Isaac was blind, realizing his end was coming soon, it was time for him to bless his chosen son, so he called up on his eldest son: Esau.
Knowing, from previous verse, that Isaac is a fan of Esau’s venison, he asks Esau to don his hunting bow equipment, bring him venison, and prepare a favorite meal for him, so that his soul may bless him since he doesn’t know when he will die. Esau complies with his father’s wishes and heads out for the hunt.
Deer/venison in the Middle East, in Beer-Sheba… are those same deer there today? Were they there during the time of Isaac and Esau? It’s a logical conclusion to make, after all it wasn’t that far long ago that Noah repopulated the earth with all the animals.
Rebekah hears the words that Isaac is about to bless Esau, and in Esau’s absence while he is off honoring his father’s wishes, conspires to put his younger brother Jacob in Esau’s place for the blessing.
Note: It was Isaac’s intentions for the blessing to go to his son Esau, but as Jehovah stated in his telling of the future to Rebekah, the eldest son would serve the younger, so in effect, Rebekah was either being extremely deceitful (we were already told Jacob was her favorite) to ensure her favorite would receive the fatherly blessing, or she was forcing the issue to fulfill the promise of Jehovah by ways of deceit. I have to say, this is not a natural flow of godly and righteous events. If it was Jehovah’s will that Jacob be the receiver of blessings, and with all he had promised to Isaac, why didn’t it happen naturally? Why did it need lies and deceit to be fulfilled?
In the subsequent verses, we see the extent of the lie:
Jacob: Proclaims the wrongness of the deceit of his mother’s intentions, knowing his father would recognize that he is not Esau, because they are so different.
Rebekah: dons the skins and garments of Esau upon Jacob, prepares savory food and bread, and preps Jacob to take the place of Esau for the blessing.
Jacob follows through with his mother’s plan and deceives his “father” (remember, no mention that Abraham actually conceived Jacob, it was only after a visit by Jehovah to Rebekah that Jacob was born.)
The great lie:
Genesis 27:19 – And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first-born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because Jehovah thy God sent me good speed.
Brutal deception. Would YOU ever pretend to be a sibling, in front of your compromised mother or father, with the expectations of receiving something not intended for you? Not only that, Jacob justified the lie by bringing Jehovah into the story to explain the lie. Can we assume Jehovah was ok with this lie? Is this what we call “bearing false witness” and is Jacob truly “honoring his father”?
Isaac hears Jacob’s voice, but is deceived and feels Esau’s skin on his hands with the skin of goats that Rebekah put on Jacob’s hands. Isaac succumbs to the lie, and blesses Jacob, thinking he is Esau, with a blessing from the soul:
27:27 – … See the smell of my son, Is as the smell of a field which Jehovah hath blessed: And God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and new wine: Let peoples serve thee, And nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, And let they mother’s sons bow down to thee, and blessed be everyone that blesseth thee:
What does a field that Jehovah has blessed smell like? Earthy? Whatever it is, Isaac was deceived into believing the smell was his first born son Esau.
In the meantime, without deceit, lies, or sin, Esau is off in the fields honoring his fathers request. Jacob leaves after deceitfully receiving his blessing from his blind father and Esau returns quickly from the hunt and prepares the venison and his Isaac speaks out:
27:32 – And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy first-born, Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who then is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yeah, and he shall be blessed.
Isaac trembled exceedingly. An old man, admittedly near death, put into the position where he trembles exceedingly from the deceit of the unknown, deceit from his wife and his own flesh and blood, because he was blind and unable to really see who was lying to him at the time. His intention was to bless Esau, who did nothing wrong, but through the lie of Rebekah and Jacob, he was tricked into giving the blessing to Jacob, while he sat blind and victim of the “guile” of his youngest son.
So far, Jacob has taken the birthright of his older brother Esau while Esau was compromised, and to make matters worse, has stolen the blessing his father Isaac meant for Esau. Who is the wicked one here?
27:35 And he (Isaac) said, Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he (Esau) said Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.
Both Isaac and Esau recognize the deceit brought upon by Jacob, not just once, but twice. Not all hope is lost for Esau, however. According to Jehovah, the older shall serve the younger, but Isaac makes a promise to Esau that this servitude is not permanent:
27:29 – And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold of the fatness of the earth shall be thy dwelling, And of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt break loose, That thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck.
This conflicts with Jehovah’s fortune telling to Rebekah. Isaac tells his son Esau at some point he will break loose of the yoke of having to serve his younger brother. So with all the lies and deceit that have fallen upon Esau, he becomes angry and said (in his heart) how he would slay his brother Jacob *after* his father’s death.
Word gets to Rebekah about Esau’s wishes (how so, if he only said it in his heart?), so she sends Jacob off to her brother Laban in Haran, hoping that he can stay there while Esau cools off from his threats. She also laments about the idea of of Jacob taking a wife of Heth (Hittite? the way Esau did?)