Genesis 27:43-45, Rebekah Screws Up

Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

//Yesterday, I wrote about the reunion of Jacob and Esau, after Jacob steals the blessing and birthright. Jacob winds up giving both of them back.

Have you ever read the story of these two sons from their mother Rebekah’s viewpoint? This is Rebekah speaking in today’s verse, instructing Jacob to flee from Esau for a few days.

The story runs like this. Isaac, the father of brothers Jacob and Esau, is getting old and blind, and is ready to bestow the blessing on his oldest son. That would be Esau. But Rebekah hatches a plan whereby Jacob can pretend to be Esau and steal the blessing from him.

It works like a charm, until Esau comes in the house and discovers what happened. Esau is rightfully furious, and vows to kill Jacob.

Now Rebekah begins to have second thoughts. She has infuriated one son, and possibly caused the death of the other.  “Jacob,” she says, “go live with your uncle a few days until Esau calms down.”

So Jacob trots off for a few days. Esau, too, leaves the nest and goes looking for a wife.

A “few days” turn into years. Fourteen years pass and still Jacob hasn’t returned. He is, so far as we know, incommunicado. When finally he and Esau return to see their father, Rebekah has apparently died … having never seen either of them again.

Rebekah did indeed lose two sons over one devious trick. It would seem in this story that nobody was really bettered by dishonesty.


  1. When I had to reread this story to familiarize myself with it again, I saw that jacob was Rebekah’s favorite son. I thought to myself after reading, that was the first mistake. I wondered to myself, as a parent is this where we get the thought that parents never have a favorite? We can see from this story where it can lead to issues and some serious family dynamics. But correctly so, it does seem after many years rebekah has died once the brothers come back together. It seems her fears have come true, why should she lose both of them when in fact she does, through her own deceit. We also see a repetition of this in the same family where Jacob has a favorite son, Joseph, who is sold into slavery by his brothers through jealousy and again as I said , a birthright blessing being passed by from the eldest. A psychologist might have fun the family dynamics in this family or some serious bible study as to the message G-d would want us to see.

  2. Lee Harmon

    haha, has there ever been a non-dysfunctional family?

  3. I was not raised Christian, Church was expressly forbidden via Mother, very secular, very adamant. In spite of goy(“ish”) name, I have a Reform (Jewish) background.

    The only conversation about Jesus with Mom, was her making sure I knew “Jesus was a Jew”, it was kinda like, “you got that ?”

    We are all operating in various degrees of ignorance about something, other wise the schools would be called the “institutions of ‘we’ve all ready got it man !”.

    I re acquainted myself with the text, (Genesis 27), and realized just how lacking in history, and text knowledge I am. I should have been Orthodox, they would have MADE me study, first in Hebrew not the JPS English Torah.

    Maybe it would have been like Yeshiva with a Jewish version of Arlee Ermy, uh ? (LOL).

    If the text is correct and other information was not left out, one has to ask WHY,do you never hear Rabbis or tv Preachers,for that matter, point a finger at Rebekah for being guilty, and the instigator?

    As far as the things that Jews, and Christians,for that matter, her actions are purely dishonest, even worse, she is dragging others in to the sin, creating unnecessary grief, etc, etc.

    Are we just too polite as a society.

    We definitely have a double standard on gender equality.

    Thank G-d, not all, but some women preach gender equality and then go into a sexist tirade rant, hate speech against men, just because they are men.

    But, after all the years, I’ve yet to hear one Rabbi or one Christian clergy point out that she Rebekah instigated this act of theft, dishonestly.

    Question is why ?

  4. Lee Harmon

    :) Our scriptures are not sanitized, it is we who try to sanitize them!

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