What does Genesis 27:11 mean?
ESV: But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.
NIV: Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, 'But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin.
NASB: But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, 'Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man and I am a smooth man.
CSB: Jacob answered Rebekah his mother, "Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am a man with smooth skin.
NLT: But look,' Jacob replied to Rebekah, 'my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth.
KJV: And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
Isaac has attempted to pass along his blessing to Esau, the oldest of his twin sons. Instead of giving this blessing in front of the entire family, he speaks with Esau alone, or at least tries to. This reflects the family's extreme favoritism, where Isaac preferred Esau and his wife, Rebekah, preferred the second twin, Jacob (Genesis 25:28). It might also suggest that Isaac knows Esau sold his birthright to Jacob (Genesis 25:29–34), making this an attempt to escape that mistake. In any case, Rebekah overhears and recruits Jacob to participate in a scheme that will trick her husband Isaac into giving the family blessing to Jacob instead of his brother Esau. Before Esau can hunt game and prepare a requested meal for his father, she will make a similar meal and Jacob will take it to Isaac and get the blessing (Genesis 27:1–10).
Now Jacob objects—but not to express a moral or ethical concern with his mother's plan. Instead, he raises a practical concern. He's not a hairy guy. Esau is (Genesis 25:25). It's likely that Isaac will notice this, and what will happen when he catches on? The following verse will reveal that Jacob is deeply worried about the consequences of getting caught trying to fool his father.
Genesis 27:1–29 describes how the Abrahamic family blessing came to second-born Jacob, instead of his firstborn brother, Esau. Isaac intends to give the blessing to his favored son, Esau. Rebekah commands Jacob to impersonate Esau, instead, in order to get the blessing for himself. Isaac almost catches on but is convinced by the smell of Esau on Jacob's borrowed clothes, and the hairy, Esau-like goat's skin on Jacob's hands. Isaac gives to Jacob the future-defining blessing of God.
Isaac's plan to pass the family blessing on to his favorite son, Esau, is thwarted by the deception of Isaac's wife Rebekah, and his other son Jacob. Old and blind, Isaac fails to recognize that the man claiming to be Esau is actually Jacob in a clever disguise. His prayer of blessing for wealth and rule over his brothers will remain valid though it is given under false pretense. Esau will be left with a blessing that sounds like a curse and a plan to murder his brother. Jacob will be forced to run for his life.
Prior chapters described the prosperity of Isaac, living in the Valley of Gerar. Genesis 27 leaps forward to near the end of Isaac's life. The time has come to pass on the family blessing. Isaac's intention to give that blessing to firstborn, Esau, is thwarted by the deception of Isaac's wife Rebekah and his other son Jacob. Isaac overcomes his suspicions that the man before him is not Esau and delivers the very blessing of God on Jacob. Esau is left with a near-curse and a murderous rage. Rebekah urges Jacob to go to her brother's household, a plan Isaac will endorse in the following chapter. There, he will ironically experience the sting of deception in his own life.
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:07:24 PM
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