But his father Isaac replied, "Who are you?" "I am Esau, your firstborn son," he answered.
1. That parents ought to bless their children; too many do curse, and not bless them.
I. GOD REPEATS HIS LESSONS that they may make the deeper impression. The intention of the record is to preserve a certain line of Divine guidance. Isaac trod in the footsteps of Abraham. We have Isaac's wells, oaths, feast, Shebah - all following close upon those of the preceding generation.
II. The SAME PRESERVATION OF THE COVENANT RACE in the midst of heathens confirms that covenant. The same lesson of special providential protection and blessing is thus repeated and enforced. Again the same contrast of man's infirmity with God's unchangeableness. The perversity of the fleshly-minded man forming a marriage connection with heathen people, and bringing grief of mind to his parents, reveals the distinctness of the world from the kingdom of God. - R.
God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.I. WITH TEMPORAL BLESSINGS.
1. A fertile soil.
2. Abundance of provision.
3. Political pre-eminence.
II. WITH SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS.
1. The channel of spiritual blessing to mankind.
2. A test of character.
(T. H. Leale.)
1. Plenty, heaven and earth combining to enrich the happy possessor.
2. Power, almost unlimited, especially over his own brethren.
3. And last, though not the least, a mighty influence with God and a great interest in the courts of heaven. "Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee." Or, in other words, "Let God be an enemy to all thy enemies, and a friend to all thy friends."
4. Now these, doubtless, were very desirable mercies, and they belonged, by right, to the first-born; though God was pleased sometimes to revoke that taw, and to transfer these blessings from the elder to the younger, as instanced in the case before us, and also in that of Cain and of Reuben. These, I say, were very desirable mercies, and, when accompanied with the Divine sanction, of untold value. But still, after all, they were but temporary. They lasted only for this life; and Jacob, I doubt not, might have managed very well without any one of them. The blessing of Isaac, therefore, must have comprised something more than what we have here recorded; otherwise we may be well assured that Jacob would never have risked so much to obtain it, nor would his mother ever have placed him in so hazardous and perilous a situation. But the fact is, these temporal blessings were but the "shadows of better things to come." They were, to use an apostolic phrase, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." They included all those good things which were more particularly specified to Abraham when God entered into covenant with him. They intimated, for instance, in the first place, that from him should descend the Messiah — He who was to be the "Prince of the kings of the earth... before whom all nations should come and worship... and who was to rule them with a rod of iron, and to break them to shivers as a potter's vessel." And, in the second place, that from him also should come the church that was to be specially owned and blessed by God; and consequently we find Isaac, when afterwards confirming the blessing to Jacob, calling it the "blessing of Abraham."
II. What were THE MEANS THAT REBEKAH ADOPTED to secure the blessing for her favourite son Jacob. They were little else than a tissue of lies and deceit.
III. Let us now see what LESSONS we may gather up from a contemplation of the whole subject.
1. In the first place, then, it reads a very solemn and affecting warning to parents. It teaches the folly and danger of making invidious distinctions between the different members of your families — of showing an undue partiality for one child more than another. It is a withering curse. It introduces discord and dissension into every family wherever it finds a footing, and it is the fruitful source of all evil, social and moral. Whenever, therefore, you feel its chilling influence beginning to steal over you, oh, remember Rebekah, and in the name and strength of your God shake it from you. Give it no encouragement; or, if you must, keep it to yourself. Let no one else ever see or feel it. In the second place, learn from this subject the way in which our Heavenly Father will have us to seek for His blessing. We must come to Him for it in and through our Elder Brother. We must come clothed in His "goodly raiment," even that pure and spotless robe which He wrought for us on Calvary. There is no other way under heaven whereby we can be saved. And if you ask me by what means we are to get this goodly raiment — this pure and spotless righteousness, I answer, simply by asking for it. "Ask," says your God and Saviour, "and you shall have." And although it cost Him a great price — even His own precious blood — yet He offers it to you without money and without price. Oh, go to Him, then, and ask Him for this precious gift; for "the gift of God is eternal life."
(E. Harper, B. A.)
2. Children ought to fear the causeful curses of their parents. The better son feared the curse of his father (ver. 12).
3. Parents ought rather to gather a stock of Divine promises, that they may bless their children more out of faith than out of form, praying for them out of a promise, as Isaac did then for his son Jacob, praying that the blessing of Abraham might come upon him (Genesis 28:4).
4. A wishing our children's weal customarily without a praying for them believingly, is neither enough for parents, nor is it all (or at all) that is warranted by Isaac's blessing Jacob here. There is much difference between a formal wish and a faithful prayer for their good.
5. Spiritual blessings must be sought and sued for in their proper season. Here Esau came too late for the blessing, which was bestowed before he lost the right season (which is a part of time above all other parts, even the shine and lustre of time), so could not obtain it, no, not with tears (Hebrews 12:16-17).
PeopleEsau, Haran, Heth, Isaac, Jacob, Laban, Rebekah
TopicsEsau, Firstborn, First-born, Isaac, Oldest
Outline1. Isaac sends Esau for venison.
6. Rebekah instructs Jacob to obtain the blessing.
14. Jacob, feigning to be Esau, obtains it.
30. Esau brings venison.
33. Isaac trembles.
34. Esau complains, and by importunity obtains a blessing.
41. He threatens Jacob's life.
42. Rebekah disappoints him, by sending Jacob away.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 27:32
LibraryThere is a Great Question About Lying, which Often Arises in the Midst Of...
1. There is a great question about Lying, which often arises in the midst of our every day business, and gives us much trouble, that we may not either rashly call that a lie which is not such, or decide that it is sometimes right to tell a lie, that is, a kind of honest, well-meant, charitable lie. This question we will painfully discuss by seeking with them that seek: whether to any good purpose, we need not take upon ourselves to affirm, for the attentive reader will sufficiently gather from the …
St. Augustine—On Lying
Epistle Lii. To Natalis, Bishop .
The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Letter xxxv. From Pope Damasus.
Touching Jacob, However, that which He did at his Mother's Bidding...
First Withdrawal from Herod's Territory and Return.
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