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Unlike another question that asks about the vague prophecy Rivkah was given about her twins, I ask specifically about Itzhak's statement to Esav:

... וְאֶת־אָחִיךָ תַּעֲבֹד ...׃ - And you shall serve your brother; Genesis.27.40

As I can see, most commentators skip this part of Isaac's prophecy. Unlike the former, this has a proper grammatical form "את אחיך" similar to "אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּירָא אֹתוֹ תַעֲבֹד", meaning serving and worshipping. And unlike the former, that spoke of either of them, this was addressed to Esav subserving him to Yaakov.

Was it really a blessing or a prophecy? If a blessing, what kind of blessing is that? If a prophecy, what does this mean for Esav and when was it fulfilled?

  • biu.ac.il/jh/parasha/vayshlah/reg2.html לפי המדרש יעקב קרא לעצמו 'א-ל', – The GRAPKE Nov 22 '20 at 22:19
  • @TheGRAPKE And therefore... – Al Berko Nov 22 '20 at 22:20
  • Further, one of the names of mashiach is Hashem. "Therefore" I do not know ( :-) ), but halo davar hu, as per your diyuk. – The GRAPKE Nov 22 '20 at 22:30
  • @TheGRAPKE Did you mean that it says that Esov will serve God? – Al Berko Nov 22 '20 at 22:34
  • No, I meant that Esav will serve Yaakov who is God's representative. – The GRAPKE Nov 22 '20 at 22:47
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Rav Hirsch says that as long as you (Eisav) insist on physical mastery of the world, then he will only come to lay it down at the feet of Yaakov. It is only when he understands the spiritual requirements of man will he understand what it means to be part of the family of Abraham.

As long as you persist in ruling, looking on and using every material conquest only as the step for further conquests, for so long you are in reality working for your brother (only proving to the world and ultimately to yourself, the futility and lack of security which the power of the sword really acquires I.L.). As long as you are רב, for so long will רב יעבד צעיר, only כאשר תריד when you com down by your own free will, voluntarily acknowledge and submit yourself to the ideals of your brother, will you emancipate yourself and stand on an equal footing to your brother

  • Interesting, doesn't he think that Eisov (Romi) gave the world the best thinkers, philosophers, scientists and artists of their time? Also, what does "he will only come to lay it down at the feet of Yaakov" mean? – Al Berko Nov 22 '20 at 22:38
  • Also "submit yourself to the ideals of your brother", what ideas of ours exactly? Does he elaborate? – Al Berko Nov 22 '20 at 22:40
  • @AlBerko The gemarah brings the point that no matter how good or advanced the materialistic advances, they still only are worth while if they serve Hashem. The ideals of your brother are what were taught through the entire Torah. I quoted the exact citation on that pasuk. The remainder are found in the rest of Rav Hirsch's comments. – sabbahillel Nov 23 '20 at 2:09

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