Revenge of the Goat-Man

All of the sudden Isaac, who we know almost nothing about besides how he was almost slaughtered as a child and how his wife was purchased, is old and ready to die. He calls for his favorite son Esau and asks him to go hunting and prepare him a last meal. Apparently he has no desire to see his other son before he dies. Nice guy.

Rebekah is eavesdropping, tricky woman that she is, and she brings her intel to Jacob while Esau is out killing stuff. She orchestrates a coup wherein she will prepare some goat-meat for Jacob to take to Isaac and trick him into giving him Esau’s blessing. It’s strange that this scheme is attributed to Rebekah, since there was no indication in Chapter 25 that the soup-for-birthright scam Jacob pulled on Esau had anything to do with Rebekah. It’s also strange that they need to run this scheme even after Esau already traded his birthright for some red stuff. What was the point of that if they needed to trick Isaac to get the blessing anyway?

Regardless, they run their follow-up scam. Rebekah cooks up some goat and puts goat skins on Jacob’s hands and neck. Esau must have been a truly hideous red-headed goat creature of a man. Jacob goes to Isaac and presents him with the feast. Jacob cleverly uses the old man’s religion against him: when Isaac asks how he got back so fast from the hunt, Jacob credits Jehovah. (Who is interestingly still called Isaac’s god, not Jacob’s). Isaac is still skeptical, but he feels Jacob’s hands and recognizes the disgusting dead shit-caked goat hair as that of his precious son Esau. He also smells Jacob, but despite the smell of Jacob and the voice of Jacob, he assumes it’s Esau because the goat hair was really convincing.

In Hollywood-thriller style, as soon as the blessing is finished, Esau comes back and asks for his blessing. Then Isaac “trembleth a very great trembling,” and knows he fucked up. He asks Isaac to bless him as well, but he’s all blessed-out. Blessings are precious commodities, limited quantities. He can’t retract a blessing, ethereal and immaterial though it may be, and despite the fact that God himself has retracted, ignored, or failed to follow through on every promise and covenant he has made to this point in the Bible. Nope, when it comes to blessings, that shit is rock-solid, air-tight. Can’t retract it. Esau is fucked. Makes a lot of sense.

Then Isaac really rubs salt in the wound by  giving Esau the shittiest also-ran, consolation prize blessing ever, telling him that he will be his brother’s servant, like a yoked ox. Fucking asshole old man.

Understandably, Esau hates Jacob and swears to kill him. Rebekah tells Jacob to get out of town, and he hits the road. If the blessing meant that much, why does he have to run? Oh, because this story is fucking stupid and makes no sense. Ok. I get it.

To close out this wonderful pointless chapter that religious people infuse with meaning, Rebekah starts to worry that Jacob won’t settle down with a nice Jewish girl, in a virtual repeat of Abraham’s worries about Isaac marrying a Canaanite, and she suggests she’ll kill herself if he marries a local girl instead of someone from his own family. Please. Do.



1 And it cometh to pass that Isaac [is] aged, and his eyes are too dim for seeing, and he calleth Esau his elder son, and saith unto him, `My son;’ and he saith unto him, `Here [am] I.’

And he saith, `Lo, I pray thee, I have become aged, I have not known the day of my death;

and now, take up, I pray thee, thy instruments, thy quiver, and thy bow, and go out to the field, and hunt for me provision,

and make for me tasteful things, [such] as I have loved, and bring in to me, and I do eat, so that my soul doth bless thee before I die.’

And Rebekah is hearkening while Isaac is speaking unto Esau his son; and Esau goeth to the field to hunt provision — to bring in;

and Rebekah hath spoken unto Jacob her son, saying, `Lo, I have heard thy father speaking unto Esau thy brother, saying,

Bring for me provision, and make for me tasteful things, and I do eat, and bless thee before Jehovah before my death.

`And now, my son, hearken to my voice, to that which I am commanding thee:

Go, I pray thee, unto the flock, and take for me from thence two good kids of the goats, and I make them tasteful things for thy father, [such] as he hath loved;

10 and thou hast taken in to thy father, and he hath eaten, so that his soul doth bless thee before his death.

11 And Jacob saith unto Rebekah his mother, `Lo, Esau my brother [is] a hairy man, and I a smooth man,

12 it may be my father doth feel me, and I have been in his eyes as a deceiver, and have brought upon me disesteem, and not a blessing;’

13 and his mother saith to him, `On me thy disesteem, my son; only hearken to my voice, and go, take for me.’

14 And he goeth, and taketh, and bringeth to his mother, and his mother maketh tasteful things, [such] as his father hath loved;

15 and Rebekah taketh the desirable garments of Esau her elder son, which [are] with her in the house, and doth put on Jacob her younger son;

16 and the skins of the kids of the goats she hath put on his hands, and on the smooth of his neck,

17 and she giveth the tasteful things, and the bread which she hath made, into the hand of Jacob her son.

18 And he cometh in unto his father, and saith, `My father;’ and he saith, `Here [am] I; who [art] thou, my son?’

19 And Jacob saith unto his father, `I [am] Esau thy first-born; I have done as thou hast spoken unto me; rise, I pray thee, sit, and eat of my provision, so that thy soul doth bless me.’

20 And Isaac saith unto his son, `What [is] this thou hast hasted to find, my son?’ and he saith, `That which Jehovah thy God hath caused to come before me.’

21 And Isaac saith unto Jacob, `Come nigh, I pray thee, and I feel thee, my son, whether thou [art] he, my son Esau, or not.’

22 And Jacob cometh nigh unto Isaac his father, and he feeleth him, and saith, `The voice [is] the voice of Jacob, and the hands hands of Esau.’

23 And he hath not discerned him, for his hands have been hairy, as the hands of Esau his brother, and he blesseth him,

24 and saith, `Thou art he — my son Esau?’ and he saith, `I [am].’

25 And he saith, `Bring nigh to me, and I do eat of my son’s provision, so that my soul doth bless thee;’ and he bringeth nigh to him, and he eateth; and he bringeth to him wine, and he drinketh.

26 And Isaac his father saith to him, `Come nigh, I pray thee, and kiss me, my son;’

27 and he cometh nigh, and kisseth him, and he smelleth the fragrance of his garments, and blesseth him, and saith, `See, the fragrance of my son [is] as the fragrance of a field which Jehovah hath blessed;

28 and God doth give to thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and abundance of corn and wine;

29 peoples serve thee, and nations bow themselves to thee, be thou mighty over thy brethren, and the sons of thy mother bow themselves to thee; those who curse thee [are] cursed, and those who bless thee [are] blessed.’

30 And it cometh to pass, as Isaac hath finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob is only just going out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother hath come in from his hunting;

31 and he also maketh tasteful things, and bringeth to his father, and saith to his father, `Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s provision, so that thy soul doth bless me.’

32 And Isaac his father saith to him, `Who [art] thou?’ and he saith, `I [am] thy son, thy first-born, Esau;’

33 and Isaac trembleth a very great trembling, and saith, `Who, now, [is] he who hath provided provision, and bringeth in to me, and I eat of all before thou comest in, and I bless him? — yea, blessed is he.’

34 When Esau heareth the words of his father, then he crieth a very great and bitter cry, and saith to his father, `Bless me, me also, O my father;’

35 and he saith, `Thy brother hath come with subtilty, and taketh thy blessing.’

36 And he saith, `Is it because [one] called his name Jacob that he doth take me by the heel these two times? my birthright he hath taken; and lo, now, he hath taken my blessing;’ he saith also, `Hast thou not kept back a blessing for me?’

37 And Isaac answereth and saith to Esau, `Lo, a mighty one have I set him over thee, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants, and [with] corn and wine have I sustained him; and for thee now, what shall I do, my son?’

38 And Esau saith unto his father, `One blessing hast thou my father? bless me, me also, O my father;’ and Esau lifteth up his voice, and weepeth.

39 And Isaac his father answereth and saith unto him, `Lo, of the fatness of the earth is thy dwelling, and of the dew of the heavens from above;

40 and by thy sword dost thou live, and thy brother dost thou serve; and it hath come to pass when thou rulest, that thou hast broken his yoke from off thy neck.’

41 And Esau hateth Jacob, because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau saith in his heart, `The days of mourning [for] my father draw near, and I slay Jacob my brother.’

42 And the words of Esau her elder son are declared to Rebekah, and she sendeth and calleth for Jacob her younger son, and saith unto him, `Lo, Esau thy brother is comforting himself in regard to thee — to slay thee;

43 and now, my son, hearken to my voice, and rise, flee for thyself unto Laban my brother, to Haran,

44 and thou hast dwelt with him some days, till thy brother’s fury turn back,

45 till thy brother’s anger turn back from thee, and he hath forgotten that which thou hast done to him, and I have sent and taken thee from thence; why am I bereaved even of you both the same day?’

46 And Rebekah saith unto Isaac, `I have been disgusted with my life because of the presence of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these — from the daughters of the land — why do I live?’


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