A Daily Genesis

Genesis 27:5-13

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:5a . . Rebecca had been listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau.[/B]

We might ask: Why was Rebecca so concerned anyway? Didn't God decree the firstborn's rights to Jacob? Then Jacob will get them anyway; won't he?

Yes. Jacob would eventually end up with the firstborn's rights anyway; but the problem was: the outgoing patriarch had to impart the blessing and obviously Mr. Isaac wasn't inclined to do so. It appears to me that Isaac was actually going to attempt to circumvent God's wishes and I honestly think it was because he was afraid of alienating his favorite son.

Rebecca wasn't stupid, nor inclined to superstition. I seriously doubt she was silly enough to believe the words of the blessing themselves held sufficient magic to confer the firstborn's rights upon Jacob just because he happened to be in the room and hear them as they were spoken in his direction. After all, it was all done under false pretenses and a fake ID. No court in the land would uphold anything obtained by a fraud like that. But her scheme was designed to do something else entirely.

I believe her intent was to wake Isaac up and make him return to his senses. The man did fear God. That much is beyond question. But he was lax in his patriarchal duties. Before this is over, he will regret his laxity very, very much.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:5b-7 . .When Esau had gone out into the open to hunt game to bring home, Rebecca said to her son Jacob: I overheard your father speaking to your brother Esau, saying: Bring me some game and prepare a dish for me to eat, that I may bless you, with the Lord's approval, before I die.[/B]

That's not really what Isaac said. It appears that Rebecca embellished a little and added "with the Lord's approval." Compare Gen 3:3 where Eve embellished God's testimony in Gen 2:17 where He didn't forbid them to "touch" the fruit; no, only to eat it.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:8 . . Now, my son, listen carefully as I instruct you.[/B]

Cool as a vice cop, Rebecca executes Plan A with the step by step precision of a well arranged sting. I can just visualize her grip upon Jacob's arm, gazing up into his face with a most intense look, as she gears him up to get started on his part of the scheme.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 27:9a . . Go to the flock and fetch me two choice kids,[/B]

Why two? Well, deer produce a much larger quantity of meat than a little bitty kid. It's true Isaac couldn't possibly eat the whole thing, but she can only use parts of the kids that best resemble the venison cuts Isaac prefers. And Esau more than likely cooked up a whole lot more than just one serving. I think he typically brought his dad a heaping buffet and let him pick out what he wanted.

Rebecca is going to have to duplicate that setting as best as she can. And she will too. After all, who was it taught those two boys how to cook in the first place? None other than Becky Crocker.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:9b . . and I will make of them a dish for your father, such as he likes.[/B]

This is additional evidence that it wasn't merely the flavor of Esau's cooking that made Isaac love him. Rebecca could duplicate the taste of venison with goat meat so that you couldn't tell the one from the other.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 27:10a-11a . .Then take it to your father to eat, in order that he may bless you before he dies. Jacob answered his mother Rebecca: But . .[/B]

Jacob straight away sees where his mom is going with this and likes it. However . . there's just one problem: Rebecca can duplicate Esau's cooking; but how will Jacob duplicate Esau? They didn't have the benefit of slick Hollywood make-up artists in those days so how are they going to make Jacob look (or rather, feel) like his brother?

Well, they have Isaac's poor eyesight to their advantage; so Jacob's appearance won't have to be all that accurate. But they will need at least one prosthetic: body hair.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:11b-12 . . my brother Esau is a hairy man and I am smooth-skinned. If my father touches me, I shall appear to him as a trickster and bring upon myself a curse, not a blessing.[/B]

Isaac might get the wrong idea and think that Jacob is poking fun at his bad eyesight by playing a dumb trick on him. That would hurt the old boy's feelings a great deal to think that his 75 year-old son thought so little of him as to perpetrate such a cruel prank; which of course would warrant a curse; because it is not only cruel to play tricks on the blind, but, even worse, to be cruel to one's parents.
[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:13 . . But his mother said to him: Your curse, my son, be upon me! Just do as I say and go fetch them for me.[/B]

That's the oldest ploy in the book. It's the very same reasoning the German military guards used to justify their duties at Auschwitz and Dachau. "You can't blame us" they said; "We only did what we were told." That seems reasonable enough. After all, the ones in charge are really responsible; right?

Wrong. The midwives of Ex 1:15-17 could have used the very same excuse; but didn't. And God commended them for fearing Him. If they had obeyed Pharaoh, they would have received condemnation instead. Everyone bears their own personal responsibility and has a duty to raise conscientious objections.I

In other words: it is a sin to violate your conscience. Yes, soldiers and minor children are to obey their superiors-- but to the point of sin? Never! Besides, Jacob was no minor child. He was a grown man.

But Rebecca needed some leverage to keep Jacob in the game. By playing the "filial authority" card, she persuaded Jacob to stay on track. Luckily, he wasn't too bright at the time and failed to appreciate his own personal accountability. After all, the man was at least 75 years old; not just a little kid.

But then again, I think Jacob the supplanter really wanted to pull this thing off and just needed a way to appease his own misgivings about it; so it wasn't too difficult to win him over.

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