When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
Jacob Gets Isaac’s Blessing
When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”
“Here I am,” he answered.
Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. Now then, get your weapons–your quiver and bow–and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”
Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die. ‘ Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”
Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I’m a man with smooth skin. What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.”
His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”
So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
He went to his father and said, “My father.”
“Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”
Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing.”
Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”
“The Lord your God gave me success,” he replied.
Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.”
Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked.
“I am,” he replied.
Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.”
Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”
So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,
“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
May God give you of heaven’s dew
and of earth’s richness –
an abundance of grain and new wine.
May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
and those who bless you be blessed.”
After Isaac finished blessing him and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”
“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”
Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him–and indeed he will be blessed!”
When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me–me too, my father!”
But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times:He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”
Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”
Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.
We have here an amazingly complex moment where Jacob, whose name means ‘trickster’ is able to steal his brother’s blessing. His mother helps him. At face value this is one of those moments where it seems as if God is allowing Jacob to get away with evil. I believe this is one of the most difficult things that we deal with in life. When evil seems to be victorious, our faith is challenged. How can a good and loving God allow evil to exist and triumph? Is this not one of the most pressing questions that stifles faith in God? But if we will turn back time for just a moment, we see that Jacob stealing the blessing was an act of justice.
The birth rite was also an inheritance that was handed down from the father to the eldest son. It was physical blessing. It was the right to a double portion of all the father owned. Esau came in from hunting one day and was tired and hungry. His brother, Jacob, was eating a bowl of soup and Esau asked him for some. Jacob would only agree if Esau gave him his birth rite. And for a measly bowl of soup, Esau gave away great blessing. God was not pleased (Hebrews 12:16-17). The Lord was not about to give more blessings to someone who so quickly forfeited previous blessings. Jacob really did not get away with anything. The Lord holds Jacob accountable for what he did here later. But we must remember that every blessing from the Lord is precious and good and we should be filled with Thanksgiving. It is thanksgiving for what the Lord has done for us that opens the windows of Heaven for greater blessing. Bitterness for what we believe the Lord has not done will nail the windows of Heaven shut tight. Give thanks for what you have. Glorify Him for His goodness and may the windows of Heaven be opened to you.
What stands out more in you: thanksgiving for what God has done or bitterness for what we believe He has not done?