Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Isaac

Lesson 5: Jacob Steals Esau’s Blessing

(Scripture to Read: Genesis 26:34–35 and Genesis 27:1–29)

Today’s lesson is another of the Bible’s most familiar stories: Jacob’s deception of Isaac to receive the blessing that should have gone to Esau as the first-born son. This blessing was a tremendous spiritual birthright that Rebekah wanted for Jacob, her favorite son. Jacob also understood the importance of his father’s blessing and wanted it bad enough to lie for it.

Rebekah’s plan was daring, and yet she felt certain it could work because of Isaac’s advanced age and poor eyesight. Jacob was not as confident about the scheme as his mother, but like a dutiful son, he followed her instructions to the letter. Although Isaac expressed his doubts three times about the identity of the son in his presence, he was finally convinced it was Esau and pronounced his blessing—which could not be nullified or repeated later for Esau.

Study Questions

  1. What fact about Isaac’s family did we learn earlier from Genesis 25:27-28 that helps explain the trick Rebekah and Jacob played on Isaac?
  2. We also learned from a previous lesson (Genesis 25:29-34) that Esau cared little about spiritual matters. How did he express his disregard in Genesis 26:34-35?
  3. Jacob told his father, Isaac, at least two specific lies during their time together (Genesis 27:18-29). See if you can identify and record them.
  4. How did Isaac’s blessing on Jacob reveal that Jacob, and not Esau, was the recipient of the Abrahamic promise? (Hint: see the end of verse 29 and Genesis 12:3.)

Something to Think About

It’s unfortunate that Isaac was swayed by his taste for the game that Esau hunted. Our physical appetites are God-given, but we cannot allow them to unduly influence our spiritual decisions.

The old saying, “O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” is true! It usually takes more than one lie to carry out a wrong plan, and those who get involved in these schemes often have to go further in the deception than they thought.