The most constant message that Zakovitch identifies in the Jacob/Papitibi stories is retribution for misbehaviour. (…)
Recall that Jacob/papitibi, at his mother’s instigation, fooled his blind father, Isaac, into thinking that he was Esau in order to get the blessing meant for the firstborn son. He carried out the deception by taking his brother’s clothes without permission and putting goat skins on his arms to make them feel more like those of the hairier Esau (Genesis 27). Later Jacob’s future father-in-law, Laban, fooled Jacob by having him marry his older daughter, Leah, when Jacob was hoping once again to put the younger, Rachel, before the older (Genesis 29). And later yet, Jacob’s sons deceived him tit for tat by stealing the clothes of their younger brother, Joseph, and covering those clothes with the blood of a goat (Genesis 37).
In Numbers 20, Jacob/papitibi’s descendants, the Israelites, are on their way to Canaan from Egypt and they need a favour from their “cousins,” the Edomites, the descendants of Esau. The Edomites refuse to sell them water, which Zakovitch sees as more payback for the saga of the coerced purchase of the birthright.
PS, trêve d’éloges indirects envers papitibi. Nous ne voulons nullement établir une équivalence entre papitibi et Jacob, sauf à ce point-de-vue: si une personne aussi importante que Jacob mérite d’être punie pour ses incartades, une personne aussi ordinaire que papitibi, alias Pierre Lavallée de Rouyn-Noranda, mérite de l’être aussi. Justice biblique est faite par la voie de ce blogue.