Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (5 November 2017, 15 Heshbon, 5778)
Isaiah 34:5-6 says God devoted Edom for destruction. How can God love Jacob and hate Edom so much when Esau was the one wronged by a Jacob?
Was Esau Really Wronged by Jacob? Or was it the opposite way round?
Outline of the Narrative
Abraham begat Isaac. Isaac married Rebeka who bore him twin sons.
Jacob and Esau were the twins. While still in the womb it had been reveled to Rebeka that the younger (Jacob) would have the preeminence.
When the twins grew Esau became a hunter and was favored by his father. Jacob dwelt in tents and was preferred by his mother.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.
28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
It happened that Esau was coming from the hunt and was famished. He sold the right of the firstborn to Jacob (Genesis 25:29-34). Later when Isaac felt he was about to die he told Esau to hunt venison and prepare it for him so that he may bless him. Rebeka heard Isaac make the request of Esau. She told Jacob to disguise himself as Esau and bring the meat of a kid goat to Isaac who was blind.
Jacob protested that if he would do so when his father discovered had happened he would curse him instead of blessing. Rebeka assured Jacob that she was taking the responsibility (Genesis 27:13). Jacob received the blessing and went out. Esau arrived straight afterwards and was informed what had happened.
He protested, told Isaac that Jacob had previously bought the birthright from him, and asked for a blessing of his own. Isaac said that Jacob had received the blessing and it was irrevocable (Genesis 27:33). After pleading from Esau he gave Esau a similar but less comprehensive blessing. Henceforth Esau hated Jacob and plotted to murder him when their father would die. Rebeka was aware of the machinations of Esau. She persuaded Isaac to send Jacob away to her brother in Aram. Before Jacob left Isaac blessed him and in effect confirmed the blessings to him.
Genesis (NKJV) 25:
3 'May God Almighty bless you,
And make you fruitful and multiply you,
That you may be an assembly of peoples;
4 And give you the blessing of Abraham,
To you and your descendants with you,
That you may inherit the land
In which you are a stranger,
Which God gave to Abraham.
Was the Conduct of Jacob Justified?
Jacob had been promised the blessing from birth (Genesis 25:21-23). The Bible bears testimony that Jacob valued the right of the firstborn whereas Esau did not (Genesis 25:33).
Both Jacob and Esau had separate roles to play in the development of mankind. The role of Jacob could be fulfilled better with the blessing than without it.
Esau needed it less. Jacob presented himself as Esau to Isaac. He did not reveal to Isaac that Esau had already sold him the birthright.
Esau revealed this to Isaac after the fact (Genesis 27:36). In deceiving Isaac, Jacob was doing the bidding of his mother Rebeka to whom it had been revealed in Prophecy that so it was meant to be. Isaac acknowledged that the blessing he had given had the sanction of God Almighty. He had merely served as a conduit (Genesis 27:33).
If something had have been wrong with the way in which Jacob got the blessing the Almighty would not have confirmed it.
Later when Jacob took leave of Isaac the latter acknowledged the blessing as pertaining to Jacob.
God apparently had his own reasons for having Jacob receive the blessing the way he did.
Perhaps it is to teach the descendants of Jacob that in order to do what they must they need to take on themselves some of the Attributes of Esau.
Esau is associated with violence and warfare. Perhaps the meaning is that the Jews should take the Promised Land by force even though it has been promised to them by God Almighty and in the eyes of heaven has belonged to them from the beginning? They need to "disguise" themselves as Esau, to put on his clothes, to get what is theirs.
Isaiah predicted the future destruction of Edom i.e. of Esau.
5 For My sword shall be bathed in heaven;
Indeed it shall come down on Edom,
And on the people of My curse, for judgment.
6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood,
It is made overflowing with fatness,
With the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
One of the reasons for this punishment is given one line down.
8 For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
Edom will have sinned by persecuting that section of Israel called Zion apparently meaning in this case the Jews of Judah. Historically descendants of Esau became prominent among European Elites especially those of Germany and Rome (Talmud, Megilla 6).