Isaac Blessed Jacob Instead Of Esau

Jacob was quite a character. He bought his brother Esau’s birthright for a cup of soup. Then through deception, Jacob worked it out so his father Isaac blessed him instead of Esau.

Our verse for today begins the story of how it appeared that Jacob stole his brother’s blessing. Isaac requested for Esau to hunt, kill, and prepare some wild game for him.

Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die.  Genesis 27:3-4

Even though Jacob and Esau were twins, Esau came out of his mother’s womb first. That made him the oldest of the two. For being twins, they were each entirely different.

As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. Genesis 25:27

Another difficulty existed in this family. Isaac and Rebekah each had a favorite son.

Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Genesis 25:28

Rebekah heard the request that Isaac made of his son Esau. Then she told Jacob what she had heard.

She said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ Genesis 27:6-7

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Rebekah’s Planned Deception

Because she loved Jacob better she decided she needed to put a plan into action. In verse 8, she instructed Jacob to do exactly what she told him to do. She said the following.

Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies. Genesis 27:9-10

Jacob did as his mother instructed him. The two of them did everything they needed to do to deceive Isaac. He even put Esau’s clothes on to successfully pull off their scheme.

When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, “Ah! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which the Lord has blessed! Genesis 27:27

Isaac Blessed Jacob

Isaac Blessed Jacob

Then Isaac blessed Jacob with the following blessing.

  • “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine.
  • May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you.
  • May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
  • All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed.” Genesis 27:28-29

Esau returned almost before Isaac finished giving Jacob his blessing. He prepared the wild game and then served his father. 

But Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” Esau replied, “It’s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.” Genesis 27:32

Isaac was Confused after He Blessed Jacob

Both of these men seemed very confused. Especially Isaac. You see, he was old and turning blind.

Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!” Genesis 27:33

This is an interesting story, to say the least. It seemed like Esau got the short end of the stick. You see, Isaac blessed Jacob leaving no blessing for Esau.

But Isaac said, “Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.” Esau asked him, haven’t you saved even one blessing for me?” Genesis 27:35,36

Remember the radio announcer Paul Harvey? He used to say ” now for the rest of the story.” We can also look into “the rest of the story.”

The Rest of the Story

Malachi chapter one mentioned Jacob and Esau. It tells us how God felt about each one of these twins.

“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated,” Malachi 1:2-3

Isaac Blessed Jacob Instead Of Esau

So, Jacob was chosen by God, and Esau was hated by Him. Fortunately for our information, this wasn’t the last word written about these two.

In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews sheds some more light on them for us. He told us why God loved the one and hated the other.

“Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal.” Hebrews 12:16

God knows us inside and out. He knew the heart of Esau and told us the condition of his heart in the book of Hebrews. He was immoral and godless. The next verse says this.

You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears. Hebrews 12:17

Esau had a Heart Condition, Do You?

The condition of Esau’s heart made him ineligible for an inheritance and a blessing. This gives us a very clear glimpse of the end-time judgment of God.

When a person stands before God, it’ll be too late for repentance. Thus there will be bitter tears before those people are banished from God’s presence.

Fortunately, God has promised us mercy and compassion through his Son Jesus. When we invite Him into our lives we can also allow Him to change our hearts.

Lord, we don’t know what is in a person’s heart, but we do know what is in ours. Please help me to change my heart and to keep it pure.

Check out these related posts on God’s blessings.

Check out these other related posts about Jacob

You can read the whole story starting with Genesis 27.

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1 thought on “Isaac Blessed Jacob Instead Of Esau”

  1. Well-said, as always! Stealing is stealing, and sin is sin, yet God chose the thief, who eventually became a forefather of Jesus! Jacob stole because he highly valued God and his father’s blessing, while Esau only cared about his own stomach. Praise God for looking at our motivations!


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