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Genesis Chapter Twenty-Seven


I. Content of the Chapter


Jacob Took Away His Father’s Blessings with Deceit

A.  Isaac intended to bless Esau (v.1-4);

B.  Rebekah planned for Jacob to deceive the blessings of Isaac (v.5-17);

C.  Jacob obtained the blessings of Isaac according to the counsel of his mother (v.18-29);

D.  Esau cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and received the secondary blessings of his father (v.30-40);

E.  Esau had a grievance against Jacob (v.41);

F.   Rebekah planned to save the life of Jacob (v.42-46);


II. Verse by Verse Commentary


Gen. 27:1Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”

And he answered him, “Here I am.”

YLT: “And it cometh to pass that Isaac aged, and his eyes are too dim for seeing, and he calleth Esau his elder son, and saith unto him, `My son;' and he saith unto him, `Here I.'”

Literal Meaning: “Isaac was old”, it was inferred that Isaac at this time was about one hundred and thirty seven years old (please read the “Age Calculation”).

  “His eyes were so dim that he could not see”, it was common that the ancient old men became blind or nearly blind (see 48:10; 2Sam. 4:15).

  “Here I am”, this was a common answer to God and elders in the ancient time (see 22:1; Ex. 3:4; 2Sam. 3:4, 6, 8).

Age Calculation: the age of Jacob when he was forced to escape to Laban in Haran (see v.43) could be calculated according to the year in which he met his son Joseph. Joseph was thirty years old when he became a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt (see 41:46). And Jacob went down to Egypt after seven years of harvest and two years of famine (see 45:6), so Joseph was thirty nine years old then. And Jacob mentioned he was one hundred and thirty years old in Egypt (see 47:9), so Jacob bore Joseph when he was ninety and one years old. As Jacob could leave freely after he served Laban at least two seven years (see 29:20, 30) and he asked Laban to send him away after he bore Joseph (see 30:25), he was supposed to have remained in Laban’s house for fourteen years. Ninety one minus is seventy seven, so Jacob escaped when he was seventy seven years old. It was mentioned in the scriptures that Isaac bore Jacob when he was sixty (see 25:26). And seventy-seven plus sixty was one hundred and thirty seven, and that was the age of Isaac at this time.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is bad, the whole body will be full of darkness (Matt. 6:22-23) without knowing where to go.

  2) The inners eyes of people in the world are blinded by Satan so that they cannot know Christ. Let believers ask the Lord to enlighten the inner eyes of our heart so that we will really know Him (Eph. 1:18).

  3) May the Lord open our eyes so that we can see wondrous things from His law (Ps. 119:18).


Gen. 27:2Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death.

YLT: “And he saith, `Lo, I pray thee, I have become aged, I have not known the day of my death;”

Literal Meaning: since Ishmael, the brother of Isaac, died when he was one hundred and thirty seven years old (see 25:17), Isaac was probably affected by it, thinking that he would die soon when he was one hundred and thirty seven years old. Actually, he died after forty three years when he was one hundred and eighty years old (see 35:28).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) God has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, for in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:26, 28).

  2) Since we do not know when to die, let us prepare to meet God at any time (Amos. 4:12).

  3) Even though the flesh of believers will decay, the inward man will be renewed day by day (2Cor. 4:16).


Gen. 27:3Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.

YLT: “and now, take up, I pray thee, thy instruments, thy quiver, and thy bow, and go out to the field, and hunt for me provision,”

Literal Meaning: what is worthy of observation is that both of Ishmael and Esau who have not been chosen are concerned with quiver (see 21:20).


Gen. 27:4And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”

YLT: “and make for me tasteful things, as I have loved, and bring in to me, and I do eat, so that my soul doth bless thee before I die.'”

The Background:bless you before I die”, blessings of the fathers before their death were not only a kind of wish that cannot be varied as it is uttered, but also a kind of powerful prophecy that may be amazingly fulfilled (see 9:24-27; 49:28).

Literal Meaning: “make me savory food, such as I love”, that Isaac loved savory food was mentioned three times (see v.9, 14), which indicated that Isaac showed partial because of the lusts for food (see 25:28).

  “Bless” (berakah), its pronunciation in the original Hebrew is close to the word of “birthright” (bekorah). God had early revealed that “the older shall serve the younger” (see 25:23), and yet Isaac would bless Esau and intended to give him the birthright (see v.29), which showed that he did not respect the will of God.

Spiritual Meaning: “make me savory food, such as I love”, savory food represents the lusts of flattery and boasting and puffing up that the flesh desires.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Isaac loved Esau because of his savory food (see 25:28). Whoever serves his own belly cannot serve our Lord Christ (Rom. 16:18).

  2) When a man’s mind is controlled by his stomach, his lips will be out of control ---- he dares not to speak what should speak, and speaks what he should not speak (see 26:34-35).

  3) The natural man always considers his own profit instead of whether it is worthy of the will of God.

  4) The mind of the flesh is enmity against God. Though the word of God has clearly indicated that “that older shall serve the younger” (25:23), man may still misinterpret the word of God and explain and apply the word according to his own mind and desire.


Gen. 27:5Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it.

YLT: “And Rebekah is hearkening while Isaac is speaking unto Esau his son; and Esau goeth to the field to hunt provision -- to bring in;”

Literal Meaning: Rebekah was listening”, such “listening” then evolved into the destruction of the counsel of Isaac, which revealed that God’s hand ruled everything and His will cannot be hindered by men. Esau heard his father’s word and wanted to get the father’s blessing in return by savory food, which showed that he was not faithful to the oath made with Jacob that he had sold the birthright to Jacob (see 25:33). He just heaped error on error.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Many times, we shall be deaf and dumb to human counsels and rely upon God only (Ps. 38:12-15). 

  2) It is impossible for Esau to get his father’s blessings again since he had already sold his birthright (Heb. 12:16-17), for blessings are included in the birthright.


Gen. 27:6So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying,

YLT: “and Rebekah hath spoken unto Jacob her son, saying, `Lo, I have heard thy father speaking unto Esau thy brother, saying,”

Enlightenment in the Word: Rebekah quoted the word of Isaac directly to strengthen the reliability of her word. Note that here she mentions her husband “your father” and her elder son “your brother”, and such tone shows the indifference of her relationship with them.


Gen. 27:7‘Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’

YLT: “Bring for me provision, and make for me tasteful things, and I do eat, and bless thee before Jehovah before my death.”

Literal Meaning: in the presence of the Lord”, this word is added by Rebekah herself (see v.4) to increase the severity of this matter.


Gen. 27:8Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you.

YLT: “`And now, my son, hearken to my voice, to that which I am commanding thee:”

Meaning of Words: “command”: order;

Literal Meaning: Rebekah did not wait patiently for God according to His time and way to fulfill His will, but voiced her own ideas to hasten the fulfillment of God’s promise by deceit. However, she became the first one who suffered the loss and was forced to be separated from her beloved son (see v.43-45).


Gen. 27:9Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves.

YLT: “Go, I pray thee, unto the flock, and take for me from thence two good kids of the goats, and I make them tasteful things for thy father, as he hath loved;”

Spiritual Meaning: Rebekah adviced making savory food by the ready kids of goats instead of venison which required time and labor to hunt, which showed that Jacob obtained blessings by his mother’s works instead of his own strength. It is a type that man obtains spiritual blessings through God’s grace and Christ’s works instead of one’s own labor.


Gen. 27:10Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”

YLT: “and thou hast taken in to thy father, and he hath eaten, so that his soul doth bless thee before his death.”

Literal Meaning: Rebekah taught Jacob to obtain Isaac’s blessings with deceit. Though she did it to fulfill the purpose of God, she did it in a wrong way, and the family harmony was thus destroyed (see v.41).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Blessings would be given to Jacob according to the promise of God, but the promise of God did not need to be fulfilled by human flesh.

  2) We shall not become good as we practice evil things (Rom. 3:8) ---- let us not fulfill the purpose of God by the lawless way of sin.


Gen. 27:11And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man.

YLT: “And Jacob saith unto Rebekah his mother, `Lo, Esau my brother a hairy man, and I a smooth man,”


Gen. 27:12Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”

YLT: “it may be my father doth feel me, and I have been in his eyes as a deceiver, and have brought upon me disesteem, and not a blessing;'”

Meaning of Words: “feel”: search; “deceiver”: cheat, maltreat;

Literal Meaning: note that Jacob did not oppose against deception, but was unwilling to cause curse. He was not afraid of committing sins, but of the result if the sin was exposed.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Many people keep the law and do not do evil, for they fear the ignominious results, not that they hate the evil thing itself.

  2) If an ungodly man does evil, he fears only of letting men know it, not of sinning against God. Let believers walk according to the central principle of pleasing God, not fearing the results.


Gen. 27:13But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.”

YLT: “and his mother saith to him, `On me thy disesteem, my son; only hearken to my voice, and go, take for me.'”

Literal Meaning: even though Rebekah was willing to take the consequence, Jacob still had to leave his family and drift outside and suffered many hardships in the hand of Laban during the twenty years then (see 31:38-40).


Gen. 27:14And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved.

YLT: “And he goeth, and taketh, and bringeth to his mother, and his mother maketh tasteful things, as his father hath loved;”


Gen. 27:15Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.

YLT: “and Rebekah taketh the desirable garments of Esau her elder son, which with her in the house, and doth put on Jacob her younger son;”

Literal Meaning: the choice clothes”, the formal clothes that the eldest son would put on in feasts or formal occasions (see v.27). Such clothes were reserved in the box with spices to prevent moths. Therefore, the clothes smelt fragrant (see v.27).


Gen. 27:16And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.

YLT: “and the skins of the kids of the goats she hath put on his hands, and on the smooth of his neck,”

Spiritual Meaning: Jacob obtained the father’s blessings through the skins of the kids of the goats, not his own skin, which typified that man receives spiritual blessings through the redemption of Christ instead of his own works.


Gen. 27:17Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

YLT: “and she giveth the tasteful things, and the bread which she hath made, into the hand of Jacob her son.”


Gen. 27:18 “So he went to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?””

YLT: “And he cometh in unto his father, and saith, `My father;' and he saith, `Here I; who thou, my son?'”

Literal Meaning: “who are you, my son?”, it indicated that Isaac found it was usual, for he heard it was Jacob’s voice and yet he was not sure.


Gen. 27:19Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”

YLT: “And Jacob saith unto his father, `I Esau thy first-born; I have done as thou hast spoken unto me; rise, I pray thee, sit, and eat of my provision, so that thy soul doth bless me.'”

Literal Meaning: I am Esau your firstborn”, Jacob mentioned “firstborn” particularly, which showed that what he really cared of was the blessings of the firstborn. 


Gen. 27:20 “But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because the Lord your God brought it to me.””

YLT: “And Isaac saith unto his son, `What this thou hast hasted to find, my son?' and he saith, `That which Jehovah thy God hath caused to come before me.'”

Literal Meaning: the Lord your God”, “your”, it pointed here that Jacob at this time lacked the personal knowledge of God. And until he met God himself he called the Lord “his” God (see 28:21) and called him “God who is the God of Israel” (see 33:20).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Jacob took what was of himself as good chance given by God. Man often regards the deceit by his own counsel as the proof of God’s blessings.

  2) It is often seen in the church that many things are of one’s own will, but are regarded as the will of God, and what is obtained by one’s unrighteous means is spoken as the gift of God.

  3) Lying in the name of God has no difference from supposing godliness is a means of gain (1Tim. 6:5).

  4) Lies may beget the son ---- once man lies, he has to make it up with more lies.


Gen. 27:21Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.”

YLT: “And Isaac saith unto Jacob, `Come nigh, I pray thee, and I feel thee, my son, whether thou he, my son Esau, or not.'”

Literal Meaning: Isaac was not confident of his sense of hearing, and wanted to discern by his sense of touch.


Gen. 27:22So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”

YLT: “And Jacob cometh nigh unto Isaac his father, and he feeleth him, and saith, `The voice the voice of Jacob, and the hands hands of Esau.'”

Literal Meaning: he felt him”, the sense of touch of a blind man should be much sensitive. And since Isaac had shepherded for nearly a hundred years of experience, how could he no discern the difference between the skins of the goats and the skin of man’s hands. Therefore, not only his visual sense but also his sense of touch went wrong.

Spiritual Meaning: voice stands for word, and hands stand for works. Word may sound sensible, but works may oppose. Word will become unbelievable if works run counter to it ---- this is “Jacob’s voice and Esau’s hands”

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Our hands should be used to serve the Lord. If they are used to chase savory food (worldly things), they will lose their functions and cannot distinguish between right and wrong.

  2) If the daily conversation of the servant of God goes against his preaching on the platform, he has become the crafty Jacob as well as the hypocrite scribe and Pharisee (Matt. 23:2-3).

  3) Isaac had realized it was the voice of Jacob firstly, but he followed his insensitive sense of touch. If we are unwilling to hear the voice of the Spirit but rely on our own feeling, we will not be able to distinguish between right and wrong. 

  4) Sometimes, the inner feelings of believers are opposite to the environment, so they dare not to believe their feelings. Actually experience proves that the environment is false but the feelings are right.


Gen. 27:23And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.

YLT: “And he hath not discerned him, for his hands have been hairy, as the hands of Esau his brother, and he blesseth him,”

Literal Meaning: “he blessed him”, it means that “Isaac decided to give the blessings to him”.


Gen. 27:24Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He said, “I am.

YLT: “and saith, `Thou art he -- my son Esau?' and he saith, `I .'”

Literal Meaning: it indicated that Isaac doubted whether he was Esau throughout the whole process:

1.    The time of getting the game was so quick (see v.20);

2.    The godly tone did not consort with the character of Esau (see v.20);

3.    The voice was like the voice of Jacob (see v.20);


Gen. 27:25He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.

YLT: “And he saith, `Bring nigh to me, and I do eat of my son's provision, so that my soul doth bless thee;' and he bringeth nigh to him, and he eateth; and he bringeth to him wine, and he drinketh.”


Gen. 27:26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.”

YLT: “And Isaac his father saith to him, `Come nigh, I pray thee, and kiss me, my son;'”

Literal Meaning: Come near now and kiss me, my son”, Isaac eliminated his suspicions in heart by this way.


Gen. 27:27And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: “Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field Which the Lord has blessed.

YLT: “and he cometh nigh, and kisseth him, and he smelleth the fragrance of his garments, and blesseth him, and saith, `See, the fragrance of my son as the fragrance of a field which Jehovah hath blessed;”

Literal Meaning: “kiss”, it is a sign of love, which was even used by Jacob to be a part of his deceit.

”Smell of a field”, it symbolized God’s kindness shown to people in the natural world, which inspired Isaac to utter the following blessings of the fatness of the earth.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Jacob cheated his father by a kiss, and Judas also betrayed the Lord Jesus with a kiss (Matt. 26:48). “The Judas kiss” was common throughout the history. Therefore, let us not easily believe sweet words or sign of intimation.

  2) Isaac was deceived by the sense of touch of his hands (see v.22). And now he thought it was the smell of the clothes of his elder son according to his sense of smell (see v.15). If one wants only to satisfy the lusts of his flesh, he may be wholly controlled by the fleshly lusts.


Gen. 27:28Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine.

YLT: “and God doth give to thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and abundance of corn and wine;”

Spiritual Meaning: the dew of heaven”, which typifies the pouring out of the Spirit;

Of the fatness of the earth, which refers to the land of Canaan that typifies Christ;

And plenty of grain and wine”, which typifies the provision of life.


Gen. 27:29Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!”

YLT: “peoples serve thee, and nations bow themselves to thee, be thou mighty over thy brethren, and the sons of thy mother bow themselves to thee; those who curse thee cursed, and those who bless thee blessed.'”

Literal Meaning: let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you”, here Jacob inherited the blessing of Abraham that he would be the father of a multitude of peoples and nations (se 17:4-6).

Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you”, this was the blessing of the birthright.

Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you! Here Jacob inherited the blessing of Abraham’s position before God (see 12:3).

Isaac had openly known that will of God that “the elder shall serve the younger” (see 25:23), but he still want to appoint Esau to be the lord of his brother. Unexpectedly, the object of his blessing was Jacob.

Apparently, all the above-mentioned blessings are given to Jacob. However, actually they were all given to the people of Israel.

Spiritual Meaning: all blessings that Isaac had given to Jacob were fulfilled, which showed that God respected the ground of Isaac in the will of God rather than the personal condition of him before God ---- Isaac stood on the ground of “the son” ---- namely, Isaac typifies the Son of God, Christ.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) God is source of blessings, and Christ is the channel of blessings ---- God in Christ had given us all spiritual blessings in the heavens (Eph. 1:3).

  2) No one in the world is worthy of receiving the blessings of God. It is not because man is worthy, but because God is willing to let an unworthy man be counted worthy.

  3) According to man’s situation, Jacob might not be better than Esau. However, the blessing was given to him. Therefore, the election of God does not depend on man’s situation, but on the sovereign grace of God.


Gen. 27:30Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

YLT: “And it cometh to pass, as Isaac hath finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob is only just going out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother hath come in from his hunting;”

Literal Meaning: “gone out from … that … came in”, God arranged it so skillfully to remind those who were involved in:

1.     Isaac coveted for savory food. The teaching was coming the moment he ate the food.

2.     Jacob received the blessing with deceit. The deceit was exposed the moment he came out.

3.     Esau came back home. He was disillusioned the moment he came back.


Gen. 27:31He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that your soul may bless me.”

YLT: “and he also maketh tasteful things, and bringeth to his father, and saith to his father, `Let my father arise, and eat of his son's provision, so that thy soul doth bless me.'”


Gen. 27:32And his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” So he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”

YLT: “And Isaac his father saith to him, `Who thou?' and he saith, `I thy son, thy first-born, Esau;'”


Gen. 27:33Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him—and indeed he shall be blessed.”

YLT: “and Isaac trembleth a very great trembling, and saith, `Who, now, he who hath provided provision, and bringeth in to me, and I eat of all before thou comest in, and I bless him? -- yea, blessed is he.'”

Literal Meaning: “he shall be blessed”, it showed that Isaac believed that once the blessing was given, it would never change, and moreover he knew that he could not be against God and thus confessed that the counsel against the will of God failed.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Whoever loves human flattery (game) will “tremble exceedingly” and lose his peace and joy.

  2) God governs all. Though Satan opposed the will of God and would bless Esau, the will of God was finally fulfilled. The word of man cannot hinder the fulfillment of God’s will.

  3) Man proposes, and God disposes. God will use human counsels to be the channel of grace.


Gen. 27:34When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me—me also, O my father!”

YLT: “When Esau heareth the words of his father, then he crieth a very great and bitter cry, and saith to his father, `Bless me, me also, O my father;'”

Literal Meaning: he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry”, please read the commentary of verse thirty eight.


Gen. 27:35But he said, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.”

YLT: “and he saith, `Thy brother hath come with subtilty, and taketh thy blessing.'”

Literal Meaning: since Isaac knew Jacob had taken away the blessing of Esau with deceit, he did not cancel the blessing he had given nor cursed the works of Jacob, which showed that he had been awaken at this time that it was of the sovereign hand of God. Therefore, he had to confess the blessing he had given.


Gen. 27:36And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”

YLT: “And he saith, `Is it because called his name Jacob that he doth take me by the heel these two times? my birthright he hath taken; and lo, now, he hath taken my blessing;' he saith also, `Hast thou not kept back a blessing for me?'”

Literal Meaning: named Jacob”, “Jacob” means “deceit, rob” in the original Hebrew.

  He has supplanted me these two times”, the word ran counter to the deal between Esau and Jacob, for the birthright was willingly sold by him instead of being robbed by Jacob (see 25:33).

  This verse told us that Esau despised “the birthright” and he sought “the blessing” only, which showed that he received the earthly and worldly and physical blessing rather than the spiritual blessing in the heavens.

  When Esau mentioned “he took away my birthright”, Isaac did not ask him for the reason, which indicated that he had early known this thing.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) It was Esau himself that was willing to sell the birthright, but now he said it was others who took it. People in the world always do things wrong, but put the blame on others. 

  2) Esau sold “the birthright”, so he also lost “the blessing” thereby. The real blessing of us is the reception of adoption of sons unto the heir of God (Gal. 4:5-7).

  3) Whoever does not cherish the best spiritual blessing, his earthly blessing will also fail.


Gen. 27:37Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?”

YLT: “And Isaac answereth and saith to Esau, `Lo, a mighty one have I set him over thee, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants, and corn and wine have I sustained him; and for thee now, what shall I do, my son?'”

Literal Meaning: the offspring of Esau were the Edomites, and that of Jacob were the Israelites.

  “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants”, this blessing became a prophecy, which was later fulfilled in the times of David. David then put garrisons throughout Edom, and all they of Edom became servants to David (2Sam. 8:14).

  What shall I do now for you”, Though Isaac disregarded the will of God and was determined to bless Esau, he gave the blessing to Jacob falsely and could not recover the situation again.

Enlightenment in the Word: man could not device his own way to vary the counsel of God.


Gen. 27:38And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

YLT: “And Esau saith unto his father, `One blessing hast thou my father? bless me, me also, O my father;' and Esau lifteth up his voice, and weepeth.”

Literal Meaning: Esau cried bitterly twice (see v.34). The New Testament explained it in this way: “he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Heb. 12:17).

  Esau lifted up his voice and wept, which showed that he was much frustrated in mind. However, such frustration was not because of unfair treatment, but his own works.


Gen. 27:39Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: “Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, And of the dew of heaven from above.

YLT: “And Isaac his father answereth and saith unto him, `Lo, of the fatness of the earth is thy dwelling, and of the dew of the heavens from above;”


Gen. 27:40By your sword you shall live, And you shall serve your brother; And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck.”

YLT: “and by thy sword dost thou live, and thy brother dost thou serve; and it hath come to pass when thou rulest, that thou hast broken his yoke from off thy neck.'”

Literal Meaning: by your sword you shall live”, here it prophesied that Edomites often laid lands on the substances of others (Obad. v.10, 13-14).

And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck”, in the days of Jehoram, king of Judah, Edom revolted from the hand of Judah and set a king over themselves (2King 8:20, 22).

Isaac gave a prophetic blessing to Esau, and was fulfilled afterwards. Therefore, the scripture reads, “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come” (Heb. 11:20).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) Though a profane person is free, he is neither blessed (v.39) nor restricted (v.40).

  2) If believers want to be free from the bondage of the flesh and sin, their spirits should be strong. Whenever our spirits are strong, we are free.


Gen. 27:41So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

YLT: “And Esau hateth Jacob, because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau saith in his heart, `The days of mourning my father draw near, and I slay Jacob my brother.'”

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) It is good to give blessings to children. However it even causes family divisions. The partiality of parents is often the main reason for the disharmony among the children.

  2) Whoever takes away the blessing by human ways will firstly taste the bitter fruit of hatred.

  3) The flesh is characterized by two points ---- one is hated, and the other is murder. Though man seldom murders in deeds, he often murders in mind and dares not to put it into practice.


Gen. 27:42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you.

YLT: “And the words of Esau her elder son are declared to Rebekah, and she sendeth and calleth for Jacob her younger son, and saith unto him, `Lo, Esau thy brother is comforting himself in regard to thee -- to slay thee;”

Enlightenment in the Word: obviously Esau’s scheme of killing Jacob was no longer a counsel in “mind” merely (v. 41) and he mentioned it to others.


Gen. 27:43Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran.

YLT: “and now, my son, hearken to my voice, and rise, flee for thyself unto Laban my brother, to Haran,”

Literal Meaning: Haran” which is also named “Padan Aram” (see 28:2) in Mesopotamia (see 24:10).

  “My brother Laban”, Rebekah was Laban’s sister (see 24:29; 26:20).


Gen. 27:44And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away,

YLT: “and thou hast dwelt with him some days, till thy brother's fury turn back,”

Literal Meaning: stay with him a few days”, Rebekah misinterpreted that Esau’s fury would turn away in a few days. However, it unexpectedly turned out to be two long decades (see 31:38, 41). Probably she might have no chance to see Jacob again (note: the Scriptures neither records when Rebekah died nor that Jacob saw her again).

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) A lot of afflictions of man are caused by himself. If one trusts in God wholly and forsakes his own ways and waits for the works of God, many troubles will be omitted.

  2) If a man thinks he is intelligent enough that he needs not to rely on God and walks by his own strength, he will wholly fall into faults. However, even though man often makes serious mistakes, God still reigns ---- He can make man’s mistake work for His own counsel.


Gen. 27:45until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?

YLT: “till thy brother's anger turn back from thee, and he hath forgotten that which thou hast done to him, and I have sent and taken thee from thence; why am I bereaved even of you both the same day?'”

Literal Meaning: Why should I be bereaved also of you both in one day?” Rebekah deeply knew that once Jacob was killed by Esau, Esau shall also be put to death (2Sam. 14:7). Therefore, she was afraid of losing two sons in one day.

  Rebekah might not see Jacob again later, and besides he was hated by Esau because of being partial to Jacob. Therefore, she had in fact “been bereaved of both of them in one day”. 


Gen. 27:46And 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, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”

YLT: “And Rebekah saith unto Isaac, `I have been disgusted with my life because of the presence of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these -- from the daughters of the land -- why do I live?'”

Literal Meaning: the daughters of Heth” refer to the daughters of Canaanites. Esau married two daughters of Heth, who were a grief of mind of Rebekah (see 26:34-35).

  The real purpose of Rekebah’s word was to ask Isaac to send Jacob to Padan Aram to take a wife (see 28:1-2). Rebekah did not speak direct to her husband, which showed that both of them had lost the same mind and understanding.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Flesh Cannot Take the Responsibilities of the Spirit

A.  Blessing on the earth symbolizes the spiritual blessing in the heavens (v.4; see Eph. 1:3);

B.  The flesh cannot discern what is right or wrong;

1.  The visual sense fails ---- Isaac was old and his eyes were dim (v.1);

2.  The sense of touch fails ---- Isaac was unable to distinguish between Esau’s hands and the skins of the kids of the goats (v.16, 22-23);

3.  The sense of hearing fails ---- Isaac regarded the voice of Jacob as that of Esau (v.22);

4.  The sense of taste fails ---- Isaac could not distinguish between savory food and food made by choice kids of the goats (v.9, 25).

5.  The sense of smell fails ---- Isaac could only smells the smell of his clothing rather than the smell of man (v.27);

C.  Man’s propose fulfills things that are appointed to be according to God’s will and God’s hand (v.28-29; see25:23; Acts 4:28).


Conditions of Being Blessed

A.  Bring me from there two choice kids of the goats (v.9) ---- gentle and humble and willing to be restricted;

B.  I am a smooth-skinned man (v.11) ---- see that one is uncovered and dare not to see God;

C.  I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing (v.12) ---- be worthy of curse only according to one’s original condition;

D.  Put on the choice clothes (v.15) ---- put on the righteousness of Christ;

E.  Put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck (v.16) ---- be sealed by Jesus in walking and will;

F.   Take the savory food and the bread in hand (v.17) ---- be provided by the life of Christ;


Faults of Each Member of the Family

A.  Faults of Isaac:

1.  Who did not honor the will of God (see 25:23);

2.  Who was partial to the elder son for the sake of the lust of his belly (see 25:28);

3.  Who cared about himself first and then blessed others (v.3-4);

4.  Who did not judge wisely in spite of his doubt (v.21, 24);

B.  Faults of Rebekah:

1. Who neither relied upon nor waited for God, but wanted to fulfill the will of God by her own ways.

2. Who incited her son to deceive her own husband (v.6-10);

3. Who proposed the deceit and had a hand in its performance (v.14-17);

4. Who had no love toward Esau;

C.  Faults of Esau:

1. Who did not respect this swearing (see 25:33), and schemed to take back the birthright through his father’s blessing (v.5, 31);

2. Who took wives among the Gentiles (see 26:34-35);

3. Who was against his brother (v.36, 41);

4. Who planned to kill his brother because of hatred (v.41);

D.  Faults of Jacob:

1. Who took the birthright from Esau by the red stew (v.36; see 25:30-34);

2. Who obtained the blessing from his father with deceit (v.35);

3. Who did not hesitate to let his mother cursed for the sake of his own blessing (v.13);

4. Who lied with the excuse of God (v.20);


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

Translated by Mary Zhou