My big question from reading chapter 27 of Genesis is what question is this portion of the Bible answering? Think about the people presented in the Bible thus far. There are Adam and Eve who disobey God and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then there is Cain who kills his brother, then there is Abraham who keeps playing the Sarah is my sister game and is willing to sacrifice his son, there is Sarah who sends Hagar and Ishmael out to die, and now we have Jacob who has already stolen his brother’s birthright and now steals his blessing.
Isaac is presented as being old and cannot see. He makes one final request. For his oldest son Esau to bring him meat and prepare a savory dish. Esau goes out to do this but Rebekah hears this request and asks Jacob to bring her two goats so she may slaughter them and prepare the savory dish for Isaac.
After some convincing Jacob does this for his mother and she disguises him as Esau by covering his hands with the fur of the goats. This is enough to trick Isaac and he gives Jacob the blessing that was meant for Esau.
When Esau brings his savory meal to his father and the deception is discovered Isaac says he cannot give a second blessing or undo the blessing he bestowed upon Jacob even though he intended and thought he was blessing Jacob. He orders Esau to take up the sword and serve his brother but he does say that he will grow restless and through his yoke from your neck.
Esau decides he is restless already and plots to kill Jacob after Isaac passes away. Rebekah overhears this as well and sends Jacob away as she doesn’t wish to lose both her sons in the same day.
What question is answered by all this? Let us think of Jacob in relation to Adam. Adam is the first man. The blood of Adam runs in the veins of all mankind. Jacob is a descendent of Adam and bears his curse. He has the knowledge of good and evil and Jacob commits evil. He takes shortcuts by stealing his brother’s birthright and his blessing.
But what question does this answer? Since the people first hearing this were supposed to be the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are they hearing how the curse of Adam was further dug in? Is that the message? That Jacob stole from his brother and brought further hardship upon his descendants. I really do not know, but I think it might be.
Life is hard and made harder by people that take shortcuts and take the easy way out. Jacob is taking shortcuts. Esau goes out and hunts his game and prepares a meal for his father while Jacob goes and gets two goats from the yard and his mother prepares the meal. Then Jacob receives the blessing. There are people just like this all over the world. That do no work and receive all the blessings.
But Jesus sometimes refers to God as the God of Jacob and not the God of Esau. What is the message then? It can’t be that we are supposed to lie, cheat, and steal. I think this is why the Bible is a book that isn’t supposed to make sense, and God’s plan is one that can’t be understood by mortal minds.