Jacob to Israel: HANDICAPPING HISTORY
Jacob was formed first, and was therefore deeper in the womb. But he emerged second from the womb -- a lifetime handicap for him to overcome. Life is a test. It took a long struggle for Jacob to become Israel.
All of us are not Abraham or Jacob, but we too are given challenges to make us better.
Israel is not born mature, like Esau. The Jew is not merely born chosen. Chosen-ness, like the Jews' tiny homeland in Israel, would only be attained after millennia of overcoming severe setbacks.
Esau, on the contrary, was born hairy, mature, at home with the wild. His nation would boldly march to power in Edom, then Rome. Non-coincidentally, this glorious empire’s founding myth features twins. The stronger Romulus kills Remus.
Historians agree that the military deathblow to the Roman Empire was its costly victories in the Judean wars. The world would be speaking German today if Hitler had not diverted so much of his resources to the obsessive murdering of Jews.
Only at the end of history as we know it, after centuries of following at Esau’s heels, will a non-assimilating Jacob step up to become Israel. The world correctly fears the indestructible Jews as covert or overt masters. The worst nightmare for amoral Western culture will be realized, as Israel leads a new world towards justice, compassion and a non-idolatrous intimacy with our Creator that our species has not known since the Garden of Eden.
Yes, Jacob’s, Israel’s and Mankind’s history would have been so much easier had Jacob simply been born first. But overcoming challenges is what makes this story timeless.