Genesis 27:40

40 You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.”

Genesis 27:40 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 27:40

And by thy sword shalt thou live
By what he could get by it; his land being so poor that he could not live upon it, but must be obliged to such methods for a livelihood; or his country being surrounded with enemies, his posterity would be obliged to defend themselves by the sword, and other weapons of war: and shalt serve thy brother;
which is the sense and language of the oracle, ( Genesis 25:23 ) ; and which Isaac perhaps now remembered, and had a clear understanding of it, and delivers out his prophetic blessing agreeably to it: and it shall come to pass, when thou shalt have the dominion;
not over the Israelites, the posterity of Jacob, which the Edomites, Esau's posterity, never had; but when they should get a greater degree of strength, power, authority, and dominion in the world: that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck;
the Edomites should revolt from the posterity of Jacob, and shake off the yoke of bondage and subjection they had been long under; as they did in the times of Joram, king of Judah, and set up a king of their own, and continued in such a state of freedom a long time, see ( 2 Kings 8:20-22 ) .

Genesis 27:40 In-Context

38 Esau pleaded, “But do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!” Then Esau broke down and wept.
39 Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him, “You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above.
40 You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.”
41 From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.”
42 But Rebekah heard about Esau’s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, “Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you.