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In the Tanack bible we are exposed to a series of blessings and curses this is as we look at the influence that the fore fathers of Israel had over their off springs. We note that God does not condone sin and in this case therefore he punishes it severely. However, we also note that in punishing individuals the curse went down across the generations and even got to affect the descendant and offspring's. God declares that he will curse the children with their parents' inequities to the third and fourth generation and bless the children of the parents who have kept his commandments to the thousandth generation"...for I, the LORD your God, am an impassionate God, visiting the guilt of the parents upon the children, upon the third and fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing kindness to the thousandth generation of those who love Me and keep My commandments."(Exodus 20:5-6). From this we note that the forefather' deeds had a great impact on the Israelites as the off springs got to be blessed or cursed depending on their actions and how their forefathers behaved in line with keeping God's commandments. However, as a result of sin in the world we note that perhaps there are more curses than blessings. Through the Tanakh we are exposed to a series of curses and blessings which seek to have been handed down from generations.
When God created Adam and Eve he put them in the garden of Eden. He then gave them instructions and told them never to eat of the forbidden tree. He warned them that if they did, then they would die. However, Eve fell into the temptation of the devil and ate of the fruit she even gave it to Adam. This brought anger and the wrath of god upon them. Both of them were chased away from the Garden of Eden. This was not enough because then eve and Adam received a curse. God Cursed Eve, saying: "...I will make most severe your pangs in childbearing; in pain shall you bear children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16) this was passed down to all women from that time henceforth. In Israel women got to experience debilitating pain from this curse that was imposed on eve. Apart from that God made eve to be under Adam in that the man was given authority over women. This was seen in that from then on man was head while woman is supposed to remain submissive. To the man God said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree I had forbidden you to eat, cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield....Genesis (3:17) apart from these they were cursed with death meaning that they would go back to dust. For their disobedience their curse was passed down to their off springs.
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The implication of the curse was immediately seen on their sons Cain and Abel. As a result of sin the curse brought about a lot of enmity and misunderstanding. It so happened that Cain was not happy about the way god looked at Abel's offering. We then see that Cain decides to kill his brother. It is said that "Cain said to his brother Abel, "let us go to the field" when they were in the field Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him." (Genesis 4:18) this was perhaps a clear indication that God's curse was already in operation. It was seen that from the curse that was imparted upon Adam and Eve death came into the world and it's even seen in the death of their child Abel. From then on the harsh reality and pain of death is still being felt .we can still see the story of blessings being seen in the offerings Abel got favor from God since he was faithful in offering to God. For Cain he was mean and did not give the best. We therefore see that those who give to God faithfully get blessed while those who do not get blessings.
Among the descendants of Seth was Noah. We notice that during the time of Noah there was great sin and lawlessness upon the earth. God then went o Noah and said "I have decided to put an end to all mortals in the world; the earth is so full of lawlessness and because of them. So I will destroy them and all life on earth" (genesis 6:13) in this case because of their sins God decided that he would destroy them. When the earth was destroyed Noah and his family were saved. However, God did not neglect them since after the water finally settled they had to begin life a new. When God first created Man and Woman, he told them: "Be fertile and increase, fill the earth..." (Genesis 1:28) in this case then the same blessings was replicated on Abraham and his family as they did multiply just as God had blessed.
From the descendants of Shem we get Abram. Abraham found favor with God and was greatly blessed. From a covenant that God has with Abram his name was then changed to Abraham. God blessed him so much and promised to bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. From this therefore, we find that the off springs were really blessed and got exceedingly fertile. This blessing is further seen in his wife Sarai whose name is later changed to Sarah. Being barren she could not be able to give birth but God blesses her enabling her to give birth to Isaac even when she was beyond child bearin age. Isaac then took Rebecca as wife and Rebecca was also barren, but because of the covenant that God had made with Isaac God bless Rebecca and Isaac with twins; Esau and Jacob. Then Jacob takes a wife Rachel who is also barren, but God grants her children when He sees that she is angry because Jacob's other wife Leah is fruitful in bearing children. So, we see a pattern here from generation to generation. To be barren could be because of sin or a God allowed test to shows spiritual growth. Thus this could be seen as a curse handed down from Sarah's doubt, to Rebecca who also doubted, and finally ending with Rachel. Or it could be a blessing passed down as a sign of the promise of the covenant that God made with Abraham. As we can also recall many other patterns along with this lineage, where Jacob blesses the wrong child for the birthright inheritance and then again when he blesses his grandchildren Manasseh and Ephraim.
From the experience of Abraham we get the tribe of Levites who were a cursed people. This comes about due to the fact that Abraham gives birth with Hagar who was a servant. Abraham did this due to the fact that Sarai was barren. However, when Sarah is blessed with a child she orders for Hagar and her sin Ishmael to be chased away. This was seen as a bad omen to the family since Abraham had fathered a child to one who was not his wife. From this situation therefore when Hagar and Ishmael are chased they go into the wilderness. This is seen in Genesis 16. We further see Ishmael being blessed abundantly and was made the father of the twelve chieftains. Genesis 17 further shows the blessing of Abraham being replicated to him as he was able to multiply and also become a father of a great number of people. In the blessings of god to Abraham he demanded that Israelites be circumcised. Circumcision was seen as a binding factor to the Israel community and a blessing to those who conformed. As seen therefore, the act of circumcision was passed on across all generations. It became a binding facto to al the communities. The act of circumcision apart from being a blessing to those who conform to it was also a great covenant between the people and their God this is as seen in Genesis 17.
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Isaac's blessing is further seen in his child Isaac. Isaac receives a fair measure if blessing as had been promised to Abraham and his descendants. Isaac comes to the rescue of the people by talking out to king Abimelech who had broken God's covenant. Abimelech had decided to chase Isaac from the land of Gerar. However, when Abimelech attempts to do this against the covenant made to Isaac and Abraham to take care of them there is a great famine in the land. Abimelech had promised to protect Isaac but then chase them since he saw that they had become too numerous that they could not stand them. It is only after the intervention of Isaac to king Abimelech that the famine is resolved. We thus see that the curse upon the king's going against the covenant brings about famine upon the land. This is as seen in Genesis 26.
We note then that Jacob gets to be blessed one time in the wilderness after a fight with an angel. He then tells the angel not to leave him until he has blessed him. From this blessing to Joseph the blessings are passed down to the descendants of Joseph. Blessings are further passed down when we look at the story of Joseph who is Jacobs's son. Jacobs son despise there brother just like brother rivalry was seen during the time of Cain and Abel. The brothers want to kill him but then one of them suggests that they sell him to some slave traders. He is hitherto sold over to Egypt. Jacob turns out to be a blessing to the family since we note that when there is hunger in Israel he proves important to the family as he helps tem to get food. From the story of Joseph we note that the curse of family hatred was so persistent among Jacob's children however, the blessing that was promised to Abraham runs down the family as Joseph gets to be of help to the family. Then family even later moves to Egypt as the situation in Israel persists and they thus stay closer to him since he is in a good position.
The series of blessings and curses continue even as we move over to the story of David as seen in 2 kings' chapter 12. King David was a descendant of Jacob. King David gets to power after replacing Saul. David when young was a blessing to Israel. This is seen when God grants him great favor and enables him to kill Goliath. Goliath and the philistines had brought much problem to the Israelites as being a giant they could not manage to defeat him. David then manages to get to power and replaces Saul. King David was righteous and he thus had the blessings handed down in his lineage. However, he at one point gets tempted when at one time instead of going to war with the Israelite army, he stays back and while on the balcony he sees Uriah's wife taking a bath. This tempts him and he believed he must get her. David then makes a deal with Joab who was his cousin and commander to the army so that Uriah is put at the front during the war so that he may be killed and David to inherit Uriah's wife from. It then so happens that during the next war Uriah is put at the front where he succumbs to death since he was at the front and could not escape. King David pretends to be so sorry about the whole case but ten he is joyful since his plan would now materialize. The curse of killing that spread all the way from Cain is replicated on King David one who once had gods favor over him. This comes as a result of the curse of death that began all the way from Eden.
King David then marries Uriah's wife but then it so happens that the child they produce never leaves but dies. This was because the child was cursed. The curse came about due to the fact that the marriage was brought about from lost blood. As a result of these there is tension in the kingdom and King David almost looses grip since as a result of his sin he had lost favor of God. We thus see that god does not accept the results of sin whereby the child being a result of sin God does not allow it to live. The c child's life is lost since God did not approve of David's action and this was a clear sign to them.
From the curse that follows on David, he faces rebellion of leadership by his own son Absalom. We still note that Joab plays a very pivotal role as commander of David's forces in Absalom rebellion. This shows much tension in the family and which is a sign of a curse running down a family. However, it happens that David does not want to harm his own blood and in the war that ensues he orders that his son is not killed. However, Absalom is found dead hanging on a tree and Joab and his men kill him (2 Samuel 18:1-33) David later replaces him as commander of the army's with Amasa whom Joab later kills him. The family feud further goes on as seen when King David is handing over power to his son Solomon. David tells Solomon to kill Joab citing his past betrayal and the blood that he was guilty of. Solomon therefore, orders his death through the hand of Benaiah and he is supposedly buried in the wilderness. These experiences bring about the fact that the curse of death flows down generations. This is in the fact that from the curse imposed on Adam and Eve death began. From the experience of hate in the family as seen in the case of Cain killing his brother Abel the same happens to the family of David as his son even gets to rise against him. However, from the promise of blessings that was promised to Abraham, David receives a pardon on his transgressions and he is forgiven when he passes on.
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From David we get to see his son Solomon. King Solomon was a man who had favor of god and was greatly blessed. Solomon's blessing are further seen in the fat that he is the one who is given the mandate of constructing gods temple which he successfully completed. King Solomon despite the fact that he had many concubines he remained a very wise man. This is furrher seen as a great blessing. He is known to have solved the case of the two women who were fighting over possession of a child. We therefore see a king who was greatly blessed with wisdom and who manages to solve issues amicably. However as a result of marrying many concubines and of different cultures, we find that this then brought instability to his kingdom. The same had happened to his father even with tension from his own son Absalom. It then happens that resulting from these Israel is drawn into conflict with its neighbors and which hitherto led them to be exiled. The exiling of Israel was a further punishment noting that they were not learning from the mistakes of the fore fathers and continued to sin thus provoking god's anger against them. In this case we see Solomon having received both blessing and curses in equal measure all which are drawn from his fore fathers.
In conclusion, we note that the Israelites received both blessings and curses from the actions of their forefathers. We begin from the story of creation where Adam and Eve go against God's commandment and face several curses. It is from them that women have pain when giving birth; it is from them that man has to toil in order to eat. More so, it is from them that death comes into the world. This is seen even with Cain killing his own brother Abel. However, God's blessings are still much and his favor upon his people is revealed from many of Israel's forefathers. We note that Noah and his family are saved from the floods and after that god still multiply them. Greater blessings are seen through Abraham who is seen as the father of nations. His blessings arte extended to Isaac his son and even to Jacob. More still when it gets to king David he manages to save Israel from war and becomes king but then receives a curse when he kills Uriah and marries his wife. Joab with whom he colludes is cursed and even upon his death is deemed cursed and buried in the wilderness. We then get to Solomon who gets many blessings and is even noted be wisest man. However, because of his marrying of many wives there comes divisions in Israel which hitherto bring curses upon the land leading to the exiling of Israel. We therefore, note that the actions of the fore fathers bring both blessing and curses to the people in equal measure.
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