Genesis 27

1 When Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said to him, “My son?” He said to him, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “See now, I am old. I don’t know the day of my death. 3 Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison. 4 Make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat, and that my soul may bless you before I die.” 5 Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Behold, I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 7 ‘Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless you before the LORD before my death.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command you. 9 Go now to the flock, and get me from there two good young goats. I will make them savory food for your father, such as he loves. 10 You shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death.” 11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 What if my father touches me? I will seem to him as a deceiver, and I would bring a curse on myself, and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son. Only obey my voice, and go get them for me.” 14 He went, and got them, and brought them to his mother. His mother made savory food, such as his father loved. 15 Rebekah took the good clothes of Esau, her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob, her younger son. 16 She put the skins of the young goats on his hands, and on the smooth of his neck. 17 She gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 He came to his father, and said, “My father?” He said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done what you asked me to do. Please arise, sit and eat of my venison, that your soul may bless me.” 20 Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He said, “Because the LORD your God gave me success.” 21 Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 Jacob went near to Isaac his father. He felt him, and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He didn’t recognize him, because his hands were hairy, like his brother, Esau’s hands. So he blessed him. 24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He said, “I am.” 25 He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless you.” He brought it near to him, and he ate. He brought him wine, and he drank. 26 His father Isaac said to him, “Come near now, and kiss me, my son.” 27 He came near, and kissed him. He smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him, and said, “Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed. 28 God give you of the dew of the sky, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers. Let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you. Blessed be everyone who blesses you.” 30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had just gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also made savory food, and brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that your soul may bless me.” 32 Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” He said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33 Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who, then, is he who has taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Yes, he will be blessed.” 34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, my father.” 35 He said, “Your brother came with deceit, and has taken away your blessing.” 36 He said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. See, now he has taken away my blessing.” He said, “Haven’t you reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered Esau, “Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers have I given to him for servants. With grain and new wine have I sustained him. What then will I do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, my father.” Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39 Isaac his father answered him, “Behold, of the fatness of the earth will be your dwelling, and of the dew of the sky from above. 40 By your sword will you live, and you will serve your brother. It will happen, when you will break loose, that you shall shake his yoke from off your neck.” 41 Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him. Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 The words of Esau, her elder son, were told to Rebekah. She sent and called Jacob, her younger son, and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban, my brother, in Haran. 44 Stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away; 45 until your brother’s anger turn away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?” 46 Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good will my life do me?”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, Ro 9:12–15.

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