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Jacob, the Supplanter

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Announcements Forums Soul — February 16th, 2020 Jacob, the Supplanter

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    “SUPPLANT, verb transitive [Latin supplanto; sub and planta, the bottom of the foot.] To trip up the heels. [See Genesis 25:36 – Jacob taking hold of Esau’s heel.]
    ‘Supplanted, down he fell.’ [Milton]
    1. To remove or displace by stratagem; or to displace and take the place of; as, a rival supplants another in the affections of his mistress, or in the favor of his prince . . . .
    2. To overthrow; to undermine.” (Webster, 1828 Dictionary)

    As firstborn son, Esau stood to inherit two things from his father: the birthright (a double portion of the estate) as well as a spoken blessing especially favoring the firstborn alone. Through subtlety, Jacob was able to “unseat” his brother and obtained all the firstborn’s blessings for himself, in his brother’s stead. Therefore, Esau cried out, “Is not he rightly named Jacob [supplanter]? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.” (Genesis 27:36,)

    Fearful of Esau’s intent to kill him and his loved ones, Jacob had nowhere to turn on earth, so he sought heaven — with all his might, all night.

    It’s helpful to think of Jacob wrestling with his “shadow self”, like the shadow of someone’s body insisting that it’s more real than the body and it’s in charge of that body; or like a movie star’s stand-in refusing to leave the set, aggressively insisting that he/she has always been the real star of the show.

    Then came to Jacob the realization that his most important work was to live up to his name as never before, by a new and living way: to supplant his evil stand-in — his mortal selfhood — with his immortal selfhood, that which is “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13.)

    “Seeking is not sufficient. It is striving that enables us to enter. Spiritual attainments open the door to a higher understanding of the divine Life.” (SH 10:14-16)

    “Spirit never believes in God because it understands Him. Power is a belief of matter, a blind force, the offspring of will and not Wisdom, of the mortal, and not the immortal mind, — yea, of error, and not Truth. The headlong cataract, the devouring flames, the tempest’s breath, the lightning and storm, together with all that is selfish, dishonest, and impure, represent power. Might belongs to Spirit, the very ‘winds are in His fists;’ and, controlled by Spirit and not matter, they are harmonious.” (SH, 1st edition, 349.)

    To personal sense, Jacob perceived his brother’s wildly discordant wrath like an approaching firestorm from which he could not escape. But at Peniel Jacob reversed the course of his spiritual life, put the kingdom of heaven first, and thus reversed the curse over his life on earth, “overruling the evidence of personal sense altogether, and thus reveal[ing] the harmony of man and the universe, on a reversed statement.” (SH, 1st edition, 160.) In so aligning himself with Soul, not sense, Jacob also protected Esau from the condemnation that would surely have resulted had Esau been allowed to carry out his deadly intentions.

    This is how God makes the wrath of man to praise him “Surely”! (Ps. 76:10.)

    Jacob supplanted his sense-led self with his Soul-led self. The great supplanter supplanted discord with harmony, and everything out-of-tune in his life became one with the music of the spheres.


    I love the sense of how being a supplanter of the “right thing” becomes a blessing. It is of great importance that Mrs. Eddy admonishes, instructs, counsels us to adhere to the Truth of Being. That is our saviour, our starting point, our premise for demonstration. We should as often as possible identify ourselves with God daily. Soul as God has helped me with this, although not easy at first.I have learned to become stubborn with that Truth of Being and it is a blessing….


    I was interested to learn from a Bible commentary that the word translated as ‘wrestle’ also means to ‘be-dust’, or to cover with dust, as wrestlers used to do to their bodies. This suggests to me that Jacob was wrestling with a mortal sense which was ‘be-dusting’ his thought about himself and his brother, until the clarity of Love prevailed. So grateful for what I am learning.

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Love is the liberator.