is indeed Lebanon with its high and lofty cedars in which the birds of the air come and nest and corrupt the kingdom; and because of kingdom man’s own haughtiness, due in large to the vast success of Christianity and their sense that they are the impenetrable forest and that nothing could happen to them, men have continued to die for 2,000 years, necessitating that this shortfall work must come to an end. And when Lebanon falls, the pastors/shepherds will wail.
Thus you can see that even though Lebanon means “white,” the testimonies of this word are not near so impressive per righteousness, as they are of the sorrowful corruption of the kingdom. But yes, after they are burned, even as it is equally written in Zechariah 13:7-9, only two chapters following the previously quoted passage – Lebanon/Christianity will be purified by fire and made truly white.
Do you now get a sense of the application and meaning of this word per the white, or “laban,” stripes that were made on the rods? Based on what we learn concerning the application of this word, we can thus anticipate that these “laban” stripes are equally of ill nature; and they are, as we will see. But let us quickly consider another use of this word within this same account. In verse 35 we read:
So he (Laban) removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white (laban) in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons.
Thus, not only do we see the “laban” stripes on the rods, but all the goats that Jacob received from Laban had “laban” in them as well. So what is this “laban” on the rods, and what or who do the rods represent?
The answer is found in Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24. First Isaiah 53:5.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
In 1 Peter 2:24 we read:
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His stripes you were healed.
So what are the “laban” stripes that were placed upon the rods? They were, they represented, the afflictions, the stripes, that Yahshua bore upon His body so that we can be healed. Yahshua is the rod upon which Jacob made these stripes, and these “laban” stripes are the very things represented in the application of the word “laban.” They represented Yahshua being afflicted with leprosy, taking upon Himself the curse of sin. They represented the bondage of slavery that the sons of Israel entered, as well as the tower of Babel that was not pleasing to Yahweh and had to be torn down, both of these having their like fulfillments in the church. They represented the cedars of Lebanon that had to be brought down and burned, even as the 2,000 years of Christianity must equally find its fulfillment.
There is another highly revealing like testimony to these rods which represented Yahshua in His suffering at the hands of man and Satan. Even as the “laban” stripes were placed upon the rods, so we find the identical picture in the bronze serpent on the pole/standard (Numbers 21:8-9). Knowing what we do about “laban,” the “laban” stripes on the rod, and the “fiery serpent” on the pole/standard, these two testimonies are one and the same. The likeness of a stripe and a serpent is unmistakable, and both were placed upon a rod or standard. It is also quite striking and understandable that the bricks were burned thoroughly, Lebanon was burned, and an unchecked outbreak of leprosy in a garment required it be burned, while the serpent here is equally called a “fiery serpent.” And in further like testimony, in each case the striped rod and the serpent on the pole were both to be gazed upon.
When considering the serpent on the pole, by what Yahshua said as recorded in John 3:14 – “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” – along with John 12:32-33, one might think, as many have, that the pole/standard would be the cross. This must of course, unthinkably, lead one to conclude that Yahshua was or is the serpent! But that which we are seeing evidenced here in this parallel testimony concerning the stripes on the rod, tells us that the pole/standard is in fact Yahshua.
This is a very important distinction. Yahshua is not a serpent, but man and Satan are the serpent, and that serpent, even the “laban” stripes, were placed upon Him. Just because He was lifted up on a cross, does not make the cross the standard. Yahshua is the standard that was afflicted for us. He said – “if I be lifted up.” It was Yahshua, the standard, that was lifted up. He was no more the serpent on the standard than He was the “laban” stripes on the rods. The “laban” stripes afflicted the rod, even as the serpent afflicted the Standard.
Thus the message here is Yahshua in His affliction, and the cross was simply that which lifted up the Standard. This is confirmed in Isaiah 62:10f where we see that the “standard” (the identical Hebrew word) to be lifted up over the people, is none other than Yahshua. (This passage is tied specifically to His return in Matthew 21:5.) Thus once again we see the striking and revealing similarities that these two rod/standard testimonies bear –Yahshua’s affliction.
Now that we see that the rod with the “laban” stripes is unmistakably Yahshua taking upon Himself the curse of man, we cannot stop here. While this understanding is truly remarkable in itself, it in fact leads us to and begs a most pressing question, one that is also perplexing, significant, and very revealing.
We read that the purpose of these striped rods used by Jacob was to produce striped, speckled, and spotted goats, and black sheep. So, how is it that looking upon Yahshua, the fulfillment of these rods, produces like mixed offspring and black sheep? Remember, the rods produced like results. Offspring were brought forth according to the rods, and the rods were the causative factor.
We read in verse 35 that the specific quality that these animals had was, in being striped, speckled, and spotted, they were so marked by having white or “laban” in them, the same quality revealed on the rods – “he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white (laban) in it.”
We have already seen the significance of this “laban.” It is basically sin and corruption, the flesh efforts of man with the influence of Satan. The literal stripes that Yahshua received upon His body, represented by the “laban” stripes placed upon the rods, were placed upon Him by flesh man and Satan (an almost indistinguishable combination).
If the rods with “laban” stripes brought forth offspring with “laban” striped, speckled, and spotted markings, since we know that the striped rods were Yahshua, then what like offspring have been brought forth by gazing upon Him? The answer to this becomes obvious. Even as the laban-striped rod brought forth “laban” offspring, and in numerous quantity we might add, so laban-striped Yahshua, to whom man has looked as the suffering Savior, has brought forth “laban” offspring, and in equally numerous quantity. The church we have known thus far, or Christianity, is the offspring with “laban” striped, speckled, and spotted markings. The church received the kingdom of God, and even as Yahshua was turned over to man to be afflicted, so the kingdom of God was turned over to man to be afflicted, the former foreshadowing and even predestining the latter. Let us briefly consider an interesting testimony regarding this corruption.
It is quite interesting, and equally revealing, that Laban’s name spelled backward is – Nabal. As far as this writer is aware, this reverse name correlation is unique to all other names in the Scriptures.
When we think of Laban, the meaning of his name, its revealing corrupt representation, as well as its obvious prophetic relevance to Christianity, it is most interesting that the mirror image of his name – Nabal – is one of equal prophetic relevance to Christianity. Whether this is from divine design or happenstance, its association is uncanny.
As you might recall from the writing, Carmel, page 2, Nabal is a clear testimony of the body of Christ as well, from which comes the Bride. Like the first two sons of Judah (or, the first 2,000 years of the church), Nabal was likewise killed by Yahweh, and Abigail became David’s second bride/wife (even as Tamar took the position of Judah’s second wife, bringing forth two-part offspring in his name). Equally, of course, out of Laban came the two-part Leah/Rachel Bride.
One of the associations of “laban” is with leprosy. If one had leprosy, they were put outside the city or camp and could not associate with the rest of the people. They were regarded as unclean and essentially of no social or religious worth. This is the like quality of Laban’s mirror image, Nabal. His interceding wife, Abigail, told David (who was about to kill Nabal and all the men of his household) that her husband was just as the meaning of his name revealed – he was worthless and full of folly.
One might have a hard time reckoning Christianity as being worthless, but maybe less so as being folly. While if one follows in the manner against which Paul warned in 2 Corinthians 10:12 and “measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves,” then one would come to a same false conclusion regarding the church and equally be “without understanding.” It leads to error to regard the church based on our opinion. Furthermore, if you take Paul’s writings and conclude that the church, Christianity, is somehow justified in its actions and that Yahweh regards it as clean and good, then you too should consider being more noble-minded like the Bereans and examine the Scriptures, which are our Old Testament, and equally see whether what you think Paul was saying was so (Acts 17:11). If one examines the church based upon Yahweh’s infinitely higher standards, as well as the testimony of “the Scriptures,” then one sees that it is just what we see in the testimonies of Laban and his mirror testimony, Nabal.
When one looks at the church, it is easy to see this “laban,” or even Nabal, that exists in it, or has been placed upon it. Like Nabal, it fleeces the sheep and withholds from Yahshua that which is rightfully His. As evidenced by “laban,” it too is leprous, a tower of Babel, a time of bondage, and a forest that becomes haughty and must come down and be burned. (In further testimony in this account of the church and its affliction, we find that Laban “put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob,” the 3,000 years given to the church, and he pursued Jacob for “seven days,” the number of the mark of the beast.) But if we stop here with this consideration, all we would arrive at is this, though realistic, morbid look at this matter; and this would be neither complete nor conclusive. It would be like ending a song without any resolve, or addressing a problem without offering a solution. Regarding this issue, this testimony, of the kingdom’s corruption, we must have resolve, a solution, even as Yahweh will bring in all things.
One is to remember that the numerous offspring of the first 2,000 years of the church are all “laban” striped, speckled, and spotted, because that was Yahweh’s design for the church – it was to look like and become the crucified Savior, bearing His image when He hung on the cross. But there is hope in this. As we have noted before in previous writings, the body of Christ has been beaten and afflicted, a blindfold has been placed upon its eyes so that it cannot see, and the cares of this world, the crown of thorns, have been placed upon its head. It was Yahweh’s design that the kingdom of God, the body of Christ, had to suffer affliction and corruption by man and Satan, precisely as Yahshua’s own body suffered.
Why would Yahweh will that His kingdom be corrupted by man and Satan? For the same reason He willed that His Son come to this earth and be afflicted and defiled by man – to effect salvation for others. Herein is the much needed resolve, the solution.
In the writing, “Seedtime and harvest, …”, we consider the necessity of sowing a work into death and corruption, in order to bring forth a harvest. This matter of “laban” is the like in-part testimony of this wonderful truth, except that we are only seeing here the corruption aspect of this process. A seed suffering death with the consequence of being sown into the earth, and the church being corrupted and its representatives suffering death for 2,000 years and going into the earth, is what we see here with the “laban” striped rod or the serpent on the pole. By man receiving early the Spirit of Yahweh while still in corrupt earthly flesh, the church, the kingdom, was sown or placed into sin and corruption. Even as Yahshua was sown among corrupt man and suffered at his hands, so the kingdom was sown into corrupt man and suffered like affliction. That which happened to Yahshua, has happened to the kingdom, a most important truth to note. But equally following in the course of the Savior, sowing the kingdom in corruption affords the promise of resurrection – death, burial, and resurrection!
And, keep in mind that what we are considering here is what Yahweh is performing from a corporate standpoint. While men may involve themselves in matters on a personal level, often to the extent of entirely losing sight of or not even seeing the larger testimony, Yahweh is performing this entire matter at a corporate level, all working to His final purposes and design. This is what we are seeing here, insomuch that the church with its corruption is the period of the affliction of the body of Christ. So as we have asked – What hope do we see in this, insomuch that Yahweh promises that all things work together for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?
Yahshua said that if you do not take up your cross and follow Him, you are not worthy of Him and cannot be His disciple (Matthew 10:38, Luke 14:27). It is critical to note that if we identify with Yahshua in His death and suffering, we will be united with Him in His glorification. While man often fails to embrace this death, Yahweh will not fail to perform this for the church-whole, thus ensuring its resurrection. Corporately, Yahweh is effecting this process in the church-whole so that the church will become a sharer in the resurrection power of Yahshua and likewise effect salvation for all men. He is performing that which man has failed to perform. By sharing in His suffering and His death, the body will share in His glory. Thus the hope of the church taking on this identity with corruption, is in fact the promise of its resurrection! This is His way and His promise.
This is a very important point to note, and a message that comes through quite clearly per Jacob’s striped rods. It is the testimony of the power of identification, the very governmental principle that Yahshua used in order to deliver man. To deliver man, Yahshua had to come to this earth and identify with him, to be sown as a man. And in identifying with man and taking upon Himself man’s corruption, when He conquered death and arose from the grave, He gained the authority to deliver man, with whom He had identified. He came to earth and thereby opened the way for man to be delivered from death and destruction.
But very importantly, this same identification now applies to man as well. How can man pass through that opening prepared by Yahshua? Man must now identify with Yahshua, and it is critical that that identification must first be with His death. We find that if we identify with Him in His death, we gain the power that He had of an indestructible life. If we identify with Him in His death, we have the hope of identifying with Him in His resurrection. Thus, because the church has identified with Yahshua in His afflictions (being afflicted, blinded, and bearing the crown of the cares of this world), it will identify with Him in His resurrection. This is a very important truth.
While looking upon the “laban” striped rod may have brought forth like affliction, looking upon the serpent on the pole also has the promise of overcoming death! And while there has been a 2,000 year breach or delay in the fulfillment of this promise, it will be fulfilled. This we can first expect in the promise-fulfilling Elijah second Remnant.
In that which man fails to accomplish, Yahweh will not fail. He is doing a work per the church at a level and with effectual results with which no man has any control. What earthly man has lived 2,000 years and can say they have been responsible for the church? There is no man who can make that claim. Yahweh alone receives this glory.
I hope you have not read these last several paragraphs too quickly so as to miss their great importance. It is encouraged that you reread them carefully and ponder on their meaning and application.
And one final confirming word concerning this testimony regarding the rods. We note that the striped rods were placed in the “gutters” (30:38 and 41). When the animals came in to drink, they mated by these rods placed before them in the watering troughs, or gutters.
The Hebrew word here translated “gutters” is “rahat.” It is used twice here in Genesis 30, once in Exodus 2:16 where Moses met his bride while she watered her flock from like “troughs,” and one other place in a distinctly different way. In Song of Solomon, the testimony of the Bride, we read in verse 5, chapter 7, concerning her:
“Your head crowns you like Carmel,
And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads;
The king is captivated by your tresses.”
Can you guess where the Hebrew word “rahat,” translated “gutters” and “troughs,” is used? Here in Song of Solomon it is the word “tresses,” used for a lock of hair. So to what do the watering troughs in which the striped rods were placed, the troughs where Moses met his bride, and now the locks of the Bride’s hair give evidence?
First, there is an unmistakable identity of this “rahat” with the Bride. Moses’ bride was one of seven daughters who came to water their father’s flock. As we know, Christianity is identified with the number 7, the number of the mark of the beast that is on Christianity. This is clearly a picture of the Bride coming out of the body of Christ. And where is it that this Bride is met or revealed? Like other Bride testimonies such as Rebekah or Rachel or the woman at the well or here with Moses’ bride, the Bride is revealed at the well. This is the well of the former and the latter rains where water is equally poured out, but from heaven.
Also, this is the Bride whose glory, whose hair, whose tresses, are captivating to the King. Thus we see that the Bride is clearly identified by these troughs or gutters. So why then were the striped rods placed in the gutters where the goats and sheep came to drink? The answer is quite evident. Because Yahshua came in the presence of the first Remnant, the Leah Bride. He was placed on this earth in the “gutters,” in the very presence of the first Remnant Bride; and it has been from this initiating work with Yahshua’s presence, that Christians have drunk and have looked to for 2,000 years, producing striped, speckled, and spotted offspring ever since. Yahshua in the first Remnant, was the striped rods in the gutters.
And may we add – even as Yahshua came the first time in the presence of the Leah first Remnant “rahat,” so He will come the second time in the Rachel second Remnant “rahat.” It is quite evident, both in Scriptural testimony and in divine design, that in each case the company of people whom Yahshua gathers or draws to acknowledge His coming, is regarded as the Bride company. This divine event alone is what qualifies these two companies per His two comings to be his two-part Bride. It is not worthiness, it is not some degree of excelling service, it is not necessarily even having pure and perfect beliefs, but rather it is association – being there with Him and for Him when He is present.
To draw from nature regarding this, we find that any honeybee larva that is to become a worker (which are all female), can be miraculously transformed into the more splendid and procreative queen simply by being fed royal jelly. In like regard, royal jelly is to bees, what Yahshua is to man – His presence makes us different, miraculously transforming a common worker into a queen!
For us today who now anticipate His return, the second Remnant Bride will be those who, as with His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (or two in Matthew), prepare for and announce His coming. But once again, even as it was at the time of His first coming, the Bride is the company of people who happen to be alive at that time and respond and gather to welcome Him.
In conclusion, just as Judah’s first wife brought forth corrupt offspring, so out of the first Remnant Bride came the striped, speckled, and spotted offspring of Christianity; and these offspring have all died, even as Judah’s first two sons died (or, 2,000 years of the church). But Yahweh must perform a new thing; He must have a second Bride who will bring forth offspring in His name who are not corrupt (though their origin is questionable and not normal – a new thing). Like Judah, He must have a Tamar who will bring forth a two-part offspring who will continue His genealogy in His name, the former Bride having failed to do so. This is the Remnant who enter into incorruptible bodies, the anchor within the veil (Hebrews 6:18-20), who will begin to bring forth offspring who are not corrupt, as have been those before them.
One of the rods which Jacob striped was the almond. In Jeremiah 1:11-12, Yahweh asked – “What do you see, Jeremiah?” To which he answered – “I see a rod of an almond tree.” Yahweh then responded – “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” Yahshua is the Word, just as He is the almond rod, even the striped almond rod, and Yahweh is watching over His Word per the church to perform it, both body and Bride. And we are seeing the marvels of this work when we consider these laban-striped rods and their outcome, as well as the hope that this affords – identification and resurrection!
May Yahweh be glorified!