Jacob’s Flight and Esau’s Lesson

Nov 8, 2015

וַיִּשְׂטֹם עֵשָׂו אֶת־יַעֲקֹב עַל־הַבְּרָכָה אֲשֶׁר בֵּרֲכוֹ אָבִיו וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו בְּלִבּוֹ יִקְרְבוּ יְמֵי אֵבֶל אָבִי וְאַהַרְגָה אֶת־יַעֲקֹב אָחִי׃

Now Esau harbored a grudge against Yaakov because of the blessing which his father had given him, and Esau said to himself, “Let but the mourning period of my father come, and I will kill my brother Yaakov.”

Genesis 27:41

וַיֵּלֶךְ עֵשָׂו אֶל־יִשְׁמָעֵאל וַיִּקַּח אֶת־מָחֲלַת בַּת־יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן־אַבְרָהָם אֲחוֹת נְבָיוֹת עַל־נָשָׁיו לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃

So Esau went to Ishmael and took to wife, in addition to the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael son of Avraham, sister of Nebaioth.

Genesis 28:9

Rebecca finds out what her older son is plotting against his brother, and warns Jacob that he should flee. To Isaac, she explains that she does not want Jacob to find a wife among the unsuitable women in the area, and their son must travel to her family to find a wife. Isaac therefore summons Jacob to send him on his way and blesses him again. He warns Jacob against marrying a Canaanite woman, and passes to him the blessings which God gave Abraham. Jacob then leaves for Paddan-aram, where Rebecca’s brother, Laban, lives.

 

Meanwhile, Esau sees what transpires between his brother and his parents, and realizes they disapprove of his choice of spouse. He therefore goes to his father’s relatives and marries one of Ishmael’s daughters, though he does not divorce his first two unsuitable wives.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

What do you think of Esau’s decision to marry again? Do you think his motives were positive or negative?

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