Summary: Rebekah, mother of Esau and Jacob, wanted Jacob to have the paternal blessing which Isaac was going to bestow on Esau. She developed a plan for Jacob to get it--and they went through with it. Results? Bad!

Introduction: Jacob had already purchased Esau’s birthright (some might say, swindled Esau out of it) some years before this event took place. Now, with his mother Rebekah’s help, he was about to swindle his father, Isaac, out of Esau’s blessing. Jacob got the blessing, but he lost more than ever thought he would gain.

The prologue: Isaac’s desire

Text: Genesis 27:1-4, KJV: 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.

The events in this chapter come after much of Isaac’s life. For his first 40 years, he was single, apparently learning all he could from Abraham and Sarah. The Bible doesn’t give a lot of information about Isaac in that regard. When he was 40, he married Rebekah, whose story of leaving her homeland to marry a man she didn’t know is a classic.

Then for 20 years they tried to have children but nothing happened. In God’s timing, though, Rebekah did conceive and bore twins. Her “what’s going on inside me?” question was a very thoughtful one—she asked the LORD about it and may have received a great surprise! This question, also, should prove conclusively that unborn children are living human beings, not just “tissues” or “clumps of cells”. Rebekah would know better than that!

But now, Isaac is “old”—some estimate him to be over 100 years old at this time—and he’s now afraid he’s going to die without giving Esau, his favorite son of the twins, the “paternal blessing”. There is a difference between a birthright, reserved exclusively for a firstborn, and a blessing which a father could give to any of the children. Isaac loved Esau, and wanted to give him the blessing, but wanted “just one more supper” before this took place.

As an aside, “venison” in the KJV is also translated “wild game” in other versions. Deer and related animals were “clean” under the Law of Moses, enacted many years later (examples: roebucks and harts; see Deut. 12:15, 22). “Savoury meat” seems to mean exactly that, but nothing further is said about it. What is important is that Isaac thought he was going to die soon but wanted some (in his opinion) really tasty food before he departed this life.

But something else was going to happen, and Isaac wouldn’t know anything about it. We’re about to see a side of Rebekah and Jacob we hadn’t noticed before.

1 Rebekah’s determination

Text, Genesis 27:5-17, KJV: 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. 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. 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 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.

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