Jacob Steals Esau’s Blessing – 1760 B.C. & Ancient City of Haran

So what’s up with Esau and his wife?

“And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. 

And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:

Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

And make me savory meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. 

And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son.  And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it” (Gen 27:1-5).

Esau was Isaac’s favorite and Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite.  Isaac was blind so Rebekah told Jacob to get two good kids and she would cook the meal for Isaac. 

Rebekah then put some of Esau’s clothes on Jacob and since Esau was hairy and Jacob was smooth she placed the goat skins on his neck and hands.  Jacob didn’t want to do this, fearing that Isaac would curse him if he was caught.

“And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son?  And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me. 

And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 

And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 

And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him. 

And he said, Art thou my very son Esau?  And he said, I am” (Gen 27:20-24).

“And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.

And he drew near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed.

Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee” (Gen 27:26 & 28).

Later Esau showed up with the venison meal for Isaac and he was not happy when he found out that Rebekah and Jacob had tricked him.

“And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who?  Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? Yea, and he shall be blessed.

And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

A map of Jacob’s flight from Esau. After Esau discovered Rebekah’s plot and Jacob’s deception, he sought to kill Jacob. Jacob, thus, fled to his ancestors homeland in northern Mesopotamia.

And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing. 

And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob?  For he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.  And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? 

And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? 

And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father?  Bless me, even me also, O my father.  And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept” (Gen 27:33-38).

Esau was infuriated. 

“And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob” (Gen 27:41). 

Isaac told Rebekah of Esau’s anger so she sent Jacob to her brother Laban in Haran, she figured in time Esau would calm down and Jacob could come back.

The Bible explains God’s love and hate:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16).

“Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods” (Deut 12:31).

Our love and hate is a bit different and we will never reach His level of that type of love and hate, at least not on our own, because we don’t have His holiness and righteousness.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). 

Yet, we are capable of reaching His level through faith in Jesus Christ.

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Rom 3:21-25).

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” (Rom 4:16).

“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Gal 3:22).

In Mal 1:2-3 God says that He loved Jacob and hated Esau. 

God didn’t hate Esau as we understand hate, but He does hate evil. 

The word hate in this situation pertains to His love, He loved Jacob more, and made a covenant with him, and not with Esau. 

As Jesus explained:

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26).

He means that if you love anything or anyone more than Him then you are pushing Him out of your life and then He is unable to protect you from the devil who will destroy you.

We have not seen the last of Esau.

Ancient City of Haran

Also spelled Harran, Roman Carrhae, ancient city of strategic importance, now a village, in southeastern Turkey. It lies along the Balikh River, 24 miles (38 km) southeast of Urfa.

The town was located on the road that ran from Nineveh to Carchemish and was regarded as of considerable importance by the Assyrian kings. Its chief cult in Assyrian times was that of the moon god.

Harran An ancient city in Mesopotamia, famous for a temple of the Moon god Sin and the defeat of the Roman general Crassus in 53 B.C. (“battle of Carrhae”). Harran still stands after being constantly inhabited for thousands of years. It is said that this is the longest span that humans have ever lived in any one place on planet earth. Adam and Eve were said to have come to Harran after being expelled from the garden of Eden, Terah and his son Abram, grandson Lot, and Abram’s wife Sarai halted in Harran on their way from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan. Jacob lived here for 20 years laboring for his uncle Leban.

It is frequently mentioned in the Bible; Abraham’s family settled there when they left Ur of the Chaldeans.

In Roman times, Carrhae was the scene of a disastrous defeat of the Roman governor Crassus by the Parthians (53 B.C.) and of a later defeat of the emperor Galerius by the Persian king Narses (AD 297). Population in 1990: 2,158.

The ruins of the Ulu Cami (mosque) in Harran. This 8th century center of worship and study in the Islamic world is one of the most impressive ruins in the area.

According to the Old Testament, Abraham resided here and his father Terah died here. Haran is known for its interesting cone and cubic shaped dwellings. They are made of clay and known to be naturally very suitable for the hot climate of the region.

These mud-brick houses are up to 4-5 meters high and this height is considered to be the other reason for cool and comfortable inside conditions. The present-day town of Harran is about 50Kms to the south of Sanli Urfa, a south-eastern province of Turkey.

According to the tradition, Abraham was moving from Ur to Canaan which was in Promised Land, when he rested in Harran. The town is surrounded by a city wall. Although the wall was restored in the 12th century A.D., only five of its 12 original gates have survived till today.

Beehive House of Haran The houses were made from clay and had numerous conical shaped beehive domes sticking out of their topsides. These beehive adobe homes are constructed without the aid of wood, and appear to be a sedentarized version of a nomad tent.

The ancient settlement was on and around the hill in the center of the town. This part has not been excavated yet.

On the way up the hill there are two doorposts with markers indicating that this place was “Aran’s House” from which Abraham took Sarah.

Inscriptions indicate that Harran existed as early as 2000 B.C. The place is known to be one of the most important cult centers of that time.

The temple of the moon-god Sin was here. Sin was one of the great gods of the Assurian-Babylonian pantheon. The roof of the temple was covered with cedar tree from Lebanon.

During early periods Sin was represented with a long beard and a crescent above a horned tiara. This was transformed into a single crescent only during the following centuries. Worshipping Sin continued until 6th century A.D. in Harran.

Harran became the capital city to Assurians during the reign of king Assurbanipal in the 7th century B.C.

The Roman army led by Crassus in 53 B.C. was defeated by the Parthians in front of Harran and Crassus was killed.

In 217 A.D. (April 6th), Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Cracalla was murdered here while he was on his way from Temple of Sin to the palace. Sin was an important god of Romans.

The Temple of Sin was devoted to the Moon cult and was famous throughout the the ancient world for its star readers, was locatedin Harran. Within a 1 km/.6 mile radius of Harran were other temples devoted to worshipping the Sun, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Mercury. This spot first came to prominence in 1100 B.C. under the Assyrians who made it a center to worship of the Mesopotamian god of the moon, Sin. Sin’s temple was rebuilt by several kings before a citadel/palace was built on top of these ruins

A citadel was built in the 14th century in place of the Temple of Sin. This lies in the south-west quarter of the town.

The 8th century A.D. mosque called Great Mosque (Ulu Cami) which lies to the north slope of the hill.

It dates back to the Omayad period. The tombstones of the Babylonian king Nabouid were found in this mosque and are on exhibition in the museum of Urfa today.

The region has always been considered a very spiritual ground by many cultures. The remains of the cult Holy Planet or Sabiers is only 60 Kms away from Harran.

On an area with 1 Km radius there are various temples devoted to the cults of Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Mercury. The Sabier cult maintained its existence until the 17th century A.D.