Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:30-36

30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.

32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.

33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.

34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.

36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?

As I mentioned previously, Isaac immediately pieced together what transpired once he was greeted by the real Esau, so he must have still had his suspicions all the way through giving Jacob the first blessing.

And as for Esau, even amidst his anguish his chief concern was that he still receive some sort of blessing. His words “hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?” further shows his misunderstanding of how blessings work. He seems to believe that it us up to his father to produce and give out blessing as if they could be pulled out a bag.

Esau does not appreciate that true blessings are the immutable word of God, given and withheld entirely at His choosing. Thus the blessing that Esau ends up receiving is not some backup gift his father conjured up, it is the original blessing that was always intended for him by God.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:27-29

27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:

28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

Yesterday I mentioned that Jacob, and Esau’s charade was of little importance, for God was sure to do what He already intended to do regardless of their antics.

And this is further reinforced in today’s verses. Notice that the blessing that Isaac pronounces upon Jacob was never meant for Esau to begin with. In the blessing Isaac said for Jacob to “be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee,” and this was exactly what God had already prophesied for Jacob when he was still in his mother’s womb.

There was no way that this was the blessing that was ever meant for Esau. Not so long as Isaac was giving a proper blessing, one where he only was a mouthpiece for what God intended to say. If Isaac had blessed Esau first, he would have still had to give him the same blessing that Esau ended up receiving anyway, if he had blessed Jacob second, he would still have had to give Jacob the same blessing that he gave him now.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:21-22, 24, 26-27

21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.

22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.

24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.

26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.

27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:

Isaac is showing strong skepticism that this is, in fact, Esau before him. He is surprised that his son would be back so quickly with the venison and the voice sounds more like Jacob’s. And so he attempts to settle his mind, testing Jacob by feeling him, smelling him, and asking him questions.

Later, when the real Esau arrives for his blessing, Isaac immediately realizes what Jacob has done, showing that he still had misgivings, even after giving the blessing. But in truth, it didn’t matter. For God was not fooled, and the blessing was God’s to give. Isaac was merely the mouthpiece.

This chapter is full of charade and drama, and frankly I think it is nothing more than human theater. We like to think that we determine the hand of fate in our own lives, but all of our antics are only a façade, flashy but ultimately weightless. All we really choose is what sort of person we want to be, and everything that follows is determined by God. Jacob had chosen his identity, Esau had chosen his, and then God chose their according fates. And if Jacob had not fooled his father or if Isaac had figured out the trickery earlier…nothing would have changed, God would have still worked things out just as He intended.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:18-20

18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?

19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.

20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me.

Yesterday I mentioned that Jacob going to his father in the guise of Esau might be a symbolism for how we are remade in the image of Christ. And in today’s verses, notice how Jacob’s words are almost a perfect fit for what our Savior might have said to his Heavenly Father.

“I am Jehovah thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and receive of my sacrifice, that thy soul may bless me.”

And when each of us is introduced at the judgment seat, I expect we will be introduced in much the same way, having put on his name and image through the atonement. We will be received as God’s firstborn, who did according to how we were commanded, who brought glory to God, and who are now worthy of God’s blessing.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:11-13, 15-17

11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:

12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.

13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.

15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:

16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:

17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

Yesterday I mentioned my ambition to read this chapter and consider whether it had more meaning than I had previously realized. And for the first time I noticed that these verses seem to be a symbolism for the gospel of Jesus Christ, something I had never seen before.

Recall these three passages:

Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Ephesians 4:22, 24 "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

In summary, the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that we are all unworthy on our own, and salvation can only come through Christ. And so we put off our old self and put on the new man, meaning we put on the image of Christ. And when we come to the final judgment we do not stand in our own place, but we are invited to stand in the place of Jesus, the only one who is worthy to receive God’s blessings.

Now, is this there not a shadow of this transpiring in the story of Jacob and Esau? Jacob cannot receive the blessing on his own, so he puts on the trappings of his elder brother. He becomes the man to whom his father can bestow the choicest blessings. And Rebekah even says that any curse that applies to her son will be removed from him and laid on her instead, which is also symbolic of our curse being laid upon Christ so that we may go free.

Granted, I am sure that in the final judgment Jesus will not be dressing us up to try and deceive our Heavenly Father. We will not be sneaking our way into heaven under false pretenses. Yet there definitely seems to be a parallel here, and Rebekah and Jacob were led into this symbolism not knowing the significance of it.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:5-10

5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.

6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,

7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death.

8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.

9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:

10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.

This is the first we have heard directly from Rebekah since her introduction to Abraham’s servant, and this is a very different side of her from that sweet, industrious girl. In this scene she is planning a deception, one that is elaborate and bold.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that she has played a part in a deception, there was that time Isaac asked her to say that she was his sister, and not his wife, when they traveled in the land of the Philistines. And perhaps, in some way, this trick that is played on Isaac is a karmic retribution for his part in that deceit.

But something that stood out to me as I read these verses was that Moses gave an entire chapter dedicated to this one, small story. Of all the experiences in Esau and Jacob’s childhood, the two that were chosen to define them were the one of Esau selling his birthright and this one, with all other years just skimmed over. I’ve never seen much spiritual significance to this tale, but the realization that it was given in detail, rather than in a single passing verse, has me thinking that I ought to look more closely as I continue. Perhaps there is a lesson I have missed every time before.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:1-4

1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.

2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:

3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

We previously read about when Ishmael had been born, but not Isaac, and God promised to Abraham that Sarah would yet have a child of her own. Abraham had thought that was incredulous, and suggested God just take all of the covenanted blessings and bestow them upon his current son, Ishmael (Genesis 17:17-18). But God rejected that plan, assuring Abraham that the covenant must pass on to an as-of-yet unborn child, and from that point on Abraham seems to have accepted God’s word on the matter, even though Isaac was the second-born.

It is interesting that Isaac, a second-born who received the covenant blessing from God, did not realize that the same selection needed to occur upon his own sons. For some reason he was not aligned with God’s purposes in this matter as his father had been. It is especially strange that he is not open to this arrangement after he saw Esau defy the Lord’s commandments by marrying two strange wives that were outside of the covenant.

Was it because Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob (Genesis 25:28) that he was unwilling to entertain the thought of giving his choicest blessings to the younger? As today’s verses state, Isaac’s eyes seem to be dim on the matter, and not only in the physical sense.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 26:34-35

34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:

35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

Esau’s choice to marry the Hittite wives is another example of how he sought his immediate desires over the blessings of God. His family was living in Gerar, many miles away from the covenant bloodline. But rather than take a trip to the home of his forefathers to find a wife who knew and followed Jehovah, he sought immediate gratification from the idolatrous wives who lived next door.

As with his birthright and the mess of pottage, Esau showed an aloofness for the things of God, a failure to see the weight and significance in anything that did not immediately feed his physical, carnal appetites. When we first met him in Genesis 25:27 he was called a “man of the field,” and that is an incredibly astute description. Esau was a man of the earth, a man of the physical realm, whose thoughts extended no higher than the dirt of the plain.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 26:26-33

26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.

27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?

28 And they said, We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;

29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the Lord.

30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.

31 And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.

32 And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water.

33 And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day.

The king spoke flattering of himself and his court, mentioning that they have done “nothing but good” to Isaac, which was clearly untrue. Isaac had been told to go away from Abimelech because he had been increasing in strength more quickly than Abimelech was comfortable with. Then, out in the wild, Isaac had had to compete with the herdmen for the ownership of his own wells. He had been insulted and hurt by these people on more than one occasion, which explains his skepticism when approached by this entourage of the king.

The king’s motive in this scene seems clear. Even after being cast out into the wild, Isaac had increased under the hand of the Lord. His growth in wealth and power had made the king even more uneasy, and so the ruler deemed it wise to obtain a treaty of peace before things got out of hand. The fact that the king brought with him the captain of his armies makes me wonder if Isaac was being forced to choose between a peace treaty or a declaration of war!

In short, the king was not here out of sincere friendship, he was here for his own motives. But Isaac was mature enough to look past the offenses of the past and do what was prudent for him, his household, and the people of Gerar. A pledge of peace really is the best outcome for everyone. So he hosts a feast for his guests, agrees to the pact, and a delicate situation is resolved.

And then, as if in response to his decency, Isaac is blessed with yet another well. He named it Shebah, which means oath. But I do not believe he was naming it after the oath he had just made with the king of the philistines. I imagine he named it after the oath that actually mattered to him, the one that had caused him to flower in the desert, the one that blessed him with wells when he treated his rude neighbors with decency. He was referring to the oath between him and God.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 26:23-25

23 And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba.

24 And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.

25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.

Isaac had been exiled and bullied by the citizens of Gerar. First king Abimelech made him move away because he was getting too powerful, then the herdmen fought with him for control of the wells. This was a time when everything in the world was conspiring against him.

It is touching, then, that in this moment of loneliness and frustration, God appeared to Isaac and said “fear not, for I am with thee.” Isaac may have been alone in the world, but he was alone with God, and God would see that he was taken care of. God would support him when no one else would. God would multiply and increase him, in spite of all the world’s opposition.

And so, like his father before him, Isaac built an altar in the open and called upon the name of his God. He threw in with that one, best friend who would see him through thick and thin.