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“Red Hair”? It is

“Red Hair”? It is interesting to note that the Bible has felt the need to point out that Esau was “red like a hairy mantle“ (Gen 25:25), this characteristic reddish or fulvous hair returns in the Old Testament (think of King David) and is remarked as a non-ordinary fact: we can not help recalling what was said in the chapter on ANAQÌMS about the ANUNNAKI's creation being identified with the name of “black heads” as if to highlight a difference with another type of hair color. It is certainly strange to think that this phenotype characterized by red hair could be interpreted as the kind of reappearance of characteristics pertaining to the dominant species, the creators' race. Obviously, we have no certain evidence, but the identification of hair color was definitely of significant importance. It is worth repeating here a curiosity about these differences. The apocryphal book of Enoch says that the wife of Lamech, Enoch's grandson, gave birth to a child whose appearance, however, was a source of doubt for the father. The skin of the newborn did not have the same color as that of the local natives, it was white and pink, his hair was white and his very beautiful eyes seemed to emanate light. Then Lamech said to his father Methuselah that his wife had given birth to a son who did not look like humans' children, rather the children of “angels”. That is to say that Lamech suspected that his son had been generated by one of the “Guardians”. Methuselah asked for clarification from Enoch, who reassured him, guaranteeing that the child was Lamech's, and had to be named Noah. This particular difference then returns in several parts of the period's literature. Esau was a hunter who loved to live freely in the steppe, while Jacob preferred the tranquility of pastoral life conducted in the family camps: the first 122

was loved by Isaac whilst the mother Rebecca preferred the second. Chapter 25 tells that one day Esau returned exhausted and hungry from hunting, and asked his brother to have a little stew that he was preparing. Jacob took advantage of the situation and asked Esau to yield him his birthright in exchange for food. Esau had no hesitation and sold his rights for a piece of bread and a mess of pottage/bowl of lentil soup: hence the famous saying that refers to the yielding of something very important in exchange for “a mess of pottage”, precisely. That sale was accompanied and ratified by an oath, but evidently this formal act was not enough to make the rights' transfer concrete and operational, since they were so crucial to the lives of individuals and tribes who depended on them. In fact, when Isaac was old and was about to die, he called his firstborn, Esau, and asked him to hunt some game and prepare a tasty dish to accompany with joy the official ceremony of his blessing and official investiture. Rebecca, the mother, was determined to secure these rights to her favorite son, so she sent for Jacob and together they wove a deception. So, we ask: what need was there to trick Isaac, if Esau's oath had had any legal value? It would simply do by informing the father of his rights' yielding, but apparently things were not so simple. The deception now takes shape. Jacob takes advantage of his brother's absence and replaces him, covering up with a sheepskin in order to simulate Esau's hairiness, and gives to Isaac a meat dish prepared by his mother Rebecca. His father, old and blind, does not notice the replacement and “blesses” Jacob with the ritual formula containing the object of the blessing (cf. Gen 27-29): to have the sky dew on the fields, fertility of the land, and abundance of wheat and wine, to exercise power and govern over the people, to be lord and master of his brothers who recognize and honor him. In short, the blessing gave all the material rights relating to property, wealth and power. They were exclusive in a double sense: first, only the firstborn could enjoy them and, secondly, those rights were the only ones resulting from the blessing (berakhàh). 123

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