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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Gen. 27-29 (trickery)

In today's narrative, we have the strangely elaborate plot to trick blind Isaac into blessing his smooth skinned wimp of a son Jacob.  It seems to be a really big deal how harry Esau is.  When his mother suggests Jacob steal Esau's blessing while Esau is off hunting, he replies, "Hay un problema: mi hermano Esaú es muy velludo, y yo soy lampiño./There is one problem: my brother Esau is very harry, and I am smooth skinned."  Gen. 27:11.  Yeah, that's the only problem with this Three's Company stunt to steal a blessing. 

The trick works.  Esau is pretty upset, noting, "Ya van dos veces que me engaña: primero me quita mis derechos de primogénito, y ahora se lleva mi bendición./This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!”  Gen. 27:36.  So, birthright and blessing are different which is interesting.

Then, Jacob runs away, like the wimp that he is, and works for fourteen years in order earn a couple of brides.  It's fourteen and not seven because Laban tricks him into marrying the one he doesn't want first so he ends up marrying them both.  Laban is pretty indignant about this saying, "La costumbre en nuestro país es casar primero a la mayor y luego a la menor./Is it not our custom to marry the older daughter first, and then the younger one?" Gen. 29:26.  But he's cool about though.  After Jacob spends the honeymoon week with Leah, he gives him Rachel too, in exchange for another seven years.  Gen. 29:27.  Yeah, seriously.

En route to his parents' homeland, Jacob sees a vision of the stairway to heaven, near a city he renames Bethel.  Gen. 28:10-20.  This vision certainly does not suggest that humans can go up to that place, but it strikes me as interesting in setting up the idea of pleasant afterlife.  In Job, I did not read anything that suggested anything about a pleasant afterlife.  And with the exception of Enoch, I don't recall anything so far in Genesis to suggest as much.

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