A Biography of Jacob
-For purposes of simplicity, I will refer to Jacob and Israel both as Jacob.
-For purposes of point of view, nearly all of this paper is from Jacob’s point of view, only bringing in other events necessary for this to make sense that happened without Jacob seeing.
Jacob is the father of Israel, for his twelve children each gave life to an entire tribe of Israelites. He wasn’t always pious, sometimes being even blasphemous, but apparently, he always walked with god, and all who came in his way either prospered or were conquered.
Jacob and Esau were born to Rebekah and Isaac. Esau came out first and thus was the eldest, all red and hairy. Jacob came out second, gripping his brother’s heel to be pulled out by him. He was named Jacob because of that. This symbolic moment when Jacob was born was but a glimpse of the events to come between Jacob and his brother, Esau. His mother, Rebekah, had a special place in her heart for Jacob, while his father loved Esau. In all probability the name Jacob was originally theophorous, the divine element of which--commonly el—is now missing (like Isaac, Joseph, Jephthah). The restored form would then be Ya’agobh-el. (61)
As they get older, they develop personalities. Esau was a hunter who spent most of his time out in the field. Jacob was a quiet man who lived among the tents.
One day, when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field very so hungry. He asked Jacob for some stew. Jacob was willing to sell him some for his birthright. Since Esau thought he was dying of hunger, he didn’t think he had much use for a birthright if he died, so he gave Jacob his birthright for some stew.
Some time later, Isaac was in his last days, and his vision was bad. He called Esau to him. He said “See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me. Then prepare for me savory food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.”(Gen27:2-4)(52) Rebekah was listening to the conversation between Isaac and Esau, and after Esau left to get some game, Rebekah went to her son Jacob and told him what she heard. She then said, “Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you.”(Gen 27:8)(53) She directed him to go pick out two select kids so she can cook them for Jacob to bring to Isaac to get the fatherly blessing. Jacob complains, saying that if his father feels him, he will know it’s not Esau because Esau is hairy and he is not. He’s afraid his father will curse him for it. His mother says to not be afraid of curses because she will take responsibility, and to do what she says, and he does. She cooked the food the way Isaac liked it, dressed Jacob in his brother’s best clothes, and put the skin of the kids she cooked on Jacob’s hands and neck. She then gave him the food and sent him in to his father. Isaac had a hard time believing it was Esau, but when he...