Friday, July 5, 2024

Hillsdale College: The Genesis Story Video 5 Jacob and Esau

 Lecture 5: Jacob and Esau

-Rivalry begins with conception

-begins in the womb

Genesis 25: 21-23

“And Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, for she was barren, and the LORD granted his plea, Rebekah his wife conceived. ANd the children clashed together within her, and she said, “Then why me?” and she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her:

“Two nations—in your womb, two peoples from your loins shall issue. People over people shall prevail, the elder, the younger’s slave.”

Last line:

Hebrew syntax = ambiguous meaning the elder may serve the younger or the younger may serve the elder, so still trying to figure out who will be served

Genesis 25: 24-28

“And when her time was come to give birth, look, there were twins in her womb. And the first one came out ruddy, like a hairy mantle all over, and they called his name Esau. Then his brother came out, his hand grasping Esau’s heel, and they called his name Jacob.”

-Jacob = he who deceives

Genesis 25: 24-28

“And Isaac was sixty years old when they were born. And the lads grew up, and Esau was a man skilled in hunting, a man of the field, and Jacob was a simple man, a dweller in tents. And Isaac loved ESau for the game that he brought him, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

Esau Sells His Birthright:

29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called [g]Edom. 31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” 32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”33 Then Jacob said, [h]“Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

-Esau worldly ways-Esau 1st born-will receive all of his father’s possession-it is tied to a great responsibility

-Jacob hadn’t used deception, but asked his brother to give up his birthright for food

-Jacob has been thinking about the birthright-Esau gives it up birthright for bowl of red red stuff

-Jacob maybe the schemer-Esau to blame-great sin to give up the birthright

Vs. 34:Immediate actions

-Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew

-He ate and rose and he went off

-Esau spurned the birthright

Ch. 27 Rivalry and way Jacob will become the deceiver

-Isaac old and ready to give his birthright so he calls his son Esau

-Asau says “here I am” the henani-my full being is here to listen to his father

Genesis 27: 2-6

2 Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4 And make me [a]savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” 5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. 6 So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying,

-Jacob refers to Esau as his son

-Rebekah refers to Jacob as her son (she is in the plot to deceive Isaac)

Rebekah uses “Listen to my voice twice”

 7 ‘Bring me game and make [b]savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. 9 Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10 Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”

13 But his mother said to him, Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” 14 And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made [c]savory food, such as his father loved.

-Ch. 12: worries about that he seems a cheat to his Father not that he is going to flat out lie and deceive his father

Rebekah has a plan to deceive Isaac with food and a fake garment and doesn’t take much for Jacob to go along with here scheme

The irony is when he comes to his father, Jacob says “Here I am…”

“Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.18 So he went to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”


-in front of his father but eyes of his father have failed 

-he brings in food and fake skins

-Who are you my son—-Jacob answers it is me your eldest son

-Jacob not fully in the deception-he knows Esau already gave him the birthright but can’t just come out and say it to his father

-What luck on my side is Jacob’s side step to the full lie

-Isaac makes comments to note that he has a feeling he is being tricked

  1. His voice is not Esau’s

  2. It took no time to get the game and make food for Isaac

  3. He felt the hair but not the same so he questions “Are you really my son Esau?” in vs. 24

-Jacob responds to Isaac “I am” so the full deception 

Repetition of “my son” 

The blessing:

-favoritism is explicit

-father willing to give Esau as his favorite son

-the blessing included to be an overlord to your brothers

-to have your mother’s sons bow before you

***Must be startling to Jacob

Genesis 27: 30-32

Syntax change: I am your son, your firstborn, Esau

-no blessing for Esau 

-both know that Jacob tricked Isaac

-Esua cries VS. 36

And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named [e]Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”

Esau continues to beg for the blessing until Isaac gives him these words:

“Behold, your dwelling shall be of the [g]fatness of the earth, And of the dew of heaven from above. 40  By your sword you shall live, And you shall serve your brother; And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck.”

-Dew of heaven-Isaac gives a reversal of his blessing on Jacob to be a military man who will live be the sword and not if but when you will break his yoke 

***Neck will be an occurring theme:

-Esau thinks that he will kill Jacob after death of their father

-Rebekah once again “listen to my voice” 

So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father [h]are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away, 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?”

46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”

Jacob now with Laben: 20 years of service because he loves Rachel

-Another sibling rivalry: Leah and Rachel 

-Jacob loves Rachel but Laben tricks him to get him to marry Leah (the unloved)

-Now we understand Rebekah a bit more as she was raised in this household 

-Irony-in the trickery he is in the dark so blind to see that he is not laying with Rachel but it is Leah the elder-duped like Isaac by Jacob in his blindness

Genesis Ch. 32: 3-5

Jacob is now returning to his home to once again face his brother Esau

 Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the [b]country of Edom. 4 And he commanded them, saying, “Speak thus to my lord Esau, ‘Thus your servant Jacob says: “I have dwelt with Laban and stayed there until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord that I may find favor in your sight.

Jacob: reverses the syntax servant and lord, trying to undo his deception 

Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7 So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies. 

-400 men is always a militaristic number 

-Jacob remembers when his brother wanted to rebel and time of the sword

Vs. 8-12

-Jacob knows the time is come for stealing the birthright and blessing from Esay

-Jacob keeps using he is the servant and Esau is lord

20 and also say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the present went on over before him, but he himself lodged that night in the camp.

***Note face is important 

Mysterious Passages:

-Jacob holding on for the blessing

-Jacob’s name is changed to Israel

-no longer your name of deceptive 

-Israel means prevailing, openness

-Jacobs face has changed from hiding to being seen 

Wrestling with God

22 And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them, sent them [f]over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the [g]breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He [h]touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

27 So He said to him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Jacob.”

28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but [i]Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”

And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the name of the place [j]Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 31 Just as he crossed over [k]Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He [l]touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank.

-Jacob is full circle demanding his blessing-name change-does his disposition change?

-Jacob sees Esau coming and divides his family

***It is the beginning of Joseph’s story as Jacob lays out the hierarchy

-Slave girls and their children 1st

-Leah and her children 2nd

-Rachel and Joseph last (Ch. 33)

The brothers meet:

-VS. 4 Esau ran embraced upon and kissed him and fell upon his neck

But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

***Keeps referring to Esau as lord and himself as his servant

-He tries to give Esau much riches to make up for stealing his birthright and blessing so tries to repay him with possessions

-Esau forgives and doesn’t want all of Jacob's gifts but Jacob begs him to take it

And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. 11 Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have [a]enough.” So he urged him, and he took it.

****The face is brought back up-does God’s face show up when there is a rupture in the human to human relationship 

Grasp at heels: not for rivalry but at the peace of his family