Based on a lie?


#1

A good Catholic friend of mine has a slight worry about the incident of Jacob lying to his father Isaac by pretending to be Esau (Genesis 27). :confused:

Can anyone offer an explanation or meaning of this story?

Thank you.


#2

[quote=Trevelyan]A good Catholic friend of mine has a slight worry about the incident of Jacob lying to his father Isaac by pretending to be Esau (Genesis 27). :confused:

Can anyone offer an explanation or meaning of this story?

Thank you.
[/quote]

Trevelyan,

Well, it illustrates very nicely that Jacob at that age was a lying, cheating conniver and his mother’s favorite. Esau had already agreed that Jacob could have his birthright, of which I think Isaac’s blessing was part.

Jacob had to run away for a decade and a half as a result of this incident. He went to work for his uncle and got cheated royally himself (not just with Laban switching brides on him, by the way). Esau, in the meantime, went on to prosper materially and father the tribe of the Edomites, so he didn’t exactly come out poor from the deal.

  • Liberian

#3

Also, keep in mind that Jacob was then tricked by his own sons into thinking Joseph was dead when they used precisely the same material (a goat and a robe). A remarkable parellelism.

I believe the story illustrates the fact that without the Lord we are all sinners (remember Jacob says to Isaac “*your *God helped me”, i.e. he himself was not yet a follower of Yahweh when he tricked his father). It also well illustrates an important doctrine particular to Catholicism: we must pay for our sins even after being forgiven. Jacob accepts the Lord eventually. He seems to grow in empathy (after the above-mentioned royal cheating). Still he must suffer the lies of his own children and believe for years that his favorite son is dead.

Of course, as everything else in scripture, we will never get all the rich meaning out of it.


#4

As Liberian notes, Jacob was similarly swindled when Laban switched brides on him. Note also the he and his mother never saw each other again.

One of our Jewish posters also noted that Jacob’s sons deceived him when they faked the death of his favorite - Joseph.

Evil tends to propagate down through the generations.


#5

Yeah, Jacob’s reputation was that of a deciever. Note however, that as a consequence of his action, he never sees his mother again. Biblical commentators have noted that as his mother was the accomplice, (if not the catalyst) in this deceptive act, the finality of their separation (caused by an angry Esau) may have been a divine judgment upon both of them.

God doesn’t like lying. He’ll make a way… we shouldn’t lie.

:thumbsup:


#6

Oh, haha, someone just mentioned the mom-separation thing. :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

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