Genesis 27

* Isaac sends Esau for venison. (1-5) Rebekah teaches Jacob to

obtain the blessing. (6-17) Jacob, pretending to be Esau,

obtains the blessing. (18-29) Isaac's fear, Esau's importunity.

(30-40) Esau threatens Jacob's life, Rebekah sends Jacob away.


1-5 The promises of the Messiah, and of the land of Canaan, had

come down to Isaac. Isaac being now about 135 years of age, and

his sons about 75, and not duly considering the Divine word

concerning his two sons, that the elder should serve the

younger, resolved to put all the honour and power that were in

the promise, upon Esau his eldest son. We are very apt to take

measures rather from our own reason than from Divine revelation,

and thereby often miss our way.
6-17 Rebekah knew that the blessing was intended for Jacob, and

expected he would have it. But she wronged Isaac by putting a

cheat on him; she wronged Jacob by tempting him to wickedness.

She put a stumbling-block in Esau's way, and gave him a pretext

for hatred to Jacob and to religion. All were to be blamed. It

was one of those crooked measures often adopted to further the

Divine promises; as if the end would justify, or excuse wrong

means. Thus many have acted wrong, under the idea of being

useful in promoting the cause of Christ. The answer to all such

things is that which God addressed to Abraham, I am God

Almighty; walk before me and be thou perfect. And it was a very

rash speech of Rebekah, "Upon me be thy curse, my son." Christ

has borne the curse of the law for all who take upon them the

yoke of the command, the command of the gospel. But it is too

daring for any creature to say, Upon me be thy curse.
18-29 Jacob, with some difficulty, gained his point, and got

the blessing. This blessing is in very general terms. No mention

is made of the distinguishing mercies in the covenant with

Abraham. This might be owing to Isaac having Esau in his mind,

though it was Jacob who was before him. He could not be ignorant

how Esau had despised the best things. Moreover, his attachment

to Esau, so as to disregard the mind of God, must have greatly

weakened his own faith in these things. It might therefore be

expected, that leanness would attend his blessing, agreeing with

the state of his mind.
30-40 When Esau understood that Jacob had got the blessing, he

cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry. The day is coming,

when those that now make light of the blessings of the covenant,

and sell their title to spiritual blessings for that which is of

no value, will, in vain, ask urgently for them. Isaac, when made

sensible of the deceit practised on him, trembled exceedingly.

Those who follow the choice of their own affections, rather than

the Divine will, get themselves into perplexity. But he soon

recovers, and confirms the blessing he had given to Jacob,

saying, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed. Those who

part with their wisdom and grace, their faith and a good

conscience, for the honours, wealth, or pleasures of this world,

however they feign a zeal for the blessing, have judged

themselves unworthy of it, and their doom shall be accordingly.

A common blessing was bestowed upon Esau. This he desired. Faint

desires of happiness, without right choice of the end, and right

use of the means, deceive many unto their own ruin. Multitudes

go to hell with their mouths full of good wishes. The great

difference is, that there is nothing in Esau's blessing which

points at Christ; and without that, the fatness of the earth,

and the plunder of the field, will stand in little stead. Thus

Isaac, by faith, blessed both his sons, according as their lot

should be.
41-46 Esau bore malice to Jacob on account of the blessing he

had obtained. Thus he went in the way of Cain, who slew his

brother, because he gained that acceptance with God of which he

had rendered himself unworthy. Esau aimed to prevent Jacob or

his seed from having the dominion, by taking away his life. Men

may fret at God's counsels, but cannot change them. To prevent

mischief, Rebekah warned Jacob of his danger, and advised him to

withdraw for his safety. We must not presume too far upon the

wisdom and resolution, even of the most hopeful and promising

children; but care must be taken to keep them out of the way of

evil. When reading this chapter, we should not fail to observe,

that we must not follow even the best of men further than they

act according to the law of God. We must not do evil that good

may come. And though God overruled the bad actions recorded in

this chapter, to fulfil his purposes, yet we see his judgment of

them, in the painful consequences to all the parties concerned.

It was the peculiar privilege and advantage of Jacob to convey

these spiritual blessings to all nations. The Christ, the

Saviour of the world, was to be born of some one family; and

Jacob's was preferred to Esau's, out of the good pleasure of

Almighty God, who is certainly the best judge of what is fit,

and has an undoubted right to dispense his favours as he sees

proper, #Ro 9:12-15|.
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