Jacob deceives Isaac (Genesis 27) Commentary


When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, Isaac was over one hundred years old, and his failing eyesight becomes the  means by which he is deceived he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; Isaac had chosen Esau as his favorite and he answered, “Here I am.” 

He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Though he sensed it was near– but many are not so fortunate! Accept Christ as your savior, for as James tells us, life is a mist (James 4:14).  Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, Isaac loves Esau, because of his skill of hunting game.  and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, For the purpose of ceremony, and that Esau may demonstrate once more his affection and obedience that my soul may bless you before I die.”  True blessings are from the heart and soul, not merely spoken.

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. And immediately conspiring against both her husband and first born.  Rebekah had heard the word of God, and she was told that Esau would serve Jacob, but she was not required to take matters into her own hands.  She thwarts the plan of Isaac, and enlists Jacob in her treachery, and the end result damages the family relationship. Favoritism of children is destructive! 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.  Rebekah will prepare the meal as if Esau had prepared it. Jacob’s claiming of the birthright was also bargained with food, and now he will claim Esau’s  rightful  blessing by the same means. Do not seek the kingdom of God with worldly possessions.  And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.”  Jacob would bring Jacob the food, pretending to be Esau before the poor eyesight of Isaac.  We should not for any reason take advantage of disabled.   But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Jacob does not stop to think that what he is doing is wrong, but instead is concerned about getting caught. We deceive ourselves in sin.  Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him for the deception and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.”  Jacob, though having a conscience, is not excused from his behavior.  His mother said to him,“Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.”  Do not let your conscience be overridden by another. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in truth. Rebekah clothed Jacob in a lie:   the best garments of Esau and the skins of the young goats.  Rebekah handed Jacob a lie:  the food and bread which he was to present as if he had made it, as if he was Esau.  Satan will clothe us in lies and give us the very deceit we are to give to others. Guard your hearts.

Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. True, he desired to be. He came out of the womb trying to hold Esau back. He bought the birthright with stew, and here he dresses like Esau to steal his blessing. And more, Jacob yearned for the love of his father, the same love Isaac gave to Esau. See what is reaped when partiality is sown?  But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” Isaac was suspicious. He [Jacob] answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.”  The Lord was not part of Jacob’s lie.  Do not invoke the name of the Lord when committing sin! It is blasphemous.  “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”  A wolf in sheep’s clothing!  Beware of the false men who claim to come in the name of God. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit!   He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.”  The opportunity to confess and repent squandered. Isaac blinded by his partiality for Esau, and Jacob blinded by his ambition.

 May God give you of the dew of heaven  God’s providence be over you, to never be wanting of sustenance
 Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.  Two nations were born with Esau and Jacob, but Esau would serve Jacob. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!   This was the promise made to Abraham, and passed down to Isaac.

As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father Jacob slithered out before Esau could find him there.  And he [Esau] said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.”  Esau was proudly prepared to accept his blessing.  His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” These words no one wishes to hear, especially at the gates to heaven. Be sure to know Christ, that you can receive your eternal blessing from our Father in heaven.  He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”  The Lord will make no such mistake as Isaac did; He will know his sheep.  But Isaac, being limited, had given away the inheritance of Esau. Then Isaac trembled very violently angrily at the deception  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? Id noy Esau, Isaac must be supposing it Jacob.  Yes, and he shall be blessed.” It is done, there is no recanting.  John records the last words of Jesus as “It is finished!” (Jn 19:30)– that is, the price of sins was paid, and there was no recanting of it.  As  soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry painfully, as we should cry if we we deny the blessings of Christ.  “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.”  It was not just words that Jacob stole, but a spiritual blessing of Isaac  Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob?  Isn’t it fitting for him to be called a supplanter, an usurper, a cheat?  “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”  Is there nothing left?   Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, salt in the wound of Esau and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, he has dominion over the family and with grain and wine I have sustained him.  Blessing him with the land  What then can I do for you, my son?” What else could I give?  Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Esau was searching for anything   And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.  Heartbroken; grievous, experiencing the worst of all possible disappointments.

By your sword you shall live  As a hunter, tribal warrior; not in the sense of Ishmael, whose nations would constantly be hostile, but the nation of Esau, the Edomites,  would not inherit the land as Jacob
and you shall serve your brother;  as foretold, as Jacob had dominion
but when you grow restless
you shall break his yoke from your neck.”   The Edomites would at some point break apart from serving Israel

Now Esau hated Jacob   And sought to kill him, at the appropriate time; not when his father was alive.  Anger had seized Esau, and poisoned his heart. Jesus is the only cure to a poisoned heart.  But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. By servants who had overheard, likely. There is no indication that Esau knew of Rebekah’s involvement.   “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you.  Do not seek comfort in sin, there is only destruction.  Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran and save your life, until Esau can forgive you.  Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?”  If Esau should kill Jacob, he would be put to death.


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