Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Isaac

Lesson 6: Jacob Deceives Isaac and Esau

(Scripture to Read: Genesis 27:30–46)

The last recorded event in Isaac’s life did not turn out the way he or Esau planned. Isaacintended to give his first-born son the blessing and promises he had received from his father, Abraham. But Jacob’s trick changed all that – and when Esau learned he had been deceived, he was furious and threatened to kill Jacob.

The Bible says that Isaac “trembled violently” (v. 33) when Esau told him what Jacob had done. Isaac realized the full importance of this blessing, and how it would set the course of both his sons’ lives and families for many generations to come. Since Isaac favored Esau (another family problem), the reality of this shook him deeply. Isaac may also have anticipated Esau’s violent reaction to being tricked. Rebekah knew trouble was ahead, and advised Jacob to flee to her family to hide until Esau cooled down. Isaac even blessed Jacob before sending him away (Genesis 28:1).

Study Questions

  1. Isaac’s “blessing” of Esau (vv. 39-40) calls to mind the prophecy about Ishmael (Genesis 16:11-2). Name several ways in which these two men were similar.
  2. After being deceived, Esau’s only comfort was the thought of killing Jacob (v. 42). What do these thoughts of revenge tell us about Esau’s nature?
  3. In fleeing Esau, Jacob went to live with his uncle Laban, who would also prove to be deceptive. What lesson did God have in store for Jacob?
  4. Isaac and Rebekah wanted to ensure that Jacob did not marry a Canaanite woman. How important was Jacob’s marriage to the continued fulfillment of God’s promises?

Something to Think About

A desire for spiritual blessings is admirable, but we cannot manipulate God and should not try to manipulate other people to gain what we want, even if our goal is worthwhile.

Jacob was about to get the tables turned on him by an even more clever trickster named Laban. God has a wonderful way of teaching us just the lessons we need!