Rebekah (Rebecca)

Isaac's wife was known for her kindness and beauty--and deception.

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Rebekah overheard the conversation and devised a plan by which Jacob would receive Isaac's blessing. She instructed Jacob to disguise himself as Esau by putting on his brother's clothing and covering his arms and neck with the skin of a goat to simulate Esau's hairiness. She prepared a savory dish of meat and sent Jacob with it to his father.

Furious at Jacob's trickery, Esau vowed that he would kill Jacob as soon as Isaac passed away. Rebekah, to protect Jacob from Esau's revenge, decided to send him away to her brother Laban in Haran. She went to Isaac and complained that she was weary of her life because of Esau's Hittite wives, adding if Jacob also married one of the local girls, she would have no wish to continue living.

Isaac called Jacob, blessed him, and said, "You shall not take a wife from among the Canaanite women. Up, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother's father, and take a wife there from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother (Genesis 28:1–2)."

Years passed and Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried near Beth-el under an oak. Rebekah died and was buried in the cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and Sarah were buried and where Esau and Jacob would eventually bury Isaac, who died at the age of 180.

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David Mandel studied at the University of Pennsylvania under Bible scholar Moshe Greenberg, and moved to Israel in 1970, where he founded Computronic Corporation, an Israeli software development company that specializes in biblical software.