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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Toldot 6-6


Genesis 27:28 – 28:4

Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed."... Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?"

Gen. 27:33, 46 ESV


Why did Yitzchak tremble so violently and Rivkah had doubts about her life?

The patriarchs and their wives dedicated their lives entirely to serving the Eternal. Their whole lives were dedicated to do the will of the One who called them. The more they were faithful in the tests before them, the more the Eternal trusted them with more blessing and responsibility. He who is faithful over a little will also be faithful over a lot. Learn to be faithful over a little and the Eternal will give you a lot. If He is not giving you much, check your life to see if there is an area in which you are not being faithful to the Eternal. Correct that and be faithful in everything. In this way, He will be able to give you more and more.

One of the things the Eternal had given our fathers was the ability to pronounce prophetic blessings over others and especially over their children. When Yitzchak pronounced a prophetic blessing over his younger son thinking that he was the firstborn, and found out that he had made a mistake, he greatly feared. The Hebrew text uses five words to express the dread that came over him in that moment. Why did our father Yitzchak fear so much?

He knew that his life was meant to be a means for transmitting to his children what the Eternal had given to his father Avraham. He understood that this choice held the whole redemption plan. When he thought that he had little time left before dying, he wanted to pass on the final blessing to his firstborn so that the redemption plan and the Eternal's promises would go on in his son. The problem was that the Eternal didn't want Esav to be the chosen one but Yaakov, and seemingly Yitzchak didn't have that clear and acted according to tradition and not to the prophetic spirit, something easy to do.

Now, the responsibility that he held on his shoulders was such that when he found out that he had blessed the person he thought at the beginning to be the wrong one, he had a terrible tremor. He feared to have failed the Eternal in one of the most important moments in his life. Not only the future of redemption and the promises were at stake with this blessing but also the Name of the Eternal could be desecrated if he made a mistake in this. Yitzchak took his role seriously and he didn’t want to fail the Eternal. When he thought he had failed in such a critical moment, he was filled with fear.

Rivkah had that same feeling regarding her life's purpose. She knew that she had been chosen by the Eternal to be a part of a very important prophetic plan and she didn't want to fail in her calling either. She knew that her children were the hope of fulfillment of the Eternal's plans for her life. If her children failed, her life made no sense because they were the reason she was involved in the Divine plan.   

Esav had deviated from the plan by marrying the daughters of Kenaan. That's why he couldn't be the bearer of the redemption promise for the world or inherit the promised land. The only one left and the one qualified for this was Yaakov. That is why it was important that he didn't marry anyone from a cursed people. He had to find a wife that could follow the divine plan and calling of his family. If Yaakov failed, Rivkah felt that she had also failed in her calling and that her life wasn't worth living.

How important is to take life seriously. Each one of us has an important role in the world's redemption program. Yitzchak's fear and Rivkah’s concern are normal in people that live for the Eternal. Yitzchak's fear impressed Yaakov so much that further on he mentions it specifically (31:42).

May the fear of Yitzchak and Rivkah be with us all the days of our lives so that we make the right decisions and never let Him down who called us,


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