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Jacob And Esau

by Nissan Mindel

Talks and Tales


Library » History » Patriarchs, 12 Tribes | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Abraham reached the ripe old age of 175 years. He felt that the time had come for him to leave this world. He sent for his son Isaac, who was then 75 years old, and the father of the twins, Jacob and Esau, who were then 15 years old.

All through the years Abraham had taught his beloved son Isaac to love G-d and to fear Him, and to practise the love and fear of G-d in his daily life. This meant to walk in G-d's ways, the ways of justice and kindness, helping others in their need, and teaching them the knowledge of G-d. Abraham was happy to know that his son would continue to spin the golden thread which he bad begun, and would hold sacred the covenant which G-d had made with him.

Indeed, Abraham was a happy man even on this last day of his life. Looking back upon his long life, ever since he was three years old, be knew that it was a full life, every moment of which was spent in the service of G-d and mankind. There was nothing to upset him or worry him. Even his son Ishmael, about whom he had been worried, for he was like an untamed animal in his youth, even he was at his bedside now, and a changed man, worthy to be considered as Abraham's son.

Abraham had been laid to rest in the Cave of Machpellah, next to his wife Sarah, and Adam and Eve. Isaac was in mourning, and Jacob was preparing some food for him. But where was Esau?
All the people of the land of Canaan, young and old, with their kings and princes, came to pay their last respects to Abraham, the greatest prince of them all. They were all very sad, and many wept, when they heard that the great and beloved Abraham, the G-dly Prince, had passed away.

Abraham had been laid to rest in the Cave of Machpellah, next to his wife Sarah, and Adam and Eve. Isaac was in mourning, and Jacob was preparing some food for him. But where was Esau?

Esau had slipped out quietly and gone off to the fields and woods to do some hunting!

Until that time, Esau had been trying to be a good boy, although it was very difficult for him. But he tried his best not to upset his father, nor did he want his grandfather to know that he was not all that was expected of him.

But now that his grandfather was dead, and he was fifteen, Esau decided that he was quite a man, and could take care of himself. From now on he was going to do as he pleased, and first of all, he decided, there would be no more studies for him.

Out in the woods, Esau hid in the shrubs, waiting for prey. Suddenly he saw a royal party in the distance. He recognized Nimrod, or Amraphel, the king of Babylon, surrounded by a group of his mighty warriors and best hunters.

Esau knew that Nimrod hated him. Ever since Abraham walked out of the burning furnace without a hair singed, and defeated him later in the Great War, Nimrod watched with anxiety the rising sun of Abraham. But he was soon satisfied that Abraham, as well as his son Isaac, were peaceful men. Esau was quite different. Esau could become a dangerous rival some day, and this worried the aged Babylonian king. No wonder Nimrod hated and feared Esau.

Esau watched the royal hunting party like a spider waiting to jump at a fly caught in his web. His heart began to beat faster as he saw most of the hunters disperse through the wood. Only two hunters remained with Nimrod, and they were coming nearer and nearer to his hiding place.

When Nimrod came close enough, Esau darted from his hiding place and struck a mighty blow at Nimrod, cutting his head off outright.


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First Jew, and first of our three Patriarchs. Born into a pagan society in Mesepotamia in 1812 BCE, he discovered monethieism on his own. He was told by G-d to journey to the Land of Canaan where he and his wife Sarah would give birth to the Jewish People.
First Jewess, first of the four Jewish Matriarchs, wife of Abraham--the first Jew. Lived in Mesopotamia, and then Canaan, in the 19th century BCE.
Third of the three Patriarchs and father of the Twelve Tribes. Lived most his life in Canaan and died in Egypt in 1505 BCE. Also known by the name of "Israel."
Second of the three Jewish Patriarchs, son of Abraham and Sarah. Lived in Canaan (Israel); b. 1712 BCE, d. 1532 BCE.
Rogue son of Patriarch Isaac and Matriarch Rebecca. Elder twin of Patriarch Jacob.
Son of the Patriarch Abraham and half-brother of Patriarch Isaac. Ancestor of many Arab tribes.
The first man, created by G-d on the sixth day of creation. He was banished from the Garden of Eden after eating from the forbidden fruit of the forbidden knowledge. Died in 2830 BCE.
The land which G-d promised to give to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Named after the Tribe of Canaanites who dwelt there at the time. Eventually, when the Israelites conquered the land in 1272 BCE, it was renamed the "Land of Israel."
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.