Jacob lived in Padam Aram for twenty years. This period of time has long puzzled me. But I have discovered that the picture provided by this story is really about twenty-one years. Jacob worked for fourteen years to pay the bride price for his two wives. Then he worked for six more years in simple servitude to Laban, his father-in-law.
Despite the efforts of Laban, Jacob prospered due to the blessing of the Lord. Laban’s sons became jealous of Jacob because of his prosperity, and Laban no longer looked favorably upon Jacob. The Lord appeared to Jacob in a dream and told him to leave and return to the land of his fathers. (Genesis 31:13)
This was not Jacob’s idea, but the command of the Lord. It was also in compliance with a law of the Lord that was later presented to the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai.
“And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.” – Deuteronomy 15:12Jacob worked in servitude to Laban for six years. Then in the seventh year, at the instruction of the Lord, he achieved his freedom. Laban soon came after Jacob to retrieve what he considered to be his own, his daughters, grand-children and flocks, but in a dream the Lord warned Laban to leave Jacob alone. (Genesis 31:29)
The story of Jacob in Padam Aram is a story about three seven-year periods, or twenty-one years.
This presents us with another picture, or foreshadow, related to Jacob or Israel. As noted earlier, there is more to the account of seven good years and seven bad years than just famine. At the end of the fourteen years, Pharaoh the ruler owned and controlled everything. In the Last Days the Man of Sin, the person we generally refer to as the “anti-Christ,” will be the ruler and will control everything, and a unified, one-world government will exist.
Man’s earnings and savings will be controlled by this person through some sort of “mark.” Perhaps through a trackable digital currency similar to what is being proposed by the United States and several other governments. Remember, the devil is all about control, and usurping the position of the Most High God. (Isaiah 14:13-14)
Many also suspect that this person, the Man of Sin, will be accepted as the Messiah by the Jewish people because, as stated by rabbis, this person will cause the Temple to be built. Therefore, any politician or person with enough power to arrange for the Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, will cause the Jews to believe him to be the long-awaited Messiah.
Considering that the Bible is about the relationship of the Lord with His chosen people, Israel, and considering that Jacob was named Israel by the Lord, stories from the life of Jacob are very significant.
So here is the foreshadow, or perhaps prophecy, from Jacob’s sojourn in Padam Aram and Joseph’s sojourn in Egypt. After seven good years and seven bad years, the “ruler” will own or control everything. Then the people of Israel, whom we know as Jews, will be under control of this person for six years, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7) According to the Law of the Lord, after six years of servitude, the people of Israel will receive their freedom in the seventh year.
If my understanding of this foreshadow is correct, the real Messiah, the Lord Jesus, will release them in the seventh year of the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” or Tribulation. This will be at the conclusion of the third seven-year period, marking a total of twenty-one years, just as Jacob served twenty-one years in Padam Aram.
No matter the timing, the conclusion of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble will usher in the Millennial Kingdom in which the Lord Jesus will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Hallelujah!