Jacob & Esau, And Other Contemplations

Dretzle March 24, 2010 User blog:Dretzle

In my last blog I wrote last night (awesome episode by the way) I discussed some of the issues involved and their Biblical counterparts and similarities. There's a lot going on in this episode, though, so I saved some for another blog post.

Lost is not the Bible

Before I go further, let me clarify that although Lost alludes to Biblical messages, has similarities with Biblical events, Lost is not the Bible. For example, I discussed similarities with the issues involved between Jacob and MiB, but there's a lot of differences, too. Therefore, Jacob is not literally God (or the devil), and neither is MiB. In the Bible, as I discussed, the devil is trying to prove God wrong about man; in Lost Jacob is trying to prove MiB wrong, though MiB has taken the devil's view of man. So, anyways, similarities but not equality.

And I'm sure someone more knowledgeable in some other subject will be able to draw similarities with other mythologies and literature.

Return of the Boar

I really thought they were going to forget about the boars from the first season, so that was unexpected to see them here. And am I wrong, or did we clearly see the boar actually speak this time? Well, at least we saw a snort with subtitles, which then became Richard's wife.

A couple possibilities I'm seeing here:

Richard's wife was the MiB and was there to help with the manipulation of Richard into killing Jacob. If that's the case then MiB doesn't need a person's dead body on the island in order to impersonate them. MiB could have gotten everything he needed to impersonate his wife when he scanned Richard, I'm sure, the same as he did with Eko and Yemi. We did see smokey above the ship when Isabella was with Richard, but we've seen smokey, at least, split into three separate wisps of smoke before.

Or Isabella could have been a manifestation of the Island. I still like the thought that the Island is another character, a separate entity, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. If this is the case, though, then she was really helping MiB here, but then maybe the Island, if this is true, has to help both sides. I don't know.

Destruction of Statue & Hanso

We got to see how the statue was destroyed. A wave in a severe storm more or less threw the Black Rock at the island. Ouch. Also, Magnus Hanso was the guy who brought the Black Rock? According to the information we have Magnus Hanso is the grandfather of Alvar Hanso, the guy that funded dharma. Well, there's that little piece of history.

Jacob & Esau

With some Biblical references in this episode it might be time to revisit the story of Jacob & Esau. Jacob and Esau were twins, the sons of Issac and Rachel, parents of the nation of Israel. Jacob later got a name change to Israel and all tribes came from him.

In the Bible, starting in chapter 25 if you're interested, there was a prophecy to Rachel. "Two nations are in your belly, and two national groups will be separated from your inward parts; and the one national group will be stronger than the other national group, and the older will serve the younger." Rachel later gave birth to Jacob and Esau. Esau was born first. Incidently, Esau was also a hairy man (that's what Esau means, actually), somewhat like our MiB in comparison to Jacob.

So perhaps Jacob and MiB are brothers, twins even. Jacob and Esau were not identical twins, so neither does Jacob and MiB have to be. Esau later sold his firstborn birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. Later in their life Issac wanted to bless Esau, his firstborn, but Rachel, knowing this wasn't right, set Jacob up to take that place instead (Issac's sight wasn't good, and he was fooled by some animal skin into thinking Jacob was hairy. :) ) Now, you could see this as manipulation, but even when Issac found out he didn't take away his blessing. Esau did sell his birthright after all.

This story is seen as a classic example of destiny and predetermination, since there was the prophecy before they were born. It's not destiny and Jacob and Esau still had Free Will, but that argument requires a lot more study and understanding and people will still debate over that and is for another time and place. It's my experience in literature that they don't often go too deep, so I think it's safe to assume that, if this is representative of Jacob & Esau, that the names were chosen to illustrate the Free Will vs Destiny debate. But who knows? With the duality in Lost they may be trying to show that both Free Will and Destiny are accurate, at least in the Lost universe.

What can we extrapolate based on this for Lost? Well, if this logic is correct, and Jacob and MiB represent Jacob and Esau in any way (I'm sure there's other twin or brother examples to look for elsewhere in literature, but someone else will have to point that out) we may expect some of the following:

1) Jacob and MiB may be brothers, twins even.

2) MiB/Esau may feel betrayed and angry and Jacob because Jacob took something from him, like Esau's birthright. However, MiB/Esau may have even given whatever was taken at some point.

3) Jacob and MiB's parents may be involved. MiB even mentioned "his crazy mother". Maybe she's not even crazy, but she sided with Jacob and MiB has convinced himself that she's crazy and that's why? No idea.

4) There may be another power involved. Personally, I like the idea that the Island is still another character and maybe even enforces whatever rules exist between Jacob and MiB. Maybe the Island is their mother. I don't know; wait and see I guess.

Obviously, all of this comparison would only be from the Bible on the surface. There's more going on. In the Bible, Esau wasn't a black smoke thing that can imitate dead people and Jacob couldn't grant the power of life, so I'm sure you'll find your allusions to greek mythology play more on those topics.

I'd be fine, in the end, if there was both a spirital and scientific explanation to everything, but I sure do hope the producers keep to their word and give us some kind of scientific (or pseudo-science explanation). My past blogs have stated how science could possibly explain the seeming immortality of Richard, so I'm keeping my hopes up.

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