41Esau hated his brother Jacob because he had stolen the blessing that was supposed to be his. So he said to himself, “Just as soon as my father dies, I'll kill Jacob.”
42 When Rebekah found out what Esau planned to do, she sent for Jacob and told him, “Son, your brother Esau is just waiting for a chance to kill you. 43Now listen carefully and do what I say. Go to the home of my brother Laban in Haran 44and stay with him for a while. When Esau stops being angry 45and forgets what you have done to him, I'll send for you to come home. Why should I lose both of my sons on the same day?”
46Rebekah later told Isaac, “Those Hittite wives of Esau are making my life miserable! If Jacob marries a Hittite woman, I'd be better off dead.”
1Isaac called in Jacob, then gave him a blessing, and said:
Don't marry any of those Canaanite women. 2Go at once to your mother's father Bethuel in northern Syria and choose a wife from one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. 3I pray that God All-Powerful will bless you with many descendants and let you become a great nation. 4 May he bless you with the land he promised Abraham, so that you will take over this land where we now live as foreigners.
5Isaac then sent Jacob to stay with Rebekah's brother Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
Esau Marries the Daughter
6Esau found out that his father Isaac had blessed Jacob and had warned him not to marry any of the Canaanite women. He also learned that Jacob had been sent to find a wife in northern Syria 7and that he had obeyed his father and mother. 8Esau already had several wives, but he now realized how much his father hated the Canaanite women. 9So he married Ishmael's daughter Mahalath, who was the sister of Nebaioth and the granddaughter of Abraham.
The recognition that the blessing has been taken from him leads to Esau’s loud bitter cry, “Bless me—me too, my father!” The blessing he does receive from his father (27:39-40) in no way satisfies him. The grudge against his brother is deepened and he vows to kill Jacob when Isaac is dead (27:41).
And so the consequences of disobedience and deceptive schemes multiply leading to a deepening of the family fracture. This scenario has unfortunately been repeated time after time within the human story. No family is immune—not even one that is part of God’s covenantal strategy—if disobedient actions, bitterness and deceptive schemes are involved. Those who are disobedient walk away from blessing. Those who perceive they have been wronged grow embittered.Those who have been deceptive often find themselves facing consequences. Dysfunctional family life has alwaysbeen with us and needs divine intervention.
Rebekah becomes aware of Esau’s bitter plans and intervenes. She indicates to Jacob that he must leave, but with blessing, to live with her brother Laban. Somehow in the midst of these highly imperfect circumstances both Rebekah, in her strategizing (27:44-45), and Isaac in giving his additional blessing to Jacob (28:1-5), envision better days. Rebekah foresees the day when Esau’s fury will recede and that reconciliation will occur. This later becomes reality. Isaac reiterates the blessing and multiplication that Jacob will experience as he sees God’s promise to his grandfather realized. This too will occur. These words must have been tremendous seeds of hope for Jacob as he headed off to an unknown land and his brother continued in his bitter and disobedient actions (28:6-9). Even in a moment where painful consequences seem to rule, words of faith can be spoken and seeds of hope sown.
Heavenly Father, you understand the drama and pain that sometimes goes along within families. Help us to see with eyes of faith what you can do in the middle of less than ideal circumstances, so that cooperating with your purposes we may see your will done. In your Son’s name, Amen.