REBEKAH

 Rebekah's marriage to Isaac was a family arrangement rather than a love match, and all the love she had in her to give she seems to have lavished on her son Jacob.When she overheard old Isaac say that he was going to give Jacob's twin brother, Esau, the paternal blessing and make him his heir, she was almost beside herself. She ran and told Jacob what was up and said he'd better get to Isaac before Esau did or Esau would get the blessing and everything that went with it and Jacob wouldn't get a blessed thing. Jacob objected that, blind as Isaac was, he would still be able to tell the brothers apart because Esau was a hairy man whereas he, Jacob, had all he could do just to raise a toothbrush mustache. Just one touch, Jacob said, and the old duffer would know that something fishy was going on.Rebekah thought fast and, after dressing Jacob up in one of Esau's best suits, produced some bearskin gloves for him to put on his hands and an extra pelt to wrap around his neck. The trick worked beautifully. Isaac thought it was Esau kneeling before him, and Jacob carried the day.When the cat was finally out of the bag, Esau first burst into tears and then announced that, by the time he got through with Jacob, not even his mother would recognize him. But again Rebekah thought fast. She told Jacob what his brother had in mind and persuaded him to get out of town while he could still walk. Jacob took the advice, and the bitter irony of it is that if Rebekah ever saw the apple of her eye again, it is at least not so recorded.It is also not recorded when or where or in what state of mind Rebekah finally died, but there is a note to the effect that when the time came, they buried the lonely old woman in a cave at Machpelah. Years later Jacob was buried there too, and if she had any way of knowing about it, one can imagine her happy at last to be lying there side by side with the beloved boy for whose sake she had betrayed not only Isaac, her husband, and Esau, her son, but God himself, in whose name the fateful blessing had been given. Genesis 24-27

 

~originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words