Genesis 27

1 In the course of time, after Yitz'chak had grown old and his eyes dim, so that he couldn't see, he called 'Esav his older son and said to him, "My son?" and he answered, "Here I am."
2 "Look, I'm old now, I don't know when I will die.
3 Therefore, please take your hunting gear - your quiver of arrows and your bow; go out in the country, and get me some game.
4 Make it tasty, the way I like it; and bring it to me to eat. Then I will bless you [as firstborn], before I die."
5 Rivkah was listening when Yitz'chak spoke to his son 'Esav. So when 'Esav went out to the country to hunt for game and bring it back,
6 she said to her son Ya'akov, "Listen! I heard your father telling 'Esav your brother,
7 'Bring me game, and make it tasty, so I can eat it. Then I will give you my blessing in the presence of ADONAI, before my death.'
8 Now pay attention to me, my son; and do what I tell you.
9 Go to the flock, and bring me back two choice kids. I will make it tasty for your father, the way he likes it;
10 and you will bring it to your father to eat; so that he will give his blessing to you before his death."
11 Ya'akov answered Rivkah his mother, "Look, 'Esav is hairy, but I have smooth skin.
12 Suppose my father touches me -he'll know I'm trying to trick him, and I'll bring a curse on myself, not a blessing!"
13 But his mother said, "Let your curse be on me. Just listen to me, and go get me the kids!"
14 So he went, got them and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared them in the tasty way his father loved.
15 Next, Rivkah took 'Esav her older son's best clothes, which she had with her in the house, and put them on Ya'akov her younger son;
16 and she put the skins of the goats on his hands and on the smooth parts of his neck.
17 Then she gave the tasty food and the bread she had prepared to her son Ya'akov.
18 He went to his father and said, "My father?" He replied, "Here I am; who are you, my son?"
19 Ya'akov said to his father, "I am 'Esav your firstborn. I've done what you asked me to do. Get up now, sit down, eat the game, and then give me your blessing."
20 Yitz'chak said to his son, "How did you find it so quickly, my son?" He answered, "ADONAI your God made it happen that way."
21 Yitz'chak said to Ya'akov, "Come here, close to me, so I can touch you, my son, and know whether you are in fact my son 'Esav or not."
22 Ya'akov approached Yitz'chak his father, who touched him and said, "The voice is Ya'akov's voice, but the hands are 'Esav's hands."
23 However, he didn't detect him; because his hands were hairy like his brother 'Esav's hands; so he gave him his blessing.
24 He asked, "Are you really my son 'Esav?"And he replied, "I am."
25 He said, "Bring it here to me, and I will eat my son's game, so that I can give you my blessing." So he brought it up to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine, and he drank.
26 Then his father Yitz'chak said to him,"Come close now, and kiss me, my son."
27 He approached and kissed him. Yitz'chak smelled his clothes and blessed Ya'akov with these words: "See, my son smells like a field which ADONAI has blessed.
28 So may God give you dew from heaven, the richness of the earth, and grain and wine in abundance.
29 May peoples serve you and nations bow down to you. May you be lord over your kinsmen, let your mother's descendants bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"
30 But as soon as Yitz'chak had finished giving his blessing to Ya'akov, when Ya'akov had barely left his father's presence, 'Esav his brother came in from his hunting.
31 He too had prepared a tasty meal and brought it to his father, and now he said to his father, "Let my father get up and eat from his son's game, so that you may give me your blessing."
32 Yitz'chak his father said to him, "Who are you?" and he answered, "I am your son, your firstborn, 'Esav."
33 Yitz'chak began trembling uncontrollably and said, "Then who was it that took game and brought it to me? I ate it all just before you came, and I gave my blessing to him. That's the truth, and the blessing must stand."
34 When 'Esav heard his father's words he burst into loud, bitter sobbing. "Father, bless me too," he begged.
35 He replied, "Your brother came deceitfully and took away your blessing."
36 'Esav said, "His name, Ya'akov [he supplants], really suits him - because he has supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright, and here, now he has taken away my blessing!" Then he asked, "Haven't you saved a blessing for me?"
37 Yitz'chak answered 'Esav, "Look, I have made him your lord, I have given him all his kinsmen as servants, and I have given him grain and wine to sustain him. What else is there that I can do for you, my son?"
38 'Esav said to his father, "Have you only one blessing, my father? Father, bless me too!"'Esav wept aloud,
39 and Yitz'chak his father answered him: "Here! Your home will be of the richness of the earth and of the dew of heaven from above.
40 You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you break loose, you will shake his yoke off your neck."
41 'Esav hated his brother because of the blessing his father had given him. 'Esav said to himself, "The time for mourning my father will soon come, and then I will kill my brother Ya'akov."
42 But the words of 'Esav her older son were told to Rivkah. She sent for Ya'akov her younger son and said to him, "Here, your brother 'Esav is comforting himself over you by planning to kill you.
43 Therefore, my son, listen to me: get up and escape to Lavan my brother in Haran.
44 Stay with him a little while, until your brother's anger subsides.
45 Your brother's anger will turn away from you, and he will forget what you did to him. Then I'll send and bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you on the same day?"
46 Rivkah said to Yitz'chak, "I'm sick to death of Hitti women! If Ya'akov marries one of the Hitti women, like those who live here, my life won't be worth living."

Genesis 27 Commentary

Chapter 27

Isaac sends Esau for venison. (1-5) Rebekah teaches Jacob to obtain the blessing. (6-17) Jacob, pretending to be Esau, obtains the blessing. (18-29) Isaac's fear, Esau's importunity. (30-40) Esau threatens Jacob's life, Rebekah sends Jacob away. (41-46)

Verses 1-5 The promises of the Messiah, and of the land of Canaan, had come down to Isaac. Isaac being now about 135 years of age, and his sons about 75, and not duly considering the Divine word concerning his two sons, that the elder should serve the younger, resolved to put all the honour and power that were in the promise, upon Esau his eldest son. We are very apt to take measures rather from our own reason than from Divine revelation, and thereby often miss our way.

Verses 6-17 Rebekah knew that the blessing was intended for Jacob, and expected he would have it. But she wronged Isaac by putting a cheat on him; she wronged Jacob by tempting him to wickedness. She put a stumbling-block in Esau's way, and gave him a pretext for hatred to Jacob and to religion. All were to be blamed. It was one of those crooked measures often adopted to further the Divine promises; as if the end would justify, or excuse wrong means. Thus many have acted wrong, under the idea of being useful in promoting the cause of Christ. The answer to all such things is that which God addressed to Abraham, I am God Almighty; walk before me and be thou perfect. And it was a very rash speech of Rebekah, "Upon me be thy curse, my son." Christ has borne the curse of the law for all who take upon them the yoke of the command, the command of the gospel. But it is too daring for any creature to say, Upon me be thy curse.

Verses 18-29 Jacob, with some difficulty, gained his point, and got the blessing. This blessing is in very general terms. No mention is made of the distinguishing mercies in the covenant with Abraham. This might be owing to Isaac having Esau in his mind, though it was Jacob who was before him. He could not be ignorant how Esau had despised the best things. Moreover, his attachment to Esau, so as to disregard the mind of God, must have greatly weakened his own faith in these things. It might therefore be expected, that leanness would attend his blessing, agreeing with the state of his mind.

Verses 30-40 When Esau understood that Jacob had got the blessing, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry. The day is coming, when those that now make light of the blessings of the covenant, and sell their title to spiritual blessings for that which is of no value, will, in vain, ask urgently for them. Isaac, when made sensible of the deceit practised on him, trembled exceedingly. Those who follow the choice of their own affections, rather than the Divine will, get themselves into perplexity. But he soon recovers, and confirms the blessing he had given to Jacob, saying, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed. Those who part with their wisdom and grace, their faith and a good conscience, for the honours, wealth, or pleasures of this world, however they feign a zeal for the blessing, have judged themselves unworthy of it, and their doom shall be accordingly. A common blessing was bestowed upon Esau. This he desired. Faint desires of happiness, without right choice of the end, and right use of the means, deceive many unto their own ruin. Multitudes go to hell with their mouths full of good wishes. The great difference is, that there is nothing in Esau's blessing which points at Christ; and without that, the fatness of the earth, and the plunder of the field, will stand in little stead. Thus Isaac, by faith, blessed both his sons, according as their lot should be.

Verses 41-46 Esau bore malice to Jacob on account of the blessing he had obtained. Thus he went in the way of Cain, who slew his brother, because he gained that acceptance with God of which he had rendered himself unworthy. Esau aimed to prevent Jacob or his seed from having the dominion, by taking away his life. Men may fret at God's counsels, but cannot change them. To prevent mischief, Rebekah warned Jacob of his danger, and advised him to withdraw for his safety. We must not presume too far upon the wisdom and resolution, even of the most hopeful and promising children; but care must be taken to keep them out of the way of evil. When reading this chapter, we should not fail to observe, that we must not follow even the best of men further than they act according to the law of God. We must not do evil that good may come. And though God overruled the bad actions recorded in this chapter, to fulfil his purposes, yet we see his judgment of them, in the painful consequences to all the parties concerned. It was the peculiar privilege and advantage of Jacob to convey these spiritual blessings to all nations. The Christ, the Saviour of the world, was to be born of some one family; and Jacob's was preferred to Esau's, out of the good pleasure of Almighty God, who is certainly the best judge of what is fit, and has an undoubted right to dispense his favours as he sees proper, ( Romans 9:12-15 ) .

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 27

In this chapter we are informed, that Isaac, being old and dim sighted, sent for Esau to get him venison, that he might eat of it, and bless him before he died, Ge 27:1-4; that Rebekah hearing of this formed a scheme for Jacob to get the blessing before him, which she communicated to Jacob, to which he at first objected, but afterwards complied, Ge 27:5-17; and also how that he succeeded in the attempt, and got the blessing from his brother, Ge 27:18-29; and that this was confirmed to him by his father, even when his mistake was discovered upon Esau's coming, Ge 27:30-33; which occasioned a most bitter cry in Esau, a severe reflection on his brother, and an earnest expostulation with his father for a blessing, which he obtained, Ge 27:34-40; the consequence of this were hatred in Esau to Jacob, and an intention to kill him, which Rebekah hearing of, advised Jacob to flee to her brother Laban, Ge 27:41-45; and to facilitate this, complains to Isaac of Esau's wives, and suggests, that should Jacob marry among the same people, it would add to the distress of their lives; and therefore hints it to him, that it was necessary and proper he should go to her family for a wife, Ge 27:46; and whether Isaac sent him, as the following chapter shows.

Genesis 27 Commentaries