What does Genesis 27:37 mean?
ESV: Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?"
NIV: Isaac answered Esau, "I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?"
NASB: But Isaac replied to Esau, 'Behold, I have made him your master, and I have given to him all his relatives as servants; and with grain and new wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?'
CSB: But Isaac answered Esau, "Look, I have made him a master over you, have given him all of his relatives as his servants, and have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then can I do for you, my son?"
NLT: Isaac said to Esau, 'I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine — what is left for me to give you, my son?'
KJV: And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
NKJV: Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him 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?”
Verse Commentary:
Esau is distraught at learning that his younger twin brother, Jacob, has stolen his blessing. Isaac, their father, intended to give this gift to Esau (Genesis 27:1–6). His wife, Rebekah, plotted an elaborate disguise for her favored son, Jacob (Genesis 27:15–17), which fooled the elderly, blind father into bestowing it on the wrong person (Genesis 27:33–34).

In the previous verse, Esau asked Isaac if he had not reserved some blessing for him. It was not uncommon for a father, near death, to confer a blessing on more than one of his children, dividing his well wishes or predictions for their future. In Isaac's case, however, he had planned to give to Esau all the blessing he had to give. In truth, Isaac had not reserved a blessing for Jacob. He loved Esau so much more that He had intended all of the family blessing to go to him (Genesis 25:28). God, however, had planned all along for Jacob to rule over his brother (Genesis 25:23). It was not merely Jacob and Rebekah who had thwarted Isaac's plan. Beyond the question of this particular blessing, God Himself had already planned to make Jacob the heir of His promises.

Now Isaac reveals to Esau exactly how he has blessed Jacob. His words reveal how powerful Isaac believes this blessing to be. With a few words of prayer, Isaac says that he has made Jacob lord over Esau and all his brothers and that he has sustained him with grain and wine. Of course, Isaac's prayer made clear it was God who would do these things in Jacob's life.

Given that context, what meaningful blessing could be left to give to Esau?
Verse Context:
Genesis 27:30–46 describes the aftermath of Jacob's deception of Isaac in order to receive the family blessing. Once Esau arrives and Isaac realizes he has given the blessing to the wrong son, his body begins to tremble in panic. Esau, deeply distraught, cries out in loud and bitter agony. Isaac gives to Esau a leftover blessing that reads like a curse. Esau pledges to kill Jacob once their father has died. Learning of this, Rebekah urges Jacob to run away to live with her brother in Mesopotamia.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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.
Book Summary:
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 7/21/2024 11:57:56 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.