Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless you before the LORD before my death.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Before the Lord (Jehovah).—Rebekah has been accused of inserting words which Isaac had not used; but it is unreasonable to suppose that more is recorded of Isaac’s address to his son than the main sense. Still, these words had a meaning to Jacob which they did not bear to Esau. The latter cared for his father’s blessing, partly from natural affection, but chiefly because of the temporal benefits connected with it. To Jacob its value consisted in the covenant between Jehovah and the family of Abraham.
The plan is successful. Jacob now, without further objection, obeys his mother. She clothes him in Esau's raiment, and puts the skins of the kids on his hands and his neck. The camel-goat affords a hair which bears a great resemblance to that of natural growth, and is used as a substitute for it. Now begins the strange interview between the father and the son. "Who art thou, my son?" The voice of Jacob was somewhat constrained. He goes, however, deliberately through the process of deceiving his father. "Arise, now, sit and eat." Isaac was reclining on his couch, in the feebleness of advancing years. Sitting was the posture convenient for eating. "The Lord thy God prospered me." This is the bold reply to Isaac's expression of surprise at the haste with which the dainty fare had been prepared. The bewildered father now puts Jacob to a severer test. He feels him, but discerns him not. The ear notes a difference, but the hand feels the hairy skin resembling Esau's; the eyes give no testimony. After this the result is summarily stated in a single sentence, though the particulars are yet to be given. "Art thou my very son Esau?" A lurking doubt puts the definite question, and receives a decisive answer. Isaac then calls for the repast and partakes.Before the Lord; solemnly, as in God’s presence, in his name, and by his authority, and with his leave and favour, which I shall heartily pray for thee. So he signifies that this was more than an ordinary blessing which he now intended to give him.
that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death; the phrase "before the Lord" is here added, which yet perhaps might be expressed by Isaac, though before omitted by the historian, and has a very considerable emphasis in it; for this solemn blessing was given not only in the presence of the Lord, and before him as a witness, but by calling upon him, and praying for direction in it, and then pronouncing it in his name and by his authority, he approving of it, so that it was ever after irrevocable.Bring me venison, and make me savory meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. before the Lord] i.e. in the presence of Jehovah, and in acknowledgment of His power, the human blessing will be pronounced, and will be effectual. The supposition that “before the Lord” means before an image of Jehovah in the house, is an arbitrary one. A local sanctuary, such as we may suppose was sought by Rebekah (Genesis 25:22), is not here implied. Isaac contemplates a religious act of blessing performed under the inspiring consciousness of the Divine Presence.Genesis 16:2, etc.), he wished, in the consciousness of approaching death, to give his blessing to his elder son. Isaac was then in his 137th year, at which age his half-brother Ishmael had died fourteen years before;
(Note: Cf. Lightfoot, opp. 1, p. 19. This correct estimate of Luther's is based upon the following calculation: - When Joseph was introduced to Pharaoh he was thirty years old (Genesis 41:46), and when Jacob went into Egypt, thirty-nine, as the seven years of abundance and two of famine had then passed by (Genesis 45:6). But Jacob was at that time 130 years old (Genesis 47:9). Consequently Joseph was born before Jacob was ninety-one; and as his birth took place in the fourteenth year of Jacob's sojourn in Mesopotamia (cf. Genesis 30:25, and Genesis 29:18, Genesis 29:21, and Genesis 29:27), Jacob's flight to Laban occurred in the seventy-seventh year of his own life, and the 137th of Isaac's.)
and this, with the increasing infirmities of age, may have suggested the thought of death, though he did not die till forty-three years afterwards (Genesis 35:28). Without regard to the words which were spoken by God with reference to the children before their birth, and without taking any notice of Esau's frivolous barter of his birthright and his ungodly connection with Canaanites, Isaac maintained his preference for Esau, and directed him therefore to take his things (כּלים, hunting gear), his quiver and bow, to hunt game and prepare a savoury dish, that he might eat, and his soul might bless him. As his preference for Esau was fostered and strengthened by, if it did not spring from, his liking for game (Genesis 25:28), so now he wished to raise his spirits for imparting the blessing by a dish of venison prepared to his taste. In this the infirmity of his flesh is evident. At the same time, it was not merely because of his partiality for Esau, but unquestionably on account of the natural rights of the first-born, that he wished to impart the blessing to him, just as the desire to do this before his death arose from the consciousness of his patriarchal call.
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