Esau is still smarting from the stolen blessing. His “blessing” held a promise at the end but nothing for the immediate future. Now Isaac gives Jacob but another blessing. This one is tied to choosing a wife.
We are not told how old the twins are at this point but I found a few references when I Googled it. After doing some research I’m no more certain than I was when I began. There are differing opinions on how long Jacob stayed in Paddan-aram. All the attempts use backwards math to try and prove out their theory. I’m giving up on determining with any accuracy but am leaning towards the position of him being about 57. This comes from one source I found that the logic of the calculations won me over. I leave the decision up to you on whether to believe it or not. I just can’t reconcile ALL Jacob’s children, except Benjamin, being born within seven years of each other and only one being a girl out of all twelve reported. We know for a fact that he was more than 40 (age at which Esau married the two Hittite women) and less than 130 (when he stood before Pharaoh after coming to Egypt and Joseph’s bidding). I personally can’t be any more precise than that.
But today is about Esau so let’s turn our attention back to him. Funny how, even when our passage is about Esau, Jacob steals my attention away. I wonder if that is how Esau felt most of his life. He had his father’s heart but not his mother’s. Or God’s promise of greatness.
After Jacob left Isaac’s tent with the blessing intended for Esau, Esau asked his father if he had another blessing that he could give him in its place. The “blessing” Esau received was NOT one Esau could hang around his neck and readily comfort himself with. There was comfort in it in the last lines but Esau wasn’t focusing there. His “blessing” stated that one day he would break free of his brother’s yoke. Maybe that line was what was fueling him to get rid of Jacob. If he was dead, Esau would be free.
Esau observes his father passing on ANOTHER blessing to Jacob! “I thought you didn’t have any other blessings, yet here he is again receiving another one.” This blessing was tied to something else. It was connected to Jacob’s choosing wisely a wife. This wife was to come from within the family tree.
Esau was not blind to the tension between his wives and his family. He had married outside the family. Did he know this was a “no no” before he did so? Did he originally marry these two women to get back at his family or did he honestly love them?
It didn’t matter why he married Judith and Basemath. They would never receive Isaac and Rebekah’s blessing or be welcomed into the family by them. If he wanted his father’s blessing on his marriage he had to choose someone who was a relative. Instead of following Jacob to Laban’s home Esau went in search of another branch of the family tree. He went to Ishmael to find his bride. We are not told if Isaac and Rebekah felt any different about Esau’s third wife or not. He was desperate to get back into his father’s good graces and was willing to do whatever he could to make that happen. He wanted his favored son status back with his father.
Funny thing is though, that once Jacob leaves Esau is all Isaac and Rebekah will have left on a day to day basis. I wonder how their relationship will change in Jacob’s absence. We know that upon Jacob’s return Esau and company are not living in the area with Isaac any longer. But that’s a story for another day.
Father God, my heart goes out to Esau. What was it about him that prompted You to choose Jacob over him? Was he a “wild child” and didn’t listen to his parent’s directions? The fact that he married women whom his parents didn’t approve of leads me to think that might be the problem. Jacob was ready to obey direction. Sometimes that direction got him going on the WRONG path, but at least he waited for it. Both men had consequences for their behavior. I KNOW You loved them both too. But Jacob was more willing to wait for direction. Is that “being able to wait” an integral part of his personality?
“They that wait upon the Lord…Teach me to wait.” That sounds a lot like praying for patience. I’m always nervous when I pray for patience because it means I will have to walk through situations where patience is required, grown and stretched for that prayer to be answered. I want to learn to wait though Father, so here I go jumping in the deep end. I like the promise that waits in between the ellipses. Those are good reasons to wait. Your favor is the BEST reason to wait! Ok Lord. Teach me to wait.