Saturday, December 11, 2010

Genesis 27:14-24 Jacob Deceives Isaac

Jacob is not an unwilling partner in the deception which Rebekah has cooked up (literally) for Isaac in this chapter.  The ruse to obtain his brother's blessing is her idea, but Jacob is an active participant and even lies twice to his father in order to get what he wants.  Notice, too, the elaborate preparation they have to go through before Jacob can even approach Isaac:

  1. Jacob gets two young goats and brings them to Rebekah so that she can prepare a tasty meal.(v.14)
  2. Rebekah gets Esau's best clothes and has Jacob wear them.(v.15)
  3. Rebekah covers Jacob's hands and neck with the skins from the goats, in order to make Jacob's body feel like Esau's (wow -- Esau must have been pretty hairy!) in case Isaac touches Jacob.(v.16)
  4. Rebekah gives Jacob the tasty food and some bread she had made, so that he can bring them to his father Isaac and obtain the blessing.(v.17)

The saying, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."  keeps going through my mind.  For, as Jacob goes to his father and begins to carry out the deception, he discovers that Isaac has some questions of his own:

  • Who is it? "He went to his father and said, 'My father.'  "Yes, my son," he answered. "Who is it?" (Genesis 27:18 NIV)  Jacob lies and pretends to be Esau.  He asks Isaac to sit up and eat some of the wild game so that Isaac will be ready to give him the blessing. (v.19)
  • How did you find it so quickly? Jacob has to elaborate on the lie.  "The Lord your God gave me success, " he replied. (Genesis 27:20 NIV)
  • Are you really my son Esau? Even after touching Jacob's 'hairy' hands, Isaac is still uncertain.  "...The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau." (Genesis 27:22 NIV)  One more time, Isaac asks his son to identify himself.  " 'Are you really my son Esau?' he asked." (Genesis 27:24 NIV)
Jacob finalizes the deception.  "I am," he replied.

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