lethargic_man: "Happy the person that finds wisdom, and the person that gets understanding."—Prov. 3:13. Icon by Tamara Rigg (limmud)
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Chapter 19

The story of Eliezer Abraham's servant's selection of Rebekah as a wife for Isaac is completely missing in the Book of Jubilees; I wonder why:
In the fourth year thereof he took a wife for his son Isaac and her name was Rebecca [the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham] the sister of Laban and daughter of Bethuel; and Bethuel was the son of Melca, who was the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham.
Why did Rebekah favour Jacob when Isaac loved Esau more? Jubilees makes this Abraham's suggestion:
Abraham saw the deeds of Esau, and he knew that in Jacob should his name and seed be called; and he called Rebecca and gave commandment regarding Jacob, for he knew that she (too) loved Jacob much more than Esau. He said to her, "My daughter, watch over my son Jacob, For he shall be in my stead on the earth, And for a blessing in the midst of the children of men, and for the glory of the whole seed of Shem. For I know that the Lord will choose him to be a people for possession unto Himself, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. And behold, Isaac my son loves Esau more than Jacob, but I see that you truly love Jacob. [...]"

Chapter 20

Why was Abraham so insistent that Isaac not take a Canaanite wife, and why was Isaac so grieved when Esau did? Genesis does not give us an answer, but Jubilees fills that gap, in the form of Abraham giving instructions to his children:
Do not allow them to take to themselves wives from the daughters of Canaan; for the seed of Canaan will be rooted out of the land.

Chapters 22-23

Jubilees has an extended, and slightly odd, description of the death of Abraham, in which Jacob plays an important part. First Abraham gathers his family, and spends some time commanding and blessing Jacob, then:

The two lay together on one bed, and Jacob slept in the bosom of Abraham, his father's father; he kissed him seven times, and his affection and his heart rejoiced over him. And he blessed him with all his heart and said: [still more blessings].

He placed two of Jacob's fingers on his eyes, and he blessed the God of gods, and he covered his face and stretched out his feet and slept the sleep of eternity, and was gathered to his fathers. And notwithstanding all this Jacob was lying in his bosom, and knew not that Abraham, his father's father, was dead. And Jacob awoke from his sleep, and behold Abraham was cold as ice, and he said 'Father, father'; but there was no reply, and he knew that he was dead. And he arose from his bosom and ran and told Rebecca, his mother; and Rebecca went to Isaac in the night, and told him; and they went together, and Jacob with them, and a lamp was in his hand, and when they had gone in they found Abraham lying dead. And Isaac fell on the face of his father and wept and kissed him. And the voices were heard in the house of Abraham, and Ishmael his son arose, and went to Abraham his father, and wept over Abraham his father, he and all the house of Abraham, and they wept with a great weeping.

[Dead Sea Scroll of Jubilees] Jubilees posts                     Jewish learning notes index


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Lethargic Man (anag.)

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