Deceptive Tendencies: The 20/20 Profile

By Glenn A. Hascall


News magazine programs are very popular these days. We took a popular news program and placed it placed roughly 2000 years BC. The story follows the trail of deception in the story of Jacob and Esau.


BAHBAH - female news anchor.
JOHN - know-it-all news corespondent
ANNOUNCER - For a television ad


SETTING: A studio with two chairs, perhaps a mock camera operator faces the host and pretends to be filming. A spotlight shines on the guest(s) when their lines come up.
ANNOUNCER: (Off stage)  Welcome to 20/20 BC. Tonight we feature the Abram-son Twins - a story of guile and deception, blessings and curses, honor and glory. We call our story Red Stew and a Blessed Deception.  Bahbah Wahwah joins us shortly, but first a visit with John Stonehenge for his weekly report called Bestow Upon Me A Quarrel.... John.
JOHN: Today I take issue with the name of this program 20/20 B.C. This name might have worked a few decades ago, but today we live in the 1900's B.C. and the name 20/20 is outdated and lacks vision for the future.
And what about our calendar system? When we reach the year zero will our world end? What happens if the world still exists after that time will we go into negative numbers or will something radically transform the way we view time?
20/20 is a time that pre-dates the birth of the Abram-son twins by several years and yet the executives of this show continue to insist on calling it 20/20 BC. C'mon - Give Me A Brea... Uh, Bestow Upon Me A Quarrel
BAHBAH: (Smiles) Thank you John, as always a nifty use of your thesaurus. I'm always surprised at your depth of insight and understanding of our times, however in this case, John, 20/20 has nothing to with a date and everything to do with clear vision. C'mon John, give me a break.
JOHN: (Looks befuddled - then embarrassed) Oh...
BAHBAH: In our top story today...
We go back several years when a set of twins were born to Rebecca and Isaac Abram-son. Theirs was a happy childhood, Esau - the oldest loved the outdoors and was well aquatinted with the skill of hunting. Jacob - the younger of the two was more comfortable at home. One rough and wild and the other meek and mild. Or was he?
REBEKAH: Jacob was definitely a mother's child. We developed a close relationship and he listened to me - something Esau would never do. As much as I love my eldest son, I must admit I was happy to see Jacob win Esau's birthright.
BAHBAH: The birthright that Rebekah talked about entitled its owner to the greater portion of his father's wealth when Isaac passed away.
ESAU: I can't believe I gave that weasel my birthright for a couple of bowls of red stew. Sure I was hungry, but what else could I do? It was either give him my birthright and live or (Pause then smile) walk a mile and have supper with my parents? What's done is done.
BAHBAH: 20/20 B.C. has learned of another twist to this story that positioned the younger of the two twins of the Abram-son's to best his hairy brother. It seems that the twin's father Isaac was legally blind and nearing death. He called his eldest son, Esau and instructed him to hunt for a prize deer and make a family specialty for him to eat. Once this was accomplished, the elder Abram-son would bless his son. It was evident that this provided Esau with great satisfaction. Even if he would not have the birthright, he at least would have his father's blessing in the end. However, this too would be denied.
JACOB: Mother asked me to go out among the livestock and choose a couple of goats so that she could make Father's favorite dish. Because I am smoothed skinned, Mother made special coverings from the goatskins for me. She felt that this would convince Father that I was Esau. Father was genuinely surprised to see that the meal could be prepared so
BAHBAH: Jacob would visit his father and, while Isaac did not initially believe that it was Esau that stood before him, the smell of the outdoors and the rough skin coverings made by his own wife ultimately convinced the man of something, that had he been able to see, he would not have believed.
ESAU: (Angry) That no good brother of mine not only took my birthright but he took my blessing. I can still hear my father say, "I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine - what is there left to give?
BAHBAH: Fearing dramatic reprisals for his deception, Jacob fled to his uncle Laben Bethuel-son while Esau stayed in his hometown vowing revenge. Can the loss of both a birthright and blessing ever allow reconciliation between the twins? Find out when 20/20 B.C. continues.
(Music Out)
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(Music In)
BAHBAH: Welcome back to 20/20 BC, I'm Bahbah Wahwah. The twin Abram-son boys were as different as night and day. With as much brute strength and outdoor skill that Esau possessed it was Jacob, the weaker of the two that ultimately walked away from the family after Esau had threatened his life. However, in spite of the threat, Jacob left with a birthright and the Patriarchal blessing from his father. 
As the years passed Esau found comfort by marrying a relative of his father's stepbrother, Ishmael. Jacob on the other hand spent years working to gain the two daughters of another relative named Laban.
JACOB: I was troubled by the deception of Laban. I had worked the first seven years for Rachael and yet a veil on our wedding day hid the fact that it was actually Rachael's older daughter Leah. While I was allowed to marry Rachael too, I was made to work an additional seven years as a shepherd for Laban.
BAHBAH: Some would say that Jacob simply got what he deserved. He had practiced deception and in the process alienated himself from his family and then, as he sought to start his own family, he was deceived. Poetic justice? Perhaps.
In time Jacob would break free from the bonds of Laban and take his family to Canaan where he had grown up. The chain of deception continued, as Jacob's wife Rachael stole items from her father's house and then lied to keep them. In time ten of his children conspired to harm their brother Joseph and sold him as a slave to a caravan of traders bound for Egypt lying to their father as to what had become of his favorite son. Two other sons sought revenge for an assault on their sister, Dinah and ultimately killed every male in a local village.
It is said that Jacob wrestled an angel. It is also reported that he himself described his existence as a "hard life". We are left to wonder what might have happened if Jacob had not shown such deceptive tendencies? 20/20 BC has learned that God apparently visited Jacob's mother, Rebekah, and told her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall separate from your body; And one shall people shall be stronger than the other; an the older shall serve the younger." One must wonder - if Rebekah had simply believed what she was told and left all notions of deception behind if in fact the cycle of deception might never have started.
Tune in tomorrow for the latest news from the Negev to Edom, from Canaan to the land of Goshen. For 20/20 BC, I'm Bahbah Wahwah.
(Music out)

Copyright 2002 by Glenn A. Hascall and CMI Publishing
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