Genesis 27:27
And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
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(27) As the smell of a field.—From the abundance of aromatic plants, the pastures of Palestine are peculiarly fragrant; but Isaac, deceived by the scent of Esau’s own garments, intended probably to contrast the pure sweetness of one whose life was spent in the open field with the less pleasant odour which Jacob would bring with him from the cattle-shed.

Genesis 27:27. He smelled the smell of his raiment — Probably scented with odoriferous flowers and other perfumes, with which they could easily be supplied from Arabia, famed for aromatic herbs. The smell of my son is as the smell of a field — The grateful odour of my son’s apparel resembles that of a field which God hath adorned with a variety of fruits and flowers, and this I consider as a token and presage that he and his posterity shall be blessed with all sorts of blessings, and become blessings to others.

Three things Jacob is here blessed with, 1st, Plenty, (Genesis 27:28,) heaven and earth concurring to make him rich. 2d, Power, (Genesis 27:29,) particularly dominion over his brethren, namely, Esau and his posterity. 3d, Prevalency with God, and a great interest in heaven, Cursed be every one that curseth thee — Let God be a friend to all thy friends, and an enemy to all thine enemies. Now, certainly, more is comprised in this blessing than appears at first; it must amount to an entail of the promise of the Messiah: that was, in the patriarchal dialect, the blessing; something spiritual, doubtless, is included in it. First, That from him should come the Messiah, that should have a sovereign dominion on earth, See Numbers 24:19, Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, the star and sceptre, Genesis 27:17.

Jacob’s dominion over Esau was to be only typical of this, Genesis 49:10. Secondly, That from him should come the Church, that should be particularly owned and favoured by Heaven. It was part of the blessing of Abraham when he was first called to be the father of the faithful, Genesis 12:3, I will bless them that bless thee; therefore, when Isaac afterward confirmed the blessing to Jacob, he called it, the blessing of Abraham, Genesis 28:4.

27:18-29 Jacob, with some difficulty, gained his point, and got the blessing. This blessing is in very general terms. No mention is made of the distinguishing mercies in the covenant with Abraham. This might be owing to Isaac having Esau in his mind, though it was Jacob who was before him. He could not be ignorant how Esau had despised the best things. Moreover, his attachment to Esau, so as to disregard the mind of God, must have greatly weakened his own faith in these things. It might therefore be expected, that leanness would attend his blessing, agreeing with the state of his mind.He gives the kiss of paternal affection, and pronounces the benediction. It contains, first, a fertile soil. "Of the dew of heaven." An abundant measure of this was especially precious in a country where the rain is confined to two seasons of the year. "Of the fatness of the earth;" a proportion of this to match and render available the dew of heaven. "Corn and wine," the substantial products, implying all the rest. Second, a numerous and powerful offspring. "Let peoples serve thee" - pre-eminence among the nations. "Be lord of thy brethren" - pre-eminence among his kindred. Isaac does not seem to have grasped the full meaning of the prediction, "The older shall serve the younger." Third, Prosperity, temporal and spiritual. He that curseth thee be cursed, and he that blesseth thee be blessed. This is the only part of the blessing that directly comprises spiritual things; and even this of a special form. It is to be recollected that it was Isaac's intention to bless Esau, and he may have felt that Esau, after all, was not to be the progenitor of the holy seed. Hence, the form of expression is vague enough to apply to temporal things, and yet sufficiently comprehensive to embrace the infliction of the ban of sin, and the diffusion of the blessing of salvation by means of the holy seed.27. the smell of my son is as of a field—The aromatic odors of the Syrian fields and meadows, often impart a strong fragrance to the person and clothes, as has been noticed by many travellers. Which is full of odoriferous herbs, and flowers, and fruits, and spices, with some of which Esau’s garments might be perfumed in the chest wherein they were laid, as the manner now is. These garments smell not of the sheepcots and stables, as Jacob’s do, but of the fields, in which Esau is conversant.

And he came near, and kissed him,.... Jacob came near and kissed Isaac his father:

and he smelled the smell of his raiment; which being not like the smell of a sheep coat, but of a field, might give him more full satisfaction that it was truly Esau:

and he blessed him; with his patriarchal and prophetic blessing, which here begins:

and said, see, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed; like a field fall of fragrant herbs, flowers, and spices, watered with the dews and rain of heaven, and so made fruitful, which emits a most, delightful odour; this may respect the scent of Esau's clothes, now on Jacob's back, which they received from the fields, which Esau continually frequented; or rather from the odoriferous herbs and fruits which were put among them in the chest, in which Rebekah had laid them up; and it may be, that whereas the goatskins on his hands and neck would be apt to send forth a rank and disagreeable smell, these might be so scented by Rebekah as to prevent that. Some render these words, "see the smell of my son, whom the Lord hath blessed (w), as the smell of a field"; and so Isaac pronounces him blessed of the Lord, as well as by himself; the sense is the same: as to the smell many interpreters consider this as a type and figure of the acceptance of believers with God, being clothed with the goodly, excellent, and desirable garment of the righteousness of Christ their elder brother, even of their persons, services, and sacrifices; which is indeed truly spiritual and evangelical; but is liable to this objection, that it makes profane Esau a type of Christ. I see not that anything can well be objected to the application of this son of Isaac's to the Messiah himself, whom he may have a special regard unto in this prophetic blessing, reading the words, "the smell of my son shall be as the smell of a field": or "my son, whom the Lord hath blessed", and came before with all the blessings of goodness, and in whom all nations shall be blessed, shall be "as the smell of a field"; all whose garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia, Psalm 45:8, even Isaac's principal son, that should be of his seed, of whom Jacob his present son was a type, and who was to spring from him.

(w) So Junius, Tremellius, Gesner. & Walther. apud Calov.

And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
27. he smelled] The scent of the “field” forms the starting-point of the Oracle, or Song, of Blessing. The blessing is concerned not with the personal destiny of Jacob, but with the national history of the Israelite people. Cf. the blessing of Jacob on Joseph (Genesis 49:22 ff.). What “the smell of his raiment” had to do with “the goodly raiment” of Genesis 27:15, is not explained.

as the smell of a field] Cf. Hosea 14:6, “and his smell as Lebanon.” Isaac’s words refer to the “field” of Genesis 25:27, Genesis 27:5, the country of the huntsman. Before Isaac’s mind rises up the picture of a rich and fruitful land.

which the Lord hath blessed] i.e. by fertility. The versions prefix an adjective denoting “plenty” before the word “field.” LXX ἀγροῦ πλήρους; Lat. agri pleni.

Isaac’s utterance is in poetical form. The two clauses in this verse serve as a prelude to the blessing of Genesis 27:28-29.

Verse 27. - And he came near, and kissed him. Originally the act of kissing had a symbolical character. Here it is a sign of affection between a parent and a child; in Genesis 29:13 between relatives. It was also a token of friendship (Tobit 7. 6; 10:12; 2 Samuel 20:9; Matthew 26:48; Luke 7:45; Luke 15:20; Acts 20:37). The kissing of princes was a symbol of homage (1 Samuel 10:1; Psalm 2:12; Xenoph., 'Cyrop.,' 7. 5, 32). With the Persians it was a mark of honor (Xenoph., 'Agesil.,' 5. 4). The Rabbins permitted only three kinds of kisses - the kiss of reverence, of reception, and of dismissal. The kiss of charity was practiced among disciples in the early Christian Church (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14; vide Kitto's' 'Cyclopedia,' art. Kissing). And he smelled the smell of his raiment, - not deliberately, in order to detect whether they belonged to a shepherd or a huntsman (Tuch), but accidentally while, in the act of kissing. The odor of Esau s garments, impregnated with the fragrance of the aromatic herbs of Palestine, excited the dull sensibilities of the aged prophet, suggesting to his mind pictures of freshness and fertility, and inspiring him to pour forth his promised benediction - and blessed him (not a second time, the statement in ver. 23 being only inserted by anticipation), and said, - the blessing, as is usual in elevated prophetic utterances, assumes a poetic and antistrophical form (cf. Esau's blessing, vers. 39, 40) - See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field - the first clause of the poetic stanza clearly connects with the odor of Esau's raiment as that which had opened the fount of prophetic song in Isaac's breast, so far at least as its peculiar form was concerned; its secret inspiration we know was the Holy Ghost operating through Isaac's faith in the promise (vide Hebrews 11:20) - which the Lord hath blessed. The introduction of the name Jehovah instead of Elohim in this second clause proves that Isaac did not mean to liken his son to an ordinary well-cultivated field, but to "a field like that of Paradise, resplendent with traces of the Deity - an ideal field, bearing the same relation to an ordinary one as Israel did to the heathen - a kind of enchanted garden, such as would be realized at a later period in Canaan, as far as the fidelity of the people permitted it" (Hengstenberg). Genesis 27:27After his father, in order to get rid of his suspicion about the voice, had asked him once more, "Art thou really my son Esau?" and Jacob had replied, "I am" (אני equals yes), he told him to hand him the savoury dish that he might eat. After eating, he kissed his son as a sing of his paternal affection, and in doing so he smelt the odour of his clothes, i.e., the clothes of Esau, which were thoroughly scented with the odour of the fields, and then imparted his blessing (Genesis 27:27-29). The blessing itself is thrown, as the sign of an elevated state of mind, into the poetic style of parallel clauses, and contains the peculiar forms of poetry, such as ראה for הנּה, הוה for היה, etc. The smell of the clothes with the scent of the field suggested to the patriarch's mind the image of his son's future prosperity, so that he saw him in possession of the promised land and the full enjoyment of its valuable blessings, having the smell of the field which Jehovah blessed, i.e., the garden of paradise, and broke out into the wish, "God (Ha-Elohim, the personal God, not Jehovah, the covenant God) give thee from the dew of heaven, and the fat fields of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine," i.e., a land blessed with the dew of heaven and a fruitful soil.

In Eastern countries, where there is so little rain, the dew is the most important prerequisite for the growth of the fruits of the earth, and is often mentioned therefore as a source of blessing (Deuteronomy 33:13, Deuteronomy 33:28; Hosea 14:6; Zechariah 8:12). In משׁמנּי, notwithstanding the absence of the Dagesh from the שׁ, the מ is the prep. מן, as the parallel מטּל proves; and שׁמנּים both here and in Genesis 27:39 are the fat (fertile) districts of a country. The rest of the blessing had reference to the future pre-eminence of his son. He was to be lord not only over his brethren (i.e., over kindred tribes), but over (foreign) peoples and nations also. The blessing rises here to the idea of universal dominion, which was to be realized in the fact that, according to the attitude assumed by the people towards him as their lord, it would secure to them either a blessing or a curse. If we compare this blessing with the promises which Abraham received, there are two elements of the latter which are very apparent; viz., the possession of the land, in the promise of the rich enjoyment of its produce, and the numerous increase of posterity, in the promised dominion over the nations. The third element, however, the blessing of the nations in and through the seed of Abraham, is so generalized in the expression, which is moulded according to Genesis 12:3, "Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee," that the person blessed is not thereby declared to be the medium of salvation to the nations. Since the intention to give the blessing to Esau the first-born did not spring from proper feelings towards Jehovah and His promises, the blessing itself, as the use of the word Elohim instead of Jehovah or El Shaddai (cf. Genesis 28:3) clearly shows, could not rise to the full height of the divine blessings of salvation, but referred chiefly to the relation in which the two brothers and their descendants would stand to one another, the theme with which Isaac's soul was entirely filled. It was only the painful discovery that, in blessing against his will, he had been compelled to follow the saving counsel of God, which awakened in him the consciousness of his patriarchal vocation, and gave him the spiritual power to impart the "blessing of Abraham" to the son whom he had kept back, but whom Jehovah had chosen, when he was about to send him away to Haran (Genesis 28:3-4).

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