Genesis 27:33 MEANING

Genesis 27:33
(33) Isaac trembled very exceedingly.--This was not from mere vexation at having been so deceived, and made to give the blessing contrary to his wishes. What Isaac felt was that he had been resisting God. In spite of the prophecy given to the mother, and Esau's own irreligious character and heathen marriages, he had determined to bestow on him the birthright by an act of his own will; and he had failed. But he persists no longer in his sin. Acknowledging the Divine purpose, he has no word of blame for Rebekah and Jacob, but confirms to him the possession of the birthright, and declares, "Yea, he shall be blessed."

Verse 33. - And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, - literally, feared a great fear, to a great degree; shuddered in great terror above measure (Lange). The renderings ἐξέστη δὲ Ἰσαάκ ἔκστασιν μεγάλην σφόδρα (LXX.), Expavit stupors, et ultra quam credi potest admirans (Vulgate), "wondered with an exceedingly great admiration" (Onkelos), emphasize the patriarch s astonishment, the first even suggesting the idea of a trance or supernatural elevation of the prophetic consciousness (Augustine); whereas that which is depicted is rather the alarm produced within the patriarch's breast, not so much by the discovery that his plan had been defeated by a woman s wit and a son's craft - these would have kindled indignation rather than fear - as by the awakening conviction not that he had blessed, but that he had been seeking to bless, the wrong person (Calvin, Willet) - and said, Who? where is he - quis est et ubi est? (Jarchi); but rather, who then is he? (Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Lange) - that hath taken venison, - literally, the one hunting prey - that hunted, or has hunted, the part having the force of a perfect (vide Ewald's 'Hebrews Synt.,' § 335) - and brought it me, And I have eaten of all before thou earnest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed - thus before Jacob is named he pronounces the Divine sentence that the blessing is irrevocable (Lange).

27:30-40 When Esau understood that Jacob had got the blessing, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry. The day is coming, when those that now make light of the blessings of the covenant, and sell their title to spiritual blessings for that which is of no value, will, in vain, ask urgently for them. Isaac, when made sensible of the deceit practised on him, trembled exceedingly. Those who follow the choice of their own affections, rather than the Divine will, get themselves into perplexity. But he soon recovers, and confirms the blessing he had given to Jacob, saying, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed. Those who part with their wisdom and grace, their faith and a good conscience, for the honours, wealth, or pleasures of this world, however they feign a zeal for the blessing, have judged themselves unworthy of it, and their doom shall be accordingly. A common blessing was bestowed upon Esau. This he desired. Faint desires of happiness, without right choice of the end, and right use of the means, deceive many unto their own ruin. Multitudes go to hell with their mouths full of good wishes. The great difference is, that there is nothing in Esau's blessing which points at Christ; and without that, the fatness of the earth, and the plunder of the field, will stand in little stead. Thus Isaac, by faith, blessed both his sons, according as their lot should be.And Isaac trembled very exceedingly,.... Or "trembled with a great trembling exceedingly" (b); he was amazed, and astonished, and seized with a trembling all over his body, and with terror and confusion of mind; at the craft of Jacob in getting the blessing; at the disappointment of Esau in losing it; at his own act in blessing Jacob instead of Esau, contrary to his inclination and intention; and at the overruling providence of God in bringing this about in so strange a manner, agreeably to the oracle he had given Rebekah; which now perhaps came fresh into the mind of Isaac, if he had heard it before; and all together threw him into this amazement:

and he said, who? where is he; which words spoken in haste, and without order, show the hurry and consternation of mind he was in:

that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest; he was here but just now; he was scarce gone out before thou camest in; who, and where is he, that has done this? He knew it must be Jacob that had prepared and brought him food he called venison, which he had eaten sufficiently of, though in the confusion of his mind he puts these questions: and

have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed; for he now saw clearly that it was according to the divine will that Jacob should be blessed, though his natural affection led him to bless Esau; and no doubt, while he was pronouncing the blessing on Jacob, he felt an uncommon impulse upon his mind, by which he was assured that he was right in blessing him, that it was according to the will of God, was by his direction, and with his approbation; and therefore he here, even after Jacob's deceit was detected, confirms and ratifies it; and this is added, lest any question should be made of the validity of the blessing of Jacob, when it was given through mistake, and got by deceit; but this Isaac did and said knowingly, and by faith, as the apostle says, Hebrews 11:20.

(b) "contremuit tremore magno usque valde", Montanus; Pagninus, Schmidt.

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