Genesis 27

Listen to Genesis 27
1 One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, “My son.” “Yes, Father?” Esau replied.
2 “I am an old man now,” Isaac said, “and I don’t know when I may die.
3 Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me.
4 Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die.”
5 But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game,
6 she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau,
7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the LORD ’s presence before I die.’
8 Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you.
9 Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish.
10 Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.”
11 “But look,” Jacob replied to Rebekah, “my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth.
12 What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.”
13 But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!”
14 So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it.
15 Then she took Esau’s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob.
16 She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats.
17 Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread.
18 So Jacob took the food to his father. “My father?” he said. “Yes, my son,” Isaac answered. “Who are you—Esau or Jacob?”
19 Jacob replied, “It’s Esau, your firstborn son. I’ve done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing.”
20 Isaac asked, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The LORD your God put it in my path!” Jacob replied.
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.”
22 So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s,” Isaac said.
23 But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacob’s hands felt hairy just like Esau’s. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob.
24 “But are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” Jacob replied.
25 Then Isaac said, “Now, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing.” So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him.
26 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come a little closer and kiss me, my son.”
27 So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, “Ah! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which the LORD has blessed!
28 “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine.
29 May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you. May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed.”
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt.
31 Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, “Sit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing.”
32 But Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” Esau replied, “It’s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.”
33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!”
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry. “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!” he begged.
35 But Isaac said, “Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.”
36 Esau exclaimed, “No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, haven’t you saved even one blessing for me?”
37 Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?”
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.
43 So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran.
44 Stay there with him until your brother cools off.
45 When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.”

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 ) .

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for “heel” and “deceiver.”

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