Reading 7/341, Genesis 25-27

Abraham dies. Isaac & Rebekah have twin sons, Esau & Jacob. Esau is the firstborn, but sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. The Lord promises to bless Isaac. Rebekah helps Jacob trick Isaac into blessing him rather than Esau. Esau hates Jacob for stealing his blessing.
Today we move from Abraham to his son Isaac and then quickly on to the third generation: Jacob. Note how important the blessing of the father is in this story. Parents have a powerful blessing to give their children, and it is unfortunate that many parents these days do not even know that they should bless their children.

...Genesis...

Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan became the father of Sheba, and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, but to the sons of Abraham's concubines, Abraham gave gifts. He sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, to the east country. These are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived: one hundred seventy-five years. Abraham gave up the spirit, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre, the field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth. Abraham was buried there with Sarah, his wife.

It happened after the death of Abraham that God blessed Isaac, his son. Isaac lived by Beer Lahai Roi. Now this is the history of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to the order of their birth: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their villages, and by their encampments: twelve princes, according to their nations. These are the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred thirty-seven years. He gave up the spirit and died, and was gathered to his people. They lived from Havilah to Shur that is before Egypt, as you go toward Assyria. He lived opposite all his relatives.

This is the history of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Paddan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian, to be his wife. Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. The Lord was entreated by him, and Rebekah, his wife, conceived. The children struggled together within her. She said, "If it be thus, why do I live?" She went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger.”

When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him Esau. After that, his brother came out, and his hand had hold on Esau's heel. He was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. The boys grew. Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau because he ate his venison. Rebekah loved Jacob.

One day, Jacob boiled stew. Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that red stew, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom. Jacob said, "First, sell me your birthright." Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?" Jacob said, "Swear to me first." He swore to him. He sold his birthright to Jacob. Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright.

There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, to Gerar. The Lord appeared to him, and said, "Do not go down into Egypt. Live in the land I will tell you about. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and will give to your seed all these lands. In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

Isaac lived in Gerar. The men of the place asked him about his wife. He said, "She is my sister," for he was afraid to say, "My wife," lest, he thought, "the men of the place might kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to look at." It happened, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was caressing Rebekah, his wife. Abimelech called Isaac, and said, "Behold, surely she is your wife. Why did you say, 'She is my sister?'" Isaac said to him, "Because I said, 'Lest I die because of her.'" Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!" Abimelech charged all the people, saying, "He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death."

Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year one hundred times what he planted. The Lord blessed him. The man grew great, and grew more and more until he became very great. He had possessions of flocks, possessions of herds, and a great household. The Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped, and filled with earth. Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go from us, for you are much mightier than we." Isaac departed from there, encamped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there. Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father. For the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham. He called their names after the names by which his father had called them. Isaac's servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. The herdsmen of Gerar argued with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water is ours." He called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. They dug another well, and they argued over that, also. He called the name of it Sitnah. He left that place, and dug another well. They did not argue over that one. He called it Rehoboth. He said, "For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land."

He went up from there to Beersheba. The Lord appeared to him the same night, and said, "I am the God of Abraham your father. Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your seed for my servant Abraham's sake." He built an altar there, and called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. There Isaac's servants dug a well. Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his army. Isaac said to them, "Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and have sent me away from you?" They said, "We saw plainly that the Lord was with you. We said, 'Let there now be an oath between us, even between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you, that you will do us no harm, as we have not touched you, and as we have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace.' You are now the blessed of the Lord." He made them a feast, and they ate and drank. They rose up some time in the morning, and swore one to another. Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. It happened the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had dug, and said to him, "We have found water." He called it Shibah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

When Esau was forty years old, he took as wife Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite. They grieved Isaac's and Rebekah's spirits. It happened, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said to him, "My son?" He said to him, "Here I am." He said, "See now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and get me venison. Make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat, and that my soul may bless you before I die." Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, "Behold, I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 'Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.'

Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command you. Go now to the flock, and get me from there two good kids of the goats. I will make them savory food for your father, such as he loves. You shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death." Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. What if my father touches me? I will seem to him as a deceiver, and I would bring a curse on myself, and not a blessing." His mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son. Only obey my voice, and go get them for me." He went, and got them, and brought them to his mother. His mother made savory food, such as his father loved. Rebekah took the good clothes of Esau, her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob, her younger son. She put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands, and on the smooth of his neck. She gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

He came to his father, and said, "My father?" He said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?" Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done what you asked me to do. Please arise, sit and eat of my venison, that your soul may bless me." Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" He said, "Because the Lord your God gave me success." Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." Jacob went near to Isaac his father. He felt him, and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy, like his brother, Esau's hands. So he blessed him. He said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He said, "I am." He said, "Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless you." He brought it near to him, and he ate. He brought him wine, and he drank.

His father Isaac said to him, "Come near now, and kiss me, my son." He came near, and kissed him. He smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him, and said, "Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. God give you of the dew of the sky, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers. Let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you. Blessed be everyone who blesses you."

It happened, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob had just gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also made savory food, and brought it to his father. He said to his father, "Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that your soul may bless me." Isaac his father said to him, "Who are you?" He said, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau." Isaac trembled violently, and said, "Who, then, is he who has taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Yes, he will be blessed."

When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, my father." He said, "Your brother came with deceit, and has taken away your blessing." He said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. See, now he has taken away my blessing." He said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" Isaac answered Esau, "Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers have I given to him for servants. With grain and new wine have I sustained him. What then will I do for you, my son?" Esau said to his father, "Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, my father." Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. Isaac his father answered him, "Behold, of the fatness of the earth will be your dwelling, and of the dew of the sky from above. By your sword will you live, and you will serve your brother. It will happen, when you break loose, that you shall shake his yoke from off your neck."

Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him. Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Jacob." The words of Esau, her elder son, were told to Rebekah. She sent and called Jacob, her younger son, and said to him, "Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban, my brother, in Haran. Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury turns away; until your brother's anger turn away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?" 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, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good will my life do me?"