ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Christianity, the Bible & Jesus

Bible: What Does Genesis 26-27 Teach Us About Deception and Blessing?

Updated on September 8, 2016

Isaac Deceives Abimelech


Isaac and Abimelech

A famine causes Isaac to visit King Abimelech of Philistia (v. 1).

[Moses mentions an earlier dearth—a “first famine”—which occurred during Abraham’s time (cf. 12:10).

Is this “Abimelech” the same king with whom Abraham covenanted, or is he his son?]

At the same time, the LORD tells Isaac not to go down to Egypt, but to stay in Gerar (vv. 2, 6).

God then reiterates the Abrahamic promises to him (vv. 3-5; cf. 15:5; 22:17).

While in Gerar, Isaac implements the same strategy to save his hide that his father used in his day to preserve his own skin:he lies regarding his wife’s identity (v. 7; cf. Gen. 20:2).

When Abimelech discovers the truth (v. 8), he first reprimands Isaac, and then commands his servants not to touch the young man or his wife (vv. 9-11).



A Special Place to Dwell

In the course of time as God blesses Isaac’s husbandry, the Philistines and Abimelech envy him to the point of sabotaging his wells and warning him to move away from them (vv. 12-16).

Isaac journeys to another location and re-digs the old wells of his father; but with each well he reopens, he runs into trouble with the locals (vv. 17-21).

[Isaac called the wells Beersheba (v. 18; cf. 21:31)].

Finally, he finds one that is not in dispute as to ownership—Rehoboth (“spaciousness”) [v. 22].

Isaac returns to his father’s old dwelling place (Beersheba), and receives another revelation in which the LORD reaffirms His commitment to bless him for Abraham’s sake (vv. 23, 24).

The grateful patriarch worships God and settles here (v. 25).

Apparently seeing God’s favor upon Isaac and wishing to save his neck from any divine retribution, Abimelech and company visit Isaac and disingenuously arrange to sign a treaty with him (vv. 26-31).

On that same day Isaac’s servants find water, and their master calls the well Shebah (vv. 32-33; cf. v. 22).

Verses 34-35 serve as a transition to the next section that discusses Isaac’s relationship with Esau.

The latter marries two Hittite women—Judith and Basemath—who somehow cause headaches for Isaac’s household.

Isaac Blesses Jacob


Isaac's Blessing

view quiz statistics

The "Mess of Pottage" Episode

Genesis 27

Sensing his death approaching rapidly, blind Isaac instructs his favorite son Esau to prepare him a savory meal after which repast he would bless him (vv. 1-4).

While Esau is gone hunting, Rebekah (who had eavesdropped on the conversation between Isaac and Esau) tells Jacob to kill two goats that she might make Isaac this tasty dinner.

She intends, of course, that Jacob (her favorite son) might receive his father’s blessing instead of Esau (vv. 5-10; cf. 25:28).

Aware that Isaac might discover this deception by touching Jacob’s smooth skin, the conspirators (Jacob and Rebekah) set a plan in motion (vv. 11-13).

After Jacob butchers the goats, Rebekah brings him Esau’s clothes to wear, kidskins for his hands and neck, and Isaac’s dinner for her husband (vv. 14-17).

Now all that Jacob need do is convince Isaac that he is Esau.

Though Isaac expresses surprise over how quickly “Esau” had prepared the meal, Jacob manages to slip a pious lie past him, and gullible Isaac believes it (vv. 18-20).

While listening to his son, the old man even mentions that “Esau” sounded like Jacob (v. 22).

Yet trusting his sense of touch over his ability to distinguish voices, Isaac blesses Jacob (v. 23).

Still somewhat uncertain of his guest’s identity, Isaac then tastes the meal, smells the scent of Esau’s clothing on Jacob, and is convinced enough to bless him again (vv. 24-27).

[Are there two blessings here, or merely the one?]

The blessing consists of economic prosperity (v. 28) and earthly dominion (v. 29).

Isaac's "Second" Blessing

view quiz statistics

Esau's "Blessing"

Shortly after Jacob leaves Isaac’s presence, Esau enters with his prepared meal and asks his father to eat it and bless him (vv. 30-31).

[Perhaps Jacob’s approach seems somewhat hesitant because of the duplicity involved, while Esau’s is of a natural and matter-of-fact nature (cf. v. 18 with v. 31)].

When distraught Esau learns that Isaac has blessed his deceitful brother (vv. 33, 35, 37), he nevertheless seeks a leftover blessing from his father (vv. 34, 36, 38).

What is that blessing?

The elder son will apparently become prosperous (v. 39), but will earn it with his sword (v. 40a).

In addition, Esau will serve Jacob until which time he is able to break away (v. 40b).

Esau secretly vows to kill Jacob the day Isaac dies (v. 41).

[The text says that he vowed this plan “in his heart.”

Apparently, he also told someone else who then passed on this news to Rebekah (v. 42)].

To protect her favorite, Rebekah plans to send Jacob to her brother Laban in Haran for a few days until Esau’s anger subsides (vv. 43-45).

[Notice how she neatly absolves herself of responsibility (v. 45):“. . . and he (i.e., Esau) forgets what you have done to him: . . .” (underscoring mine)].

Lamenting the dearth of suitable marriage partners for her son in that region, she seeks to acquire Isaac’s approval for Jacob’s departure (v. 46).

© 2013 glynch1


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)