Throughout most of his life, Isaac followed in Abraham’s footsteps. Why is Isaac considered one of the forefathers? As Abraham’s guests prepared to leave, they would offer Abraham thanks and praise for the kindness and hospitality he showed them. And Jacob named that place Bethel, which in the language that Jacob spoke means "The House of God.". The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament, with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament being slightly larger because of their acceptance of certain books and parts of books…. Abraham’s diligence in preparing a successor and instituting long-lasting values brought blessing to his enterprise once again. And after a time the Israelites became rulers over the Edomites; and later still, the Edomites made themselves free from the Israelites. [Illustration: Jacob went onward in his long journey]. And they taught their children also to pray to idols; so that those who came from Esau, the people who were his descendants, lost all knowledge of God, and became very wicked. But all this took place hundreds of years afterward. However, Jacob evidently does not trust his brother's favour to continue for long so he makes excuses to avoid traveling to Mount Seir in Esau's company (Genesis 33:12–14), and he further evades Esau's attempt to put his own men among Jacob's bands (Genesis 33:15–16), and finally completes the deception of his brother yet again by going to Succoth and then to Shalem, a city of Shechem, instead of following Esau at a distance to Seir (Genesis 33:16–20). In these positive events, Isaac was a responsible son who learned how to lead the family and to manage its business in a way that honored the example of his capable and godly father. This place is the house of God; it is the gate of heaven! In contrast to the sustained prominence that Genesis gives to Abraham, the life of Isaac is split apart and told as attachments to the stories of Abraham and Jacob. Isaac was old, and couldn't see well. "Esau." His prayer also included that his brothers, and mother’s sons, would bow to him. Jacob offered to give Esau a bowl of stew in exchange for his birthright (the right to be recognized as firstborn) and Esau agreed. Within Abraham and Sarah’s tents, travelers were welcome to dine and rest their weary heads. Esau is furious and vows to kill Jacob (Genesis 27:41) as soon as their father has died. This week’s Torah portion tells us about his life. Rebekah intervenes to save her younger son Jacob from being murdered by her elder son, Esau. She explains to Isaac that she has sent Jacob to find a wife among her own people. It was not right for Jacob to deal so selfishly with his brother; but it was very wrong in Esau to care so little for his birthright and God's blessing. While Jacob was living at Haran, eleven sons were born to him. Isaac prayed (Genesis 27:28) that the Lord give Jacob the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. At one time, when Esau returned from an unsuccessful hunt and was hungry, Jacob bought Esau’s birthright (i.e., the rights due him as the eldest son) for some red pottage (soup). Don’t underestimate the law of cause and effect. [5], Jacob shows his willingness as well as his greater intelligence and forethought. When Isaac was a hundred years old, it became his turn to designate his successor by passing on the family blessing. The belated birth of Isaac is followed by the story of twins born to Isaac and their rivalry to win the right of the firstborn of their father Abraham. Abraham taught us to breach a new path, to rebel against conventional wisdom, to embark on a road with an unknown end. Here, in Hebron, Isaac died at the very ripe age of 180 years. | Oleinichenko Praskovia The characterization of Isaac’s life falls into two parts: one decidedly positive and one negative. Although Sarah was past the age of childbearing, God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son, and Isaac was born. | By The Fellowship Isaac taught us how to preserve the past and bequeath it to the future. Go out into the fields, and with your bow and arrows shoot some animal that is good for food, and make for me a dish of cooked meat such as you know I love; and after I have eaten it I will give you the blessing.". Isaac became at last very old and feeble, and so blind that he could see scarcely anything. Keep Leah for your wife, and work for me seven years longer, and you shall have Rachel also.". That family eventually formed the basis of the Jewish people. Donor Privacy Policy. Foreign to most of us today, two related customs were prominent in Isaac’s family, the birthright (Gen. 25:31) and the blessing (Gen. 27:4). [2], In Genesis, Esau returned to his brother, Jacob, being famished from the fields. Telephone +972-3-761-9056 | Israelis You Should Know Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. On the positive side, Isaac’s life was a gift from God. Jacob brought Isaac a dish of goat meat prepared by Rebecca to taste like venison. But Esau begged for another blessing; and Isaac said: "My son, your dwelling shall be of the riches of the earth and of the dew of heaven. [5], Later, Esau marries two wives, both Hittite women, that is, locals, in violation of Abraham's (and God's) injunction not to take wives from among the Canaanite population. He does not embark on a new path, nor does he wander from land to land. I thought that I was all alone, but God has been with me. So, what is it that Isaac taught us? As he did not value his birthright over a bowl of lentil stew, by his actions, Esau demonstrates that he does not deserve to be the one who continues Abraham's responsibilities and rewards under God's covenant, since he does not have the steady, thoughtful qualities which are required. As soon as he is dead, then I shall kill Jacob for having robbed me of my right. Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board July 1, 2013. The land where you are lying all alone, shall belong to you and to your children after you; and your children shall spread abroad over the lands, east and west, and north and south, like the dust of the earth; and in your family all the world shall receive a blessing. And you will bring it to your father, and he will think that you are Esau, and will give you the blessing; and it really belongs to you. Isaac, on the other hand, served God through awe and fear of the Lord. ", [Illustration: "Sell me your birthright"], And Jacob answered, "I will give it to you, if you will first of all sell to me your birthright. Once, when Esau came home, hungry and tired from hunting in the fields, he saw that Jacob had a bowl of something that he had just cooked for dinner. Our weakness may be for accolades, financial security, conflict avoidance, inappropriate relationships, short-term rewards, or other personal benefits that may be at odds with doing our work to fulfill God’s purposes.

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