New Defender's Study Bible Notes
27:5 Rebekah heard. Isaac, knowing he was wrong in deciding to transmit the blessing to Esau, was secretive about his plans. His actions would wrongly award Esau the place of both physical and spiritual preeminence in the family (Genesis 27:29) The blessing was intended by God for the line of the promised Seed. Rebekah just happened to overhear Isaac’s plans. At this time, Jacob and Esau were probably about 75 years old, and Isaac 135.
27:9 meat for thy father. Although Isaac professed to “love” Esau’s venison (Genesis 27:4), Rebekah could prepare goat meat to taste exactly the same. Thus, it must have been his son’s physical exploits, shared vicariously by Isaac, that he really loved!
27:10 bless thee. Rebekah was so resolved that Isaac should not sin against God in blessing Esau (thus bringing almost certain divine retribution upon both Isaac and Esau) that she was willing to risk everything to prevent it. She knew that her stratagem, even if successful, would be discovered as soon as Esau returned, with possibly tragic consequences. However, she apparently felt that God’s wrathful judgment upon her husband and her eldest son, if they persisted in trifling with God’s most solemn covenants and commandments in this fashion, was to be feared even more. Lest Jacob should demur from pushing himself forward like this, Rebekah invoked her right to filial obedience in commanding him to do so (Genesis 27:8). Confronted with this forced choice between two divine commandments (obedience or truthfulness), Jacob chose the course more in line with God’s ultimate purpose.
27:12 deceiver. “Deceiver” is better translated “mocker.” At this point, Jacob hoped that he would not actually have to lie verbally to his father, but he did fear that he might seem to be mocking his blindness by dressing and smelling and feeling like Esau. Rebekah assured him she would take the blame.
27:20 brought it to me. Jacob no doubt hoped that Isaac would not question him at all. But Isaac did, and so there was no way of accomplishing Rebekah’s plan now except by overt lying and even by taking God’s name in vain. Jacob and Rebekah were godly and sensitive people, and it must have grieved them greatly to break God’s commandments like this, especially knowing that it could only be a matter of an hour or so before it would all be exposed, with all the wrath and recriminations that would follow. The whole episode can only really be understood in light of their hope that Isaac’s sudden knowledge that his beloved wife and faithful son would go to such lengths to prevent him from blaspheming God and His will might shock him to his senses (as, indeed, it did!). It is significant that God never spoke to either Rebekah or Jacob by way of rebuke over this incident. In fact, God later explicitly confirmed Isaac’s blessing to Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15). The rebuke was solely for Esau, and the repentance was Isaac’s, not Jacob’s.
27:29 curseth thee. Isaac’s presumption in blessing Esau like this is obvious when contrasted with God’s specific instruction given before they were born that Jacob should have this position (Genesis 25:23).
27:29 blesseth thee. Here Isaac repeats God’s own original promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3), again in flagrant disregard of God’s will.
27:33 trembled very exceedingly. Literally, “most excessively with a great trembling.” A violent complex of emotions overwhelmed Isaac, as he suddenly realized all that had happened, and the reasons behind it all.
27:33 he shall be blessed. Isaac’s anger and resentment were overshadowed by his realization that God Himself had intervened. God was going to bless Jacob and there was no way Isaac could change this. In fact, the blessing would have gone to Jacob even if Isaac had succeeded in pronouncing it upon Esau. Man’s will cannot thwart God’s purposes.
27:39 fatness of the earth. “Thy dwelling shall be the fatness” should read, “shall be away from the fatness of the earth.”
27:40 have the dominion. “Have the dominion” is better rendered “shake thyself.” Whether this prophecy concerning Esau was actually from God, or simply Isaac’s personal prediction, is open to question, at least.