Genesis 27

Listen to Genesis 27

Isaac Blesses Jacob

1 When Isaac was old and 1his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, "My son"; and he answered, "Here I am."
2 He said, "Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death.
3 2Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me,
4 and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul 3may bless you before I die."
5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it,
6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "I heard your father speak to your brother Esau,
7 'Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the LORD before I die.'
8 Now therefore, my son, 4obey my voice as I command you.
9 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.
10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, 5so that he may bless you before he dies."
11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, 6my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.
12 Perhaps my father 7will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring 8a curse upon myself and not a blessing."
13 His mother said to him, 9"Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me."
14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved.
15 Then Rebekah took the 10best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.
16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.
17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 So he went in to his father and said, "My father." And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?"
19 Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me."
20 But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" He answered, "Because the LORD your God granted me success."
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I 11may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not."
22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau."
23 And he did not recognize him, because 12his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands. 13So he blessed him.
24 He said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He answered, "I am."
25 Then he said, "Bring it near to me, 14that I may eat of my son's game and bless you." So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near and kiss me, my son."
27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments 15and blessed him and said, "See, 16the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed!
28 May God give you of 17the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and 18plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you, and nations 19bow down to you. 20Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you. 21Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31 He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me."
32 His father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" He answered, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau."
33 Then Isaac trembled very violently 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? Yes, and he shall be blessed."
34 As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, 22he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, O my father!"
35 But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing."
36 Esau said, 23"Is he not rightly named Jacob?[a] For he has cheated me these two times. 24He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing." Then he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?"
37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Behold, 25I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and 26with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?"
38 Esau said to his father, "Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father." And 27Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: "Behold, 28away from[b] the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from[c] the dew of heaven on high.
40 By your sword you shall live, and you 29shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless 30you shall break his yoke from your neck."
41 Now Esau 31hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, 32"The days of mourning for my father are approaching; 33then I will kill my brother Jacob."
42 But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, "Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you.
43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran
44 and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away--
45 until your brother's anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?"
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, 34"I loathe my life because of the Hittite women.[d]35If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?"

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 ) .

Cross References 35

  • 1. Genesis 48:10; 1 Samuel 3:2
  • 2. Genesis 25:27, 28
  • 3. Genesis 10:25; Genesis 48:9, 15; Genesis 49:28; Deuteronomy 33:1
  • 4. ver. 13
  • 5. ver. 4
  • 6. Genesis 25:25
  • 7. ver. 21, 22
  • 8. [Deuteronomy 27:18]
  • 9. [1 Samuel 25:24; 2 Samuel 14:9; Matthew 27:25]
  • 10. ver. 27
  • 11. ver. 12
  • 12. ver. 16
  • 13. Hebrews 11:20
  • 14. ver. 10
  • 15. [See ver. 23 above]
  • 16. [Hosea 14:6]
  • 17. Deuteronomy 33:13; Zechariah 8:12; [Genesis 49:25; 2 Samuel 1:21]
  • 18. Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 33:28; Joel 2:19
  • 19. [Genesis 49:8]
  • 20. [2 Samuel 8:14]
  • 21. Genesis 12:3; Numbers 24:9
  • 22. Hebrews 12:17
  • 23. Genesis 25:26
  • 24. Genesis 25:33
  • 25. ver. 29; [2 Samuel 8:14]
  • 26. ver. 28
  • 27. [See ver. 34 above]
  • 28. ver. 28; Genesis 36:6, 7
  • 29. Genesis 25:23; [2 Samuel 8:14]; See Obad. 18-21
  • 30. [2 Kings 8:20-22]
  • 31. [Genesis 37:4]
  • 32. Genesis 50:3, 4, 10
  • 33. [Amos 1:11; Obadiah 10]
  • 34. Genesis 26:34, 35; Genesis 28:8
  • 35. Genesis 24:3

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


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

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