Genesis Chapter 27 Continued
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.”
“And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob”: So that he had the whole entire blessing, and nothing wanting. And takes in blessings of all sorts, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, of which the land of Canaan, and the fruits of it, were typical.
“And Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father”: Which no doubt he made haste to do, as soon as he had got the blessing. Partly to avoid his brother, whom he might expect to come in any moment, and partly to relate to his mother the success he had met with.
“That Esau his brother came in from his hunting”: And not only was come out of the field from hunting, but had been at home some time, and had dressed what he had caught in hunting, and was just coming in with it to his father, as appears from (Genesis 27:31).
Genesis 27:31 “And he also had made savory 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.”
“And he also made savory meat, and brought it unto his father”: Which was made of real venison, or of creatures taken in hunting, and not like Jacob’s, made of other flesh, in imitation of it.
“And said unto his father, let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me”: This address is made by Esau to his father in a very respectful manner, as became a dutiful son to an aged and honored parent.
Who in obedience to his command had prepared agreeable food for him, and now brought it to him, in order to receive his blessing, which he had himself proposed to give him upon it.
There are many things in all of this to see. We must still remember that God told Rebekah at the beginning; the younger would rule over the older. We, also, must remember that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup.
God had to help Rebekah and Jacob in this, or Esau would have returned earlier, before Isaac blessed Jacob. You see, Jacob had just shortly before, left the presence of Isaac. It is difficult to understand the seemingly underhanded scheme that Rebekah and Jacob performed to get the birthright, but it seemed God allowed them to complete it before the return of Esau.
We must remember, God was angry with Esau for taking his birthright so lightly.
This incident gets into the old argument of predestination, or foreknowledge. I believe foreknowledge, or else we would not have the opportunity to exercise our free will.
At any rate, here was Esau back from the hunt with the food, standing before his father with the meat prepared. Why did Esau, by his own words, go after the venison and prepare it? It was so Isaac would bless him, not because he wanted to see to the needs of Isaac, his father. He had a very selfish reason.
Genesis 27:32 “And Isaac his father said unto him, Who [art] thou? And he said, I [am] thy son, thy firstborn Esau.”
“And Isaac his father said unto him, who art thou? “Hearing another voice more like Esau’s than what he had heard before surprised him, and therefore in haste puts this question.
“And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau”: All which was true in a sense. He was his son, and he was Esau. And he was his firstborn by nature, but not by right, for he had sold his birthright.
You see Esau here, reminded Isaac that he was the first-born.
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.”
“Isaac trembled very exceedingly”: Visibly shocked when the scandal was uncovered by the entrance of Esau, the father, remembering the Lord’s words to Rebekah (25:23), refused to withdraw the blessing and emphatically affirmed its validity.
“Yes, and he shall be blessed”, and a little later “behold, I have made him your master”. And also “your brother you shall serve” (verses 37-40).
Sudden realization at having opposed God’s will all those years likely made the shock more severe.
You remember that Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite, and Esau was Isaac’s favorite. Isaac was saying here, I have blessed him and there is no taking it back. “Jacob”, which means the trickster, had the blessing.
Isaac trembled because he realized he blessed the one he had not intended to bless with an oath. The best blessings were gone. Isaac was telling this son, I was not aware that it wasn’t you, and I gave your blessing to someone else.
Somewhere in here, Esau had to be remembering back to the terrible thing that he did, when he traded his birthright to Jacob.
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.”
“Bless me, even me also”: Esau fully expected to receive the blessing, for he had identified himself to his father as the firstborn (verse 32).
Anguished at losing this important paternal blessing and bitterly acting as the innocent victim (verse 36), Esau shifted the blame for the loss of birthright and blessing to Jacob and pleaded for some compensating word of blessing from his father (verses 36, 38).
There was no repentance seen here, by Esau. He was bitter at someone else for his own sins. He knew his father loved him best. He wanted what did not belong to him. He pled for his father to bless him. Suddenly, the birthright (blessing), was important to him. Not the obligation of the birthright was important, only the blessing.
Genesis 27:35 “And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing.”
“And he said, thy brother came with subtilty”: The word signifies fraud and deceit, as must be understood here. Though it may be Isaac that says this, not so as much to blame Jacob for what he had done, but to excuse himself to Esau. That he did not intend to get the blessing from him, but that he was imposed upon by the craft and subtlety of his brother, who pretended to be Esau.
Pretending he had been hunting, and had had wonderful success, and had gotten venison, and had prepared it. Then came with goat skins upon his hands and neck, so that he might seem to be hairy as Esau was, and by these artful tricks he had deceived him. Therefore, Esau could not blame him for what he had done.
“And hath taken away thy blessing”: Which belonged to him as the firstborn, and he expected to have, and Isaac intended to have given it to him.
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?”
“For he hath supplanted me”: the root of supplant is aqab, meaning “to take by the heel.” Esau was distressed and saw the event as a repetition of the birthright exchange, a fulfillment of the birth prophecy, and an explanation for Jacob’s name, which forms a pun with supplanter, and is pronounced ya aqob.
There is another pun with the words for “birthright” (bekor) and “blessing” (berakah). The cursed and “blessed” terminology reminds one of (12:3).
Esau was feeling sorry for himself. He even began to call Jacob names. “Supplanter” means take by the heel, or restrain, or an extended word, “trick”.
You see, Esau, as I said, was trying to blame someone else for his downfall. He was not tricked; he knew full well what he was doing, when he sold his birthright. The blessing he missed was an extension of the birthright. He was still petitioning his father to bless him, in spite of what he had done.
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?”
“And Isaac answered and said unto Esau”: Giving an account of the blessing he had bestowed upon his brother.
“Behold, I have made him thy lord”: The lord of his posterity, who would be subdued and become tributary to his seed.
“And all his brethren have I given to him for servants”: The Edomites, who sprung from his brother Esau. Who, according to this prophetic blessing, became servants to David, who was a son of Jacob’s (see Genesis 27:29).
“And with corn and wine have I sustained him”: Promised him a fruitful country, the land of Canaan, abounding with all good things, particularly with corn and wine, which are put for all the rest.
“And what shall I do now unto thee, my son?” What is there remains? What can be bestowed upon thee? There is nothing left; dominion over others, even over all nations. Yea, over thyself and thy posterity, and plenty of all good things, are given already to Jacob; what is there to be done for thee, or thou canst expect?
It is very important to see all of this. Had Isaac not been blind, Esau would have obtained the best blessing. In the flesh, he was his father’s favorite. The blessing was his until he refused it by counting it as nothing when he traded it to Jacob.
We can see here, symbolisms of God having a favorite (the Israelites). They also took their heritage too lightly, and refused the blessing that would come through Jesus Christ. The firstborn refused to accept, and the Gentiles got the blessing. Note though, that after the fact, Esau wanted to be blessed.
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.”
“And Esau said unto his father, hast thou but one blessing, my father?” He seems to speak diminutively of what had been given to Jacob, calling it one blessing. Whereas there were many, and of different sorts, both temporal and spiritual.
But it may be Esau had not so clear and comprehensive a view of what was contained in Jacob’s blessing. Or at least was willing to think and hope that there was not so much given, but there might be some left behind for him. And that his father had a greater stock than to be drained of all at once.
“Bless me, even me also, O my father”: With another blessing, with one equal to what has been given my brother.
“And Esau lift up his voice, and wept”: In order to move the affections of his father, and to prevail upon him to reverse the blessing he had bestowed on Jacob, and give it to him. But he could not bring his father to repentance, to change his mind, and revoke the blessing. And give it to him, with all his crying and tears, as the apostle observes (Hebrews 12:17).
Never, in all of this, did Esau say, I am sorry I traded my birthright away, and I deserve this punishment. His tears were for himself, feeling sorry for self, not repentant tears.
Verses 39-40: The prayer-wish called for prosperity and inferiority, i.e., maintaining the validity of the words to Jacob and replacing “be master of your brother” with “your brother you shall serve” (verses 29, 40). This secondary blessing would not and could not undo the first one.
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;”
“Thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth” should actually be rendered “away from the fatness.” Edom (Esau), is doomed to privations; yet his day will come.
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.”
“It shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck”: Esau’s descendants (the Edomites), would occupy a territory less fertile than that of Jacob’s descendants (Israel). But from time to time they would break loose and assert their independence (see Chron. 21:8-10).
“Thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck”: In later history, the Edomites, who descended from the line of Esau, fought time and again with Israel and shook off Israelite control on several occasions (2 Kings 8:20; 2 Chron. 21:8-10; 28:16-17).
You see, Esau’s blessing had to do with the flesh. God would prosper his work. In the spirit realm, he would be subject to his brother. He did say that sometime later this yoke would be removed, but for then he was subject to his brother.
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.”
So “Esau hated Jacob … Esau said in his heart … then will I slay my brother”: The sins of all concerned in the matter of the blessing at once began to take their toll.
“The days of mourning for my father”: Evidently Esau also thought his father was on the verge of death (27:1), and so, out of respect for his aged father, he postponed murder. Isaac lived another 43 years (see note on 27:1).
Esau had murder in his heart. Esau knew that Isaac would not approve of him killing his brother. Esau was assuming a quick death for Isaac. And then he would seek Jacob and kill him.
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.”
“And these words of Esau her eldest son were told to Rebekah”: Jarchi and Jonathan say, by the Holy Ghost; but Aben Ezra thinks, by one of Esau’s friends and confidants, to whom out of the abundance of his heart he had revealed this secret, which is not at all unlikely.
“And she sent and called Jacob her younger son”: Who might be in another tent or apartment, or with the flocks in the field.
“And said unto him, behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee”: He has determined on it, and has laid a scheme for it, and comforts himself with the thought of it. That he shall be able to accomplish it, and so be the heir of the promise, and get the blessing.
And such is his nature, that thy death will be a comfort to him under the loss of his blessing, though he gets nothing by it, so sweet is revenge unto him.
Genesis 27:43 “Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;”
“Now therefore, my son, obey my voice”: Hearken to what I say, and do according to it, as he had already in many instances. Particularly in a recent one, in which he had succeeded; and therefore had good reason to attend to her advice and direction (see Genesis 27:13).
“And arise, flee thou to Laban my brother, to Haran”: Where Laban her brother, dwelt.
Genesis 27:44 “And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away;”
“And tarry with him a few days”: Which Aben Ezra interprets a few years; rather, as Hiscuni, one year. Perhaps it may be better should it be said one or two years. But instead of so short a time Jacob stayed there twenty years. And perhaps Rebekah never saw him anymore, being dead before he returned. After this account, no more mention is made of her.
“Until thy brother’s fury turn away”: Which she hoped would abate, subside, and be entirely gone in process of time. Especially when the object of it was out of sight, and so it might be thought would be out of mind.
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?”
“Deprived also of you both in one day”: Rebekah understood she stood to lose both her sons since, after the murder of Jacob, the avenger of blood, i.e., the next nearest relative, would track down and execute Esau.
This mother had one thing in mind. She wanted to save her son’s life and to keep her other son from committing a terrible crime. She knew he would be safe in her family home. After a long while Esau’s anger would be gone, and Jacob could return safely.
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?”
“The daughters of Heth”: Local Hittite women (see note on 26:35).
To deliver Jacob from Esau’s vengeance, Rebekah was obliged to deliver her favorite over to their brother Laban, and disguised her intentions with a lie: “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth”
God did not want His people to marry heathens.
Rebekah needed a very good reason for Jacob to leave home to avoid being killed by his brother. The father, Isaac, knew that his father, Abraham, had sent to another land for a wife. Isaac was aware that God would not be pleased with the boys marrying heathen women. This plan would certainly be acceptable to Isaac.
Genesis Chapter 27 Continued Questions
1. When did Esau come in from the hunt?
2. What did he bring his father?
4. What three things must we remember in all of this?
5. It seemed as if, who helped Jacob and Rebekah?
6. Why was God angry with Esau?
7. What two ways of thought arise in this?
8. What question did Isaac ask Esau?
9. What did Esau remind Isaac of?
10. What effect did this news have on Isaac?
11. What was one meaning of Jacob?
12. Why could Isaac not change the blessing?
13. What emotion came over Esau when he heard Isaac had blessed Jacob?
14. What, about the blessing, was not important to Esau?
15. What did Esau claim that Jacob did to him twice?
16. Give several meanings of Supplanter.
17. Who would be Jacob’s servants?
18. What else would he be blessed with?
19. How does all this relate to Christianity?
20. As a last effort to get blessed, what emotion did Esau show?
21. Did Esau ever repent?
22. What type of blessing did Esau get?
23. What evil thing did Esau plan in his heart to do to Jacob?
24. When this word came to Rebekah, what did she tell Jacob to do?
25. Where did she want him to go?
26. When did she promise to send for Jacob?
27. What two reasons did Rebekah do this?