(Gen 27:1 NASB) Now it came about, when Isaac was old, and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.” And he said to him, “Here I am.”
Gen 27:1: Here we have the case of the blessing of Jacob being bestowed to Jacob in an apparently treacherous fashion. However, Esau has already shown that he has no interest in the birthright. But after selling his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew, he shows no remorse for having done so. Then he further degrades his spiritual status by marrying Hittite women.
Esau wanted nothing to do with Elohim and spiritual matters. Esau proved this with both his words and public actions. Sympathy for him on the issue of the blessing from his father is difficult to muster.
The blessing from his father is expected and desired by Esau, but we are not told why. The connection between the birthright and the blessing is unclear. Apparently they were separate institutions.
Even though Jacob was predestined to inherit the birthright and the blessing of his father, he attained it by deceit. This deceit ended up resulting in strife for all concerned.
The text states that Isaac is old at this time. According to other passages, we can deduce that Isaac is 100 years old. His eyesight was dim, but he still had a taste for his son’s venison stew.
Notice that the text calls Esau “his older son” and not “his firstborn son.” This is probably due to the fact that he surrendered his birthright earlier.
(Gen 27:2 NASB) And Isaac said, “Behold now, I am old and I do not know the day of my death.
(Gen 27:3 NASB) “Now then, please take your gear, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me;
(Gen 27:4 NASB) and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.”
Gen 27:4: As previously shown, a meal was probably a customary element of a covenant in that day. The servant of Abraham had a feast with Laban and Bethuel when he made the covenant to bring Rebekah back as a wife for Isaac. Abimelech had a feast prepared when he and Isaac made a covenant together (Gen. 26:28-30).
That is probably the importance of Esau making a meal.
(Gen 27:5 NASB) And Rebekah was listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game to bring home,
Gen 27:5: Rebekah probably had her eyes and ears open to this whole situation. Rebekah is going to deceive her husband into blessing her favorite son instead of his favorite son.
This may seem deceitful and dishonest. But who is in disobedience to Elohim here? Jacob wants to give a spiritual blessing to a son that does not at all care for spiritual matters nor about Elohim. Rebekah, who possibly maintained a strong relationship with Elohim, was going to take matters into her own hands. Most commentators have said that she did this for the sake of her favorite son. However, what she was doing was seeing that the will of Elohim was done (Gen. 25:23). Elohim told Rebekah that the oldest would serve the younger, not Isaac. She may have looked at this as a command to help make sure it happens.
(Gen 27:6 NASB) Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Behold, I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, saying,
(Gen 27:7 NASB) ‘Bring me some game and prepare a savory dish for me, that I may eat, and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.’
(Gen 27:8 NASB) “Now therefore, my son, listen to me as I command you.
(Gen 27:9 NASB) “Go now to the flock and bring me two choice kids from there, that I may prepare them as a savory dish for your father, such as he loves.
Gen 27:9: Rebekah is setting up the deception. She seems to know what she is doing.
(Gen 27:10 NASB) “Then you shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death.”
(Gen 27:11 NASB) And Jacob answered his mother Rebekah, “Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man.
(Gen 27:12 NASB) “Perhaps my father will feel me, then I shall be as a deceiver in his sight; and I shall bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing.”
Gen 27:12: It seems that Jacob is more concerned with getting caught than he is with the dishonesty of this deception.
(Gen 27:13 NASB) But his mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.”
Gen 27:13: Rebekah is confident that this is the correct thing to do. She remembers the blessing that is to go with the youngest son as opposed to the oldest.
(Gen 27:14 NASB) So he went and got them, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savory food such as his father loved.
(Gen 27:15 NASB) Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.
(Gen 27:16 NASB) And she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.
Gen 27:16: Rebekah is going to dress up Jacob to look and feel like his brother. It is likely that the goat skins will make him smell like his brother also….
(Gen 27:17 NASB) She also gave the savory food and the bread, which she had made, to her son Jacob.
(Gen 27:18 NASB) Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
(Gen 27:19 NASB) And Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that you may bless me.”
Gen 27:19: Jacob lies and pretends to be Esau. He tries to get by with saying as little as possible and it didn’t work very well. He just says “My father” and Isaac questions who this is.
At this point Jacob is probably trying to talk and act much like Esau
(Gen 27:20 NASB) And Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because the LORD your God caused it to happen to me.”
Gen 27:20: Jacob invokes the name of Yahweh in a bold lie! Or does he? It is possible that he knew the hand of Yahweh was upon him in order to get this blessing.
(Gen 27:21 NASB) Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come close, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.”
Gen 27:21: Isaac ain’t gonna buy it that easily. His eyesight is almost gone, but he is going to rely on his other senses of hearing, smell, touch, and taste in order to discern the identity of his son.
(Gen 27:22 NASB) So Jacob came close to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
(Gen 27:23 NASB) And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.
(Gen 27:24 NASB) And he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” And he said, “I am.”
Gen 27:24: Isaac knew that the voice was wrong, but he probably didn’t trust his own senses. He knew that Jacob could not cook like Esau so he let that be one of the determining factors.
(Gen 27:25 NASB) So he said, “Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, that I may bless you.” And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank.
Gen 27:25: Rebekah knew how to prepare the meat as Esau did. She probably taught him everything he knew about cooking.
Jacob was probably inept at preparing food. Therefore this would be one of the biggest deciding factors in the deception. I’m sure Jacob did not let his father’s wine glass go empty either….
(Gen 27:26 NASB) Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come close and kiss me, my son.”
(Gen 27:27 NASB) So he came close and kissed him; and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed;
Gen 27:27: The clothing and goatskins did it. The boy smelled like a goat and that was Esau’s calling card. He had “the smell of the field” on him.
(Gen 27:28 NASB) Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine;
Gen 27:28: In Scripture, dew is a metaphor of abundance and reinvigoration, a symbol of the provision of Elohim.
Also, the dew of the land of Israel is rather unique. Throughout the rainless summer months dew provides a source of irrigation for crops in many places in the land of Israel. But most all of the surrounding countries receive little or no dew at all.
This same blessing is passed on to the children of Jacob by Elohim (Deut. 11:10-15).
(Gen 27:29 NASB) May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you.”
Gen 27:29: This blessing is also bestowed upon the children of Jacob (Israel) in that same passage in Deuteronomy 11:16-25. But this blessing is contingent upon their obedience.
This also explains why Balaam was not able to curse Israel. They were blessed through Jacob by the blessing of Elohim (Num. 22:11-12, 23:8, 24:9).
(Gen 27:30 NASB) Now it came about, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had hardly gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
(Gen 27:31 NASB) Then he also made savory food, and brought it to his father; and he said to his father, “Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.”
Gen 27:31: Timing is crucial. Jacob already received the blessing from Isaac.
(Gen 27:32 NASB) And Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your son, your first-born, Esau.”
(Gen 27:33 NASB) Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who was he then that hunted game and brought it to me, so that I ate of all of it before you came, and blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.”
Gen 27:33: Once again, the meal was apparently a part of the sealing of the covenant. This blessing is a covenant that was made. Esau is out of luck.
(Gen 27:34 NASB) When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!”
(Gen 27:35 NASB) And he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and has taken away your blessing.”
(Gen 27:36 NASB) Then he said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times? He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
Gen 27:36: Jacob can mean “trickster” or “supplanter.” Esau is now trying to blame Jacob for accepting his birthright for a bowl of stew.
(Gen 27:37 NASB) But Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him your master, and all his relatives I have given to him as servants; and with grain and new wine I have sustained him. Now as for you then, what can I do, my son?”
(Gen 27:38 NASB) And Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” So Esau lifted his voice and wept.
Gen 27:38: Isaac already gave the blessings of Elohim to Jacob. There is virtually nothing left.
(Gen 27:39 NASB) Then Isaac his father answered and said to him, “Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, And away from the dew of heaven from above.
(Gen 27:40 NASB) “And by your sword you shall live, And your brother you shall serve; But it shall come about when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
Gen 27:40: Esau is told that he would live away from the fertility of the earth and he shall live by the sword. History bears out that Edom (Esau) is one of the ancestors of the Arab people. For most of history, they have lived in the desert and have been a violent people that live by the sword. Isaac’s prophecy became true.
(Gen 27:41 NASB) So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
(Gen 27:42 NASB) Now when the words of her elder son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she sent and called her younger son Jacob, and said to him, “Behold your brother Esau is consoling himself concerning you, by planning to kill you.
Gen 27:42: Esau hated Jacob for this. But he should remember the blessing of Jacob that Elohim will curse those that curse Jacob (Mal. 1:2-3). Isaac’s prophecy of cursing Esau was the will of Elohim.
(Gen 27:43 NASB) “Now therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise, flee to Haran, to my brother Laban!
(Gen 27:44 NASB) “And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury subsides,
(Gen 27:45 NASB) until your brother’s anger against you subsides, and he forgets what you did to him. Then I shall send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”
Gen 27:45: Rebekah does not want to lose her husband and her youngest son in the same day. Also, if Esau kills Jacob out of revenge, then Esau will be judicially killed in the name of justice.
(Gen 27:46 NASB) And Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am tired of living because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, like these, from the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
Gen 27:46: Rebekah got Isaac to agree to send Jacob away. She probably realized the redemptive plan of Elohim could be ruined if Jacob takes a pagan wife.
But Rebekah would never see her son again.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas