Monday, August 9, 2010

Genesis 26-27: Jacob "steals" a blessing

In chapter 26, Isaac and Rebekah go back to Gerar. When they get there, God shows up and tells them to stay here, and he reiterates his promise (I've completely lost track of how many times this is) about the numerous descendants, and this land will be yours, etc. Seriously, God, when is this going to happen? Oh yeah, in 400 years. Well then why is it so important that they stay here now?

The rest of the chapter is basically an (almost) exact copy of the time Abraham and Sarah were in Gerar. Isaac and Rebekah tell everyone in Gerar that they are siblings. Luckily for the people of Gerar, no one tries to marry Rebekah. The king of Gerar (who has the same name as before, so is possibly the exact same guy) happens to look out a window and catch the 2 making out, or something ("caressing?") So he goes on this tirade about how if someone had tried to sleep with Rebekah, God would have doomed them all in a manner most unreasonable (yeah, I'm thinking this is the same guy as before, lol).

So they stayed in that area, and "became very wealthy," apparently due to Isaac's great skill at farming (hey, at least he didn't scam for it like Abraham did). Eventually, people started to envy him, and the king told him to go away because he was too powerful.

They went away, and dug a well, but some people fought them for they just kept digging wells until no one fought them anymore, and then stayed with that one. Ah, here's that "turn the other cheek" attitude I've heard so much about.

Then God comes along and (AGAIN) makes the usual promise. Seriously, God, don't you have anything else to say?

The king of Gerar comes to Isaac and asks to make an agreement that they won't harm each other, and Isaac agrees.

Esau marries TWO local girls, and his parents hate them both.

Seriously, you could replace the word "Abraham" with "Isaac", and "Sarah" with "Rebekah", and this chapter would be almost exactly the same as chapter 20-21 (with the exception that the king had apparently learned his lesson). This is getting boring.

Some time later, Isaac is an old, blind man, and wants to bless his favorite child (Esau) before he dies. So he tells Esau to go hunt something and make him some "tasty food," so that he may bless him. Don't know why he has to eat first, but whatever. Esau goes off hunting.

Rebekah hears this and tells Jacob (her favorite) to go get something from their herd so she could make some "tasty food," then Jacob could give it to Isaac and pretend to be Esau, thus stealing the blessing.

Rebekah dresses Jacob up in Esau's clothes and goatskins (Esau was apparently VERY hairy). Jacob brings the "tasty food" (sorry, it just amuses me how many times the phrase "tasty food" appears in this chapter) to Isaac. The goatskins fool Isaac into blessing Jacob...a bunch of stuff about God give you abundance, nations bow to you, and be lord over your brother.

Esau comes along later with his "tasty food," and Isaac figures out it was Jacob before. He basically tells Esau, sorry but I've only got the one blessing, your doomed to be Jacob's servant now...but eventually you will "throw his yoke from off your neck."

I really don't understand this... by "blessing," I assume it means asking God to be nice to someone. But wouldn't all-knowing God know that Isaac meant to bless Esau, but Jacob deceived him? Why is Jacob now blessed by God, while Esau is not, just because Isaac happened to say the words while Jacob was there pretending to be Esau? Shouldn't God know better? And anyway, what kind of asshole father (and God) sets it up so one brother reigns supreme, while any others are just completely fucked? Why does it have to be that way?

Anyway, Esau is pissed, and he's decided to kill Jacob as soon as Isaac is dead. So Rebekah tells Jacob to go stay with her brother, Laban, until Esau calms down.

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