Forums Official CSN Bible Studies - Old Testament Genesis

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    • June 21, 2016 6:21 PM EDT
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      GENESIS 27 - Jacob Deceptively Gains the Blessing of Isaac
      GENESIS 28 - Jacob Flees Esau

      GENESIS 27: Rebekah and Jacob plot to deceive Isaac.

      Verses 1-4 tells us Isaac’s deathbed request to Esau.

      “Now 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.” Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And 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.”

      Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old: Isaac BELIEVES his time has come to die, and this is his way of “settling his affairs,” sort of a last will and testament. Although, we KNOW Isaac’s age to be 137 at this point, & he lived to be 180, so Isaac still had 43 more years.

      That my soul may bless you before I die: Strangely, Isaac INSISTED on giving the blessing TO Esau, the one God did NOT choose, who despised his birthright, and who has married pagan wives. It seems Isaac plainly operated in the flesh here, thinking only of the good food he received from Esau’s hunting.

      Verses 5-10 tells us Rebekah advises Jacob to deceive his father Isaac.

      “Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 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.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. Go 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. Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”

      Instead of trusting God to fulfill what He had promised in Genesis 25:23, Rebekah copies Sarah, in that she goes about to “do what is right” in the flesh. Good intentions don’t justify acting in the flesh.

      I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves: But again, Isaac is NO LESS scheming than Rebekah. In the willfulness of his old age, he is determined to pass on the blessing to Esau, DESPITE what the Lord has said and what the boys have shown with their lives.

      The fact Isaac is trying to dispense the blessing SECRETLY shows he KNEW that he WAS wrong. Sadly, in this house, no one trusted anyone else, DID THEY? NOT EVEN GOD AT THIS MOMENT.

      Verses 11-17 tells us preparations are made for Jacob’s deceptive attempt to steal the blessing.

      “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps 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.” But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. Then 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. And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.”

      Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him: Jacob, true to his name (“trickster” or “scoundrel”), is all too willing to go along with this plan. His only concern is whether or not it will succeed.

      When we are willing to abandon the question of right and wrong, and when our only concern is “what works,” we have bought into the modern idea of pragmatism, as much of the church has today, AMEN?

      His father . . . Rebekah . . . Esau . . . Jacob: Significantly, at this point, each of these actors in this drama ARE IN THE FLESH and NOT IN THE SPIRIT, ARE THEY? Even Esau, in agreeing to Isaac’s plan to give him the birthright, disregarded his previous promise to allow Jacob to have the birthright.

      DO YOU NOTICE, like I did, that the WORST aspect of this all is they seem to regard the blessing as “MAGICAL,” as something detached from God’s wisdom and will. But the most Isaac can do is recognize God’s call and blessing on Jacob. Only God can truly BESTOW the blessing. Esau could receive the blessing from Isaac a hundred times, but it only matters if God in heaven HONORS IT, AMEN?

      Jacob receives the blessing Isaac intended for Esau.

      Verses 18-27a tells us Jacob lies to his father, pretending to be Esau.

      “So he went to his father and said, “My father.’ And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Jacob 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.” 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.” Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So 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.” And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He said, “I am.” He 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. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.” And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing,”

      I am Esau your firstborn: Sometimes it is difficult to discern a lie, and whether it is sin or not comes back to the question of intent. But other times it is not difficult at all, and Jacob clearly LIES here, DOES HE NOT?

      Because the Lord your God brought it to me: Jacob, the scoundrel, did NOT hesitate to bring in God as a party to his deception.


      Simply because his only concern is “what works.” Since he knows God WANTS him to have the birthright, he will justify any lie or sin he commits in the pursuit of the birthright and say he is making a stand for righteousness!

      Jacob probably used the promise and calling of God as an excuse for sin; he justified it to himself by saying his sinful conduct was fulfilling the promise of God.

      Are you really my son Esau? Even under repeated questioning Jacob stayed confirmed in his lie. Partially, Jacob took advantage of his father’s good nature. Isaac probably would not believe his Jacob would lie to him so repeatedly.

      Verses 27b-29 tell us the blessing is given to Jacob.

      “And blessed him and said: “Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. Let 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!”

      Isaac blesses Jacob as the spiritual head of the family. Isaac had the right to pass on this blessing related to the covenant of Abraham, not Ishmael. The son (Jacob or Esau) who received this blessing was able to pass it on to his descendants.

      May God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth: The words of the blessing are filled with pictures of the Lord’s rich bounty, and they echo some of the words of the covenant God made with Abraham.

      Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you: Again, it is important to see it wasn’t the bestowal of these words upon Jacob that made him blessed. Instead, Jacob was blessed because God chose him long before in Genesis 26:23. What mattered is that God said the older shall serve the younger (back in Genesis 25:23), not that Isaac said be master over your brethren.
      Esau discovers the deception of Jacob.

      Verses 30-38 tells us Esau’s grief at discovering Jacob’s deception.

      “Now 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. He 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.” And his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” So he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Then 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.” When 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!” But he said, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.” And 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?” Then 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?” And 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.

      Isaac trembled exceedingly: AND HE SHOULD HAVE TREMBLED.
      Isaac was troubled because he knew he had tried to box God in, to defeat God’s plan, and God had beaten him. He realized he would always be defeated when he tried to resist God’s will, even when he didn’t like it. And he came to learn that despite his arrogance against God’s will, God’s will WAS glorious.

      Later, in Hebrews 11:20, it says By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.


      Here it is, after Isaac’s attempt to thwart the will of God has been destroyed and he said of Jacob, “and INDEED he shall be blessed.”

      He took away my birthright: Both Isaac and Esau are grieved when they figure out what Jacob did, and now Esau is concerned about the birthright! Previously (in Genesis 25:22-34), he was willing to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew, and he despised his birthright. BUT NOW…WHEN HE THINKS HE WILL OUTLIVE HIS FATHER….NOW HE WANTED the material and political advantages of the birthright.

      When he saw it as a SPIRITUAL birthright, Esau did NOT value the birthright, but now that he sees it in material and political terms, he wanted it.


      Though Esau is right in accusing Jacob of acting true to his nature when he took the birthright from Esau the first time, he neglects to mention he SOLD the birthright for a bowl of stew, and he DESPISED his birthright.
      Esau cannot truly say that Jacob took away my birthright. Esau gave it away, and God is Lord over the birthright anyway.

      Bless me, even me also, O my father! This is MORE spiritual concern than we have EVER seen in Esau, though even this is colored with material and political concern.

      Esau lifted up his voice and wept: Esau’s tears were the tears of frustrated selfishness, not of regret for his own sin and despising of his birthright.

      AND HEBREWS 12:15-17 REMINDS US OF SOMETHING IMPORTANT HERE….“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”

      Verses 39-40 tells us Isaac gives a limited blessing to Esau.

      “Then 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. By 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.”

      Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth: So what did the blessing to ESAU MEAN?

      IT MEANT the “blessing” Isaac bestowed on Esau actually says, “your dwelling shall be from the fatness of the earth.” That is, Esau and his descendants would be desert-dwellers.
      You shall serve your brother: Esau would be under Jacob, but not forever. The promise also was that Esau would break his yoke from your neck.

      Verses 41-46 tells us Esau’s anger; Rebekah makes plans for Jacob to flee.

      “So 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.” 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. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran. And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away, until 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?” And 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?”

      Then I will kill my brother Jacob: Esau’s somewhat spiritual concern for the blessing of his father quickly vanishes in a bitter hatred of Jacob, a bitter hatred having murderous intent, does it not? Esau planned to kill Jacob as soon as Isaac died, and this is a comfort to Esau.

      Revenge is a comforting thought to those who feel they have been wronged like Esau. If only Esau knew Isaac would live another 43 years!

      Perhaps Esau was going to test just how blessed Jacob was. His intention may have been to kill him in an attempt to defeat God’s revealed will regarding the birthright.

      Stay with him a few days: The FEW days Jacob was to stay with Laban and Rebekah’s family in Haran will turn out to be more than 20 years. Yet, God WILL fulfill His purpose in all of it.

      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? Rebekah successfully maneuvered Isaac into telling Jacob to leave.

      SADLY, Rebekah’s diplomatic victory was complete; but she would NEVER LIVE TO see her son again.

      Genesis 28 - Jacob Flees From Esau

      Isaac’s farewell to Jacob.

      Verses 1-2 tells us ISAAC‘S instructions to not take a Canaanite wife.

      “Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.”

      Isaac called Jacob and blessed him: Perhaps now Isaac resigns himself to what his wife Rebekah told him was the Lord’s will all along - that the older would serve the younger and that Jacob, not Esau, would receive the birthright. So he sent Jacob on with blessing and instructions.

      You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan: It is essential Jacob not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan, as his brother Esau did.


      Because Jacob is the one who inherits the birthright and carries on the seed of the Messiah.

      Verses 3-5 tells us the all-important transferal of Abraham’s blessing.

      “May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may be an assembly of peoples; and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land in which you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham.” So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Padan Aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

      And give you the blessing of Abraham: Essentially, this is the aspect of the birthright that Esau despised, but Jacob (who seems equally unworthy) will gain. Jacob is the one to carry on God’s promise to Abraham.

      Essentially, Jacob is promised a land, a nation, and a blessing, even as Abraham was in Genesis 12:1-3.

      To you and your descendants with you: Jacob is by no means worthy of this blessing. Each of the four parties in this whole birthright mess were in the flesh somewhere along the line. The amazing thing is that God could bring any good out of all this, and this is an example of a triumph of God’s sovereignty.

      So Isaac sent Jacob away: Tragically, this is the LAST TIME Jacob will see his father or mother.

      Verses 6-9 tells us Esau adds wives.

      “Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Padan Aram to take himself a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Padan Aram. Also Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had.”

      Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob: Now the blessing and the birthright seem important to Esau. They were important enough to him that he determined to impress his father by marrying non-Canaanite women when he saw that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother.

      Jacob meets God at Bethel.

      Verses 10-12 tells us Jacob’s dream of a ladder.

      “Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”

      Then he dreamed: In this desolate wilderness, Jacob had a significant dream as he used a stone for a pillow (which would seem to cause strange dreams).

      I MEAN THINK ABOUT IT…ALL THE flood of feelings in Jacob at this moment: the fear, the loneliness, the isolation, the excitement, and the anticipation. This was an absolutely strategic time in Jacob’s life.

      A ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it: In Jacob’s dream, there is NOW ACCESS TO HEAVEN. Jacob now knew God was closer than ever and there was real access and interaction between heaven and earth.

      Jesus made it clear in John 1:51 that He IS the access to heaven. He is the means by which heaven comes down to us and by which we can go to heaven. He is the “ladder.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”


      JOHN 14:6 reminds us, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

      Verses 13-15 tell us God speaks to Jacob.

      “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

      The land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants: These words are for comfort and hope in the life of Jacob, at this critical crossroads in his life. Essentially, God repeats to Jacob the terms of the covenant He gave to both Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and to Isaac in Genesis 26:2-5.

      Before, Isaac told Jacob the covenant was his (Genesis 28:3-4), but now MORE IMPORTANTLY the voice of God Himself confirms it.

      I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac: Jacob had no doubt heard about the great God who appeared to Abraham and to Isaac, but now this same God has a personal encounter with Jacob himself. This was a LIFE-CHANGING experience for Jacob.

      I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you:

      God gives to Jacob the same kind of promise found in Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

      THEN AND NOW, God won’t let us go until His work is complete in us, AMEN?

      Verses 16-19 tells us Jacob worships God, naming the place Bethel (house of God).

      “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.”

      Jacob was right in sensing the presence of the Lord there, but he was wrong in perhaps thinking God was in some places and not in others.

      KING DAVID KNEW THE TRUTH… IN PSALMS 139:7, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”

      From his fleshly perspective, Jacob puts too much emphasis on a particular place. He doesn’t realize that if the presence of the Lord is not with him in every place, then God can never fulfill His promise to him.

      He called the name of that place Bethel: The city of Bethel plays an important (though not glorious) role in Israel’s history. It is second only to Jerusalem in the number of times mentioned in the Old Testament.

      Later, when speaking to Jacob, God refers to Himself as the God of Bethel in Genesis 31:13 too.

      Bethel would eventually become a high place, notorious for idolatrous sacrifice told to us in 1 Kings 13:32; Hosea 10:15; Amos 4:4.

      Verses 20-22 tells us Jacob’s vow unto God.

      “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

      This can be also translated “since God will be with me”; but knowing Jacob, he undoubtedly means it in the sense of “if God will be with me.” God has given him a promise, yet he is still making “deals” with God, even promising God money if He makes good on His promise.

      The way Jacob prayed, it was evident God’s mere word was not enough for him. He had to see God do it before he would believe.
      Are we the same way?
      God says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” in Philippians 4:19.

      He says, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” in Nahum 1:7.

      BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS FOR US, AS WITH JACOB, Do we believe these things BEFORE we see them?

      Keep me in the way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on: Here, Jacob sets the terms of his covenant with God. He is laying down the deal for God, instead of humbly receiving what God said would be the deal.

      Jacob isn’t very submitted to God, is he?

      BUT God will teach him submission in a very tough situation, through his Uncle Laban.

      Jacob made a vow: Unfortunately, there is a great contrast between God’s promise and Jacob’s vow. One is totally God-centered; the other is terribly man-centered.

      God’s promise (Genesis 28:13-15):

      I am the Lord God.
      I will give to you.
      I am with you.
      I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken.

      Jacob’s vow:

      If God will be with me.
      And keep me.
      In this way that I am going.
      Give me bread and clothing.
      So that I come back to my father’s house.

      How much better if Jacob had prayed like this: “Because You promised to be with me and to keep me and to provide for all my needs, and to bring me back to the land which you swore to give to my fathers and to me, I will be completely Yours, God.”

      God is gracious enough to not call off the whole deal when He saw such a carnal response from Jacob. Instead, He is willing to be called, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob told to us in Exodus 3:6.



    • January 17, 2017 11:47 PM EST
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      This scripture is so important to me in my life. It's just such an amazing story with so many levels of relevance and applicability in so many levels of and within society today. I still get new messages from God everytime i read it. Love this, as sad as it is.
    • January 18, 2017 5:33 PM EST
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