Yshai Amichai
Yshai AmichaiCourtesy

Perhaps you found the story of Sarah and Abraham to be quaint, the way a 90-year-old woman and a 100-year-old man produced their long-awaited offspring, Isaac. I will now reveal even more shocking insights to you.

Jacob and Esav were twins (see Genesis 25:24), the only mentioned offspring of Isaac and Rebecca. When Esav was 40 he took two Hittite wives, to the great displeasure of his parents (26:34-35), but Jacob lived at home well into adulthood (see Genesis 25:27-29; 27:5-10).

It seems as if Jacob was in no rush to get married. Which is odd, because he was to become Israel, the father of the children of Israel, so you would think that taking a wife would be his first priority.

When Abraham came to Israel he was already married, but with Sarah being barren, he sought offspring. Part of the Promise of the Promised Land was that he would be given offspring there so offspring was a main concern for him.

Abraham made sure that Isaac had a wife at 40. Rebecca was barren for 20 years, but at 60 he fathered Jacob (Genesis 25:26), doing his part in the inception of Israel. How old was Jacob when he got married?

When Jacob married Leah and Rachel he was likely 84, reaching Haran seven years earlier at the age of 77. According to the Talmud (Megillah 17a), it took him 14 years to reach Haran after being sent off by Isaac from Beer Sheva (Genesis 28:1-5,10) at age 63.

But according to Genesis 28 it seems that Jacob headed straight for Haran, without delay. Were that the case, he would have been 77 years old when he left his parents. Either way, 63 or 77, he was obviously in no rush to get married.

Isaac was blind by then at his advanced age (Genesis 27:1), and Rebecca was at least 106, if not 117, 131 or more. We do not read of Isaac or Rebecca acting to find a mate for Jacob the way Abraham did for Isaac.

The original reason given for Jacob’s flight to Haran was to flee from his twin brother, Esav, who was plotting to kill him. Rebecca told Jacob that he should leave for only a short while, until Esav calmed down (27:43-45), not even mentioning the need for him to find a wife.

The need to find a wife was mentioned later (Genesis 27:46) as Rebecca’s way of convincing Isaac to send Jacob to Haran, not as her original intention. Rebecca couldn’t bear to have her son marry any of the local foreign women, but she seemed very hesitant to send him off to find a proper wife.

This hesitancy is hard to explain, especially at their ages. It seems as if they were not affected by the usual constraints of time and so were not concerned.

Jacob is Israel, and somehow both appear to be beyond time. Take Israel for example, a nearly 4,000-year-old nation that is counted as a relative newborn at 73. The feeling for Jacob at 63 or at 77 was that time was not his concern, because his future is in God’s Hands.

Whatever is delayed would eventually happen swiftly in its time and seemingly overnight. For example, fathering 12 children in 7 years or emerging from extermination camps on the deathbed of our genocide to become a Restored nation seemingly overnight (from the Holocaust to Israel’s Declaration of Independence).

The fact that Sarah at 89 attracted kings (Genesis 20:2) with her profound beauty, and that she remained fertile past child-bearing age (18:11), speaks of the supernatural beginnings of our nation and the timeless entity that we are. Believe it or not, but how else can you explain that Jews still walk about this earth, and not only that, but Israel is alive and well?

Jacob is a timeless entity, for he is Israel, a timeless nation. There is no logical explanation for that without taking God into account.

Yshai Amichai is an Israeli citizen dedicated to Israel’s upholding of the Torah as a nation. He may be contacted at [email protected].