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OBTAINETH THE BLESSING.
GEN. 27. 35. 36. And he said, thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, is he not 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. And he said, hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
THERE is in the last of these verses a reference made to the subject of the last Lecture. Esau has not however paid that strict regard to truth which we ought to expect. He says that Jacob took away his blessing, when the truth was that he had sold it to him, and confirmed the bargain by an oath. He reproached Jacob unjustly, as though he had robbed him of his birthright, when he had fairly sold it to him, and there fore whatever might be said of Jacob's con duct in thus taking away the blessing, he had no reason to complain. "In the account of
the life of Hilarion, a Hermit, and esteemed as a very holy man, it is said that for three years he only ate about a SEER* of lentiles, moistened with cold water, and for other three years only dry bread with salt and some water. This shows that the eating of lentiles, was thought to be poor living. It shows also in a very striking manner the profaneness of Esau who despised his birthright to such a degree as to part with it, for a mess of lentile pottage.t
1. We notice the DESIGN of ISAAC to BLESS ESAU." And it came to pass that when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, my sou: and he said unto him, Behold here am I. And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and take me some venison; and make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it
* About two pounds.
Harmer's Observations, vol. 3. p. 92.
to me; that my soul may bless thee before I die. And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it."
Isaac was now 137 years old, and though his eyes were dim so that he could not see, yet be lived above 40 years longer. His partiali ty for Esau and the custom of the eldest son being the heir, led him to forget or disregard the answer which the Lord had formerly given to Rebekah, when he said, before Esau and Jacob were born, that "the elder should serve the younger." He seems to have been led astray by an over fond affection to a disobedient and rebellious son, whose conduct had grieved his own mind as well as that of Rebekah. was going to prefer the order of Nature to the will of God. Esau must go a hunting and bring him some venison, that by receiving a fresh proof of his duty and affection, he might bless him with all his heart. This was morę than a common blessing.
strengthened and refresh d.
He must be
Isaac is said to
have loved Esau on account of his venison, and now he desires a savoury dish before ha
gave him the blessing which belonged to the birthright.
II. REBEKAH'S PLAN to obtain the BLESSING for ISAAC.
Rebekah told Jacob what his father had said to Esau. "Now therefore (said Rebekah to Jacob,) my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father such as he loveth, and thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death." This was very wrong in'deed in Rebekah to act in this manner; she ought to have gone to Isaac and told him how wrong it was in him to let his partiality for Esau make him forget the word of the Lord, and at the same time she ought to have reminded him that Esau by selling his birthright to Jacob, had lost his right to the blessing which belonged to it, and which belonged to him as the elder son. We do not hear Jacob telling his mother how wrong it was in her thus to impose upon his Father, but he declared his fear that his Father would detect him
and find out the cheat.
"Behold (said Jad cob) Esau my brother is an hairy man, and I am a smooth man; my father peradven ture will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver, and I shall bring a curse upon me and not a blessing. And his mother said unto him, upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice." She seems quite confident of success. Jacob went and did as his mother told him, and she prepared the savoury meat and took a suit of Esau's clothes and put them on Jacob, and she put the skins of the kids upon his hands and upon the smooth of his neck, and gave the savoury meat and bread which she had prepared into the hand of her son Jacob.
III. We now come to JACOB'S MANAGEMENT of his MOTHER'S PLAN.
Rebekah had made him, who was a smooth man, hairy by putting on him the skins of those young goats with which she had made the savoury meat. He brought this meat to Isaac, and when he entered the place where his father was, he says; My Father. Isaac heard his voice, and thinking