Glory to Jesus Christ!

Monday, April 6, 2020

 

Scriptural Reflection (My Comments in Bold)

 

Genesis 27:1-41

 

27 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he summoned his elder son Esau. ‘Son!’ he said, and Esau replied, ‘Here I am.’ 2 He then said, ‘Look, I am old and do not know when I may die. 3 Now take your weapons, your quiver and bow; go out into the country and hunt me some game. 4 Make me the kind of appetising dish I like and bring it to me to eat and I shall give you my special blessing before I die.’ 5 Rebekah was listening while Isaac was talking to his son Esau. So when Esau went into the country to hunt game for his father, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, ‘I have just heard your father saying to your brother Esau, 7 “Bring me some game and make an appetising dish for me to eat and then I shall bless you in Yahweh’s presence before I die.” 8 Now, son, listen to me and do as I tell you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me back two good kids, so that I can make the kind of special dish your father likes. 10 Then take it to your father for him to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.’ 11 Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, ‘Look, my brother Esau is hairy, while I am smooth-skinned. 12 If my father happens to touch me, he will see I am cheating him, and I shall bring a curse down on myself instead of a blessing.’ 13 But his mother replied, ‘On me be the curse, my son! Just listen to me; go and fetch me the kids.’ 14 So he went to fetch them and brought them to his mother, and she made the kind of special dish his father liked. 15 Rebekah took her elder son Esau’s best clothes, which she had at home, and dressed her younger son Jacob in them, 16 covering his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skins of the kids. 17 She then handed the special dish and the bread she had made to her son Jacob. 18 He went to his father and said, ‘Father!’ ‘Yes?’ he replied. ‘Which of my sons are you?’ 19 Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of the game I have brought and then give me your soul’s blessing.’ 20 Isaac said to his son, ‘Son, how did you succeed so quickly?’ He replied, ‘Because Yahweh your God made things go well for me.’ 21 Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come closer, son, so that I can feel you and be sure whether you really are my son Esau or not.’ 22 Jacob went closer to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice but the arms are the arms of Esau!’ 23 He did not recognise him since his arms were hairy like his brother Esau’s, and so he blessed him. 24 He said, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ And he replied, ‘I am.’ 25 Isaac said, ‘Serve it to me, so that I can eat my son’s game and give you my special blessing.’ He served it to him and he ate; he offered him wine, and he drank. 26 His father Isaac said to him, ‘Come closer, and kiss me, son.’ 27 He went closer and kissed his father, who sniffed the smell of his clothes. Then he blessed him, saying: Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a fertile field which Yahweh has blessed. 28 May God give you dew from heaven, and the richness of the earth, abundance of grain and wine! 29 Let peoples serve you and nations bow low before you! Be master of your brothers; let your mother’s other sons bow low before you! Accursed be whoever curses you and blessed be whoever blesses you! 30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and just as Jacob was leaving his father Isaac, his brother Esau returned from hunting. 31 He too made an appetising dish and brought it to his father, ‘Father, please eat some of your son’s game and then give me your special blessing.’ 32 His father Isaac asked, ‘Who are you?’ ‘I am your first-born son, Esau,’ he replied. 33 At this Isaac was seized with a violent trembling and said, ‘Who was it, then, that went hunting and brought me the game? I finished eating it just before you came; I blessed him, and now blessed he will remain!’ 34 On hearing his father’s words, Esau cried out loudly and bitterly and said to his father, ‘Father, bless me too!’ 35 But he replied, ‘Your brother came by fraud and took your blessing.’ 36 Esau said, ‘His name should be Jacob right enough, for he has now supplanted me twice. First he took my birthright, and look, now he has gone and taken my blessing! But’, he added, ‘have you not kept a blessing for me?’ 37 Isaac replied to Esau, ‘I have already made him your master; I have given him all his brothers as servants, I have given him grain and wine to sustain him. So what can I do for you, son?’ 38 Esau said to his father, ‘Can you bless only once, father? Father, bless me too.’ Isaac remained silent, and Esau began to weep aloud. 39 Then his father Isaac spoke again and said: ‘Far from the richness of the earth and the dew of heaven above, your home will be. 40 By your sword you will live, and your brother will you serve. But when you win your freedom, you will shake his yoke off your neck.’ 41 Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him, and Esau said to himself, ‘The time to mourn for my father will soon be here. Then I shall kill my brother Jacob.’[1]

 

To catch up with where today’s Scripture reading begins, I suggest you all read starting from Genesis 18:19 through Genesis 26:35.

 

The angel of the Lord stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac. Chapter 23:1-20; Sarah dies at the age of 127 and is buried in the land of Canaan.

 

Genesis 24:1-67; Abraham is up in years and makes his loyal servant Eliezer swear, take an oath to go back to his father’s house and find a suitable bride for his son Isaac. Eliezer was the oldest of Abraham’s household and was in charge of all Abraham owned. Abraham does not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman.

 

Eliezer is worried no woman of Abraham’s family in the old country of the Chaldeans will be willing to leave their homeland and travel to Canaan. Abraham assures him, the angel of the Lord will direct him to the right woman to become Isaac’s wife. At this time, Isaac, Abraham’s son and heir of the covenant made with God, is about 40 years old. Abraham is about 140 years old. Abraham’s servant brings back Rebekah for Isaac and they are married. Isaac loves Rebekah. Please read Genesis 24:1-67

 

Genesis 25:1-34; Abraham takes another wife, her name is Keturah; and she bears him 6 sons. Abraham gives them all gifts (probably breeding animal stock) and sends them all away to the East. Through these descendants, many Arab tribes are born. Truly Abraham is the father of many nations as God had promised. Isaac however, is the only son, Abraham gives everything to him, as he is the heir of the covenant with God.

Abraham dies at the age of 175. Isaac and his brother Ishmael burry their father. Some type of reconciliation must have taken place for the two brothers are together when laying their father to rest.

What happened to Ishmael? He and his mother were cast out. Read, Genesis 21:8-14

 8 The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham gave a great banquet on the day Isaac was weaned. 9 Now Sarah watched the son that Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. 10 ‘Drive away that slave-girl and her son,’ she said to Abraham, ‘this slave-girl’s son is not to share the inheritance with my son Isaac.’ 11 This greatly distressed Abraham, because the slave-girl’s child too was his son, 12 but God said to him, ‘Do not distress yourself on account of the boy and your slave-girl. Do whatever Sarah says, for Isaac is the one through whom your name will be carried on. 13 But the slave-girl’s son I shall also make into a great nation, for he too is your child.’ 14 Early next morning, Abraham took some bread and a skin of water and, giving them to Hagar, put the child on her shoulder and sent her away. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba. [2]

Genesis 25:12-18

The Descendants of Ishmael

 

12 These are the descendants of Ishmael son of Abraham by Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave-girl. 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael by name and line: Ishmael’s first-born was Nebaioth; then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, according to their settlements and encampments, twelve chiefs of as many tribes. 17 The number of years Ishmael lived was one hundred and thirty-seven. When he breathed his last and died, he was gathered to his people. 18 He lived in the territory stretching from Havilah-by-Shur just outside Egypt on the way to Assyria, and he held his own against all his kinsmen.[3]

 

The Descendants of Ishmael. (Read at your convince) His descendants settled central and north central Arabia. Genesis 17:20 is the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning Ishmael.

 

Genesis 25:19-34 Isaac’s wife Rebekah is barren; Isaac prays and Rebekah has twin boys. In Genesis 25:22-23, the boys in her womb struggle against each other. God tells her, she has two different nations in her womb and the older child shall serve the younger child.

 

The first child born verse 25, is all red and hairy and they named him Esau, which means hairy. Esau will become the father of the nation of Edom. The word Edom means, red. Esau was born red and hairy. The child born second, was named Jacob. Which means heel catcher, it can also mean, a trickster or supplanter, because he was born holding on to Esau’s heel. Jacob will be the heir of the Covenant with God. At this time in history, it is the first-born son who inherits the title and most of the goods from the father. In this case, it will be Jacob, the second born, whom God has chosen to be the heir of the Covenant and not Esau.

 

Esau was a man who lived for the here and now. He did not care about his birth right or being the heir of the convent with God. Esau in joking with Jacob sells his birth right for a bowl of lentil soup and bread, after he comes back from a hunting trip. Esau was loved and favored by Isaac and Jacob was favored by Rebekah. Read the account of the two boys, Genesis 25:19-34 & Genesis 26:34-35

Genesis 27:1-41 The blessing of Jacob by Isaac. The great deception.

 

27 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he summoned his elder son Esau. ‘Son!’ he said, and Esau replied, ‘Here I am.’ 2 He then said, ‘Look, I am old and do not know when I may die. 3 Now take your weapons, your quiver and bow; go out into the country and hunt me some game. 4 Make me the kind of appetising dish I like and bring it to me to eat and I shall give you my special blessing before I die.’[4]

 

Isaac, being very old and blind anticipates his death, and summons his eldest son Esau. Isaac asks Esau to hunt for deer, prepare it and he will eat the meal and then bless him as the first-born son. (Every thing would go to Esau, including the covenant with God.)

 

Genesis 27:5-13  

 

Make me the kind of appetising dish I like and bring it to me to eat and I shall give you my special blessing before I die.’ 5 Rebekah was listening while Isaac was talking to his son Esau. So when Esau went into the country to hunt game for his father, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, ‘I have just heard your father saying to your brother Esau, 7 “Bring me some game and make an appetising dish for me to eat and then I shall bless you in Yahweh’s presence before I die.” 8 Now, son, listen to me and do as I tell you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me back two good kids, so that I can make the kind of special dish your father likes. 10 Then take it to your father for him to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.’ 11 Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, ‘Look, my brother Esau is hairy, while I am smooth-skinned. 12 If my father happens to touch me, he will see I am cheating him, and I shall bring a curse down on myself instead of a blessing.’ 13 But his mother replied, ‘On me be the curse, my son! Just listen to me; go and fetch me the kids.’[5]

 

Rebecka, Esau and Jacob’s mother overhears the conversation between Isaac and Esau. Rebecka knowing what God had told her years before at the birth of her two sons, knows, Jacob is the one who is to be heir to the covenant of God and all the blessings that accompany it. Rebecka, therefore knows her husband Isaac, that he would adhere to the tradition and blessing, granting almost all to Esau as the first born, decides to deceive her husband. Rebecka instructs Jacob to pick two good goats from the herd and she would prepare them making them taste as venison. Doing so, she plans to trick Isaac into blessing Jacob as the heir.

 

14 So he went to fetch them and brought them to his mother, and she made the kind of special dish his father liked. 15 Rebekah took her elder son Esau’s best clothes, which she had at home, and dressed her younger son Jacob in them, 16 covering his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skins of the kids. 17 She then handed the special dish and the bread she had made to her son Jacob. 18 He went to his father and said, ‘Father!’ ‘Yes?’ he replied. ‘Which of my sons are you?’ 19 Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of the game I have brought and then give me your soul’s blessing.’ 20 Isaac said to his son, ‘Son, how did you succeed so quickly?’ He replied, ‘Because Yahweh your God made things go well for me.’ 21 Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come closer, son, so that I can feel you and be sure whether you really are my son Esau or not.’ 22 Jacob went closer to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice but the arms are the arms of Esau!’ 23 He did not recognise him since his arms were hairy like his brother Esau’s, and so he blessed him. 24 He said, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ And he replied, ‘I am.’ [6]

 

Jacob is worried his father, although blind will discover the trickery and instead of a blessing, he would be cursed. But Rebecka has that covered, she makes for Jacob a covering for his hands and neck, made out of goat’s skin and has Jacob wear Esau’s clothing. Jacob was worried, his father would feel him and know it was him, Jacob, and not his hairy brother Esau. Jacob remarks to his mother, I am smoothed skin, unlike Esau.

 

The ruse fools old Isaac. The meal is given to Isaac and he eats, but he thinks something is amiss. Isaac is puzzled at hearing Jacob’s voice when it is supposed to be Esau. Isaac even feels Jacobs hands sensing something is not right.

 

23 He did not recognise him since his arms were hairy like his brother Esau’s, and so he blessed him. 24 He said, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ And he replied, ‘I am.’ 25 Isaac said, ‘Serve it to me, so that I can eat my son’s game and give you my special blessing.’ He served it to him and he ate; he offered him wine, and he drank. 26 His father Isaac said to him, ‘Come closer, and kiss me, son.’ 27 He went closer and kissed his father, who sniffed the smell of his clothes. Then he blessed him, saying: Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a fertile field which Yahweh has blessed. 28 May God give you dew from heaven, and the richness of the earth, abundance of grain and wine! 29 Let peoples serve you and nations bow low before you! Be master of your brothers; let your mother’s other sons bow low before you! Accursed be whoever curses you and blessed be whoever blesses you! 30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and just as Jacob was leaving his father Isaac, his brother Esau returned from hunting. [7]

 

Isaac still senses something is wrong and when kissing Jacob, Isaac smells his son to double check if this is indeed Esau. Isaac is fooled, being deceived by his wife Rebecka and his son Jacob, dressed in Esau’s cloths which smell as the fields. Isaac now blesses him, passing on all the blessing of God that would go to the first born son, including the bulk of all the worldly material wealth, such as the various flocks, herds, servants.

 

Let peoples serve you and nations bow low before you! Be master of your brothers; let your mother’s other sons bow low before you! Accursed be whoever curses you and blessed be whoever blesses you! 30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and just as Jacob was leaving his father Isaac, his brother Esau returned from hunting. 31 He too made an appetising dish and brought it to his father, ‘Father, please eat some of your son’s game and then give me your special blessing.’ 32 His father Isaac asked, ‘Who are you?’ ‘I am your first-born son, Esau,’ he replied. 33 At this Isaac was seized with a violent trembling and said, ‘Who was it, then, that went hunting and brought me the game? I finished eating it just before you came; I blessed him, and now blessed he will remain!’ 34[8]

 

The deception is now revealed. Isaac is trembling, knowing he has been deceived and knowing the blessing has gone out from him onto Jacob, the second born son and not Esau the first born.

 

34 On hearing his father’s words, Esau cried out loudly and bitterly and said to his father, ‘Father, bless me too!’ 35 But he replied, ‘Your brother came by fraud and took your blessing.’ 36 Esau said, ‘His name should be Jacob right enough, for he has now supplanted me twice. First he took my birthright, and look, now he has gone and taken my blessing! But’, he added, ‘have you not kept a blessing for me?’ 37 Isaac replied to Esau, ‘I have already made him your master; I have given him all his brothers as servants, I have given him grain and wine to sustain him. So what can I do for you, son?’ 38 Esau said to his father, ‘Can you bless only once, father? Father, bless me too.’ Isaac remained silent, and Esau began to weep aloud. 39 Then his father Isaac spoke again and said: ‘Far from the richness of the earth and the dew of heaven above, your home will be. 40 By your sword you will live, and your brother will you serve. But when you win your freedom, you will shake his yoke off your neck.’ 41 Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him, and Esau said to himself, ‘The time to mourn for my father will soon be here. Then I shall kill my brother Jacob.’[9]

 

Esau bitterly cries, knowing he has been tricked by his brother Jacob and even states this by saying, “is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times”. It is true, Jacob has tricked Esau twice. The first time, by giving Esau lentil soup and bread in exchange for his birthright, and now the blessing which includes earthly wealth and the blessing of God in regard to the covenant. It needs to be pointed out, Esau lived for the here and now, he was a man of the flesh. Spiritual things were not held dear to his heart. Jacob on the other hand is a trickster, a heal grabber, a supplanter. But, Jacob’s heart will change, he will spiritually grow as he walks with God – and we all know, God is patient and long suffering. Jacob will become a true man of God, in this present circumstance however, it is not clearly evident. God had told their mother Rebecca,” the older shall serve the younger”, she meddled and came up with a scheme to make God’s word come true, instead of letting God resolve the matter. In doing so, the two brothers will be at odds with each other for years to come.

 

Esau weeping bitterly begs for his father Isaac to bless him.

 

Esau said to his father, ‘Can you bless only once, father? Father, bless me too.’ Isaac remained silent, and Esau began to weep aloud. 39 Then his father Isaac spoke again and said: ‘Far from the richness of the earth and the dew of heaven above, your home will be. 40 By your sword you will live, and your brother will you serve. But when you win your freedom, you will shake his yoke off your neck.’[10]

 

The blessing Isaac bestows upon Esau is considered a character blessing. It shows the animosity between the two races in the future. King Saul would be victorious over the Edomites in battle and King David would conquer them, king Solomon would crush their rebellion. The kingdom of Edom would regain its independence again during the time of King Ahab. Eventually the kingdom of Edom, the Edomites will be absorbed into the Jewish state. This is clearly seen as King Herod Antipater and family will be placed in power over the Jewish people by Rome. The Edomites will never truly be accepted.

41 Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him, and Esau said to himself, ‘The time to mourn for my father will soon be here. Then I shall kill my brother Jacob.’ [11]

Once again, we see people called by God, struggling to follow Him. The men and women who make up the genealogy of Jesus are real people who made many mistakes. We have seen how they have lied, deceived others and also how they have blessed and helped not only their own, but outsiders. We have found good, bad and people who are indifferent, within the ranks of Abraham’s descendants. We have found there were still people upon the earth who knew the one true God, such as Melchizadek, King / Priest of Salem. But God chose Abraham and his descendants to be the race through whom Jesus Christ will be born and through Him, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

 

As we continue our Lenten journey, let us remember the cast of characters in the Old Testament history, and let us learn from the mistakes and triumphs, knowing God never forgot these people who struggled to follow Him. God was always there for them, guiding, protecting and encouraging them as they travelled through the wilderness of the land and of their own lives. Likewise, God is with us in our life journey as we seek to follow Him. God will also guide us, protect us and encourage us in our days of troubles and triumphs. As God was with Abraham, so to, He is with us, let us continue to walk with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for He too, is our Lord and our God.

 

[1] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:1–41). New York: Doubleday.

[2] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 21:8–14). New York: Doubleday.

[3] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 25:12–18). New York: Doubleday.

[4] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:1–4). New York: Doubleday.

[5] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:4–13). New York: Doubleday.

[6] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:14–24). New York: Doubleday.

[7] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:23–30). New York: Doubleday.

[8] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:29–34). New York: Doubleday.

[9] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:34–41). New York: Doubleday.

[10] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:38–40). New York: Doubleday.

[11] The New Jerusalem Bible. (1985). (Ge 27:41). New York: Doubleday.

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