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BIBLE SIBLINGS

In order to study the sibling abuse, we must first give look at the stories of several Bible siblings to see what kinds of things characterized their relationships. Then we will talk about what characterizes sibling relationships these days, and what should represent relationships nowadays. Finally, we will look at what influence there is on sibling relationships because Jesus is our Brother.

CAIN AND ABEL

An example of hatred and rivalry the first children, and therefore the first siblings, in the Bible, were Cain and Abel. When they came to offer their gifts to God, Cain brought some portions of grain, while Abel returned the fat portions of the firstborn of his flock. The New Testament Book of Hebrews tells us that God looked at the faith, the motivation, the heart-attitude with which each of the gifts was offered, and accepted Abel’s offering. This led Cain to anger, hatred and ultimately murder. When God asked Cain about his brother Abel, Cain coined the now-famous response, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This was definitely not a positive start for sibling relationships in the Bible.

JACOB AND ESAU (deception)

An example of deception, Old Testament pair of brothers was Jacob and Esau. Abraham had sent his servant to look for ‘a good Lutheran girl’ for his beloved son, his promised son, Isaac, to marry. Rebecca was brought back and she and Isaac became husband and wife. Though she was reported to be infertile, Isaac prayed to the Lord on her behalf, and she conceived twins. When the twin boys were born, red and hairy Esau came out first, and then Jacob came out grasping Esau’s heel. We know well that Jacob obtained Esau’s birthright by preparing food for his famished brother who had just come in from the country. On another occasion, Jacob, along with his mother, tricked the aging and weak-eyed Isaac into blessing him instead of his older brother who rightfully deserved the family blessing. Jacob’s name figuratively means ‘he deceives,’ and deception was certainly an aspect of his relationship with his brother.

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