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GENESIS 27:1-4 "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. And he said, behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savory meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die."

Unlike his father and his son, not much is said about Isaac in the Bible. As we see in this chapter, he must have been very weak for his wife and youngest son to have deceived him as easily as they did.

The chapter starts out with Isaac deciding to bless his eldest son, Esau because he feels he has not long to live. For an aged father to bless his children prior to death was a patriachal custom. He told Esau to go hunting, kill a deer and cook some venison for him and he would give him his final blessing. Rebekah overheard this conversation and told Jacob to take some goat meat she had cooked and go in to his father, pretending to be Esau, and get the reserved for the first born. Jacob was hesitant to do this for fear of being discovered. In verse 13 his mother tells him, "Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice." I can't imagine Sarah and Isaac doing this to Abraham. Isaac surely was a much weaker leader in the home than his father was!

Rebekah took the skins from the goat she had cooked and tied them on Jacob's arms to deceive Isaac because Esau was a hairy man. She also had Jacob put on Esau's clothes which smelled of the outdoors. When Jacob went in to his father, Isaac was surprised that Esau had found a deer so quickly. We know he is suspicious because in verse 22 he says, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." Verse one tells us Isaac was blind but he felt this was not Esau. When Jacob came closer he felt the animal skins on his arms and smelled Esau's clothing and gave Jacob the blessing of the first born. The blessing consisted of his wish that God prosper his son and that others, including siblings, serve him. All who cursed him would be cursed but those who blessed him would be blessed. By intending this blessing for Esau, Isaac's intent was that he be the one through whom the convenantal line, started from Abraham, would continue. But, remember, God told Rebekah when the twins were born that the elder would serve the younger. Though Jacob was wrong in agreeing to a scheme to deceive his father and Rebekah was wrong to make the plot, Isaac was wrong in trying to go against the will of God (assuming he knew of what God told Rebekah, and it would be hard to keep something like that to yourself!)

When Esau returned and found out what his brother had done, he cried to his father to give him a blessing, too. Isaac first declined saying "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?" (vs. 37). Nevertheless, he also blessed Esau. He proclaimed that God would also prosper Esau, he would live by the sword and that he would break Jacob's yoke from off his neck. Later, in II Chronicles 21 and 28, we find the Edomites (decendants of Esau) fought many times with the Israelites (Jacob's decendants) and were freed from Israelite control on several occasions.

(Verses 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."

Rebekah learned of Esau's plot to kill Jacob after the death of their father and concocted a plan to send Jacob away. By getting the coveted blessing for her favorite son by deceit instead of trusting the Lord to fulfill His prophesy, Rebekah deprived herself of having Jacob with her. Every sin has a consequence; every lie a recompense!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

  • Do you think Esau had a right to be angry at Jacob's deceit after so lightly selling his birthright to his brother earlier?
  • Is it ever right for a mother or a father to show partiality to one child over another?
  • Do you think God would have fulfilled His prophesy to Rebekah and continued the covenant line through Jacob without Rebekah's interference?
  • Who committed the bigger sin: Rebekah, Jacob, or Isaac?




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