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Genesis Twenty Seven

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Genesis 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.

Genesis 27:2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:

Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

Genesis 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

Genesis 27:5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.

Rebekah heard. Isaac, knowing he was wrong in deciding to transmit the blessing to Esau, was secretive about his plans. His actions would wrongly award Esau the place of both physical and spiritual preeminence in the family (Genesis 27:29) The blessing was intended by God for the line of the promised Seed. Rebekah just happened to overhear Isaac's plans. At this time, Jacob and Esau were probably about 75 years old, and Isaac 135.

Genesis 27:6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,

Genesis 27:7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.

Genesis 27:8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.

Genesis 27:9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:

meat for thy father. Although Isaac professed to “love” Esau's venison (Genesis 27:4), Sarah could prepare goat meat to taste exactly the same. Thus, it must have been his son's physical exploits, shared vicariously by Isaac, that he really loved!

Genesis 27:10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.

bless thee. Rebekah was so resolved that Isaac should not sin against God in blessing Esau (thus bringing almost certain divine retribution upon both Isaac and Esau) that she was willing to risk everything to prevent it. She knew that her stratagem, even if successful, would be discovered as soon as Esau returned, with possibly tragic consequences. However, she apparently felt that God's wrathful judgment upon her husband and her eldest son, if they persisted in trifling with God's most solemn covenants and commandments in this fashion, was to be feared even more. Lest Jacob should demur from pushing himself forward like this, Rebekah invoked her right to filial obedience in commanding him to do so (Genesis 27:8). Confronted with this forced choice between two divine commandments (obedience or truthfulness), Jacob chose the course more in line with God's ultimate purpose.

Genesis 27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:

Genesis 27:12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.

deceiver. “Deceiver” is better translated “mocker.” At this point, Jacob hoped that he would not actually have to lie verbally to his father, but he did fear that he might seem to be mocking his blindness by dressing and smelling and feeling like Esau. Rebekah assured him she would take the blame.

Genesis 27:13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.

Genesis 27:14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.

Genesis 27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:

Genesis 27:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:

Genesis 27:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

Genesis 27:18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?

Genesis 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.

Genesis 27:20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.

brought it to me. Jacob no doubt hoped that Isaac would not question him at all. But Isaac did, and so there was no way of accomplishing Rebekah's plan now except by overt lying and even by taking God's name in vain. Jacob and Rebekah were godly and sensitive people, and it must have grieved them greatly to break God's commandments like this, especially knowing that it could only be a matter of an hour or so before it would all be exposed, with all the wrath and recriminations that would follow. The whole episode can only really be understood in light of their hope that Isaac's sudden knowledge that his beloved wife and faithful son would go to such lengths to prevent him from blaspheming God and His will might shock him to his senses (as, indeed, it did!). It is significant that God never spoke to either Rebekah or Jacob by way of rebuke over this incident. In fact, God later explicitly confirmed Isaac's blessing to Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15). The rebuke was solely for Esau, and the repentance was Isaac's, not Jacob's.

Genesis 27:21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.

Genesis 27:22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.

Genesis 27:23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.

Genesis 27:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.

Genesis 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.

Genesis 27:26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.

Genesis 27:27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:

Genesis 27:28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

Genesis 27:29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

curseth thee. Isaac's presumption in blessing Esau like this is obvious when contrasted with God's specific instruction given before they were born that Jacob should have this position (Genesis 25:23).

blesseth thee. Here Isaac repeats God's own original promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3), again in flagrant disregard of God's will.

Genesis 27:30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

Genesis 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.

Genesis 27:32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.

Genesis 27:33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.

trembled very exceedingly. Literally, “most excessively with a great trembling.” A violent complex of emotions overwhelmed Isaac, as he suddenly realized all that had happened, and the reasons behind it all.

he shall be blessed. Isaac's anger and resentment were overshadowed by his realization that God Himself had intervened. God was going to bless Jacob and there was no way Isaac could change this. In fact, the blessing would have gone to Jacob even if Isaac had succeeded in pronouncing it upon Esau. Man's will cannot thwart God's purposes.

Genesis 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

Genesis 27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing.

Genesis 27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?

Genesis 27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?

Genesis 27:38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

Genesis 27:39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;

fatness of the earth. “Thy dwelling shall be the fatness” should read, “shall be away from the fatness of the earth.”

Genesis 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

have the dominion. “Have the dominion” is better rendered “shake thyself.” Whether this prophecy concerning Esau was actually from God, or simply Isaac's personal prediction, is open to question, at least.

Genesis 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

Genesis 27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.

Genesis 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;

Genesis 27:44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;

Genesis 27:45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

Genesis 27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?

grief of mind. Here is further proof of God's wisdom in choosing Jacob. Esau disregarded both God's primeval principle of monogamy and the need to marry a wife who believed in the true God. Instead he married two pagan Hittite women, whose idolatry and ungodliness grieved his parents. Even more tragically, Isaac seems to have made no attempt to prevent this, and was still resolved to give Esau his patriarchal blessing.