January 17, 2015

Commentary on the Book of Genesis

By: Tom Lowe

 

PART III: HISTORY OF ISAAC AND JACOB. (Genesis 25:19-36:43)

Topic #B:JACOB'S FRAUD AND FLIGHT. (Genesis 27:1-28:22)                                                                                                                                             

 

 


Lesson III.B.2: Jacob Obtains the Blessing. (Gen. 27:18-29).

 

 

 

(Genesis 27:18-29) (KJV)

 

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.

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.

23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.

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

25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.

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:

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.

 

 

 

Introduction to Verses 18-29

 

By assisting with the scheme Rebekah had cooked-up, Jacob was only obeying his mother, but he could have refused and suggested that they just face the situation honestly and confront Isaac.  But once Jacob donned Esau’s clothes and took the savory meal in his hands, the die was cast and he had to play the part successfully.  See how one lie lead to another, for deception can be defended only by more deception.  Jacob was weaving a tangled web.

 

 

 

Commentary

 

 

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

 

Did Isaac ask for identification because he was hard of hearing?  Probably not (22); it’s likely he was starting to get suspicious because he didn’t expect Esau to return so quickly from the hunt (20).  Furthermore, the voice he heard didn’t sound like the voice of Esau.  Three times the old man voiced his suspicion (20, 22, 24).

 

Attention is drawn to Jacob’s falsehoods.  Dressed in Esau’s workday coat, his hands and arms covered with rough goat’s hair, and with a mouthwatering dish of spiced-up goat in his hands, Jacob set out to deceive his dad, and in the process of doing so, he told several lies which will be pointed out as we study this passage and observe the back and forth between these two men.  It will be obvious that Jacob was an accomplished liar.

 

 

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.

 

He claimed to have obeyed his father’s wishes, and he called the goat’s meat “my venison.” He even gave credit to the Lord for helping him find it so quickly.  He not only lied about himself but he also lied about the Lord (20).

 

The scheming pair (Jacob and Rebekah) overlooked one item, the difference between the voices of the two sons.  The old father caught the difference immediately and reacted suspiciously when Jacob identified himself as “Esau [lie number 1], thy first born [lie number 2];I have done according as thou badest me [lie number 3];arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison [lie number 4], that thy soul may bless me.” Four lies in a single breath!

 

 

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.

 

The aged Isaac almost tripped him up over the quickness of delivering the meal (Isaac ask a perfectly legitimate question since hunting took time and Jacob had come so quickly with goats meat prepared to taste like venison); Jacob could only mutter, “Because the Lord thy God brought it to me [lie number 5].” That time he added the name of the living God to his deception to give it added acceptability; however, to use the Lord to cover up sin is a step poured blasphemy. This would have been a great time to confess and stop the deceit.  Instead, Jacob with absolute ease, knowing he needed Isaac’s irrevocable confirmation even though he had bought the birthright, ascribed success in the hunt to God’s providence

 

Believe me, this boy at this particular point is typical of pious frauds.  You find many such frauds even in fundamental circles today.  They talk about the Lord leading them.  My, sometimes the Lord “leads” them to do some very unusual things!  I find out sometimes that Christian men think they can do things that the mafia would be arrested for.  But these men can very piously pray about it and say that it is the Lord’s will.  Believe me, Jacob at this point is a pious fraud.  The Lord had nothing to do with his deception.

 

 

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.

 

Poor old Isaac was still not convinced.  He sensed something was wrong, but he could not put his finger on it.  He tried again, summoning Jacob closer so that he could feel his flesh—a tense moment indeed.

 

 

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.

 

“The voice is Jacob's voice,” he said, “but the hands are the hands of Esau.” You can tell that Isaac suspected something was wrong, but Rebekah knew Isaac very well and she had worked out every detail.

 

 

23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.

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

 

Unwilling to trust his ears, Isaac felt Jacob’s hands and mistook goatskin for human hair, and Jacob assured him again that he indeed was Esau.  “And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am” [lie number 6].  A lie had to sustain a lie, and a tangled web had begun to be woven.  How tragic it is to see a son so dishonor his father!

 

 

25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.

 

Partially satisfied, Isaac called for the meat and ate (25).  But clearly the sound of that voice troubled him (22).  Under the ruse of asking for a kiss, the father “smelled . . . his raiment” (27).  But Rebekah had anticipated that (15).  Finally convinced, Isaac proceeded to give the blessing (28-29). 

 

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:

 

After Isaac had eaten the meal, he asked Jacob to kiss him, and that kiss was the seventh lie, for it was hypocritical (Luke 22:48).  How could Jacob claim to love his father when he was in the act of deceiving him?

 

The smell of the garments finally convinced Isaac that Esau was there.  Thus Isaac made the final mistake of a carnal man.  He went by his feelings.  Convinced in spite of himself, he sat up and ate a hearty meal.  Then, satisfied and full, the stage was now set for the giving of the blessing.

 

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.
  5. He was exiled for years from his family.

By the promise of God, he would have received the birthright (25:23).  He didn’t need to work this deception with his mother.

 

 

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.

 

Finally, with all lingering doubts removed, Isaac pronounced the blessing upon Jacob, although the opening words show he thought the one receiving it was Esau, the man of the field.  His prayer-wish called for prosperity and superiority and ended with a repeat of God’s words to Abraham—“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).  The words indicated that Isaac thought the line to the Messiah should have continued through his eldest son, Esau.  It is interesting that the blessings spoken by the patriarchs were prophetic; they came to pass literally because, in a real sense, these men spoke by inspiration.

 

Isaac is giving the blessings which he had received (compare verse 29 with Genesis 12:1-3)—he is passing it on.  The interesting thing is that it already belonged to Jacob.  God had said that it did. He didn’t have to do a thing, because God would have given it to him. God had already blessed Jacob.  God is not accepting this deception at all.

 

The patriarchal blessing was a form of last will and testament. Oral blessings were considered as binding on all parties as a written contract.   What a magnificent blessing it was.  The Holy Spirit records the content of the blessing.  It bestowed on Jacob, unlimited prosperity and power, the fatness of the earth, sovereignty over the nations, lordship over his brethren, and divine protection—The recipient of the blessing was to be protected by divine justice; whoever had contact with him was to receive punishment for cursing him and blessing for being gracious to him. When the blessing was over, Jacob slipped away.  The deed was done.  Isaac couldn’t revoke the blessing, and nobody in the family could alter the consequences. 

 

Notice that the blessing is expressed in very general terms.  No mention is made of those distinguishing mercies included in the covenant with Abraham.  This might be due to Isaac having Esau on his mind, though it was Jacob who was there. He could not be ignorant of how much Esau had despise these things.  Moreover, his attachment to Esau may have caused him to disregard the mind of God, and must have greatly weakened and injured his own faith in these things.

 

“God give thee of the dew of heaven”—to an oriental mind, this phraseology implied the highest flow of prosperity.  The abundant fall of dew is indispensable to the fruitfulness of lands, which would otherwisebe arid and sterile because of the violent heat; and it abounds most in hilly regions, such as Canaan, hence called the fat land (Nehemiah 9:25, 35).

 

“Plenty of corn and wine”—Palestine was famous for vineyards, and it produced varieties of corn, wheat, barley, oats, and rye.

 

“Let people serve thee”—fulfilled in the humiliation of the hostile tribes that opposed the Israelites in the wilderness; and in the pre-eminence and power they attained after their national establishment in the Promised Land.  This blessing was not fulfilled in Jacob, but in his descendants; and the worldly blessings promised were just a shadow of those spiritual ones, which formed the grand distinction of Jacob’s posterity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Free Website with Yola.