Jacob Escapes From Esau
Finally, the believing family members got together and made some wise decisions. However, there’s still some deception in the air, because Jacob left home for more than one reason.
Esau hated Jacob with a fury, because his brother now carried the blessing his father meant for him.
Esau (to himself): The days of mourning for my father are approaching. When he has died, I will kill my brother, Jacob.
The days of mourning for my father are approaching—Such was the state of Isaac’s health at that time, though he lived more than forty years afterwards, that his death was expected by all; and Esau thought that would be a favorable time for him to avenge himself on his brother Jacob, as, according to the custom of the times, the sons were always present at the burial of the father.
Ishmael came from his own country to assist Isaac to bury Abraham; and both Jacob and Esau assisted in burying their father Isaac, but the enmity between them had happily subsided long before that time.
To Protect Jacob’s Life
But when Rebecca heard about Esau’s plan, she sent for Jacob and said, “Listen, your brother Esau is planning to get even with you and kill you. Now, son, do what I say. Go at once to my brother Laban in Haran, and stay with him for a while, until your brother’s anger cools down and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send someone to bring you back. Why should I lose both of my sons on the same day?”
Genesis 27:42-45 (GNT)
“Don’t get mad, get even” is a popular philosophy, especially among politicians, but Esau practiced both: He carried a hateful grudge against his brother and planned to kill him. After all, if Esau couldn’t enjoy the blessing, neither would Jacob. The man who was destined to live by his sword would start by using it first at home.
Always close to the family grapevine, Rebekah heard the threat and moved into action. To save Jacob from his brother’s revenge, Rebekah found a pretense for sending him away.
Which of these three—Rebekah, Jacob, or Esau—was most to be pitied?
Their family life was destroyed, and each had to bear lonely hours of separation, disillusionment, and regret. Rebekah would never see her favorite son again, and Jacob would have to face life without father, mother, or brother.
And what about God’s plans for the kingdom?
How could they be worked out in the face of such selfishness, intrigue, and deceit?
The Lord of hosts is not to be thwarted by men’s opposition, failure, or lack of faith. He is able to make his will prevail in spite of all.
To Secure A Suitable Wife For Jacob
Rebekah comes up with a plan to send Jacob away. But it must look like Isaac’s idea.
Rebekah then went to Isaac complaining about Esau’s Hittite wives.
Rebekah (to Isaac): These Hittite women Esau is married to are making my life miserable. If Jacob marries a Hittite woman like one of these, a woman from here in this land, what good can come of that? Why should I even go on living?
Genesis 27:46 (VOICE)
It may have been true that Rebekah didn’t want Jacob to marry a Canaanite woman but this was deception. Since Esau’s two heathen wives (Gen. 26:34-35) were an aggravation in the home, Rebekah used this as an excuse to discuss Jacob’s future with her husband.
These scriptures make it very clear that her real motivation for wanting Jacob to go to Laban was to get him away from Esau so Esau wouldn’t kill him. Once she started lying and deceiving she had to keep it up. Oh what a tangled web we weave when once we practice to deceive.
Now that Jacob had the covenant blessing, it was important that he marry the right woman and not one of the pagans in Canaan.
Isaac agreed and called Jacob to tell him their decision. When the summons came, Jacob may have expected his father to scold him for what he’d done, but Isaac didn’t do that. The old man had been caught in his own net and knew that God’s plans were better than his.
Not only did Isaac speak kindly to his son, but also he gave him an extra blessing as he left to go on his long journey to Haran. This time it was “the blessing of Abraham” that was important, the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless all the earth through Jacob’s descendants (Gal. 3:14).
Esau’s response to this news was further evidence that he despised everything spiritual, for he went out and took another wife. Because Jacob was looking for a wife among his uncle Laban’s children, Esau chose a wife from the family of his uncle Ishmael. Perhaps he thought that this would qualify him to receive some kind of blessing from God, but it only added to the irritation in the home.
Time doesn’t always heal hurt feelings. Time often serves only to harden people in their ways. In this case, though, Esau did soften in his attitude toward Jacob (Genesis 32).