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JACOB AND ESAU – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        trust in God, not trickery, reconciliation
SCRIPTURE:    Gen.25:21-33:20; Prov.22:8; Col.3:13
Style:        comedy/conversation:  narrator leads us
.             through the story of Jacob and Esau
Cast:         NARRATOR, ISAAC, REBEKAH, JACOB, ESAU,
.             LABAN, RACHEL, LEAH, CHILDREN (any number)
Set & Props:  furry material for arms, pot & big spoon,
.             the same or another pot, rolled up paper,
.             one or two veils

SCRIPT:

(NARRATOR enters from stage right and reads from
the sidelines.)

NAR.    Long, long time ago, back in the day,
.       There was a man named Isaac.

(ISAAC steps out from stage left.)

NAR.    Who had married a woman named Rebekah.

(REBEKAH steps out and stands next to ISAAC.)

NAR.    Really, really wanting children, Isaac asked God
.       to bless them with children.  And they were –
.       with twins – who liked to fight with each other –
.       starting even before they were born.
.       Esau was the oldest.  Ah, and he was a hairy guy.

(ESAU steps out proudly from stage left, then points
to his hairy arms, almost like you would show off
big biceps.  ESAU stands next to REBEKAH.)

NAR.    And then there was Jacob, who had been born,
.       right after him.

(JACOB jumps out beside ESAU, proudly nudging ESAU.
ESAU nudges back and there is a brief nudging war.)

NAR.    Esau grew up to be a really good hunter -

(ISAAC walks in front of REBEKAH to side-hug ESAU.)
.                                                       2
ISAAC   That’s my boy.

NAR.    Isaac loved Esau the best, because, well,
.       Isaac loved to eat everything that Esau hunted.

ESAU    Time to go hunt something.

(ESAU exits to the upper stage right.)

NAR.    And Jacob grew up to be more of a –
.       gentlemanly-type.

(REBEKAH walks in front of ISAAC to side-hug JACOB.)

REB.    That’s my boy.

JACOB   Ah, yeah, I’m just not much into camping.
.       Come on, Pops, I’ll make my special red stuff.

ISAAC   But I prefer Esau’s stew.

JACOB   That could take a while.

(JACOB exits stage left.  ISAAC and REBEKAH follow.)

NAR.    One day, after an unsuccessful hunting trip,
.       Esau came back from the field and found himself
.       with nothing to eat and very, very famished.

(ESAU enters from upper stage right, looking very tired.)

ESAU    I am so very famished.

(JACOB steps out, holding a pot, and pretending to
stir something.)

ESAU    Ah, what do you have there?

JACOB   My special red stuff.

ESAU    (looks into the pot and gags)
.       Uch!  But I am so famished, I’ll eat anything.

NAR.    Hearing this, Jacob thought of a way
.       to take advantage of the situation.

JACOB   Hm, first sell me your birthright.              3

ESAU    Ahhh, sure.  What good is a birthright
.       if I starve to death?

(ESAU pulls out a rolled piece of paper from his
back pocket and gives it to JACOB.  JACOB leaves
the spoon in the pot in order to take the paper
away from ESAU.  ESAU grabs the spoon to eat the stew.)

ESAU    Mmmm, I mean, uch.  I mean,
.       I can’t believe I gave you my birthright
.       for a bite of this red stuff!!!
.       (looks at congregation)  I’ve been tricked!!!

(ESAU stomps off to upper stage right.  JACOB smiles and
holds up the paper in victory, then exits stage left.)

NAR.    Now as Isaac became much older, he became
.       just a wee bit blind.

(REBEKAH leads ISAAC out from stage left.
ISAAC holds REBEKAH’S arm with one hand
while feeling around the air with the other hand.)

ISAAC   Stop!  I wish to speak to my oldest son, Esau.

(ESAU bounds in and up to ISAAC from upper stage right.
REBEKAH pretends to leave but stays nearby to eavesdrop.)

ESAU    You called, Pops?

ISAAC   Is that really you, Esau?
.       (ESAU sticks his hairy arm out for ISAAC to feel)
.       Ah, yes it is.  Listen, my son,
.       I’m getting old.  I’ll probably die any day now.
.       So please, go and hunt down something for me,
.       so you can make me your famous stew.
.       This will make me very happy, and then
.       I can bless you - before I die.

ESAU    Coming right up, Pops.

(ESAU runs out and exits upper stage right.
ISAAC sits down at the center of the stage to wait.
REBEKAH waves over JACOB, who enters from stage left.)

NAR.    Rebekah overheard what had been said,           4
.       and came up with a plan – a tricky plan
.       for Jacob to steal the blessing away from Esau.

REB.    Jacob, your father has just asked Esau
.       to hunt down something so he can make his
.       famous stew.  Then father will bless Esau.
.       But I have a plan so that YOU will
.       be blessed instead.

JACOB   Oh, you want me to make my special red stuff?

REB.    NO!  I mean, I love you, son, but no,
.       your special red stuff is simply - terrible.
.       Bring me two of the best goats from the flocks,
.       and - I - will make a stew.  You can bring THAT
.       to your father, and then he will bless you.

JACOB   Ah, you’re just forgetting one thing.
.       Esau is extremely hairy.  I’d hate for Pops
.       to feel my arms and figure out he’s been tricked.
.       He might just curse me, instead of bless me.

REB.    Good thinking.  Come with me.

(REBEKAH leads JACOB out stage left.  Someone should
be there to help quickly wrap fur around JACOB’S arms.)

NAR.    While Rebekah made the stew, Jacob took the hair
.       from the goats and wrapped it around his arms.

(JACOB now steps out with fur around his arms.  REBEKAH
steps out and hands JACOB a pot and big spoon, but stays
there to eavesdrop as JACOB approaches ISAAC.)

JACOB   Pops?

ISAAC   Who are you, my son?

JACOB   I am Esau, your firstborn.  I have brought you
.       my special red stuff- ah - my - famous stew.

ISAAC   That was quick!  Hmm, that was TOO quick.

(REBEKAH puts a worried hand to her mouth while
JACOB thinks.)

JACOB   Ah, God helped me so it happened quickly.       5

ISAAC   Are you sure you are my son, Esau?
.       Come here so I can feel your arms.
.       (JACOB goes closer and sticks out one arm)
.       Huh, you sound like Jacob, but you feel
.       like Esau.  Let me taste the stew.

(JACOB holds out the pot and ISAAC feels around
for the spoon so he can pretend to taste the stew.)

ISAAC   Mmmm, definitely tastes like Esau’s famous stew.

(REBEKAH does a tiny, short victory dance then stops
to eavesdrop again.)

NAR.    Being convinced that this was Esau,
.       Isaac gave the blessing to Jacob instead.

(ISAAC touches JACOB’S forehead during the blessing.)

ISAAC   May people serve you, and nations bow down
.       to you; be master of your brothers and nephews.
.       Cursed be those who curse you,
.       and blessed be those who bless you.
.       (or simply: “I give you my special blessing.”)

(ESAU comes from upper stage right carrying another pot,
but stops in anger when he sees ISAAC blessing JACOB.
ESAU is angry and looks at the congregation.)

ESAU    I’ve been tricked – again!!!
.       (storms off, but comes back in)
.       (to congregation)  This - means - war!
.       I swear I will hunt my brother down!

(REBEKAH frets and waves JACOB over.)

NAR.    Isaac found out later that he had blessed
.       the wrong son and was also very angry.

ISAAC   (stands up with anger.)
.       There was only one blessing to give.
.       It should have been given to Esau.
.       I’ve been tricked!

REB.    Oops.
.                                                       6
JACOB   What should I do now?

REB.    Esau is planning to hunt you down.
.       You must flee to the land of Haran
.       and stay with my brother Laban!
.       Do NOT come back unless you are SURE
.       that your brother is no longer angry.

(REBEKAH walks over to ISAAC and waves goodbye
as JACOB exits stage left.  ISAAC and REBEKAH then turn
and exit upper stage right.)

NAR.    Isaac sent Jacob away with another blessing.
.       Eventually, Jacob reached the land of Haran -
.       (JACOB steps out from stage left)
.       where he meet his uncle Laban.

(LABAN steps out from stage left and stands by JACOB.)

NAR.    And Laban’s beautiful daughter, Rachel.

(RACHEL steps out from stage left and stands by LABAN.
JACOB looks at RACHEL, then back to the congregation.)

NAR.    Jacob fell in love with Rachel and wanted
.       to marry her.

(JACOB steps in front of LABAN to stand beside RACHEL.)

LABAN   Wouldn’t you be more interested in my
.       oldest daughter, Leah?

(LEAN steps out from stage left and stands by RACHEL.)

JACOB   Ah, no, because I love Rachel!  But,
.       tell you what, I will serve you for seven years
.       so I can marry your younger daughter, Rachel.

LABAN   You have a deal!  Come on girls.

(LABAN ushers RACHEL and LEAH out stage left.)

NAR.    And so, Jacob worked for Laban for seven years.
.       At the end of seven years, there was a wedding.

(LABAN leads LEAH out, who has a veil over her face.)
.                                                       7
LABAN   Congratulations!

(JACOB smiles as he takes the veil from LEAH’s face.
Seeing LEAH, JACOB looks at the congregation with shock.)

JACOB   I’ve been tricked!

NAR.    (to JACOB)  Well, and to that I would say,
.       whatever you sow - is what you shall reap.
.       And what I mean by that is – poetic justice.
.       And what I mean by that is - it’s payback time.
.       You trick your brother - YOU get tricked-

JACOB   (to NARRATOR)  I get it-I get it.  And I guess
.       I deserve that.  (to LABAN)  But WHY???

LABAN   It is only proper that the oldest sister gets
.       married first.  In OUR family, we do NOT
.       do things out of order.

JACOB   My mom - YOUR sister – SHE let me be first –

LABAN   I don’t know where she gets that from.

(LABAN exits stage left while shaking his head.)

NAR.    So Jacob served Laban another seven years
.       in order to marry Rachel.

(LABAN enters stage left, ushering in RACHEL,
who has a veil on her head.  JACOB takes the veil off,
checking to make sure that it is RACHEL.)

JACOB   Finally!  I mean, (meekly)  yay.

(LABAN stands there with his hands on his hips.)

NAR.    And just as there was competition between Jacob
.       and his brother Esau, there was competition
.       between Rachel and her sister Leah.
.       (to JACOB)  Let’s call it - poetic justice, or-

JACOB   I get it.

(RACHEL and LEAH put their hands on their hips and
have a stare-down with each other.)
.                                                       8
JACOB   (hanging his head & groaning)  Uch.
.       (to congregation)  And I suppose I deserve this.

NAR.    Eventually, Jacob asked Laban if he could
.       go back home, to his own country.
.       But Laban always found a way to trick Jacob
.       into staying longer and working for him.

LABAN   (to NARRATOR)  I’m no idiot.  I can see!
.       As God blesses Jacob, I also get richer.

JACOB   (to LABAN)  Tell you what, I will stay and work
.       for you a little longer, and then I will leave.
.       You do not have to give me anything – EXCEPT -
.       all the sheep and goats that are black
.       or spotted.

LABAN   And I get to keep all the white ones?

JACOB   Yes.

LABAN   You have a deal.

(LABAN turns his back to JACOB and looks at the
congregation while rubbing his hands together with glee.)

LABAN   Hee-HEEEEE – most of the sheep and goats
.       are WHITE!  I will become so rich.

NAR.    But Jacob had figured out a way to make
.       the sheep and goats have more babies
.       that were black or spotted.

LABAN   (to congregation)  Grrr, I’ve been tricked –
.       I think.  Kind of.  How did he do that?

(LABAN stomps off stage left.  NARRATOR glares at JACOB.)

JACOB   I didn’t really trick him.  Just - kind of.

NAR.    BUT Laban still found ways to trick Jacob
.       into staying longer just so he could get richer.

JACOB   I know!  I’ve been tricked.  I keep suffering
.       the consequences of the tricks I play.
.       This has got to stop!
.                                                       9
NAR.    So, when God sent a message to Jacob to go home,
.       Jacob had to sneak away from Laban, taking
.       with him only the things that were his – as well
.       as his wives and ALL of his many children.

(CHILDREN step out to join JACOB, RACHEL and LEAH.
CHILDREN squish together in a group so it will imply
that there is a lot of them.)

JACOB   How many children do I have?!

(JACOB looks around him as if there are even more
children than what we can see.)

NAR.    (to JACOB)  A lot!  You’ve been living with
.       your uncle Laban a very long time.  Not to
.       mention, your wives - are also quite tricky!

JACOB   Well, it’s time to go, then.  We really need
.       to stop playing tricks and trust in God
.       for everything.  God told me that He is with me
.       and will take care of us.

NAR.    But as Jacob and his family got closer
.       and closer to his country, Jacob became
.       more and more afraid of his brother Esau.

(JACOB turns to his FAMILY.)

JACOB   I’m really afraid.  What if my brother, Esau,
.       is still very angry at me for tricking him
.       out of his birthright and his blessing?

RACHEL  What if you send him a very nice message?

LEAH    And a very nice present.

NAR.    So Jacob sent Esau some oxen and donkeys and
.       flocks and male and female servants as a present,
.       with a very nice message.

JACOB   (to RACHEL & LEAH)  Done.

RACHEL  Did you apologize?

LEAH    Did you send a LOT of animals?
.                                                      10
NAR.    After Jacob’s messengers delivered the
.       nice message and very big present to Esau,
.       they came back and told Jacob that Esau was now
.       on his way to meet him, and Esau
.       was bringing four hundred men with him.

JACOB   (starts to panic)  Oh-oh.  We should split up.
.       That way, if Esau gets one group,
.       the others will still be safe.

NAR.    Jacob didn’t trust God and panicked.

JACOB   (to NARRATOR)  Well, yeah!  Why would God
.       bless ME?  Remember?  I really don’t deserve
.       God’s blessings.  I am SO not perfect.

NAR.    Well, none of us are.  But God is good
.       and still loves us.

JACOB   Good point.  (looks up in prayer.)
.       Lord, You know I don’t deserve Your love
.       or blessings, but remember what You promised me.
.       Please-please-please deliver me and keep us safe.

RACHEL  (tugs on JACOB’s arm)  Ah, you should probably
.       get another present ready to give
.       to your brother.

LEAH    Make it another very big present.

NAR.    So Jacob got together two hundred female goats
.       and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes
.       and twenty rams, thirty milking camels and
.       their colts, forty cows and ten bulls,
.       twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.

RACHEL  Oh!  You should really send the presents
.       bit by bit.

LEAH    Oh yes, so it’s like getting LOTS of presents.

RACHEL  It would be like - one little surprise
.       after another.

LEAH    Lots of little surprises are so much fun.

JACOB   Okay-okay.  I hope he likes all his presents.  11
.       But I just really hope he will forgive me.

(ESAU rushes over from upper stage right and hugs JACOB.)

ESAU    Jacob, okay, I forgive you.  But what’s
.       with all the presents?  Stop already.
.       I actually have plenty of my own animals.

JACOB   I owe you.  Please keep all the presents.
.       I just want everything to be right between us
.       from now on.  I just want you to forgive me.

(ESAU puts an arm around JACOB’s shoulder.
JACOB does the same.  The FAMILY follows,
and ALL exit upper stage right.)

NAR.    So they all returned home, reconciled.
.       And instead of trying to trick each other
.       to get things, Jacob trusted in God,
.       and God continued to bless them.