Chapter 35This chapter begins a three-chapter story which is not in the Bible at all. It starts with Rebecca telling Jacob she has seen in a dream that she is going to die, and him not believing her, because she's still in complete good health. Rebecca asks Isaac to make Esau swear not to harm Jacob. In the Bible Jacob and Esau depart the last time on good terms, but in Jubilees Rebecca talks about him having abandoned his parents, and carried off their possessions. Isaac says:
"I, too, know and see the deeds of Jacob who is with us, how that with all his heart he honours us. I loved Esau formerly more than Jacob, because he was the firstborn; but now I love Jacob more than Esau, for he has done manifold evil deeds, and there is no righteousness in him, for all his ways are unrighteousness and violence, [and there is no righteousness around him.] And now my heart is troubled because of all his deeds, and neither he nor his descendants is to be saved, for they are those who will be destroyed from the earth and who will be rooted out from under heaven, for he has forsaken the God of Abraham and gone after his wives and after their uncleanness and after their error, he and his children. And you dost bid me make him swear that he will not slay Jacob his brother; even if he swear he will not abide by his oath, and he will not do good but evil only. But if he desires to slay Jacob, his brother, into Jacob's hands will he be given, and he will not escape from his hands, [for he will descend into his hands.] And fear you not on account of Jacob; for the guardian of Jacob is great and powerful and honoured, and praised more than the guardian of Esau."Esau, however, says:
"I will do all that you have told me, and I shall bury you on the day you die near Sarah, my father's mother, as you have desired that her bones may be near your bones. And Jacob, my brother, also, I shall love above all flesh; for I have no other brother in all the earth: and this is no great merit for me if I love him; for he is my brother, and we were sown together in your body, and together came we forth from your womb, and if I do not love my brother, whom shall I love?
"And I, myself, beg you to exhort Jacob concerning me and concerning my sons, for I know that he will assuredly be king over me and my sons, for on the day my father blessed him he made him the higher and me the lower. And I swear unto you that I shall love him, and not desire evil against him all the days of my life but good only.'
Chapter 36After the death of Rebecca, Isaac puts his affairs in order prior to his own death. After giving instructions to his children:
He divided all his possessions between the two on that day and he gave the larger portion to him that was the first-born, and the tower and all that was about it, and all that Abraham possessed at the Well of the Oath.
He said: "This larger portion I will give to the firstborn." But Esau said, "I have sold to Jacob and given my birthright to Jacob; to him let it be given, and I have not a single word to say regarding it, for it is his."
So far, so good, but you kind of expect the story's not going to have a good outcome, and indeed it doesn't.
To be continued...