Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XXXIV

by Ed Urzi

“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future” (Hebrews 11:20 NIV).

It didn’t take Isaac very long to identify the perpetrator in the plot to trick him into blessing someone he did not intend to bless…

“…[Isaac] said, ‘Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.’ And Esau said, ‘Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, ‘Have you not reserved a blessing for me?'” (Genesis 27:35-36).

So, Esau responded to Isaac’s disclosure by sharing his negative opinion of Jacob’s character: “When you named my brother ‘Jacob’ (meaning ‘deceiver’), you certainly picked the right name. This is the second time he has cheated me- first he took my birthright and now he has my blessing as well.” Of course, Esau conveniently overlooked one important detail from that version of events: he was the one who willingly sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. Nevertheless, that did not stop Esau from blaming Jacob for the fact that he made a poor bargain.

But even though Esau had now lost everything his father sought to give him, he decided to make one last attempt to obtain some sort of blessing- and Isaac did his best to bless Esau with what was left…

“Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, ‘Indeed I have made [Jacob] your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?’ And Esau said to his father, ‘Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me — me also, O my father!’ And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: ‘Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, And of the dew of heaven from above. By your sword you shall live, And you shall serve your brother; And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck'” (Genesis 27:37-40).

This was certainly not the kind of blessing Esau had originally sought from his father. Unfortunately, there really wasn’t very much left since Isaac had essentially given Jacob everything he could offer. However, we’ll see that the “secondary blessing” referenced in this passage from Genesis twenty-seven eventually came to pass in our final installment of this mini-series.