Isaac Blesses Jacob
27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”
Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the LORD before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.”
So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the LORD your God granted me success.” Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him. He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” Then he said, “Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.
Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said,
“See, the smell of my son
is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed!
May God give you of the dew of heaven
and of the fatness of the earth
and plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”
As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared delicious 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.” His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” As soon as 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!” But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:
“Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be,
and away from the dew of heaven on high.
By your sword you shall live,
and you shall serve your brother;
but when you grow restless
you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
Now Esau hated 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 approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away—until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?”
Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
Genesis 27 Commentary
by Hank Workman
It’s a house of deception.
In his old age, Isaac decides it’s time to give his blessing to his eldest son, Esau. In the previous chapter, Esau married a Hittite by this time, a pagan, and they both brought much grief to his parents. On top of this, consider the fact that when the boys Esau and Jacob were in their mother’s womb, God had said the younger (Jacob) would be the master of the older or firstborn (Esau).
It is completely strange to consider how Isaac insisted on giving the blessing to Esau even though he knew God had not chosen him, the one who brought heartache to the family, the one who despised his birthright and sold it for a bowl of stew. Isaac is clearly operating in his own will rather than the will of God.
Rebekah is part of the problem as well. She favored Jacob while Isaac leaned toward Esau. The rivalry these two had was unimaginable and fostered by each parent. Hearing the command given to Esau to prepare a special dinner for his father, Rebekah instructed her favorite to make sure he was there first. Even though God had revealed before the children were born who would be the greater – she took matters into her own hands. She decided to do something wrong and bring about what God had already said would take place.
Jacob, although showing resistance to this plan based upon the differing physical attributes between him and his brother, gave in to his mother’s coaxing. This would bring such enmity between the two brothers and he would have to leave the homestead and labor in hardship for many years following.
And then there’s Esau whose heart was so dark. He purposely married a foreigner and brought grief to his parents. As we read his response when the fall out happened and it was too late for the blessing, he sought revenge and set out to murder his brother.
When the reveal of what actually happened in all this deception and Esau sits with his father weeping for the blessing it states “Isaac trembled violently” (Genesis 27:33). Commentator David Guzik states, “Isaac was troubled because he knew he had tried to box God in, defeat God’s plan and God had beaten him.”
What a statement. He attempted to resist God’s will in the matter and he came to the hard realization we cannot go against God’s will even in our own arrogance. He had attempted to give this blessing secretly and God exposed it and used the pride of these 2 parents heart to stop Isaac’s plan and more importantly, have His will succeed.
The lesson to consider is God reigns in sovereignty. His will stands regardless of how we scheme or attempt to make things go our way. When we operate in our own will and desires, not only do we find ourselves on the opposite side of God’s blessing, we bring heartache and division to those we love.
Genesis 27 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
What a story! As a Chicago fan, this is kind of like watching the Green Bay Packers play the New England Patriots. There is no one to root for!
First, we have Isaac. Though a godly man, he seems to make a huge blunder in wanting to bless Esau despite his many character flaws. Could it be that Isaac just loved Esau’s hunting skills and good food? It’s hard to know.
Then we have Rebekah. Though her intentions are good, she advises Jacob to deceive his father. This encouragement on her part is clearly sinful. God didn’t need any help accomplishing His promises, but Rebekah seemed to think the only way it would happen is if she encouraged deception.
The struggles of Esau have been well-documented. In this chapter, we learn of his love for foreign women – something that would paralyze Judah and Israel in their future generations. He also foolishly despised his birthright even though he acts as if it’s important here in Genesis 27. Esau was impulsive and demonstrated an attitude of selfishness.
Finally, we have Jacob. He is the one we want to root for, although, I find it extremely difficult with his continual embracement of deception and trickery.
The bottom line is that everyone in this story operated in their own flesh. This attitude is clearly seen when we consider how they viewed the blessing as something mystical that needed to be grasped in their own human strength. Not one person here has appealed to their faith and trust in God fulfilling His promise. Does this happen today? Oh my! Yes!
Just consider how many times we have used God’s name to justify bad behavior with good intentions. Sadly, I am guilty. How many churches have been destroyed by lies that were an attempt to bring justice? How many relationships have imploded because truth was spoken in hate? How many times have we fallen victim to believing that God endorses our good-intentioned deception?
“There are similar events in all lives when we take some irrevocable step under the sway of evil passion, and it affects the whole future. There is “no place for repentance”-i.e., no opportunity of altering the decisive effect, of that act. See Heb 12:17. We may obtain some lower and inferior blessing, as Esau did, acquiring something of the fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven, living by our sword, and finally, after long years, shaking the yoke from our neck, but we can never be what we might have been! We can never undo that moment of sowing to the flesh. See Gal 6:7-8.” F.B. Meyer