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Genesis - Chapter 27

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 27:1-4 Isaac, fearing that he may soon die wanted to pass on the blessings to his older son, Esau. Whether or not his wife Rebekah told him what the Lord told her that the older (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob), he was prepared to pass on the blessings to his first-born son.

Notes: Isaac’s physical loss of sight reflects an inner blindness that makes him oblivious to Esau’s shortcoming and God’s purpose for Jacob. Isaac’s motivation for blessing Esau is possibly driven by a desire for “delicious food” rather than a true assessment of his character. He certainly did not expect to live another 43 years.

Genesis 27:5-10 Rebekah, believing God’s promise took it into her own hands to solve the apparent crisis. Not wanting Esau to get the blessings, she conceived a plan to deceive her blind husband to bless Jacob instead.

Genesis 27:11-13 Jacob feared that Isaac only had to feel his hairless body and know it was not Esau presenting the food Isaac asked to be prepared for himself.

Genesis 27:14-17 Rebekah prepared the meal, disguised her son Jacob as Esau, and launched the plan.

Genesis 27:18 Being blind asked his son to clarify which son he was speaking to.

Genesis 27:14-20 Jacob could have waited longer (The time allotted for Esau to hunt, dress, and prepare the meal) before presenting himself to Isaac, but he had to do it before Esau came back. Jacob lied to his father saying that God gave him quick success in the field to help explain how he showed up so quickly.

Genesis 27:21-26 Isaac doubted whom he was talking to because the voice of his son sounded like Jacob and not Esau. Knowing Esau was hairy, Isaac wanted to feel his son to be sure it was Esau. Again, Jacob lied saying that he was Esau when asked by his father Isaac. One last time, Isaac asked to kiss and embrace his son so he could smell the garments. Being a hunter, Esau would have smelled different from Jacob.

Notes: The other senses, hearing and smell intensify to compensate for the loss of sight.

Genesis 27:27-29 Isaac blessed Jacob not only with the major portion of the physical inheritance, but also the spiritual blessing to lead the family and to be the one to carry the seed to the Messiah.

Genesis 27:30-33 Esau arrived soon after Jacob left. Rebekah plot was quickly exposed. Isaac stated that the blessing he gave Jacob was final and irreversible.

Notes: Either Isaac may have believed that giving the blessing somehow magically guaranteed the blessing given, (though we know that God’s sovereignty can never be overruled), or he did know of the prophecy told to Rebekah and was now convinced that it was true that God chose Jacob over Esau.

Genesis 27:34-36 Esau wanted the blessing that he now knew that Jacob took by deception. Esau himself was not honest when he stated that Jacob cheated him by taking away his blessing the first time. Esau freely gave it away for a bowl of stew.

Genesis 27:37-40 Isaac made it clear to Esau that he has blessed Jacob with everything and there was nothing left to give Esau. Esau was now equal to that of his other brothers and the servants given to Jacob. Isaac then prophesied, most likely a direct revelation from the Lord, what was now to become of Esau.

Notes: Although Jacob has been given authority over his older twin brother, Isaac indicates that Esau will eventually free himself from his brother’s control. Later, Esau’s descendants settle outside the Promised Land, to the east of the Jordan River eventually taking control of Seir, which is later named “Edom”.

Genesis 27:41-46 Esau vowed to kill his brother Jacob after their father Isaac died. Rebekah, hearing about Esau’s plan, warns Jacob and commands him to flee to her brother Laban in Haran until it all blows over. Rebekah then includes Isaac in on her new plot to send Jacob away by using the excuse of Jacob not marrying a Hittite woman instead of the truth of Esau’s plan to kill his brother, Jacob.

Notes: Rebekah and Jacob were wrong to force God’s hand by being deceitful when God had already promised Jacob would receive the blessing. They should have just waited out God’s timing and saved themselves much future suffering. Although Jacob received Isaac’s blessing that day, the deceit caused severe consequences: 1) he never saw his mother after that; 2) Esau wanted him dead; 3) Laban, his uncle, deceived him; 4) his family life was full of conflict; and 5) he was exiled for years from his family. By the promise of God, he would have received the birthright. He didn’t need to scheme this deception with his mother.

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