Isaac moaned in agony. “How can I lie before the Lord and before you, my dearest son?” He couldn’t believe it. Jacob, his second son, had tricked him. Right before his very eyes. Sure, he could barely see much of anything but to mistake his smooth-faced, sweet-talking son for the gruff, hard-working son that he loved more than himself… it was too much pain to bear.
“But Pops, I said I would come to you and bring you food?” Esau was flabbergasted. “Okay, so Jacob can cook but you said mine was better! You loved me! How could this happen? How could Jacob betray me Esau like this?” He protested, hating himself for letting his guard down around Jacob.
After that day he’d let Jacob weasel him from the property rights, and after he’d gotten an earful from Isaac about selling himself short because of a measly stew, Esau was more ashamed now than then. He fell on his knees and put his hands together, right in front of his weeping father.
“Papa, please, you have to say something… say anything!” The pain was torture! His father was supposed to give him many blessings, since he was the first son. Instead, Jacob was walking around grinning from ear to ear, happy to have tricked him twice. Esau felt like the biggest fool but it hurt more that Isaac, his dear father, had helped.
Isaac shook his head, body trembling openly. Tears fell down his face. “Esau, I gave your brother Jacob, everything… Nothing I have left is what I want to give you. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”
“There has to be at least one blessing for me too, Papa!” Esau didn’t want to believe that Isaac hadn’t intended on blessing Jacob. “Bless me too, my father!”
In the corridor, Rebecca stood holding Jacob’s hand tightly. She tried not to wince when her first son and husband wept openly and bitterly in Isaac’s room. How could she not have seen this coming?
“Mommy,” Jacob whispered, his eyes darting from left to right. “What should I do? Esau will kill me.”
Rebecca hushed him with a frown. She wanted to hear what Isaac would do for Esau. Then as the two stood eavesdropping into Isaac’s room, both their eyes grew wide with surprise and horror. Then they stared at each other and silently stepped away from the door.
“Wow…” Jacob said a few moments later, his brother and father still crying in the inner room. His body shivered with fear. He couldn’t believe it. His father had meant for him to be a servant to Esau forever. “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother…”
Rebecca was livid with anger. How could Isaac do this to her? To their sons! She quickly turned to Jacob and grabbed his shoulders, forcing him to look at her. “You need to leave now.”
Jacob blinked at her in confusion. “Where can I go? Why?”
“Esau will soon come out of the room and he’ll kill you. Simple as that.” Rebecca couldn’t bear the thought of losing Jacob, or Esau from his rage. She had to do something. “Don’t make me wish for death by staying here to battle with Esau for your life.”
Jacob nodded, imagining Esau’s strong hands squeezing his throat. He swallowed hard. “Where?”
“Paddan Aram,” Rebecca said without hesitation. “My father lives there with my brothers.”
“Go to Grandpa’s place?” he frowned to himself. He and Esau had only heard about Paddan Aram, his mother’s birthplace. Even Isaac hadn’t been there. What if they didn’t believe he was their relative?
She nodded, as if reading his mind. “Just tell them who you are, they’ll know and receive you with good hospitality.” She was already pushing him toward the main gate.
Jacob shook his head, glancing over at the closed door to his father’s room. “What if Esau knows I escaped and gets mad, and comes looking for me?”
The door slammed close in the inner room and Rebecca gasped loudly. “Go!”
Without hesitation, fear prompting him, Jacob nodded and sprinted through the gate without much of a glance behind him. His heart was in his stomach, racing fast as he escaped from home, leaving Isaac, Rebecca and Esau behind.