A couple of things jumped out at me when I read this story. First, was all of the deception going on. Jacob deceiving his brother and father. Laban deceiving Jacob. Laban and Jacob deceiving each other.
The other thing was the favoritism. Rebekah loved Jacob. Isaac loved Esau. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, and later on in the story, loved Rachel's children more than his other children.
I started writing the poem about a week ago — even before my last blog was published. I had only written versions of the third and fourth (current) verses and didn't know my next move. The third line of each verse contained an internal rhyme and that was how I thought it was going to be.
I decided that the poem needed a little introduction before jumping into the story portion so I came up with the first two verses. As I proceeded, it got harder and harder to keep the third line of each verse with that internal rhyming scheme.
After working on it all weekend and not nearing the finish line, finally late Sunday night I had the epiphany that I didn't need to keep up with that scheme. How much easier it would be to write something where only the 2nd and 4th lines rhymed! In short order I was able to rewrite much of it, filling in several gaps, and essentially wrapping it up.
But, in the end I still left some of the "3rd line internal rhymes" in there just because I hated to lose them. So, this might be the first poem I've ever written that didn't keep within a fairly-defined structure throughout.
Why was Jacob such a deceiver? Was it just for personal gain? Or, did his mother tell him what God told her concerning his future? I started to wonder if Jacob (as well as Esau) knew of God's covenants with Abraham and Isaac. Was he just trying to move things along — helping God out?
I wonder if Isaac knew about his own miraculous birth and God's promise to his father concerning his descendants being more numerous than the stars. Likewise, would Isaac's children know all of that history plus newer stuff, like the story of Abraham nearly sacrificing their father on an altar?
Jacob, the Deceiver
There's Jacob, son of Isaac,
whose twin is on the run;
his time is spent within the tent
for he's his mother's son.
Yet, Esau is the eldest,
and Isaac loves him so;
he loves to taste the game he's chased
and hunted with his bow.
But, Jacob swindled Esau —
as brothers sometimes do;
a weakened, famished Esau sold
his birthright for some stew.
When Jacob tricked his father —
his mother did the rest:
with hairy arms and Esau's clothes,
the younger son was blessed.
Escaping to his uncle's,
where Laban changed his life:
exchanging Rachel, Jacob's love,
for Leah as his wife.
For years thereafter Jacob
and Laban vied for flocks:
they schemed for goats and sheep with coats
with speckles, streaks and spots.
Once Jacob, son of Isaac,
the son of Abraham,
thought he could help God's covenant
by lending God a hand.
Then Jacob, the Deceiver,
met God, who changed his name:
he strove against both God and men
and Israel overcame.
Then the man said, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.