Genesis 27:34

Hebrew Bible

32 His father Isaac asked, “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,” he replied, “Esau!” 33 Isaac began to shake violently and asked, “Then who else hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it just before you arrived, and I blessed him. He will indeed be blessed!” 34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly. He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 35 But Isaac replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away your blessing.” 36 Esau exclaimed, “Jacob is the right name for him! He has tripped me up two times! He took away my birthright, and now, look, he has taken away my blessing!” Then he asked, “Have you not kept back a blessing for me?”

Esther 4:1

Hebrew Bible

1 Now when Mordecai became aware of all that had been done, he tore his garments and put on sackcloth and ashes. He went out into the city, crying out in a loud and bitter voice. 2 But he went no farther than the king’s gate, for no one was permitted to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. 3 Throughout each and every province where the king’s edict and law were announced there was considerable mourning among the Jews, along with fasting, weeping, and sorrow. Sackcloth and ashes were characteristic of many.

 Notes and References

"... However, we need look no further than the Bible to see this same story played out again, with incredibly rich parallels. In our story in Genesis, Jacob first trades Esau a pot of lentils for the birthright, and then takes advantage of his father’s blindness and dresses up like Esau to take the blessing, which may or may not rightfully be his. When Esau hears what his father has done in giving the blessing to Jacob, he cries “a great and bitter cry.” There is only one other place in the entire Bible where “a great and bitter cry”- Ze’akah Gedolah U’marah– is found: in the book of Esther, when Mordechai learns of Haman’s plot to exterminate the Jews. The Midrash (B’reishit Rabbah 67:4) connects these two verses. It says, in essence, that it is proof that “what goes around comes around.” Because of the bitter cry that Jacob evoked in Esau, Haman was given the opportunity to cause great harm to the Jewish people. Indeed, there is a direct link through the generations: Mordechai, the Jew, is of course a descendant of Jacob. In parallel, Amalek, the nation which historically was seen as representative of all Israel’s enemies, was the grandson of Esau. Haman is called “The Aggagite”- a descendant of Agag, the last king of Amalek, and therefore the descendant of and surrogate for Esau in his generation. However, this is only the beginning of the connection ..."

Heller, Joshua Two Brothers, Two Candidates (pp. 1-3) Jewish Theological Seminary, 2000

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