Genesis 27:41–46

27 41 Esau seethed with resentment against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him. Esau said in his heart, “May the days of mourning for my father be few and then I will kill Jacob, my brother.
     42 Rebekah was told the words of Esau, her older son. So she sent and called for Jacob, her younger son, and said to him, “Esau, your brother, is planning revenge. He plans to kill you. 43 So now, my son, listen to my voice and arise, flee to Laban, my brother, in Haran. 44 Live with him some days until your brother’s wrath subsides, 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send for you and take you from there. Why should I be bereaved of both of you in one day?”
     46 Rebekah then said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from the Hittite women, from the women of this land, what good is life to me?”

There is no exaggerating Esau’s anger at formally losing his birthright blessing. He can treat it cavalierly, but he was still expecting his father would set right the earlier dismissal of his right and privilege. For whatever reason, Esau doesn’t follow Cain’s impetuous fratricide even though he fantasizes it.

Esau is a hunter and knows how to lie in wait for his prey. Thus he sets the time of Isaac’s death to be the time to kill his brother Jacob. In this way, all that was rightfully his will actually be his. His enmity runs deep.

Rebekah, again, has a finger in every aspect of family life. As a result, Esau’s plan is easy to find out.

There is no reason to think that Esau is any less Isaac’s favorite. Rebekah’s options regarding her favorite, Jacob, need to include space between brothers lest they kill one another and her travail have been in vain.

Practicality may have been Rebekah’s middle name. Her solution is two-fold: to protect Jacob and to ensure the seed of Abraham and Isaac (and hers) will continue unto a multitude and a nation.

Jacob is to go to her brother, Laban. At first, this is simply for space, but also to take a wife who will bear his seed.

With Jacob apprised of the plan, Rebekah turns to Isaac to get his buy-in.

Using the same language as when Esau and Jacob wrestled inside her womb, Rebekah feels—“Life is not worth the living.” Beginning with the local Hittite women, of which Esau has married two (26:34–35), Rebekah is upset enough for both herself and Isaac. These wives are not acceptable. With a not-subtle reminder of the value Rebekah has been to Isaac, an appeal is made for Jacob to return to her household for a “good” wife. This plan protects Jacob and casts a shadow on Esau for his choice in wives (he is assimilating, not establishing a new nation).

And so we go around again.

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