Genesis 27 has the story of Jacob and Esau and the blessing. Isaac calls Esau to his side and asks him to go hunt some game, prepare it for him, and then come to be blessed. Esau takes off to do as asked. Rebekah overhears the request and takes action to get her favorite son blessed instead. She tells Jacob: “Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you”. Mother is getting involved to make sure things go her way. Jacob is worried and says “my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man”. This seems like a big problem – surely Isaac will know – even though he is blind. But Rebekah has a scheme in mind. She takes on the responsibility and just asks Jacob to do as she told him. “So he went and took them and brought them to his mother”.
Rebekah prepares a meal and disguises Jacob. “Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me”. This is obviously a lie – a well-executed deceit to take away the blessing that belonged to Esau. Rebekah obviously knew Isaac well as she pulled off the plan. Jacob gets the blessing. “So he blessed him….May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you”! This is a big deal to say the least. Isaac is passing on the legacy to his son – albeit the wrong son from what should have happened. But the blessing is given and Jacob is now the son who has been given status for his generation.
Esau comes back after doing as his father asked and discovered that he had been scooped. Isaac immediately figures it out as Esau attempts to give him the food he had prepared. Isaac says “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing”. It is gone – given away – and Esau has figured out what has happened. “He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing”. A double whammy for Esau – he has lost both of the things that were due him based on his being the oldest son to his younger brother Jacob. The first because of lack of control, the second because of a scheme devised by his mother. But it is too late. Isaac gives him the bad news: “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers”. Esau now must serve Jacob. That is not how he had envisioned life.
This obviously causes distress for Esau. To say he is ticked off would be an understatement. In fact – he wants to kill Jacob and take back what is rightfully his in his own eyes. Scripture says it this way: “Esau hated Jacob”. Now Esau begins to scheme on his own and decides that “the days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother”. Esau decides to wait until the opportunity is right and then remove the problem. But Rebekah finds out the plan and sends Jacob away to live with her brother Laban telling Jacob to stay away until “he forgets what you have done to him”. The chapter ends with the following expectation – that Jacob will not marry a foreign woman while he is away. “If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me”. Parental expectations – we’ll have to see if these come to fruition or not!