0 Rebekah and Jacob deceive Isaac (Gen 27)

Episode 12: Rebekah and Jacob deceive Isaac

(Genesis 27)

Jacob and Rebekah deceive Isaac

27 1 When Isaac was old and blind, he called for Esau, and said to him,

3 Go hunting, so I can eat some savory meat.

After I eat, I'll bless you before I die.

5-8 Rebekah overheard their conversation and told Jacob about it. She said to Jacob,

9Go get two goats and I'll cook your father a savory meal.

10Then he'll eat and bless you before he dies.

11-12 Jacob replied,

Esau is hairy and I am smooth. He'll feel my skin and know it's me, not Esau.

Then I'll get a curse, not a blessing.

13 Rebekah said,

Don't worry about that. The cursing will be on me.

Just go fetch the goats.

14 So Jacob did as his mom told him, and his mom fixed a savory meal. 15 Rebekah took some of Esau's clothes and put them on Jacob. 16 She also put goat skins on his hands and neck. 17 Then she gave the meal to Jacob and sent him to Isaac. 18 Jacob lied to his father, saying,

I am Esau your firstborn son.

19 I have killed and cooked some venison for you. Now eat, so you can bless me.

Isaac Blessing Jacob, Govert Flinck, 1638

21 Isaac said,

Come near, so I can feel you to see if you are really Esau.

22 The voice is Jacob's, but the hands are Esau's.

23 But the hairy hands fooled him, so he blessed Jacob, thinking it was Esau.

24 Isaac wasn't completely convinced that he'd blessed the right son, so he asked, "Are you Esau?"

Jacob lied again, saying, "Yes I am."

25 Isaac ate the meal and drank some wine. Then he asked Jacob to come and kiss him.

27 When Jacob kissed Isaac, his goat-skin covered hands smelled like Esau. So now he was sure that Jacob was Esau, and he blessed him, saying,

28 May God give you the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let people serve you, and your brother and nations bow down to you.

Cursed be everyone who curses you and blessed be whoever blesses you.

30 After Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob, Esau returned from his hunting trip. 31 He brought a savory meal he'd prepared for his father and asked for his blessing.

32 His confused father asked him, "Who are you?"

Esau answered, "I am Esau, your firstborn."

33 Isaac trembled and said, "Who? Where's the guy that I just blessed and who fed me venison?"

34 Esau, with a bitter cry, said, "Bless me too, father!"

35 Isaac gave Esau the bad news: "Your brother stole your blessing."

36 Esau said, "It figures. First he stole my birthright, now my blessing."

37 Isaac replied,

Yes, it's too late. My blessing made Jacob your lord and master.

He gets all the wine and grain. There's nothing left to give you.

38 Esau wept and said, "So you only have one blessing? Bless me my father!"

39 Isaac gave him more of a prediction than a blessing:

You'll live off the fatness of the earth and the dew from heaven.

40 You'll live by the sword and serve your brother Jacob.

And someday you will be free of him.

41 Esau hated Jacob for stealing his blessing. He vowed to kill him after Isaac's death.

42 Rebekah told Jacob about Esau's threat, saying,

Esau wants to kill you. 43 So go to my brother's place in Haran.

44 I'll let you know when it's safe to come back.


A few more words about this episode

The Edomites

This is just another story that answers the question, "Where did these enemies come from?"

In this case the hated ethnic group is the Edomites.

The Hebrew word Edom means red, and it relates to the description of Esau as being red all over. (See Episode 10, Genesis 25:25). The Bible claims that Esau is the father of the Edomites.

I'll bless you before I die. (v.3)

In this story, Isaac is presented as an old, blind man who is about to die. And yet at this time he still had at 80 years to live. We know this since Isaac was 60 when Esau and Jacob were born (Gen 25:26), and Esau was 40 when he married the two Hittite women at the end of the previous chapter (Gen 26:34). So Isaac was not much more than 100 years old when he was deceived in this chapter by Rebekah and Jacob. And he died when he was 180 years old (Genesis 35:28).

It's too late. My blessing made Jacob your lord and master (v.37)

Since Jacob and Rebekah deceitfully tricked Esau into blessing Jacob instead of Esau, why didn't God straighten things out?

Oh yeah, I forgot. God hates Esau. (Malachi 1:3, Romans 9:13)

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