|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:30-40 When Esau understood that Jacob had got the blessing, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry. The day is coming, when those that now make light of the blessings of the covenant, and sell their title to spiritual blessings for that which is of no value, will, in vain, ask urgently for them. Isaac, when made sensible of the deceit practised on him, trembled exceedingly. Those who follow the choice of their own affections, rather than the Divine will, get themselves into perplexity. But he soon recovers, and confirms the blessing he had given to Jacob, saying, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed. Those who part with their wisdom and grace, their faith and a good conscience, for the honours, wealth, or pleasures of this world, however they feign a zeal for the blessing, have judged themselves unworthy of it, and their doom shall be accordingly. A common blessing was bestowed upon Esau. This he desired. Faint desires of happiness, without right choice of the end, and right use of the means, deceive many unto their own ruin. Multitudes go to hell with their mouths full of good wishes. The great difference is, that there is nothing in Esau's blessing which points at Christ; and without that, the fatness of the earth, and the plunder of the field, will stand in little stead. Thus Isaac, by faith, blessed both his sons, according as their lot should be.
Verse 40. - And by thy sword shalt thou live, - literally, upon thy sword shalt thou be, i.e. thy maintenance shall depend on thy sword; a prediction that Esau s descendants should be a warlike and tumultuous people of predatory habits (cf. Josephus, B. 1, 4. 4) - and shalt serve thy brother; - a prediction afterwards fulfilled (cf. 1 Samuel 14:47; 2 Samuel 8:14; 1 Kings 11:16; 2 Kings 14:7-10; 2 Chronicles 20:22-25) - and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck. The verb רוּד, used of beasts which have broken the yoke and wander freely about (Gesenius, Furst), appear to hint at an incessant restlessness on the part of Edom while under Israel's yoke which should eventually terminate in regaining their independence. The exact rendering of the clause is obscure, but perhaps means that when Edom should roam about as a freebooter (Lange), or should revolt (Alford), or should toss, shake, or struggle against the yoke (Vulgate, Keil, Hengstenberg, 'Speaker's Commentary), he should succeed. Other renderings are, when thou shalt bear rule (Kimchi), when thou shalt repent (Jarchi), when thou shalt be strong (Samaritan), when thou prevailest (Murphy), when thou shalt truly desire it (Kalisch), when thou shalt pull down (LXX.); because thou art restless (Havernick).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And by thy sword shalt thou live,.... By what he could get by it; his land being so poor that he could not live upon it, but must be obliged to such methods for a livelihood; or his country being surrounded with enemies, his posterity would be obliged to defend themselves by the sword, and other weapons of war:
and shalt serve thy brother; which is the sense and language of the oracle, Genesis 25:23; and which Isaac perhaps now remembered, and had a clear understanding of it, and delivers out his prophetic blessing agreeably to it:
and it shall come to pass, when thou shalt have the dominion; not over the Israelites, the posterity of Jacob, which the Edomites, Esau's posterity, never had; but when they should get a greater degree of strength, power, authority, and dominion in the world:
that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck; the Edomites should revolt from the posterity of Jacob, and shake off the yoke of bondage and subjection they had been long under; as they did in the times of Joram, king of Judah, and set up a king of their own, and continued in such a state of freedom a long time, see 2 Kings 8:20.
Genesis 27:40 Parallel Commentaries
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