Saturday, January 15, 2022

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
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In Genesis 25, we learned how Esau traded his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of soup.  Now, we are going learn how Jacob takes Esau's blessing before his father's death.  We will find this story in Genesis 27.  

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing

Isaac is now an old man whose eyes have grown weak so that he can no longer see.  Isaac believes he will not live much longer so he calls his oldest son, Esau, to him so that he can give Esau his blessing.  Isaac instructs Esau to go hunting to bring back food to prepare it the way he likes it.  Then when he has eaten the food he likes, he will give Esau his blessing.

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
Image Credit:  Free Bible Images

Rebekah, upon hearing the conversation between Isaac and Esau, waits for Esau to leave for the hunt.  Then she tells Jacob about the conversation.  She send Jacob after two goats so that she can prepare a meal as Isaac likes it.  She tells Jacob to take the food she cooks to Esau before Esau returns so that Isaac will offer Jacob the blessing instead.

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
Image Credit:  Free Bible Images

Jacob brings up the obvious differences between the two brothers.  Esau is a hairy man while Jacob has smooth skin.  He knows that if Isaac touches him, his father will know that he is Jacob and not Esau.  This would bring a curse on him rather than a blessing.

Rebekah tells Jacob to let the curse fall on her.  He is to do what she tells him.

Jacob brings back the goats.  Rebekah cooks the meat the way Isaac likes it.  Then she takes Esau's best clothes and gives them to Jacob to wear.  She covers Jacob's hands and his neck with goat skins so that he will appear as if he is Esau.

Jacob takes the food Rebekah has cooked to his father, Isaac.  He tells his father that he is Esau.  He tells Issac that he has brought him the food he asked for.  He tells Issac to eat the food and then to give him his father's blessing.

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
Image Credit:  Free Bible Images

Isaac wants to know how he found the food and cooked it so quickly.  Jacob tells him that God provided it.

Isaac asked Jacob to come closer so that he can touch him to make sure he is actually Esau.  Isaac notices that Jacob's hands are hairy like Esau but he hears the voice of Jacob. 

Isaac obviously has his doubts but he asks, "Are you really my son, Esau?"

Jacob lies again with is response, "I am."

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
NASB Life Application Study Bible

In spite of Isaac's doubts, Jacob manages to successfully trick his father into believing he is Esau.  Isaac asks Jacob to bring him the food so that he may eat it and then give his blessing.  After eating, Isaac asked Jacob to come kiss him.  When Jacob kisses his father, his father smells Esau's clothing so he offers Jacob the blessing that would have been Esau's blessing.

"Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.  

May God give you Heaven's due and earth's richness and abundance of grain and new wine.  

May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you.  

Be lord over your brothers and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.  

May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."

When Isaac finishes his blessing, Jacob barely has time to leave when Esau comes in.  Esau had prepared food for Isaac as he had been asked to do and brought it to his father.  Like his brother had just done, Esau asks Isaac to sit up and eat the food he has prepared for him so that he will then offer his blessing.

Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
Image Credit:  Free Bible Images

Isaac asks, "Who are you?"

Esau tells Isaac that he is his son, Esau.

In Genesis 27:33, we are told that Isaac trembled violently asking, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me.  I ate it just before you came and I blessed him - and indeed he will be blessed."

Esau does not take the news well.  He cries for Isaac to bless him as well.  Isaac tells Esau that his brother, Jacob, had come in and deceitfully taken Esau's blessing. Esau tells Isaac that this is the second time Jacob has taken advantage of him.  He first took Esau's birthright and now he has taken Esau's blessing.  Esau again asks Issac if there is any blessing he has reserved for him?

Isaac tells Esau about the blessing he had unknowingly given to his bother, Jacob.

I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine.  So what can I possibly do for you, my son?
Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
Genesis 12-33 The Father of Israel

Esau cries aloud, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too!"

Isaac answers:

Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of Heaven above.  

You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother.

But when you grow restless, you will throw his yolk from off your back. 

Esau holds a grudge against Jacob.  He plans to kill Jacob after Isaac dies.  

Someone tells Rebekah what Esau had said.  Rebekah sends Jacob to her brother, Laban.  She tells Jacob to stay there until Esau is no longer angry.  She tells Jacob that she will send for him when it is safe for him to come back.  Rebekah expresses to Jacob that she doesn't want to lose both of her sons in one day.

Rebekah tells Isaac that she is disgusted with Esau's Hittite wives.  She tells her husband that if her son, Jacob, takes a wife from the Hittite women, her life won't be worth living. 

Issac sends for Jacob, blesses him, and then tells him to go to his mother's father's land (where her brother, Laban, still lives.) He instructs Jacob to take a wife from his mother's brother's daughters.

Before sending Jacob on his way, he tells him:

"May God almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.  May He give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham so that you make take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham."

Esau somehow learns how his parents feel about his wives, that they displease Isaac and Rebekah so he goes to Ishmael (Isaac's half brother who was born to Hagar) and marries Mahalath, one of Ishmael's daughters.

You might be wondering, as I did, why Isaac did not somehow void his blessing to Jacob due to deception and give it to his older son, Esau.  You have to consider the culture of the times.  Also, these Old Testament men spoke from divine inspiration.  The Believer's Bible Commentary explains it this way.

When Esau returned and learned of the deception, he sought the blessing tearfully. But the blessing had been granted to Jacob and it couldn’t be retracted (Heb. 12:1617). However, Isaac did have a word for Esau, as follows:

Far from rich soil on earth shall you live, far from the dew of heaven on high; you shall live by the sword and serve your brother; but when you grow restive, his yoke you shall break (vv. 39, 40—Moffatt).

This suggests that the Edomites would live in desert places, would be warriors, would be subject to the Israelites, but would one day rebel against this rule. This latter prophecy was fulfilled in the reign of Joram, King of Judah (2 Kgs. 8:20–22). - Believer's Bible Commentary

Life Lesson From This Story:  Deception results in heartache.

Rebekah and Jacob's deception resulted heartache.

*Jacob's brother sought to kill him.

*Jacob had to leave his home and his parents to escape Esau's threat.

*Rebekah had to send her son (her favorite) away.

*Isaac trembled violently because his son had deceived him.

Teach the Kids

The best way to teach your children Biblical history is to read the stories to them straight from the Bible.  Make sure your kids know that these "stories" are not just stories like many other books they might read.  Be sure they know that these stories are actual events in Biblical history.
Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
The Adventure Bible for Kids

In addition to reading the Bible, your kids can do the following activities to enhance their learning experience. 

Cathy's Corner:  Jacob and Esau from Bible Fun for Kids

Activities for a Lesson On Jacob and Esau from Classroom


Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing

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