42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; 45 Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
I can’t help but wonder whether Rebekah really believed that Esau would get over his anger so quickly when she told Jacob he would only be gone for “a few days,” or if she was just trying to break the bad news softly.
The reality was that Jacob would be gone for many years, at least fourteen and quite possibly more than twenty-five, and when he came back, he would still be afraid of his brother’s wrath. Rebekah had vowed that any holy retribution for their deceit would be upon her own head, but she didn’t have the ability to circumvent Esau’s wrath onto herself as well. Jacob had listened to his mother to his own detriment.
Or…so it would seem. As it would turn out, the hand of God was in all of this. Though it must have been a grim morning when Jacob set out from his childhood home, it was just what he needed to enter the larger story that Heavenly Father had prepared for him.