Genesis 27:41 – Now Esau hated Jacob because of his blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
As we read yesterday, Isaac’s wife Rebekah concocts a plan to help her favorite son, Jacob, steal his older brother Esau’s birthright. We then learn that Esau is so angry at his brother that he intends to kill him as Cain did Abel in Genesis 4.
So, Rebekah sends her favored son Jacob back to live with her brother Laban to allow Esau to cool down out of fear that she might lose her only two sons due to her sin. Her hope would be that she would only lose her beloved son for a few days, but he remained away from home for some 20 years because her brother Laban was a conniving trickster like her, as the upcoming chapters explain.
Before leaving, Jacob was blessed by his father and instructed to marry only a woman who belonged to God so that the promises of the covenant would continue through his family line. To spite his parents, Esau intentionally married yet another godless wife in addition to his other wives that had brought nothing but grief to his parents.
This entire family history, which continues in ensuing chapters of Genesis, shows how our relationship with our siblings can be incredibly frustrating. It often starts with parental favoritism, as was the case with Isaac and Rebekah. This led to division between the parents, causing division between the children, and ensuing division for generations.
Theologically, this section raises the question as to whether or not human sin will continue to grow, as it did in the days of Noah, if a trickster like Jacob is the man acting as the head of the human side of the covenant. Since his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham both walked with God, the question remains whether or not faith will continue into a third generation through Jacob. This sets the stage for the next events in Genesis.
What sins do we see Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau commit in this section?
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