Genesis 27

Jacob Takes Esau’s Blessing

1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered.
2 Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death.
3 Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.
4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back,
6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau,
7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.’
8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:
9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.
10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”
11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin.
12 What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.”
13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”
14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it.
15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob.
16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins.
17 Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
18 He went to his father and said, “My father.” “Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The LORD your God gave me success,” he replied.
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.”
22 Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
23 He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to bless him.
24 “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “I am,” he replied.
25 Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.” Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”
27 So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”
30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.
31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” “I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”
33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”
35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob[a] ? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”
37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”
38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.
39 His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you.
43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran.
44 Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides.
45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not 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 ) .

Cross References 81

  • 1. Genesis 48:10; Deuteronomy 34:7; 1 Samuel 3:2
  • 2. S Genesis 25:25
  • 3. Genesis 47:29; 1 Kings 2:1
  • 4. S Genesis 25:27
  • 5. S Genesis 25:28
  • 6. ver 10,25,31; S Genesis 24:60; Genesis 49:28; Deuteronomy 33:1; Hebrews 11:20
  • 7. ver 7
  • 8. S Genesis 25:27
  • 9. S Genesis 25:28
  • 10. ver 4
  • 11. ver 13,43
  • 12. 1 Samuel 16:20
  • 13. S Genesis 25:28
  • 14. S ver 4
  • 15. Genesis 25:25
  • 16. ver 22
  • 17. S Genesis 9:25
  • 18. Matthew 27:25
  • 19. S ver 8
  • 20. S Genesis 25:28
  • 21. ver 27; Song of Songs 4:11
  • 22. S Genesis 25:25
  • 23. ver 22-23
  • 24. ver 32
  • 25. ver 32
  • 26. S Genesis 25:28
  • 27. S ver 4
  • 28. S Genesis 24:12
  • 29. ver 12
  • 30. Genesis 45:4
  • 31. ver 12
  • 32. ver 16
  • 33. S ver 4
  • 34. Genesis 31:28,55; Genesis 33:4; Genesis 48:10; Exodus 4:27; Exodus 18:7; Ruth 1:9; 1 Samuel 20:41; 2 Samuel 14:33; 2 Samuel 19:39
  • 35. Hebrews 11:20
  • 36. S ver 15; Song of Songs 4:11
  • 37. Psalms 65:9-13
  • 38. Deuteronomy 33:13; 2 Samuel 1:21; Job 18:16; Job 29:19; Proverbs 3:20; Isaiah 26:19; Hosea 14:5; Haggai 1:10; Zechariah 8:12
  • 39. ver 39; Genesis 49:25; Leviticus 26:20; Deuteronomy 33:13
  • 40. Psalms 65:9; Psalms 72:16
  • 41. ver 37; Genesis 45:18; Numbers 18:12; Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 33:28; 2 Kings 18:32; Psalms 4:7; Isaiah 36:17; Jeremiah 31:12; Jeremiah 40:10
  • 42. 2 Samuel 8:14; Psalms 68:31; Psalms 72:11; Isaiah 19:21,23; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 45:14,23; Isaiah 49:7,23; Isaiah 60:12,14; Isaiah 66:23; Jeremiah 12:17; Daniel 2:44; Zechariah 14:17-18
  • 43. S Genesis 9:25; S Genesis 25:23; S Genesis 37:7
  • 44. ver 33; Genesis 12:3; Numbers 24:9; Zephaniah 2:8
  • 45. S ver 4
  • 46. ver 18
  • 47. ver 19
  • 48. ver 35
  • 49. S ver 29; Genesis 28:3,4; Romans 11:29
  • 50. Hebrews 12:17
  • 51. Exodus 12:32
  • 52. Jeremiah 9:4; Jeremiah 12:6
  • 53. ver 19,45
  • 54. S Genesis 25:26
  • 55. Genesis 29:25; Genesis 31:20,26; Genesis 34:13; 1 Samuel 28:12
  • 56. S Genesis 25:33
  • 57. Hebrews 12:16-17
  • 58. S ver 28; Deuteronomy 16:13; Ezra 6:9; Isaiah 16:10; Jeremiah 40:12
  • 59. Genesis 29:11; Numbers 14:1; Judges 2:4; Judges 21:2; Ruth 1:9; 1 Samuel 11:4; 1 Samuel 30:4; Hebrews 12:17
  • 60. Hebrews 11:20
  • 61. ver 28
  • 62. Genesis 36:6
  • 63. 2 Samuel 8:14
  • 64. S Genesis 9:25; Genesis 25:23
  • 65. 2 Kings 8:20-22
  • 66. Genesis 37:4; Genesis 49:23; Genesis 50:15; 1 Samuel 17:28
  • 67. Genesis 31:17; Genesis 32:11; Hosea 10:14
  • 68. Genesis 50:4,10; Numbers 20:29
  • 69. ver 42
  • 70. Obadiah 1:10
  • 71. Genesis 32:3,11; Genesis 33:4
  • 72. ver 41
  • 73. S ver 8
  • 74. S Genesis 24:29
  • 75. S Genesis 11:31
  • 76. Genesis 31:38,41
  • 77. S ver 35
  • 78. S Genesis 26:3
  • 79. S Genesis 10:15
  • 80. S Genesis 10:15-19
  • 81. S Genesis 26:35; S Job 7:7

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. "Jacob" means "he grasps the heel" , a Hebrew idiom for "he takes advantage of" or "he deceives" .

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