30 Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31 He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that your soul may bless me.”
32 And his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” So he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”
33 Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him—and indeed he shall be blessed.”
34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me—me also, O my father!”
35 But he said, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.”
36 And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
37 Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?”
38 And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: “Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above.
40 By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; and it shall come to pass, when you become restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
41 So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you.
43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice: arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran.
44 And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away,
45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved 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 takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
The prediction in verse 40, that Esau should break Jacob’s yoke from off his neck was fulfilled upwards of 900 years later, as recorded in 2 Kings 8:20-22—In his days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves. So Joram went to Zair, and all his chariots with him. Then he rose by night and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the captains of the chariots; and the troops fled to their tents. Thus Edom has been in revolt against Judah’s authority to this day.—Williams, page 32.
The truth suddenly came home to Isaac like a mighty blast of icy wind. In spite of all his intentions, God had overruled, and he had blessed Jacob instead of Esau. Furthermore, he realized that he had been deceived by his beloved wife and his faithful son, in order to prevent him from doing what he knew he had no right to do. God had spoken through him in spite of himself; so he told Esau: “Therefore, Jacob indeed shall receive the blessing.” This was clearly the will of God, and there was nothing he could do to change that! He had tried to do so, but God had stopped him.
As the impact of these thoughts came over him, “Isaac trembled very exceedingly.” Hebrew scholars tell us the original language is extremely graphic, something like, “Isaac trembled most excessively with a great trembling.” — Morris, pages 438-439.
As the truth dawned upon [Esau] as well, he also gave vent to his emotions. He “cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry.” But perhaps his father could bless him anyway … Surely no human tribunal would enforce a contract acquired by deception; so why should Isaac, and why should God?
Isaac simply blamed Jacob for a clever deception which robbed Esau of his intended blessing. Esau bitterly recalled that Jacob had already “taken away” his birthright (forgetting that, at the time, he had despised it); and now, he complained, he had likewise taken away his blessing.
Esau commented on the relevance of Jacob’s very name to the situation. It will be recalled that he was named “Jacob” because, as he was born, he was holding his brother by the heel. The name means something like “heel-gripper” and, therefore, by extension, “One who trips another by the heel.”
Agonizingly, Esau begged his father for a blessing of some kind for himself. … But the portion of the blessing in which Esau was most interested, that of political superiority, had been given irrevocably to Jacob, and all Esau’s crying could not change the situation. The sad commentary in Hebrews refers to his pleading in these words: “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears’ (Hebrews 12:16-17). — Morris, page 440.
Esau resolved to murder his brother as soon as his father died, evidently assuming his father was indeed at the point of death (Genesis 27:2). Uttered in the hearing of some of the servants, his threatening words were brought to his mother’s attention. Again showing herself to be a woman of quick decision, she called Jacob and instructed him to leave the house “for a few days,” in order to visit her brother Laban in Haran. Knowing Esau’s nature, she assumed his anger would pass away quickly and he would soon return to his carefree ways.
However, her “few days” turned out to be over twenty years! So far as the record goes, she never saw Jacob again after that day. … Later events proved that she was correct. Esau did soon forget his anger, and he did prosper quite adequately in a material sense, which was really all he cared about (Genesis 33:1, 4, 9). Isaac repented and gave Jacob his sincere blessing, instructing him to marry a woman of their own people, not a Canaanite, as Esau had done (Genesis 28:1-4). — Morris, page 442.
As to Esau, the apostle calls him “a profane person, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright,” and “afterwards, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of change of mind, though he sought for it carefully with tears (Hebrews 12:16-17). Thus we learn what a profane person is, viz., one who would like to hold both worlds—one who would like to enjoy the present without forfeiting his title to the future. — Mackintosh, page 279.
This entry was posted in Genesis
. Bookmark the permalink