Science in Christian Perspective



The Speckled and Spotted Goats and the Black Lamb Shall Be My Wages"

William J, Schepp

From: JASA 3 (June 1951): 16-21.

Editor's Introduction: The following paper was the occasion of considerable comment at the convention, It represents a biochemical approach to a problem which has previously been considered only from the biological point of view, For a good statement of the latter case the reader Is referred to an article on this subject by Professor Van Haitsma of Calvin College entitled "The Supplanter Undeceived."

Author's Introduction:

Up to this present time, I had hoped arrangements could have been made to attend the Convention and read my paper in person, and then participate in any discussion that might arise. However it does not seem possible now for me to be present. I would be happy to answer by mail any questions arising., in fact it often appears that the real fruit of "papers" is evidenced in the discussion that follows. Surely anything that we can say that would lead to a more carefully searching of the Scriptures is praiseworthy. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.," Proverbs 25:2

Last week a friend of mine sent me the book "I Have Loved Jacob" by Joseph Hoffman Cohn,,D.D.
(1948). Dr. Cohn takes exception to the prevalent misrepresentation of Jacob and states "Why to he not known as the Bible really presents him?" "The Birthright.," "The Blessing from Isaac" and "Life with Unkle Laban" are some of the opening chapters, I am happy that In my paper the highlights of Jacob's life are quoted direct from the Scriptures. However Dr, Cohn states on Page 51 that "The Angel of the Lord told Jacob to use the rods, to test his faith and obedience, And so Jacob took sticks from the trees and peeled them like peppermint sticks. These rods he laid down in the troughs, so when the cattle cam to drink they would gaze upon these striped sticks. But Laban could laugh at him, because Laban knew that the science of husbandry had proven that the color of the animals was determined by heredity and not by environment. But God had a law superior to the science of husbandry and we read a remarkable statement in Genesis 30:39-'rhe flocks conceived before the rodeo and brought forth cattle rigstraked, speckled and spotted."' Then the dream mentioned in Genesis 31:11-12 is quoted.

In my approach I have used the chemistry of the pilled, or bruised, rods as one factor, and their employment at specific times as the resultant factor. in 30:41 the rods were laid in the gutters, and in 30:42 they were not put in. This follows the Scriptural account of the method. The dream which was told to: Rachel and Leah in Chapter 31 reveals that the angel of God knew his plans were meeting with success., but there is no Scriptural evidence that the angel of God told Jacob to use this method--in fact the dream terminates with "Now arise, get thee out from this land." (31:13). Away from heathen surroundings, just as God told Abraham In 12:1$ "Get thee out of thy country.

I have just read Vol. 2. No.
3., and I got a blessing to see CHRIST preeminent in the midst and prevailing in all the papers, Would that our books of science in our schools and colleges followed such a pattern.

Laban and Jacob's Wage Agreement: "The Speckled and Spotted Goats and the Black Lambs Shall Be My Wages"

"It shall greatly helps ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or wrythen., but of whom, and to vhom, with vhat words.. at vhat time) where., and to what intent, with what circumstances,, considering what goeth before and what followeth."
Myles Coverdale

The highlights of Jacob's life from birth to his marriage to Laban's daughters to quoted here direct from the Scriptures for authenticity and to indicate the significance of the marks he selected to brand his wages,

Jacob is introduced in Genesis 25:26 as a twin born after his brother, but "with his hand on Esau's heel." This was a sign to conform a previous declaration made by the Lord Jehovah., "the elder shall serve the younger." (25:23). "And his name was called Jacob, Ya 'agob." (25:26). "ya" for Jehovah and "agob" for heel or supplant--supplanted by Jehovah. An example of Divine Election before birth as stated in Romans 9:11y120 together with a confirming sign at birth. Jacob was smooth not hairy like his brother.. and was loved by his mother. (25:28; 27:11).

Esau was born as a red or ruddy child covered with hair (like a goat-25:25), Esau,, Edom and Seir are three news descriptive of these details--Esau "covered with.," Edom. "red" and Seir "hairy as a rough goat." He was probably larger and stronger than his brother Jacob., and became a cunning hunter and a man of the field. Esau was loved by his father because of Isaac's fondness for gamy meat. (25:28)

The birthright. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a morsel of meat and bound the transaction with an oath before partaking of the food. (25:33). Esau did not tell his father that he had sold his birthright and was therefore not entitled to the blessing, but after his mother's deceptive plan gained the blessing for Jacob.. he said "Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times; he took away my birthright; and behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.0 (27:36). Thus Esau was rightly called "profane" In Hebrews 12:16 in the light of Nu. 30:2 vhere "profane" is ascribed to one who breaks his word. He did not intend to surrender his birthright even to the point of murder. (27:41).

Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife was barren; the Lord answered, and Rebekah his wife conceived. (25:21). For this he should have been very thankful to the Lord and hearkened to the declaration and sign of Divine Election. He blessed Jacob thinking it was Esau but when Esau subsequently arrived and sought the blessing, he said, "Yea, and he (Jacob) shall be blessed." (27:33). The prominent position of rood was replaced by the sovereignity or the Lord Jehovah.

Rebekah the mother (and Laban's sister) was told by the Lord that the struggle within her womb was due to twins of different nations and that the elder shall serve the younger, But overhearing Isaac's plan to bleess Esau (27:7) she contrived to switch brothers deceiving him in his blindness or darkness. Jacob feared a curse would follow instead of a blessing if the deceptin was found out, but his mother ordered him to. obey her,, and said "Upon me be thy Curse,, my son: only obey my voice." (27:13). Rebekah covered the smooth white skin of ' ojacoble arms and chest with black goat hair and gave him a dish of savoury goat, meat to present to his father for the blessing; and Jacob was blessed above Esau,. (27:29.

Laban agreed to accept Jacob's proposition. "I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter." (29:18,1,9). After the wedding feast, and in the darkness of the night, Laban switched sisters--he slipped the eldest daughter Leah in bed with Jacob, and thus the marriage with Leah was consummated. The "black sheep" of the family was substituted for Rachels with a traditional custom given i.e.,
as an excuse. Thus Laban became "profane" because he broke his word according to the Agreement,

"'The Jews Require A Sign" (I Cor. 1:22)

In view of Jacob's past experience with Beau and Laban, he decided to negotiate an agreement with visible evidence to mark his agreed-upon possessions. This he believed would remove any reflection upon his honesty when the time arrived for him to collect his wages. (30:33). But later the wickedness of Laban was revealed when he discerned the great number of Jacob's marked animals and he sought to murder himj, employing as an excuse the theft of his daughters unawares and the Images which Rachel had stolen, but which was unknown to,jacob.

The History Of Melanism

One of the papers presented at the American Chemical Society at San Francisco., March 27 to April 1. 1949, bore this title by Drs. J. and M.L. Dufrenoy. They have sent me a complimentary copy of their pahmphlet (in French) entitled "From Genesis to the Atomic Bomb,""Llvery flock has its black sheep.," "It is recorded in Genesis that Jacob was successful in breeding Black sheep from white sheep and rams, which, as we now know white to be dominant in sheep., may have been heterozygotous." A list of 309 publications is enumerated in the bibliography from
1591 to 1949. And stating that "to account for the occasional birth of 'black babies' among white folk, and for the occurrence of 'white negroes,1 Maupertuis formulated laws of heredity, antedating Mendels by a century." "About 1850., melanin was recognized as a pigment, produced in special cells (chromatophores) and bound to a sulfur-containing protein; however, the biochemistry of melanin could not be elucidated before the significance of oxidases had been revealed by G. Bertrand (1896) and that of sulfhydryl. groups, suspected by ReyPailhade (lW6)., had been established by Hopkins.

Melanin (Gr. "melee" black) Is the pigment
or negro skin distributed in the more superficial layers, in contrast to the pigment or the white races which is round principally in the basal cells. In the white races the taming due to sunburn and its subsequent disappearance reveals a reversible reaction.. in contrast with the negro which is irreversible. It is also a pathological pigment associated with tumors and the blood in melanaemia. It is also present in the alkaline black ink of the squid which turns Into brown sepia when neutralized with an acid,, as for instance Hydrochloric. In hair and in wool It is present in the medulla only in white fibers,, and in brown or black hair or wool the outer cells are impregnated. Tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine produce melanin-like compounds upon irradiation with ultraviolet light by an oxidation-reduction system, "The normal pigmentary alterations observed in developing or aging cells, those alterations associated with physiological changes or sex hormones., or the pigmentary disturbances associated with pathological conditions are but visible evidence of a change in the oxidation-reduction potential of melanogenic centers in the cell." (Frank H. Figge 1940)..

Black in the Jacob-Laban episode to from the Hebrew word "chum" associated with a burnt" color in connection with the word "cham" which has been translated Ham. Ham's eldest son Cush was named "kush" which is derived from the Sumerian ,word "kus" for skin, and Kushly is translated Into "Ethiopian" from the Gree
aithiops"--burnt face. This reminds us of Jer, 13:23; "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" Leopard to a combination word of "leo" the yellow lion and "pard" the black panther as a symbol also of an unholy alliance--the lion a symbol of the sunlight and the black panther a symbol of the dark unknown after death, the Egyptian priests in death-rite ceremonies wore a black panther skin.

Jacob's Specific Plan For Breeding Numerous Marked Animals

" And Jacob took branches of fresh white  birch, and of benzoin and laurel, pilled white strokes in them., and set them in the gutters in the watering troughs whenever black and white animals were paired at the water-trough, but not for solid-colored pairs."

"Maqqelah Lach Libneh" generally translated as rods of green poplar should be rendered as branches of fresh white (birches).
"Luwz generally translated as hazel, means "light" -- "luz" in Spanish and Portuguese, and "luxus" in Latin. A substance used for lighting as incense.
is generally translated as "chestnut tree" means "noble" and should be rendered Laurel as Laurel nobilis or Ndble Laurel or Bay.

The pilling of rods and white strakes referred to here., can be better understood as a white gummy substance produced only when branches above referred to are bruised, particularly the younger branches and: when fresh in the spring of the year.

The white birch exudes a juice having a sweet and somewhat acidulous taste) and the bark contains a camiphoraceous body "betulin." The oil of birch has been used externally for skin diseases and internally for relief in venereal diseases. The fresh leaves are used to form a bed in which rheumatic patients lie, and vhich excites profuse sweating. The
white birches grow in groves which reminds us of the groves of Baal and Ashtaroth sex worship.

The no ble Laurel was sacred to Apollo who was supposed to be over the flocks and herds to ward off plaguesp also used for garlands by Greekwictori, The Oil of Baysp or noble laurel., has been used as an external stimulant,

Benzoin (luwz)."-'.The literature on this article reveals some very startling information. "Many centuries old., this substance was called 'incense of Java,' the words for which In native tongue., were "luban Jawl.l. The first syllable was dropped and one word made out of the two, 'Banjavi)l which developed through oevoral minute linguistic changes to lbenjui.,' 'benzoi.,' 'benzoin' and 'benjamin."' The "luban javi" or white gum from Java finally corrupted into "benzoin" and
is  ben yamin." The wild allspice or fever-bush is the bencoin of Arabia and might have been the parent of the trees now in Java. Only a Bible student could properly understand influences in connection with the corruption of this name. It was near luvz where the youngest son was born and named Ben-oni which means "son of my sorrow" by Rachel, and which was changed by Jacob to Ben-yamen "son of my right hand." Thus ben-oni was the origin of benzoin and ben-yamen of benjamIn, Yamen means both right and south, for when facing the East the right hand points to the south. Even today Yemen in southern Arabia is known as the "Land of the Eight Hand" to distinguish it from Syria "The Left-hand Land." And the left hand as well as the north was generally regarded as evil or unknown. When the benzoin branch is bruised a white gum exudes In the form of tears. If is used as a general and local stimlant.9 tending to elimination by the mucous membranes.

Aromatic and camphoraceous substances as mentioned above at first are Aphrodisiacs and the knowledge of their use was evidently known to Jacob from the heathen practices of Laban and the surrounding country. And Jacob used these substances to induce breeding when mixed pairs presented themselves at the watering trough.

"Stronger" translated from qesher" which means unholy alliance or mixture.. "Feeble" translated from
"ateph" meaning covered over (Ps 65:13). Instead of "stronger" a better rendering would be "mixed colors" as black and white., and Instead of "feeble" a better rendering would be "solid colored."

Now to answer the final question--Did Jacob breed black or spotted animals from solid-colored ones perhaps by discovering the secret of emphasizing recessive traits? The maternal impression theory I believe comes from and belongs to mythology.

According to the agreement--first, all existing male and female spotted goats 'were removed,, and any that had some white in it (30:32,35). What remained could well have been solid vh1te and solid black males and females. The solid white were perhaps in the minority in the north mountainous country and the black predominated--this would account for a minor portion of spotted and speckled such as were present originally and removed. All subsequent spotted and speckled offspring were to belong to Jacob as his wages for tending to Laban's flocks and herds.

All the existing black or brown sheep were first removed and any subsequent so marked in the Offspring were to belong to Jacob. It is very interesting to note that only in 30:32..33.,35 is "sheep" translated from the Hebrew word "keseb". In other places "sheep" is translated from "toon" which name could include goats., as meaning "small grazing animals." The Levitical offerings can clarify this problem for In 3:6P 7, a peace offering is mentioned as a LAM, which can be either male or female., &nd the word "lambs" here has been translated from this same word "keseb." This would explain why the gender was mentioned in connection with the-goats and only implied In the sheep by a general name for both sexes. So the black sheep removed were lambs.. which would indicate that the adult black sheep remained. Here again the white sheep were evidently in the majority and the black ones in the minority--thus accounting for only' a small number of offspring which existed and were removed.

'This explanation should lift all confusion--heredity factors are unchangeable but mixtures as In crosses made deliberately can be accounted for. And of course there can be pathological changes and Individual changes with experimental substances--such as discovered in including Cobal
t when feeding white sheep. But as stated in the Scripture everything produces after its kind and mixtures are-the products of man's experiments but not reproducible.

Jacob arrived at Leban's estate as a poor boy and left as a very rich men. His many children and the great increase in fLocks and herds was due to the Lord Jehovah's blessing in withholding sickness and abort ion- -"This twenty years have I been with thee; thy eves and thy she goats have not cast their young." (31:36).

Jacob's gift to Esau probably represented a number as a tithe and included she goats (oz), he goats (tayish) and ewes (rachel)p and rams (ayil)j etc. in the ratio of ten females for each male; mid very
significantly an equal number of sheep and goats as the two different nations, But above all Jacob's animals were spotted, a symbol of the heathen practices Prevailing in Laban's country., and reminds us of Hosea 7:8. "Ephraim hath mixed himself among the people and is a cake not turned." When the true Scriptures are mixed with mythology the product is a half -baked philosophy.

Jacob deliberately crossed black
and white animals by employing aphrodisiacs whenever they were paired at the watering trough, but withheld stimulants when solid-colored pairs were present. Thus the spotted offspring were greater in number then the solid-colored, type.