Hebrews 11:20

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

Hebrews 11:20 in Other Translations

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau.
20 It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau.
20 By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

Hebrews 11:20 Meaning and Commentary

Hebrews 11:20

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau
The history of this is in ( Genesis 27:33-39 ) . The former of these was a good man, and, though the youngest son, he is set before, and was blessed before the eldest; and the latter was a wicked man, and yet had a blessing; for temporal blessings are enjoyed in common: and this blessing was prophetic, it was concerning things to come. Jacob's blessing was plenty of temporal things, and under which may be signified the dews of divine grace, the fatness of God's house, the bread of life, and wine of divine love, which true Israelites partake of; also dominion over his brother, and government over nations, which had their accomplishment in his posterity; and may be expressive of the spiritual reign of the saints, and their dominion, by grace; and of the kingdom that shall hereafter be put to their hands; and of the extensiveness of Christ's kingdom in the latter day, who was to spring front him. Esau's blessings were merely temporal ones, and respected things future, which were fulfilled in his posterity; and these several blessings Isaac pronounced upon them by faith, believing they would be bestowed upon them; and so his faith answered to the account of faith in ( Hebrews 11:1 ) . It may be asked, how Isaac can be said to have blessed Jacob by faith, when he was deceived by him? It is certain he took him to be Esau, when he blessed him, wherefore it was not the design of Isaac, though it was the will of God that he should bless him, ( Genesis 27:18-30 ) , but yet notwithstanding this, Isaac might do it in faith, believing that the person he blessed would be blessed, though he was mistaken in him; and which he confirmed when he did know him, ( Genesis 27:33 Genesis 27:37 ) to which the apostle may have respect; and besides, he blessed him after this, ( Genesis 28:1-3 ) .

Hebrews 11:20 In-Context

18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Ge 27:27-29,39,40
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.