A new Look at Jacob Part 3

ISAAC’S FEAR

27:33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.

Remember the story of Balaam? The king wanted him to curse Israel and offered him great wealth to do so. But no matter how much Balaam wanted that wealth he could not curse Israel unless God gave the word to do so. Balaam was a prophet. So was Isaac. He was the seed of Abraham whom he loved, the one through whom the covenant blessing was to pass and it was to pass to Jacob. Right here Isaac admits that Jacob is God’s chosen whether he likes it or not! Esau was Isaac’s chosen–his favorite. He is the one Isaac wanted the covenant to pass to. But at this moment Isaac must have remembered the prophecy. He trembled very exceedingly and said WHO?

When Esau returned and Isaac found out what happened, what kept him from revoking the blessing given under false pretenses? Certainly he also knew of the prophecy but denied it because of his feelings for Esau, but when faced with going against the express Word of God or letting the blessing stand, he let it stand. Esau’s pain was from wounded pride and nothing else.

Now, lest you think that his trembling was from anger, Strong’s # 2729 means to shudder with terror! He could only have been trembling in fear at the realization of what had just happened. He had planned to confer the blessing upon the one God hated, and he feared God.

27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing.

27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? …

Isaac may have been tricked into giving the blessing to Jacob but there was no way he was going to take it back in favor of Esau. There was no way he was going to give an equivalent blessing to Esau. Esau’s blessing did prophesy the breaking of the yoke of Israel from the neck of Edom, but did not even mention the blessing of the covenant.

SUBTILTIES OF TRANSLATION

The KJV shows Esau to claim that Jacob is rightly named because he has supplanted him these two times. But look at Young’s Literal Translation of verse 36:

27:36 And he saith, `Is it because [one] called his name Jacob that he doth take me by the heel these two times? my birthright he hath taken; and lo, now, he hath taken my blessing;` he saith also, `Hast thou not kept back a blessing for me?`

Esau asks if the reason this has happened might not be because of what Jacob was named! In this translation Esau doesn’t ask the rhetorical question, “Is he not rightly named…?” He asks if he did this because of his name! He implies that it might be partly Isaac’s fault for giving him the name meaning supplanter in the first place! He refuses in both translations to accept any responsibility for giving away the birthright, claiming the loss of the blessing to be the second time, and only the second time, Jacob had stepped into his place.

If Jacob had truly been a con-man and trickster in getting the things he wanted; if your brother had tricked you and others out of many things as you grew up and now he pulled the crowning trick of securing your blessing, and you were crying out to your father about the injustice of your brother’s actions, would you have limited your selection of his sins to just two??? Never forget the Bible says Esau was the cunning one!

SEND HIM AWAY

27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

Rebekah heard of this threat. Esau said it in his heart but he also let his jealous rage be known. His mother also knew of his temper. He would be okay in a few days when he cooled off. So to defuse the situation she decided it was time for Jacob to take a wife and none would do but one from the house of Laban, her brother, four hundred miles away. By the time Jacob got back Esau would be calmed down.

Remember his reaction when Esau came for the blessing after Jacob had left:

27:33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.

Isaac certainly knew of the enmity between Esau’s wives and Rebekah. She used that as an excuse to send Jacob away for a little while, until Esau cooled off, by telling Isaac that if Jacob married a local girl she would just die. She wanted him to go to Padanaram to find a wife. Evidently Isaac forgave Jacob for the deception in obtaining the blessing because he sent Jacob off to Rebekah’s brother Laban with his blessing, and no half hearted blessing at that. (Gen 28:1-4) He conferred a blessing on Jacob that reflected his understanding that Jacob was the chosen of God and that the prior blessing was his by the will of God even though it was obtained through Rebekah’s subterfuge!

Early on in the journey, Jacob had a dream!

THE DREAM

28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

28:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,

28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jacob received the assurance of God himself that he would be taken care of. It says nothing of him recognizing his guilt. It says nothing of him changing anything. He feared God and vowed to tithe to Him. This is his first night on the road to his uncle’s house. He received the covenant promise of the God of Abraham and Isaac. Why should he need to spend twenty years becoming worthy of accepting that promise. He was supposed to go to Laban’s house, find a wife, spend a few days and return home. His love for Rachel kept him there for fourteen years and his perception of the need to provide for his family kept him there another six.

His righteousness and honesty were admitted by Laban when after fourteen years Jacob made a deal with Laban to build his wealth for his own family.

30:33 So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.

30:34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.

Laban trusted Jacob! At the end of that six years the Lord spoke to Jacob telling him to go back to the land of Canaan.

31:11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.

31:12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.

31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

Another encounter with the Lord is very telling. It begins in Chapter 32 verse 9.

32:9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:

32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

32:11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.

32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

32:13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;

The following could well be equivalent to what Esau would have gotten as his birthright from Isaac. Jacob was not a mighty man of valor. Perhaps he hoped that by returning the material wealth that the birthright carried with it, Esau would be appeased.

32:14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,

32:15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.

32:16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.

32:17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?

32:18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my Lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.

32:19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.

32:20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.

32:21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.

32:22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.

32:23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.

(Continued in part 4)

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