Isaac's purpose to entail the blessing upon Esau, ver. 1 - 4.
Rebekah's plot to procure it for Jacob, ver. 6 - 17.
Jacob's obtaining of the blessing, ver. 18 - 29.
Esau's resentment of this. In which,
His importunity with his father to obtain a blessing, ver. 30 - 40.
His enmity to his brother for defrauding him, ver. 41 - 46.
1: Here is Isaac's design to declare Esau his heir. The
promise of the Messiah and the land of Canaan was a great trust
first committed to Abraham, inclusive and typical of spiritual and
eternal blessings; this by divine direction he transmitted to Isaac.
Isaac being now old, and either not knowing, or not duly considering the
divine oracle concerning his two sons, that the elder should serve the
younger, resolves to entail all the honour and power that was wrapt up
in the promise upon Esau, his eldest son. He called Esau - Tho'
Esau, had greatly grieved his parents by his marriage, yet they had not
expelled him, but it seems were pretty well reconciled to him.
2: I am old, and know not the day of my death - How soon I may die.
3: Take me some venison that I may; bless thee - Esau must go a
hunting and bring some venison. In this he designed not so much the
refreshment of his own spirits, as the receiving a fresh instance of
his son's, filial duty and affection to him, before he bestowed this
favour upon him. That my soul may bless thee before I die - Prayer is the
work of the soul, and not of the lips only; as the soul must be employed
in blessing God, (Ps 103:1), so it must be in blessing ourselves
and others: the blessing will not go to the heart, if it do not come from
6: Rebekah is here contriving to procure the blessing for
Jacob, which was designed for Esau. If the end was good, the means
were bad, and no way justifiable. If it were not a wrong to Esau to
deprive him of the blessing, he himself having forfeited it by selling the
birth right, yet it was a wrong to Isaac, taking advantage of his
infirmity, to impose upon him: it was a wrong to Jacob, whom she taught
to deceive, by putting a lie in his mouth. If Rebekah, when she
heard Isaac promise the blessing to Esau, had gone to him, and with
humility and seriousness put him in remembrance of that which God had said
concerning their sons; if she had farther shewed him how Esau had
forfeited the blessing, both by selling his birth - right, and by marrying of
strange wives; 'tis probable Isaac would have been prevailed with to
confer the blessing upon Jacob, and needed not thus to have been cheated
into it. This had been honourable and laudable, and would have looked well
in history; but God left her to herself to take this indirect course, that
he might have the glory of bringing good out of evil.
19: And Jacob said, I am Esau - Who would have thought this plain
man could have played such a part? His mother having put him in the way
of it, he applies himself to those methods which he had never accustomed
himself to, but had always conceived an abhorrence of. But lying is soon
learned. I wonder how honest Jacob could so readily turn his tongue to
say, I am Esau thy first - born: and when his father asked him,(Ge 27:24).
Art thou my very son Esau? to reply I am. How could he say, I
have done as thou badst me, when he had received no command from his
father, but was doing as his mother bid him? How could he say, Eat of
my venison, when he knew it came not from the field, but from the fold?
But especially I wonder how he could have the forehead to father it upon
God, and to use his name in the cheat.
20: The Lord thy God brought it to me - Is this Jacob? It is
certainly written not for our imitation, but our admonition, Let him
that, standeth, take heed lest he fall.
Now let us see how Isaac gave Jacob his blessing.
27-31: He kissed him; in token of particular affection to him. Those
that are blessed of God are kissed with the kisses of his mouth, and they do
by love and loyalty kiss the son, (Ps 2:12).
2. He praised him. Upon occasion of the sweet smell of his garments he
said, See the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord
hath blessed - That is, like that of the most fragrant flowers and spices.
Three things Jacob is here blessed with,
Plenty, (Ge 27:28).
Heaven and earth concurring to make him rich.
Power, (Ge 27:29). Particularly dominion over his brethren,
viz. Esau and his posterity.
Prevalency with God, and a great interest in heaven, Cursed be
every one that curseth thee - Let God be a friend to all thy friends, and
an enemy to all thine enemies. Now, certainly more is comprised in this
blessing than appears at first; it must amount to an entail of the promise
of the Messiah: that was in the patriarchal dialect the blessing;
something spiritual doubtless is included in it. First, That from him
should come the Messiah, that should have a sovereign dominion on
earth. See (Nu 24:19).
Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, the star and
scepter, (Nu 24:17).
Jacob's dominion over Esau was to be only typical of this,(Ge 49:10).
Secondly, That from him should come the church that should be
particularly owned and favoured by Heaven. It was part of the blessing
of Abraham when he was first called to be the father of the faithful,(Ge 12:3).
I will bless them that bless thee; therefore when Isaac afterwards
confirmed the blessing to Jacob, he called it the blessing of
Abraham, (Ge 28:4).
33: Isaac trembled exceedingly - Those that follow the choice of
their own affections rather than the dictates of the Divine will, involve
themselves in such perplexities as these. But he soon recovers himself, and
ratifies the blessing he had given to Jacob, I have blessed him, and he
shall be blessed - He might have recalled it, but now at last he is
sensible he was in an error when he designed it for Esau. Either
recollecting the Divine oracle, or having found himself more than ordinarily
filled with the Holy Ghost when he gave the blessing to Jacob, he
perceived that God did as it were say Amen to it.
39: Esau likewise obtained a blessing: yet it was far short of
In Jacob's blessing the dew of heaven is put first, as that which
he most valued and desired: in Esau's the fatness of the earth is
put first, for that was it which he had the principal regard to.
Esau hath these, but Jacob hath them from God's hand. God
give thee the dew of heaven, (Ge 27:28). It was enough to have the
possession, but Jacob desired it by promise.
Jacob shall have dominion over his brethren, for the
Israelites often ruled over the Edomites. Esau shall have
dominion, he shall gain some power, but shall never have dominion over his
brother: we never find that the Jews were sold into the hands of the
Edomites, or that they oppressed them. But the great difference is,
that there is nothing in Esau's blessing that points at Christ, nothing
that brings either him or his into the church, and without that the
fatness of the earth, and the plunder of the field, will stand him in
little stead. Thus Isaac by faith blessed them both, according as their
lot should be.
45: Why should I be deprived of you both? - Not only of the murdered,
but of the murderer, who either by the magistrate, or by the immediate hand
of God would be sacrificed to justice.
46: If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth - As Esau has
done. More artifice still. This was not the thing she was afraid of. But
if we use guile once, we shall be very ready to use it again. It should be
carefully observed, That altho' a blessing came on his posterity by
Jacob's vile lying and dissimulation, yet it brought heavy affliction
upon himself, and that for a long term of years. So severely did God punish
him personally, for doing evil that good might come.