Genesis 27:4 MEANING

Genesis 27:4
(4) Savoury meat.--On the rare occasions on which an Arab sheik tastes flesh, it is flavoured with almonds, pistachio nuts, and raisins. It would thus not be easy for Isaac to distinguish the taste of the flesh of a kid from that of an antelope. As the Arabs always spare their own flocks and herds, the capture of a wild animal gives them the greater pleasure, and a feast thus provided seemed to the patriarch a proper occasion for the solemn decision which son should inherit the promises made to Abraham.

That my soul may bless thee.--We gather from the solemn blessing given to his sons by Jacob (Genesis 49) that this was a prophetic act, by which the patriarchs, under the influence of the Spirit, and in expectation of death, decided to which son should belong the birthright. Jacob when dying bestowed it on Judah (Genesis 27:8-12). But here Isaac resisted the Spirit; for the clear warning had been given that "the elder should serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23). Isaac may have been moved to this act by indignation at the manner in which Esau had been induced to sell the birthright, and in annulling that sale he would have been within his rights; but he was not justified in disregarding the voice of prophecy, nor in his indifference to Esau's violation of the Abrahamic law in marrying heathen women. And thus he becomes the victim of craft and treachery, while Jacob is led on to a deed which was the cause of endless grief to him and Rebekah, and has stained his character for ever. But had Jacob possessed the same high standard of honour as distinguished David afterwards, he would equally have received the blessing, but without the sin of deception practised upon his own father.

Verse 4. - And make me savory meat, - "delicious food," from a root whose primary idea is to taste, or try the flavor, of a thing. Schultens observes that the corresponding Arabic term is specially applied to dishes made of flesh taken in hunting, and highly esteemed by nomad tribes (vide Gesenius, p. 467) - such as I love (cf. Genesis 25:28, the ground of his partiality for Esau), and bring it to me, that I may eat; - "Though Isaac was blind and weak in his eyes, yet it seem-eth his body was of a strong constitution, seeing he was able to eat of wild flesh, which is of harder digestion" (Willet) - that - the conjunction בַּעֲבוּר followed by a future commonly expresses a purpose (cf. Exodus 9:14) - my soul may bless thee - notwithstanding the oracle (Genesis 25:23) uttered so many (fifty-seven or seventy-seven) years ago, Isaac appears to have clung to the belief that Esau was the destined heir of the covenant blessing; quoedam fuit coecitatis species, quae illi magis obstitit quam externa oeulorum caligo (Calvin) - before I die.

27:1-5 The promises of the Messiah, and of the land of Canaan, had come down to Isaac. Isaac being now about 135 years of age, and his sons about 75, and not duly considering the Divine word concerning his two sons, that the elder should serve the younger, resolved to put all the honour and power that were in the promise, upon Esau his eldest son. We are very apt to take measures rather from our own reason than from Divine revelation, and thereby often miss our way.And make me savoury meat, such as I love,.... For, though he had lost his sight, he had not lost his taste, nor his appetite for savoury food:

and bring it to me, that I may eat; this, was enjoined to make trial of his filial affection and duty to him, before he blessed him:

that my soul may bless thee before I die; not only that he might do it with cheerfulness and vivacity, having eaten a comfortable meal, and being refreshed with it, but that having had proof of his son's duty and affection to him, he might confer the blessing on him heartily: this blessing was not an ordinary and common one, but what parents used to bestow upon their children at the time of their death, or a little before it; and good men oftentimes did this under a spirit of prophecy, declaring what would be the case and circumstances of their children in time to come; and particularly the principal part of the blessing of Isaac, which Abraham had entailed upon him by divine direction, and he thought to have entailed on Esau his firstborn, was the promise of the descent of the Messiah from him and his seed, and of the possession of the land of Canaan by them: and this shows that Rebekah had not made known the oracle to Isaac, that the "elder should serve the younger", Genesis 25:23, or, if she had, he had forgot, or did not understand it, and might think it respected not the persons of his sons, but their posterity; or however, from a natural affection for Esau his firstborn, and that the blessing and inheritance might go in the common channel, he was desirous he should have it; and he might also be ignorant of Esau's having sold his birthright to Jacob, or that he made no account of it.

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