Esau's Irreligious Envy of Jacob
Genesis 27:33-40
And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that has taken venison, and brought it me…

It was not that he desired to be a servant of the Lord, or that his posterity should be His people, according to the tenor of Abraham's covenant: but as he that should be possessed of these distinctions would in other respects be superior to his brother, it became an object of emulation. Thus we have often seen religion set at nought, while yet the advantages which accompany it have been earnestly desired; and where grace has in a manner crossed hands by favouring a younger or inferior branch of a family, envy and its train of malignant passions have frequently blazed on the other side. It was not as the father of the holy nation, but as being "lord over his brethren," that Jacob was the object of Esau's envy. And this may further account for the blessing of Isaac on the former dwelling principally upon temporal advantages, as designed of God to cut off the vain hopes of the latter, of enjoying the power attached to the blessing, while he despised the blessing itself. When Esau perceived that Jacob must be blessed, he entreated to be blessed also: "Bless me, even me also, oh my father!" One sees in this language just that partial conviction of there being something in religion, mixed with a large portion of ignorance, which it is common to see in persons who have been brought up in a religious family, and yet are strangers to the God of their fathers. If this earnest request had extended only to what was consistent with Jacob's having the pre-eminence, there was another blessing for him, and he had it: but though he had no desire after the best part of Jacob's portion, yet he was very earnest to have had that clause of it reversed, "be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee." If this could have been granted him, he had been satisfied; for " the fatness of the earth" was all he cared for. But this was an object concerning which, as the apostle observes, "he found no place of repentance" (that is, in the mind of his father), "though he sought it carefully with tears." Such will be the case with fornicators and all profane persons, who, like Esau, for a few momentary gratifications in the present life, make light of Christ and the blessings of the gospel. They will cry with a great and exceeding bitter cry, saying, "Lord, Lord, open unto us!" But they will find no place of repentance in the mind of the Judge, who will answer them, "I know you not whence ye are: depart from Me ye workers of iniquity!" Esau's reflections on his brother for having twice supplanted him, were not altogether without ground; yet his statement is exaggerated. He lost his birthright because he himself, despising it, sold it to Jacob.

(A. Fuller.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.

WEB: Isaac trembled violently, and said, "Who, then, is he who has taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Yes, he will be blessed."

Esau's Cry
Top of Page
Top of Page