Tim’s Blog

Jacob the Unfeigned Character

October 2, 2022

Talk about irony. Jacob repeatedly gets pegged as “the deceiver.” Supposedly, he was all about treachery and lies in order to gain advantage. Which is itself a misreading of the Genesis text, but that’s beyond my scope here.

The interesting thing about the description of the characters of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25:27 is that Jacob is described as “a tam [Heb] man, dwelling in tents.” The word tam is frequently rendered as “quiet” or “mild” but that is doubtful. More commonly it stresses completeness or blamelessness. But even more fascinating is that the LXX (Greek version of the OT) renders it ἄπλαστος, which means unmoulded and even unfeigned, i.e. true and transparent.

In other words, pretty much the opposite of the stereotype.