Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy
Why did God bless Jacob in the bible when Jacob was a liar and a deceiver?
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country,while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country,famished. 30 He said to Jacob, 'Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!' (That is why he was also called Edom.[d])
31 Jacob replied, 'First sell me your birthright.'
32 'Look, I am about to die,' Esau said. 'What good is the birthright to me?'
33 But Jacob said, 'Swear to me first.' So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.
It is forbidden to lie. It is also prohibited to deliberately deceive others.
Falsehood is to be avoided:
- Exodus 23:
- 7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.
- Psalm 119:
- 29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
- Proverbs 30:
- 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.
Obviously however exceptions exist.
To save a life one may tell a lie.
Even to avoid embarrassing someone else or causing shame to oneself it is permitted to change things.
The Almighty Himself adhered tot his rule, e.g.
- Genesis 18:
- 13 AND THE LORD SAID UNTO ABRAHAM, WHEREFORE DID SARAH LAUGH, SAYING, SHALL I OF A SURETY BEAR A CHILD, WHICH AM OLD?
The Sages point out that Sarah had actually laughed at the idea of both her and her husband bearing a child in their old age. God however did not repeat to Abraham that Sarah had included his chronological situation in her amusement. God was careful not to upset the harmony between husband and wife.
Joe Doe was sick and close to dying. He needed money. He heard that John Smith had money for him. He gave strict orders that nobody was to be allowed to enter the house except John Smith.
In reality John Smith was coming to take money. Jim Pim was the one who had money for Joe Doe.
Jim Pim got to the house a little before John Smith was scheduled to arrive.
The only way Jim Pim could get into the house and give Joe Doe his money was by pretending to be John Smith.
This is what he did.
After the event and hearing the explanations John Smith was pleased that Joe Doe had used deception.
It was in effect a falsehood for the sake of a greater truth.
It is obvious that the powers of discretion in such matters are not to be exercised promiscuously.
Nevertheless they exist.
Jacob deceived Isaac in order to receive the blessing which was his anyway.
It had been prophesied that the pre-eminence should be his (Genesis 25:23).
He had also purchased the birthright from Esau (Genesis 25:33).
Isaac was not aware of all this. If he had been he may have wished to bless Jacob anyway. Retroactively he did agree with what was done.
Isaac gave the blessing thinking the recipient was Esau.
Nevertheless the Blessing had a power of its own. It was from God. Isaac was only a conduit.
Isaac realized that who ever it was who had been blessed it was the will of God that the blessing should be his.
- Genesis 27:
- 33 Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, 'Who was he then that hunted game and brought it to me, so that I ate of all of it before you came, and blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.'
Shortly afterwards Isaac again blessed Jacob and in effect confirmed the blessings he had given before.
- Genesis 28:
- 3 'May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.
- 4 'May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.'