1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
2 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughers of Laban thy mother’s brother.
3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.
6 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughers of Canaan;
7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram;
8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Isaac listened to his wife and called for Jacob. He blessed him and told him not to marry a Canaanite woman, telling him to go to his mother’s old home and there find a wife from among Laban’s daughters. Isaac also asked God to make Jacob fruitful and increase his numbers until his people were so grown in numbers that he could return and take possession of the land where they were currently living as foreigners—the land God had promised to Abraham.
When Esau learned that Jacob had received
Isaac’s blessing and was told to take a wife from Laban’s daughters, he realized how displeased his father and mother were with the two Canaanite women he had married. Esau therefore went to Ishmael, Isaac’s half brother (son of Abraham) and married one of his daughters in addition to the wives he had.
The picture to me is that Esau, although beloved by his father, found it difficult to please either Isaac or Rebekah and was constantly seeking to do so. I can almost feel his frustration as I read these passages. Yet, I can’t forget that Esau has the desire to kill his brother in his heart, which hardly makes him a sympathetic character. The beauty of reading such a story in the bible is that knowledge that anyone in the stories who is a true believer will be redeemed by God in some way. Somehow God always made things work out for people that loved him and that he loved.
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