Jacob and Esau – Sons of Isaac

There’s been a lot of talk lately about a “Jacob and Esau” relationship between Jacob and Flocke. Since many of these cite extra-Biblical sources, I decided to look at a strictly Biblical view of Jacob and Esau, and how they relate to LOST.
The first thing to notice about Jacob and Esau is who their father was. Their father was Isaac, the son of Abraham, who was the father of the Israelites. Also notable is who Jacob was. Jacob, later named Israel, was a key character in Jewish history. He was Israel, and he wrestled with God. One of his dreams contained a stairway to Heaven. Jacob fathered the twelve tribes of Israel, as well. Jacob’s name meant “deciever” and “heel-grabber.” However, the Bible later points out that Jacob was a righteous man, such as with the statement “Jacob I loved and Esau I hated.”
Esau was very different from Jacob. He was the firstborn, but was generally less intelligent and good-natured. After all, he sold his birthright for a pot of stew. Later, after Jacob got the blessing of the firstborn, he wanted to kill him (sound familiar?). Jacob escaped, and Esau continued on his life. Later, he met Jacob again and accepted him, although his heart is unknown, considering the intelligent Jacob snuck away. He eventually became the father of the Edomites, who were rejected.
So, what may be of significance from this? Well, this all fuels my elaborate theory. It begins in the distant past, millenia ago. The Island starts out as the Garden of Eden. After the Fall of Man, it is cut off from people. Later, during the Flood, it detaches from the mainland and becomes the Island. Since it was no longer accessible, it no longer needed to be guarded by an angel, so the Island is left on its own. Much later, seemingly by chance, early seafaring men find the Island. Once there, they plunder its food and destroy the Tree of Life (the roots of which release their moisture into the healing spring). This upsets the perfection of the Garden of Eden, causing the evil side of the scale to come into existence. However, as the men continue to corrupt the Island, it needs protection. To save the scale, an angel of death is sent as a pillar of black smoke. It kills the men, but also decided that the Island needs new measures of protection. In suplication of this need, a man and women, endowed with supernatural traits, are created, and the Island gains its ability to move. This man is Christian (currently named Isaac), and the women, well, her name is irrevelant, but we’ll call her Rebekah.
Isaac and Rebekah live on the Island for a very long time, protecting it with Isaac’s powers. Specifically, he can heal and prod conscience (to increase good) and become the Smoke Monster or take a dead form (to decrease evil). Over time, he decides that all natural man is evil and corrupts. Finally, his extremely long life-span begins to approach its end. At this time he has two sons, Jacob and Flocke (Esau for these purposes).
Jacob and Esau are to be Isaac’s successors. Esau was born first, and was entitled to the powers of his choosing, as well as the title of protector of the Island. Jacob would live as his assistant, and together they would use their powers to protect the Island. However, this balance was upset. Jacob and his mother (Rebekah) eventually realized that the balance was split by the birth of twins, making Jacob good and Esau evil (although they were both somewhat manipulative).
In order to protect the Island, they plotted to make Jacob the protector. To start, Jacob manipulated Esau into trading his birthright (the first choice of powers) for a bowl of stew. This was something, but they ultimately needed to prevent Esau from being in charge. To do this, Rebekah disguised Jacob as Esau and sent him to get the blessing of the firstborn (the title as protector of the Island). This works, and Jacob picks the powers of healing and righteous thought, and becomes the main protector.
(Bear in mind, as in the Bible, that Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite, and Esau was Isaac’s.) So, after Jacob tricks his father, Esau and Isaac become furious. Because they exist to protect the Island, neither can kill Jacob. Esau begs for some blessing, and Isaac promises to help him overthrow Jacob. The only powers left are transformation to the Smoke Monster and form-taking, which are both given to Esau. Soon afterwards, Isaac dies of old age. Esau, fearing the promise is impossible, tries to kill himself, but finds it impossible. His new goal: kill Jacob and leave the Island behind him.
By this time, we have reached the era of the Black Rock. Having heard their father’s stories and seen some incidents of his own, Esau believes that all men corrupt. Jacob, somewhat influenced by his softer mother, has hope for a good humanity. Thus Jacob decides to bring the Black Rock to the Island using his thought powers. This leads to the beach scene we saw. After the arrival of the Black Rock, Esau is injured. His body is broken, causing him to require other forms for existance. Using his powers, he takes the form of one of the sailors. Eventually, this form dies, and he continues as Smokie.
Fast-forward to Christian. Isaac has possessed Christian’s father, and reincarnated himself as Christian. From there, he made sure to die in Sydney, so that he would be taken back on Oceanic 815. On crashing, he began his plan. He quickly met with Esau, and began manipulating, eventually allowing Locke to be taken over by Esau. With this, he began working to kill Jacob. He helped Esau manipulate Ben, and eventually Jacob is killed. Unbeknownst to either of them, Jacob’s had a protection plan in place for a long time, all since Isaac’s death. Upon finding the Oceanic survivors in 1977, he realized it was time. In 2007, his ghost begins working to keep someone on the Island to protect it and stop Esau from, well, being evil. Since Jack is Christian’s son, he is in the line of the protectors, and stands to take Jacob’s place.
So, what will happen next? No clue. But I figure this is an awesome enough theory to consider.

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Written by

Mixen Dixon

Hey, I'm Mixen Dixon. I'm a somewhat nerdy teenager, being very enthusiastic about theoretical physics and computers (check me out on LOST is one of my favorite shows. I love to figure out scientific explanations of things that occur in LOST, which is why Daniel Faraday was my fav. character until he died. Too bad.

20 thoughts on “Jacob and Esau – Sons of Isaac

  1. Nice read, although I doubt that they will tie the Lost story that close to any particular religion.

    By the way, ABC has referred to MIB as Samuel as well.

  2. Very nice, Dixon! A few months ago I theorized on this site that I thought Jacob and the MIB were the biblical brothers, but you went with that theory and made some very nice tie ins to the show. Whether they all pan out or not is another story, but I like what you say nonetheless.
    @Statue: I’m curious why is it that you, and so many others, are so quick to think that Lost is not tied to any particular religion? I think that if the Jacob and Esau story pans out that many will not necessarily attach it to the particular religious Judeo-Christian aspects associated with the story, but will recognize it as a story that has been well known globally throughout the ages which the Lost story writers very nicely expanded on to current time.

  3. Mixen Dixon, I love your theory. Even if we don’t find out that this is Jacob and Esau, I believe the story will likely parallel somewhere along these lines.

    I know the Shephard family figures into the overall mythology somehow, but am uncertain as to how they figure in.

    Really nice theory and a great presentation!

  4. I am just wondering…do you think anyone would have considered this theory if Jacob’s name were something else? If Jacob’s name were Isaac on the show, we’d all be theorizing that MiB is “Jacob” (and Isaac’s son) because he hates him so much..and this is also why MiB “appears” younger than Isaac and is so manipulative. We twist our theories to fit the facts we know about the show..

    Somehow, I think the writers would expect a lot from the audience if they are expecting us to get the allusion without any research. (If the allusion is even really there – besides the name Jacob.) Personally, I had no idea who Jacob and Esau were until I looked it up online. I feel like the writers would be limiting themselves to people with Judaic knowledge if they VERY closely tied Jacob’s story to Issac’s Jacob’s story… I hope I am making sense.
    Anyway, I do think that the writers draw from a host of cultures…the dharma initiative? Dharma is basically a Hindu concept, but I didn’t see much more connection there besides them saying “namaste” all the time.
    My point is, sometimes we take one thing and really run with it, so we all took Jacob’s name and drew parallels to the story as best we could. (Even one of my theories had Jacob/Esau – haha!)

    Nevertheless, I really liked the way you put everything in such detail and incorporated the island’s beginning and how Jacob and MiB got their different powers.. bravo for your well thought out theory! Definitely the most interesting Jacob/Esau theory I’ve read so far!

  5. I gave it 5 stars out of pure enjoyment. I agree that it probably won’t tie that close to 1 religion, but I think it will tie to quite a few religions (judiasm, christianity, egyptian culture (the statue), etc.) and it will tie to science as well. Or not, who really knows at this point. So far I haven’t read one theory in 4 years that panned out completely. There are the time loop theories (which still may be true, but seems less likely), there are religious theories, doubles theories, multi-verse, atlantis, etc, etc. Everytime I read one of these I think well that seems to work, now I know what to expect. And then the show comes on and I completely change my mind.
    So, point of the rant….Lost Rules, fun theory, keep them coming.

  6. it seems they are obviously borrowing from that story, but they are obviously borrowing from: Watership Down, A Wrinkle In Time, Valis, Egyptian Mythology, Aztec and Incan Myth, Turn of the Screw, Of Mice and Men, and every other book, song and TV show we’ve seen referenced on the show. At least they don’t hide their influences and they also use them to throw viewers off track while they weave in their own original storylines.

  7. AmILost, it’s fine to be inspirated by different cultures and religious literature, but I feel that it would be completely inappropriate in several ways if a major TV show in 2010 turns out to be an illustration of a Bible story. Personally I would be horribly disappointed. I don’t know what I would do – probably track down all the sponsors and boycott them for the rest of my life, haha.

  8. ilie: I totally agree…I would be hugely disappointed, and I probably wouldn’t understand half of the Biblical/Judaic references b/c I’m Hindu =( I’d be left in the dust basically! I’d be waiting for you guys to explain it to me! LOL.

    But seriously, I am glad they draw from many many places, because it keeps it interesting..but if they only drew ideas from one story..that would really be bad storytelling (and politically incorrect perhaps?)

  9. And a story about two brothers, one hating the other. I don’t really know what I would learn from that even if I was inclined to.

  10. If Lost turns out to be partly or mostly based on a biblical story I have no qualms about it whatsoever. What matters to me is that the show has not only been thoroughly entertaining, it has been so much more on so many different levels. It’s just a TV show for Christ sake! (Oh pardon me, did I just bring Christ into this? How terribly incorrect of me, NOT!…;) )

  11. Excellent theory! well said.
    It is def a father son issue story throughout!
    Religion aside, isnt it convenient that the ‘Shepherd’ family is so important! a shepherd is a term used for God. its meaning is also king/leader. A shepherd’s faithful are known as the ‘Flock’ how similar that is to how everyone describes fake Locke – Flocke!
    Many religions have prophets who’s livelyhoods were shepherds! so i dont think its fair to say the show is focused on one religion!

  12. I would love it if they somehow made a crazy bible story relevant in todays time, but Mixen why did you say lets just call her Rebekah?

    You obviously know that Rebekah was their mother in the story & there were alot of little points and parts of that story that you left out like Rebekah had to disguise Jacob like Esau in order to get the blessing & how she did it.

  13. Great, thorough post, Mixen! I have to say I don’t think it will be an out and out Jacob/Esau thing… and though I do enjoy the theories on here about how Judeo-Christian views or even Hindu views frequently appear on the show, I wish there was also someone who was familiar with animism and that kind of thing (this person is clearly not me, though I’m pondering a post on this).

    In any case, though many parallels may be drawn to Jacob/Esau and other biblical relationships, a huge prevalent theme here is obviously parent-child relationships… in this way, I think your post makes a lot of good points about birthright, favoritism, and the importance of how you’re shaped as you get older. These are definitely qualities that are prevalent in both Lost and Jacob/Esau’s story.

  14. There already is an Isaac in lost. Isaac of Uluuru, the healer Bernard takes Rose to in Australia. He claims he cannot heal her, but another place will.

  15. Mixen – I thouroughly enjoyed your theory! Ever since I heard Jacob’s name – the first thing that came to mind was this biblical story. I love how you’ve tied it all together here!

    BiNG – What you said. I’m happy to see some parallels drawn from this ancient story – and have no issues with any religious tie-ins; whether they are ones I’m familiar with or ones I can learn from. I think we all have to see the obvious references with the Shephard family (Christian Shephard! C’mon – it doesn’t get much more in-your-face than that!)

    This is a from a comment I posted in response to another theory – but it plays well here also:

    Also descended from Jacob is Aaron, brother to Moses. Aaron served as Moses’ High Priest and spokesman. It was Aaron’s rod/staff that brought on the plagues to Pharoah and his subjects and performed other miracles. Interestingly enough, when it was time for Aaron to die – Moses led him into a cave and told him to lay down on a bed and when he did – his soul departed his body; at that same moment, the pillar of cloud or smoke that had guided the Israelites on their exodus from Egypt disappeared.
    3 possible connections here:
    1. Aaron
    2. body in a cave
    3. pillar of smoke

  16. Wow, great theory. As most people I don’t think it will parallel so closely the religious history, but it was really fun to read and a few of those thing may in fact happen.

    I have some doubts though. Maybe MIB name is not Esau. Why did they hide his name? There must be an important reason in terms of story telling. I definitely think that Jacob and MIB are brothers though.


    So… Aaron descended from Jacob. It makes me think… I don’t know if this has been mentioned previously, but maybe the Shephard family are descended from Jacob, so that’s why Aaron is so important?

  17. See that Mixen? I know you were lazy at the moment an I totally understand but there were some really great points left out of the theory that can really make it much stronger.

    We already have Jacob, Aaron, & a crazy mother that all relate to Lost & this bible story, an now we have some more similarities thanks to itsdesmondbrutha with the cave & the pillar of smoke.

    Hmmm remember when Ben is talking with Jacob & mentions something to do with the way Flocke marched up there like he was Moses or something along those lines & Jacob an Flocke look at each other strangely?

    I dont think that MIB is Moses or anything but it did seem like Jacob & Flocke both knew of the person Moses, I think they havent given a name to MIB yet because it will be significant in the End and just might turn out to be Esau, Moses, or my #1 top favorite choice Set…Thats his name Set but i’ve also seen it as Seth as well.

  18. Well, I think you may be correct as far as the biblical tie-in. There are certainly many allusions to the bible, though I think they were mostly associated a few seasons ago with Mr. Eko. Certainly there are themes of sin, righteousness, forgiveness, and redemption which have been repeatedly played out among the central characters. Plus, for me the reference to Adam and Eve, and the use of the names Jacob and Aaron are suggestive that we will end up seeing the entire plot somehow relate to some aspects of the bible. Also, there is that one bizarre edit-in which appeared in at least one of the Dharma films…”God loves you as he loved Jacob”. Why would this clip have been edited in to an orientation film when it is sooooo out of place? I think it was a ploy for the writers to give us all a big hint. And I think that the hint is that the Jacob of Lost Isle may be the Jacob from the bible. If this is really the case, MIB should really be Esau. I find it interesting they have not named MIB yet, though I feel we are close to learning his real name. Whatever the writers of Lost will lay on us, I’m sure we will all be amazed and blown away…at least I hope so. It is too good of a series to have a stupid ending. My own impression is that it will be a very very sad and profound finale which will have us Lost fans in tears come May 23 (for us viewers in America) and blogging about it for months, if not years to come.

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