Esau and Jacob Redux

Esau and Jacob Redux December 4, 2014

When Bathsheba gets word that David’s son Adonijah is making himself king, she gets worried (1 Kings 1). She expects her own son Solomon to be king, and knows that she and Solomon are going to be “offenders” if Adonijah gets away with it.

So she and the prophet Nathan create a drama for her husband. She goes in to David, asking if he knows that Adonijah is taking the throne and reminding David that he promised the throne to Solomon. Then Nathan will come in with the same news. The testimony of two witnesses – Queen and court prophet – will rouse David to action. 

It works. 

And it’s a play from Rebekah’s playbook. When it became clear that her husband Isaac was going to give the blessing, disastrously and rebelliously, to Esau, she concocted a one-act drama: She dressed Jacob in skins (a substitutionary offering), made him smell like Esau (sacrificial theme again) and told him to pretend to be his brother. Isaac blessed Jacob, and stuck with the blessing even when he realized that he had been tricked. He knew he had been trapped into righteousness, and he remained righteous.

Isaac, Rebekah and two sons: We have the same cast in 1 Kings: David, Bathsheba, and two competing sons. And old, weak, and “blind” as David is, he rouses enough strength to play Isaac’s role and to give the kingdom to Solomon.


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