JACOB MAKES A DEAL FOR ESAU’S BIRTHRIGHT (G-27-HBS)

JACOB TAKES ESAU’S BIRTHRIGHT

When Isaac craved some venison from Esau, promising a blessing in return, Rebekah plotted to deceive her husband and to get the blessing for Jacob, whom she loved. Her trickery was unnecessary because God had already promised the blessing to Jacob (25:23b).

She cooked goat’s meat so that it tasted like savory venison, and put the goat’s skins on Jacob’s arms to impersonate the hairy Esau. Isaac made the mistake of trusting his feelings; the hairy arm “felt” like Esau’s. We should not trust our emotional feelings in spiritual matters.

Genesis 27:1-40 KJV

[1] And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.

[2] And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:

[3] Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

[4] And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

[5] And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.

[6] And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,

[7] Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.

[8] Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.

[9] Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:

[10] And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.

[11] And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:

[12] My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.

[13] And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.

[14] And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.

[15] And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:

[16] And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:

[17] And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

[18] And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?

[19] And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.

[20] And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.

[21] And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.

[22] And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.

[23] And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.

[24] And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.

[25] And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.

[26] And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.

[27] And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:

[28] Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

[29] Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

[30] And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

[31] And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.

[32] And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.

[33] 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.

[34] And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

[35] And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.

[36] And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?

[37] And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?

[38] And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

[39] And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;

[40] And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

Genesis 27:1 KJV

And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.


  • We have seen that Isaac was an outstanding man, a great man.
  • Abimelech and the Philistines came to make a treaty with him since they feared him.
  • He was patient and peace loving but also prominent and powerful.

Genesis 27:2 KJV

And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:


  • Here, however, he reveals that weakness of the flesh.
  • All during his life, Esau had been his favorite while Jacob had been the favorite of Rebekah.
  • Esau was the outdoor boy who would go out and bring in a deer or some other animal.
  • He would barbecue it, and the old man would enjoy it.
  • Now Isaac is very old and he wants to bless his favorite son.

Genesis 27:3 KJV

Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;


  • He knows very well that God has said the elder will serve the younger, but he bypasses that because he wants to bless Esau.
  • So he tells Esau to go out and bring in some meat and he will bless him because of it.

What a revelation this is of this family.

Have you noticed the family strife since we have come to this last major section of Genesis?

There was strife in the family of Abraham because of Hagar.

Now there is strife in this family over these twins.

Genesis 27:4 KJV

And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:5 KJV

And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.


  • Rebekah overheard what Isaac said.
  • Jacob is her favorite; so she conceives this deceitful plan. It is absolute trickery, and it cannot be condoned on any basis whatever.
  • God is recording it as history, but He condemns it.
  • We will see that.
  • Remember the things that are being done here, and later you will see the chickens come home to roost for Jacob.

Now Rebekah goes on to say to him:

Genesis 27:6 KJV

And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,


  • 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.

Genesis 27:7 KJV

Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.


  • Fetch him venison out of the field, and dress it in a savoury manner, and bring it to him:
  • The phrase “before the Lord” is here added, which yet perhaps might be expressed by Isaac, though before omitted by the historian, and has a very considerable emphasis in it.
  • This solemn blessing was given not only in the presence of the Lord, and before him as a witness, but by calling upon him, and praying for direction in it, and then pronouncing it in his name and by his authority, he approving of it, so that it was ever after irrevocable.

Genesis 27:8 KJV

Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:9 KJV

Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:


 

 

 

Genesis 27:10 KJV

And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.


  • Rebekah put a stumbling-block in Esau’s way, and gave him a pretext for hatred to Jacob and to religion.

Genesis 27:11 KJV

And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:


  • Esau was not only an outdoor man and a red man, but he was also a hairy man.

Genesis 27:12 KJV

My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:13 KJV

And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:14 KJV

And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:15 KJV

And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:


  • She dressed him in Esau’s clothes so he would smell like him.

Genesis 27:16 KJV

And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:


  • She put that skin of the kid of the goat on the back of his neck and on the back of his hands so that when his father would feel him, he’d think it was Esau.

Genesis 27:17 KJV

And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:18 KJV

And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?


 

 

 

Genesis 27:19 KJV

And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:20 KJV

And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.


  • Believe me, this boy at this particular point is typical of pious frauds. You find many such frauds even in fundamental circles today.
  • They talk about the Lord leading them.
  • My, sometimes the Lord “leads” them to do some very unusual things!
  • I find out sometimes that Christian men think they can do things that the Mafia would be arrested for.
  • But these men can very piously pray about it and say that it is the Lord’s will.
  • Believe me, Jacob at this point is a pious fraud.
  • The Lord had nothing to do with this deception.

Genesis 27:21 KJV

And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.


  • You can tell that Isaac suspected something was wrong, but Rebekah knew Isaac very well and she had worked out every detail.

Genesis 27:22 KJV

And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:23 KJV

And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:24KJV

And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:25 KJV

And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:26 KJV

And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:27 KJV

And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:


 

 

 

Genesis 27:28 KJV

Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:


  • Isaac is giving the blessing which he had received—he is passing it on.

 

Genesis 27:29 KJV

Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.


  • The interesting thing is that it already belonged to Jacob.
  • God had said that it did. God had already blessed Jacob.
  • God is not accepting this deception at all.

Genesis 27:30 KJV

And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.


 

 

Genesis 27:31 KJV

And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:32 KJV

And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.


  • Now Isaac really sees how he has been taken in by this plot.

Genesis 27:33 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.


  • Isaac, when made sensible of the deceit practiced on him, trembled exceedingly.
  • Those who follow the choice of their own affections, rather than the Divine will, get themselves into perplexity.

Genesis 27:34 KJV

And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:35 KJV

And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:36 KJV

And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?


 

 

 

Genesis 27:37 KJV

And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?


 

 

 

Genesis 27:38 KJV

And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.


 

 

 

Genesis 27:39 KJV

And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;


  • 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.

Genesis 27:40 KJV

And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.


  • 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.

 

 

 

JACOB FLEES TO LABAN

Esau planned to kill his brother Jacob as soon as his father would die and the period of mourning would end. When Rebekah learned of this, she told Jacob to head for her brother Laban’s home in Haran.

She feared not only that Jacob would be killed but that Esau would run away or be killed in a blood feud, and she would lose two sons at once.

However, to explain Jacob’s departure to Isaac, she said she was afraid Jacob might marry a Hittite, as Esau had done. Jacob expected to return soon, but it was not to be for more than twenty years. His father would still be living, but his mother would have passed on.

Genesis 27:41-46 KJV

[41] And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

[42] And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.

[43] Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;

[44] And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away;

[45] Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

[46] And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?

Genesis 27:41 KJV

And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.


  • 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.

Genesis 27:42 KJV

And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.


  • 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, Romans 9:12-15.

Genesis 27:43 KJV

Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;


  • Here again we see Rebekah taking things into her own hands.
  • She tells Jacob, “You are going to have to leave home.”
  • Little did she know that she would pay for her part in this, her sin.
  • We must remember that Jacob is her favorite.

She wants Jacob to go to her brother, Laban, and that is where she will send him.

This is where Jacob is going to learn his lesson.

This is where the chickens will come home to roost.

Old Uncle Laban is going to put him through school and teach him a few things.

Jacob thought he was clever, but Uncle Laban is an expert at cleverness.

Poor Jacob will find he is just an amateur, and he is going to cry out to God in desperation before it is all over.

Genesis 27:44 KJV

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away;


  • Notice that she says she will send him away for a few days.

Genesis 27:45 KJV

Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?


  • We can picture the life of Rebekah during those years when we consider that Esau probably did not think much of his mother after that little episode.

Genesis 27:46 KJV

And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?


  • She expects Isaac to agree and solve her problem
  • Rebekah expected her plan would ensure she kept Jacob by her side.
  • But by her plan, she loses her favored son, Jacob.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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