Those who know their bible will know this story. Those who don’t may have never heard of it and are probably wondering how on Earth you can steal a blessing. I used to see nothing wrong with this story as a Christian. In fact as a child, I always enjoyed hearing it. It wasn’t until I deconverted and began to read the bible with my eyes open, that I discovered there are many quite ludicrous factors in this story.
A little background. Isaac is very old and blind. He has two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau was an unusually hairy man and was Isaac’s favourite. Jacob was his mother Rebekah’s favourite. Rebekah and Jacob plot to steal the blessing that is Esau’s. They decide to play on Isaac’s blindness by pretending that Jacob is really Esau.
Let’s take a look at parts of this story and why it is so absurd.
1) Isaac doesn’t know his son’s voices well enough to tell them apart.
He believes it is Jacob’s voice, but still has doubts. One might be prompted to cry out “What? Helloooooo!” A father should be able to recognise his sons immediately by their voices, especially if he is blind, after all, without sight, one relies on their hearing a lot more. There should have been no doubt in his mind.
2) Isaac can’t tell the difference between what a hairy man feels like and what animal fur feels like.
Jacob puts animal furs on to trick his father into believing he is Esau, by getting Isaac to touch him. Anyone who has touched human hair and the fur of an animal knows they feel completely different. Unless Esau was a caveman (thus supporting evolution not creation), he should have been able to tell the difference. How could anyone fall for a silly trick like that?
3) Isaac is confused.
When the truth is revealed that the person he just gave the blessing to was not really Esau, Isaac is in shock and asks, “Who is it that I blessed then?” Ok, granted, Isaac may have had many other sons there that this story does not mention, but it doesn’t say so, so it seems there can only be one other person it could be. Or maybe Isaac was going a bit senile as well as blind?
4) Isaac has no blessings left to give.
Since when was there a limit on blessings? Jacob had already swindled Esau out of his birthright earlier on, so one can only assume this was some kind of verbal blessing. So why couldn’t Isaac bless Esau as well? On the other hand if this was some other kind of blessing, surely Jacob could do something about it, strip Jacob of it and return it to Esau?
5) Isaac curses Esau instead.
The guy misses out on his rightful blessing so what does Isaac do? Well he does what any God-fearing bible character does... curses him instead! Huh? What? Seriously? There is something seriously wrong here.
6) Isaac gives Jacob a further blessing.
In this new chapter it seems all is forgiven and Isaac gives Jacob another blessing. But wait? I thought he had run out of blessings to give?
This is either a made up story or someone has got their facts severely screwed up. If it did happen like this, then Isaac would have to rank up there as possibly the biggest moron in biblical history. And to think God made this guy an icon!