The majority of Bible readers struggle with the biblical figure of Jacob when they consider his life. The basic question they ask is: “How can a thief, a liar, and a coward be considered the father of God’s people, Israel?”

The blind, elderly Isaac had two different blessings in store for his sons. One was the blessing of the firstborn son prepared for Esau, and the other was the blessing of Abraham prepared for Jacob. The first was a general blessing of prosperity and power, but the second one had to do with a special blessing for Abraham:

“May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. And give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land in which you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham.” (Genesis 28:3)

Jacob’s place in the covenant was not based upon the blessing he stole, but upon the blessing that Isaac gave him before he departed for Padan Aram. In fact, Jacob (upon his return from Haran and before meeting Esau) sent Esau reparations; thereby honestly acknowledging the sin of his youth.  In so doing, he returned that which he had stolen (see Gen 32:1-21). Prior to meeting Esau, Jacob’s encounter with the angel of the Lord enabled him to overcome his fears (see Gen 32:22-30).

Jacob experienced the opposite of the things described in the stolen blessing (prosperity and power) while at the same time, his life unfolded in accordance with the great covenantal blessing that Isaac had bestowed upon him (see Gen 47:9). Prosperity and power belonged to Esau (see Gen 27:28-29), but God had promised Jacob the blessing of Abraham – an everlasting heritage of children and the land (see Gen 28:1-5).

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181 COMMENTS

  1. In this narrative, we see that Yahweh sees each of us how we would be in HIM. None of us are perfect, we each have our natural man in us. We see Yahweh’s love and patience for us as we grow in HIS Word and knowledge. Also Jacob’s mother had a word from the Lord, so her actions guided him as well.

    • Jacob’s mom was absolutely wrong in how she understood and acted upon that Word. Her evil and manipulative intent was the initiating factor of Jacob’s sin. But of course God’s providential hand was at play.

      • When God later spoke to Moses, he said he was the God at Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Why would he not say he was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, seeing as how Jacobs name had been changed? I have my own theory, but would like your perspective.

        • My theory of course would be correct. I have a PhD in this… you know :-). Just kidding of course. On a serious note I think that when God changes someone’s name it is not a full exchange, but a significant addition. Jacob is still Jacob BUT he is also ISRAEL! (I think this explains that the fact that Jacob and Israel is used in the Hebrew Bible as something interchangeable.

          • God always deals with the Individual first then a Corporate Solitary (Nations.. Israel)
            Who’ typology was being represented as a Midrash

          • Not necessarily, the man had both names, and both are used prophetically. There was a significant addition to Jacob when God gave him his new name.

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          • If God knows the exact number of hairs on our heads isn’t it obvious that he would know who we are even if our name changes..also God is all knowing and he says we should not rely on our own understanding.

          • Could ‘Jacob’ refer to the individual and ‘Israel’ refer to the nation produce through his loins?

          • Often, but there are plenty of cases where it is the opposite; where Israel is the person (in Genesis narrative) and Jacob is the nation (especially in the prophets).

        • Even though he struggled with God and overcame and God changed his name, The name in the genealogical record has to be Yakov. It’s a pitty the actual names have to be latinized,englisizedgreekized etc.
          The name of Jesus, issa, yeshua, yhwh, savior is afterall who we are supposed to be baptized into.
          And his name also includes his whole genealogical record.

          • Be baptised into eis the name. The one name Matthew 18:18 to 20. All Hebrews know of that name. Into into the family.

          • I know the name of the Father, YHWH. I know the name of the Son, Jesus, but what is the name of the Holy Spirit?

          • Gerry, The name of the Holy Spirit? This is a good question to ask. According to Jesus the Holy Spirit would be sent in His own name: John 14:26* “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,…”

          • Jesus also came in his Father’s Name which he received by inheritance. Hebrews 1:4. “..as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” He also told us that HE came in His Father’s name: John 5:43* “I am come in my Father’s name,…” Yeshua = YHWH-Savior

          • As Allan Ashurst pointed out we are baptized into one (singular) name, Matthew 28:18-20. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not names but titles. The way the Apostles understood this and obeyed this command always baptizing in the Name of Jesus! (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:1-7) There is ONE NAME!

          • Gerry – The Holy Spirit is also known as Shekinah, the manifest presence of God with Israel in the desert who also left Moses glowing when meeting and who filled Solomon’s Temple consecrating it.

        • Hebrews 12:16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. What is sexual immoral had to do with Esau being hungry? He was out of control. Esau didn’t value his birthright

          • I don’t think those two thoughts are connected in that verse. The first part of the verse appears to be descriptive and the latter half just explains how he was feeling physically.

          • Where do you see anyone saying anything about sexual immorality? or maybe I should ask, who are you responding to? Thanks I’m very curious, because I didn’t see anyone mention it or Hebrews 12:16!!

          • The verse doesn’t say that Esau was sexually immoral. It says that he was godless/profane.

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      • God knows all things, from the beginning to the end. So He makes no mistakes on the plans he makes and continues to plan to our knowledge to this day. So we need to always remember this as we should not question any things that God does and accept the fact that we are not as knowledgeable of what God’s plans are because we would not understand a lot of the things done. We are not God and any further explanation would only confuse us beyond our ability to comprehend any of the bible. We misread much given.

        • Thank you for your comment, Dee. I understand that we certainly should not despise God, but there is value in honestly and innocently questioning how or why God does something. God invites questions, reason, and discovering. I think that anyone who prohibits such things seeks intellectual control.

      • May I as a uneducated leave a comment.
        My view to the question of Stanford.
        We see in different place the Word use Jacob and Israel in various pkaces in same chapters. Isn’t it just maybe that the point is make as in Jacob towards Jews and Israel towards the grafting of christians in the olive tree?
        Just a view point, I know that us gentiles get saved through the Jew like Paul stated

      • With all due respect to you, and to Pauline’s comment which I believe points out an importance, in that Rivka had to act by encouraging Ya’akov to quickly get an animal for Isaac. This maneuvre was necessary to advance Ya’akov’s lineage and therefore the Jews of today.

        • And if Rivka had not acted deceitfully, God wouldn’t be able to fulfill His promise some other way? Sure, God makes all things work together for good according to His purpose, but what Rivka did was still sinful.

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        • She was a mom that played favorites (maybe because of the oracle that she received). She wasn’t a gold-digger because she was looking out for her son’s interests, not her own.

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      • Jacob’s mom create suffering for him with his uncle for 14 good years just to get his heart desire. I believe that the punishment the Lord bestowed upon him for what his mom manipulated him to do.

      • We may be judging Jacob’s mother too quickly. Our humanity, is always I’m perfect especially as it pertains to being used by God. Look at Tamar – her actions would have gotten her stoned had she no proof. But her faith was rewarded. God bless Rebecca…and all her children.

      • Before you judge Rebecca too harshly, you should recognize that Isaac was blind in more ways than one. Isaac loved Esau because he provided game for his father, yet he had no interest in the birthright given by God. In this we see why God hated Esau and loved Jacob.

      • That’s, right evil, manipulative intent. If this were a purely legal undertaking, it seems it would fall under falsis in unum, falsis in omnibus. But Abraham, I believed was under a Grace mediated covenant therefore, it was “ascribed to him as righteousness. It would have invalidated everything for that reason.

      • Did Isaac know the prophecy YHVH told Rebecca while she was struggling during her pregnancy? If so, should Isaac have the bulk of the responsibility as head of house, in light of the ‘Word from the LORD’?

    • This forum is wonderful! Thank you all! I recently taught on Jacob’s wrestling match. Even after lots of study this conversation has mined deeper truths for me. Such a powerful story! I’ll be volunteering in the Land til April. I plan to take a course when finished.

      • Awesome! Thank you for supporting and volunteering in Israel. And I look forward to seeing you soon in class.

    • Should we always assume that Isaac knew nothing of the word from the Lord that was revealed to Rebecca : that the older would serve the younger. Hadn’t Esau sold his birthright? The narrative also indicates that Esau was favoured by Isaac because he loved the venison. Consider these things.

  2. Jacob was a new person after the night with the angel, he was a converted man. Not the Jacob who had left his father’s house.

  3. Hi Eli thanks for your reply. Yes she manipulated Jacob to her own ends as he was I believe her favourite. Even then as he wrestled with the Metatrone – Yeshua? His life was turned around. In my opinion each of us as believers wrestle each day with our natural sinfull natures. When Jacob walked with the Lord he was called by his new name Israel if not Jacob. This shows us the grace and mercy of the Lord to bless him.

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    • What may be lost in our perceptions of Jacob is the intention of God in spite of whatever else we may see from the times and understanding of our current perspective. The scriptures gives us two things we MUST consider when reading this account. The first is this that reveals what God planned:

      And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. KJV Gen 25:23

      At this point, it does not matter what you think of Jacob or Esau. Before they were born, God had already planned how He was going to use or not use either of them.

      Then the Apostle Paul explains how God eventually treated Jacob whom he has pre-chosen:

      So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
      KJV Rom 9:16
      S0 based on these verses, it really does not matter what any of us may think!

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          • I believe it was John Calvin that said “When God closes his holy mouth, no further inquiries are needed”.

        • As a child, my questions were often answered with, “We don’t question God.” When I was 30, my children started asking the same questions. This led me on a search whereby I dragged them through much fanaticism before I finally learned what I should have learned years earlier. Just sayin’.

  4. Thank you for this explanation. Although not a theologian, I have held the substance of your interpretation. When Jacob left home, he more or less abandoned his claim and ran for his life. Hopeless and remorseful, God visited him at Bethel and blessed him afresh. It was that blessing he hung on to. On his return, he met a very rich Esau despite Isaac’s claim of having no more blessings. And Isaac, who thought he was about to die lived to Jacob’s return!!

    • Isaac never claimed he had no more blessings to give, but that there was only one blessing of the first born (the one that was already stolen but his brother). Thank you for taking part in our forum.

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  5. Interesting! Well, did the manipulation by the mother have any lasting effect on the destiny of the twins? Esau—the first born became very rich as recorded in Gen 39 (richer than Jacob?), while Israel on the other hand got the promised land, became the progenitor of Yahweh’s people and of the Messiah Yahshua. In my opinion, the mother’s canal intervention was an unnecessary seed of bitterness among the siblings.

    • I think God would’ve intervened anyway to fulfill His plan for Israel. The mother is flesh. So are we all. God works all things to good in his mercy

      • Isaac, did bless Esau, but not with the birth right blessing for the first born. The blessings he got was to be servant to his brother. I do enjoy these lessons one of these I’ll be able to join your class on line.but until then this will do thanks so

  6. Hears a queston related. In the new testment Saul who became Paul persicuted Christians. Why did he become one the greatest calling to serve Jesus and King David a murderer and adulter to great?

  7. It is interesting that I read this a while I am studying this part of scripture concerning Jacob and Esau. Thanks so much! It is much clearer to me now.

  8. We called similar things (Peter denied 3 times, Paul asked 3 times, John wept and wept and wept) to be signs of not being regenerated (without Holy Spirit). Your title “the thief, liar, and coward” & your explanation of the blessing sound more like the second death, Rev 21:8. Rev 2:11 says “The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. The blessing seems very Powerful. What does blessing mean?

  9. I believe Jacob was justified. His leadership was planned before his birth in Gen 25:23 and in 25:26. Esau was the stronger in body but was very weak in his spirit where it counted most. Esau had riches and a great army but Jacob had the spiritual power, even over Rebekah’s brother. If Esau had been chosen we would be serving a weakened savior today.

  10. I think our love of God in Jesus is reflected almost entirely in our behavior towards others. In our daily walk in life, no one is too insignificant to receive our love and blessings (of God, food, home) that is the essential message of Scripture, that, and humility towards God, the animals, our earth. What is God in the end but the great Tenderness of Christ well beyond His own? I think without this reality, Scripture becomes an esoteric exercise.

  11. Forgive me, but I said the above because in the story “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.” And people get so upset because for his hunger, read famine, Esau sells his birthright. But despite all the symbolism, Esau, in modern times, in choosing the way of Christ, of humility and love, can regain the Lord. It isn’t the love and blessings God may shower on you. Say someone wins the Olympic gold medal!!!!Someone else is in the streets. It is YOUR choice.

  12. There is a part of this discussion to which I have not been able to get a good answer. What is this about the Second Sons?! Cain and Abel / Ishmael and Isaac / Esau and Jacob / and the many examples that follow throughout scripture of the second son being the favored son — what is that all about? What if anything, does is this all have to do with Yeshua HIMSELF being called the SECOND ADAM?!? Bruce, Hal

    • Hello Bruce, It may help with understanding if one accepts predestination as part of Gods makeup, [end from the beginning]. Cain & offspring fathered by Lucifer, “denied”. Ishmael now rising to the fore to be denied again! Esau_ Edom, refer to Obadiah, will be as stubble/as though they had not been Jacob is the Lot of his inheritance Yeshua that is. note ! New testament when conflicting with Old is taken out of context with misunderstanding. “for I am God I change NOT”

      • Ron I find this statements confusing ” Cain and off spring fathered by Lucifer? not possible they may have followed Satan but No angels/demons can father any human being. The bible says KIND after Kind Gen 8:14 Cain was son ( twin with Able ) of Adam and Eve.

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          • Dr. El.i Not necessarily but the wording Gen1:1and she conceived and bare Cain :2 and again bare his brother Abel. strongly suggests it was 1 conception But no matter Abel WAS Cain’s brother Both from Adam, Satan Cannot create only destroy Only God has the ability to give LIFE

          • Of course, yes, only God can create life. I’m using “father” in the same sense that Yeshua used it in John 8:44. Not as a biological or creative father.

    • The second son issue is a connection to the fact that the plan of salvation requires we must be born again. We are first born in the flesh and then we are second born in the spirit, which should have the rule over the first born. Therefore it is of utmost importance to understand what it means to be completely born again and not a still born.

      • I do not use Born again’If we are talking about Abraham’s story.And the words that were used at the time He did what was asked of Him by The I AM.The term used was crossed over.Out of the ungodly.To the way of I Am.I Am That I Am.The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.That will be My name forever.As i understand it.Forever means FOREVER.

  13. The character of Jacob is held in contempt, even his name is slandered. Jacob which means heel holder and is redefined by Esau’s play on words when he calls him deceiver. Yet God’s word calls him a perfect man ‘tam’ wholesome. who dwelt in tents. Which Hebrews 11:8-9 says he lived in tents with Isaac and Abraham, perhaps studying and hearing the promises of God. Esau was away in the fields hunting. Jacob was always hungry for the blessing of God, Esau was just hungry. Can Jacob steal what is his? Esau sold his birth right when hungry for a

    • Hi Thomas. I think your main point was cut off. Remember, there’s a word limit : – ). Care to finish your thought? Just for the record – We need to remember that despite Jacobs shortcomings (and there were many!) he also had great strengths. And, at the end of the day, God chose to bless Jacob in spite of those many weaknesses…

    • Comment:I believe that the Esau and Jacob episode and the role played by their Mother was as Heaven had pre-designed and pre-determined it. The Almighty YAHWEH who knows the end from the beginning would not have wished that Esau carry the blessing of Abraham. It could have been like a piece of gold in the mouth of swine. I think Rebecca was used to achieve the purpose of the Most High. Shalom

  14. When Jacob entered his father’s tent as Esau, Isaac asked, “Who are you, my son?” and Jacob said, “Esau your firstborn.” He fooled Isaac and received his father’s blessing. He then was deceived by Laban, his mother’s brother. For about 21 years he labored to fulfill his duty to Laban. He did not feel blessed. When he wrestled with the angel, clinging to the angel he said, “I will not let you go accept you bless me.” Like Isaac, the angel asked him “what is your name?” “Jacob,” supplanter. “You will now be called Israel.” No room to say more.

    • The character of Jacob is held in contempt, even his name is slandered. Jacob which means heel holder and is redefined by Esau’s play on words when he calls him deceiver. Yet God’s word calls him a perfect man ‘tam’ wholesome. who dwelt in tents. Which Hebrews 11:8-9 says he lived in tents with Isaac and Abraham, thus studying and hearing the promises of God. Esau was away in the fields hunting. Jacob was always hungry for the blessing of God. Esau was just hungry. Can Jacob steal what is his? Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of beans.

  15. The blessing Isaac had for the firstborn was thoughtfully prepared for the dominant Esav. Jacob being the more timid (cowardly?) could never fulfill this blessing. Who knows what blessing Isaac had prepared for him; probably one that would have played to his spiritual strengths. And since the blessing he stole did not contain the promise of all the nations of the world being blessed through him, it is possible Isaac was actually reserving the full covenant blessing for Jacob anyhow. However the firstborn was to inherit spiritual leadership, a thing Esav was unfit to do. Bad deal either way.

    • Daniel, shalom! Glad to have you with us. We deal with this text in full I think in Our Hebrew Fathers II course I think you will be fascinated to go in deeper.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Exodus and The New Testament and The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  16. I might be confused by this question, but consider that God is all knowing and all powerful so for the spiritual leader to come into existence meaning Moses so Jacob is needed! God transformed Jacob to be the patriarch he should have been when he was younger. God will have mercy on whom he seems to grow into a spiritual man. This being said we should be glad God can transform our lives. I just noticed about Yeshua was who transformed Jacob!

  17. Isahiaa 55,8-9 ” Because my thoughts are not your thougts nor my ways your ways….” . Certainly , God in the absolute of His Freedom and Will, does not depends on our thoughts and ways, so it is showed by choosing the scond and not the first born, even from the beginning, Abel instead of Cain, for instance. Even once was elected the last born,David. Si it’s showed,too, when elected the sterile woman, a misfortune and a shame for a woman in those days. The Almighty is not under our laws, we aren’tt their owners.

  18. A little more to say. According to tha biblical text, Jacob doesn`t fight with an angel but with God Himself, from Whom receives the blessing and the name of Israel. Really mysterios episode but, at the same time, a really interesting, rich and, above all, deep, very deep,meaning is contained.

  19. 1) Why didn’t Esau tell his father Isaac that Jacob was now the rightful owner of the birthright from an earlier deal Esau and Jacob had made over a meal? In this case, then Esau is the liar right? 2) Most Jews don’t consider Jacob to be a thief, a liar, & a coward as neither of those descriptions are in the Biblical Hebrew text about him. Jacob did fear for his life while in the presence of Esau. Hence, when returning to Canaan, all of his gifts to appease his brother’s wrath. Jacob’s worked for his livestock.

    • My understanding of scripture is that the birthright discussed here is physical, a double portion of the family inheritance (in his case, then, 2/3 of the inheritance). The blessing received from the father is a different thing. Jacob bought the former, and stole (by deception) the latter.

  20. Would you say that Jacob’s wrestling with GOD was him sort of ‘being born-again?’ Jacob’s relationship with GOD became ‘real’! Yet he feared Esau (guilty conscience?) sending others ahead of himself. Why didn’t GOD allow Jacob to be born first? Wouldn’t it have prevented issues back then? Or would you say Rachel was the ‘full cause’ of the trouble between them (favoritism)? Why would a mother favor one of her children over another? My heart has soften towards Jacob as I continue to learn more.

  21. I learned that Esau was a very rebellious person who did not care much for learning Torah and never displayed a leadership role as the heir of the house of Isaac. Whom better than a mother could know their own sons.

    Jacob, was being prepared with Torah on a daily basis and loved the ways of Hashem (Righteousness) as opposed to his brother.

    Esau went and married into the Ishmaelites disobeying all along, yet he is Blessed with material richness.

    Jacob Blessed Spiritually and becomes “Israel”. Thanks to a loving mother who could not stand to throw away such Blessings to a son who would not appreciate and even trade it for a bowl of lentils.

    Shalom

    • If I am not mistaken I believe Hashem means (Ha “The” Shem “Name”) in reference to the Almighty Creator YHWH. If by saying “Jacob, loved the ways of Hashem (Righteousness)” you meant Jacob loved the ways of YHWH, then by almeans I agree.

  22. Can somebody give me light on Psalms 23 the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want why wouldn’t we want why wouldn’t we not want the Lord to be our Shepherd this verse I do not understand it should read the Lord is my shepherd I shall want

  23. Actually Esau sold his Birthright to Jacob. However, the way Jacob obtained the blessing was wrong. He should have staked his claim to it many years prior to Isaac bestowing the blessing. Having not done that, he should have gone to his father and plead his case. Instead, with the encouragement of his mother, they devised a skeem to fool Isaac. Though Isaac was suspicious in his blindness, he was indeed fooled into gIving Jacob the Birthright blessing. Jacob was wrong in the way that he handled that very important event.
    Esau despised the Birthright in his youth, but desperately wanted it when it was time to be bestowed. He should have admitted to his father that he had sold his right to the Birthright and that it belonged to Jacob. He couldn’t or wouldn’t do the right thing.
    Both Esau and Jacob handled the matter wrongly. From his action, Jacob had to flee for his life. He was separated from his family for twenty years. During that time he came under the rough hand of Uncle Laban who taught him the results of cheating. However, Jacob escaped with four wives and a fortune. At last he found the courage to be reconciled with Esau but the hard feelings lingered for centuries.
    The moral of the story simply is: Honesty is the best policy.

  24. Esau swap his birthright for food – verbal contract between Jacob and Esau.
    Adam swap his birthright by eating the forbidden fruit – here something is missing – we do not know what was the agreement between YAHWEH and Satan that Satan take over the rule of the earthly kingdom

  25. I don’t believe in your insight on the issue in question. The blessing Isaac gave was the blessing of God. God cannot be deceived. He can never make mistake. Jacob and the mother acted in faith- a supernatural realm where there can be no fault. Esau is a reprobate, while Jacob was a predistinate child. the latter never lobbied his mother to obtain blessing for him. He was not ambitious. When the proposal came through the mother, he said no to it on the ground that his father will discover and curse him either. Then his mother said, My son do what i want you too do, let every curse on you be on my head’. Jacob was charged. As a man of faith, he understood that this is extraordinary. He cued in. To show that God wrote the script they were acting, Esau remained in the bush until Jacob successfully worked him over. The lessons. Both Esau and Jacob were all children of Isaac. the two children loved their father. Jacob in addition, have special devotion to her mother. Easu has no regard for the mother, after all he is the first son have all the privileges. Isaac dont have issues with his wife. Thus because of the closeness of Jacob to the mother, she will always educate the child that calls her mother how he will win his father’s good will. It was because of this that he started stumbling from infancy when he sold his birth right. Every child in the family has the right of his own plate of food, but he had no filial love to the mother to the extent that he cannot tell his mother to give him food to it. Be careful so that you will not end like Easu with all your bornagainsim, tithe payment and your love for Jesus. Remember that Jesus who could not do without his mother Mary in his work of salvation in John 19, 25-26 gave his mother to us as our mother. Joke with her and end up like Easu. A food for thought.

    • As I see this episode I understand we are talking of two separate blessings. The blessing Esau sold for the bowl of lentil was the birthright to 2/3 of the inheritance that the law states belong to the firstborn. The blessing Jacob stale with the help of his mother was the parental blessing that was given to each son and daughter. He did not have to deceive Isaac to get the blessing that Esau had sold. I am sure that both parents knew of the agreement made by the two sons. That Yahweh turned everything for good is always in His power to do. Jacob had been chosen to carry the messianic seed from the beginning as was told to Rebecca by the angel when the twins were in her womb. Shalom

    • 0tuiwu Vitalis ” gave his mother to us as our mother” All my bibles that I have and other that I can access all say Jesus said Woman ( Not mother) Behold your son. To the disciple ( John? )Behold your Mother. No mention she became a mother to all.

  26. You can only walk with God Almighty when you are ready for a change. Both twin brothers had their faults but only Jacob was ready to change. Hence his qualification to the convenant blessing.

  27. I would like to enroll but my financisl situation does not allow at present. May I bother you with a question. Something that is picking up its head. The question on the doctrine of”once saved, always saved” please and thank you. God bless you. Shalom.

    • I think we have in the Bible something along the lines of God is faithful to complete the work he has began. We on the other hand must also workout our salvation in fear and trembling. Now what Jewish culture meant by salvation is a tricky issue actually (it is certainly not what american evangelicalism means by it).

  28. Your piece titled, “Was God’s Covenant based on stolen blessing?”, contains the following:
    “Prior to meeting Esau, Jacob’s encounter with the angel of the Lord enabled him to overcome even his fears. (Gen. 32:22-30).”
    I think that it is safe to assume that your words, “Jacob’s encounter with the angel of the Lord”, is intended to refer to the wrestling match in which Jacob was involved. That wrestling activity is described in Genesis 32:24.
    But in that regard you have a problem in that there is no mention of an “angel” in the 51 English translations of the Bible that I have at my disposal.

  29. I have a mildly unrelated question…of all the ways GOD could have marked the Abrahamic covenant, why circumcision? (If this has been discussed elsewhere, I apologize.)

    • Pike, shalom! Welcome aboard! We are very excited to see you here. Yes, indeed we discuss this topic in depth (I believe in course on Leviticus, but it is possible that my memory is failing me and I really mean Exodus). Both are excellent studies (well at least that is what a lot of people say).

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity or Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  30. God said beforehand what he was going to do, and the sins and errors of those trying to “help” could not thwart his purposes. He chose Abram because he wanted to and promised him to be a blessing and the father of nations. When years passed with no sign of this happening Abram and Sarai, decided God needed help and Ishmael was the result. But the promise came through Abraham’s second son, Isaac. Likewise, when the twins, Esau and Jacob, were struggling in their mother’s womb, God decreed that they would be two nations and the older would serve the younger – before either of them had done anything, good or bad. Yes, Esau despised his birthright and parted with it for a bowl of stew. Yes, Jacob and his mother deceived Isaac. But God did not need their help. His purposes would have happened anyway. Even the sins of the individuals could not thwart him.

  31. Jesus himself weighed in on this subject. Read John 1:47-49 and Jesus says that he was the person connected to Jacobs ladder.

  32. Hello Dr.
    I have a general question/problem. I have lived as and recognized myself as a Christian nearly my entire life, I’m 50. The last 2 years have been an immersion into and a found love for the Jewish people and their way of life. I worship/walk/live as a Jew and am studying with the intention of converting. The anti Jewish tone in the church and the ‘all Jesus, no G-d’ is what drove me out, in truth long before I even entertained the idea of entering a Synagogue. And yet, I still have..struggles, I guess.

    • Struggles, Robert, indicate that you are growing! Bless God! But whatever faults your church has, conversion will not fix it. You might find conversion will be too opposed to Yeshua. You might discover that synagogues (even messianic ones) will have their share of faults. Yeshua and Shaul attended synagogue and they noted some faults. Remember, conversion or not, a believer has joined Israel through Yeshua in order to learn to serve the Father as passionately and loyally as possible. That being said, attending a synagogue can be an amazing and rich experience (primarily because of our insight from the New Testament).

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity and The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

      • Thank you for replying, Dr.
        My struggle was in large part..the absence of Torah in churches, the absence of G-d really..the total and almost singular worshipping of Jesus..I feel at home in the Synagogue, learning Torah, connecting with the Jewish people present and of the past, learning their words and prayers and steps and rhythms of life..learning of their G-d..my week revolves around and builds up to Shabbat..I am beyond grateful to be able to know and experience G-d and life in a way that I never knew, even as I have arrived late to the party haha..and yet..

      • there is truth in what you say about the Synagogue giving no voice to Yeshua (understandably so)..but what if the truth lies somewhere between the Synagogue’s ‘he was only a man’ view and the Church’s ‘He is the ONLY way’ view? Judaism says help G-d repair the world today..do mitzvot today..love G-d with all your heart today..Christianity seems concerned with only/mainly the next life..do good of you want to..but if not, it’s ok..just believe that Jesus is the Son of G-d, died for you, was resurrected and went to heaven and you can go to heaven too..very different indeed

        • Very different indeed, Robert. Remember Johnny Cash sang about being so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good? There’s definitely some truth to this. God’s commandments are supposed to be realized among people – in a community. Loving our neighbor as ourselves is not a spectator sport.

        • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac or Leviticus and The New Testament. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

        • Anything that represents or showcases God’s character is a forecast of Jesus because Messiah does what the Father commands Him to do.

    • Robert, I have no idea if you will see this or if you have already followed through on the action you discuss. I urge you to study anew the Book of Hebrews. The author addresses Hebrew Christians who are considering abandoning Christian faith (presumably for a return to the synagogue).

      • Continuing: Hebrews author presents the argument that faith in Jesus is superior in every way.
        The Church does not perfectly live out God’s intent (imperfect humans see to that), but She is still God’s plan and salvation is only through Jesus. Peace : )

      • I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of Hebrews. I always thought it addressed the superiority of Yeshua as our high priest and His sacrifice over and above that of the earthly high priest in the earthly temple on the Day of Atonement.

      • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I or The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

      • Jp ” a return to the synagogue “. I am concerned That Christians and Jews were going to the synagogues as there were no Christian churches So falling back had to be pagan. I as well agree with Dr. Eli, Jesus is our high priest above all earthly priests.

  33. Genesis 25:23 The LORD said to her (Rebekah), “Two nations are in your womb…the older will serve the younger.” Jacob was deceitful, lying to his father, but if the LORD said he would be the chosen one to be in the Messiah’s lineage, it seems it was to be. Perhaps, like Abraham and Sarah who jumped the gun by bringing Hagar and Ishmael into things, while the promised son was Isaac. These things seem to me to be recorded to help me realize that as imperfect a life as I might lead, God doesn’t discard me/us. The gift of salvation!

  34. In Gen 25:23, the Lord states that even before their birth, “the older shall serve the younger” so I’ve always believed that it was G-d’s plan for Jacob to be the chosen one. Obviously He knew who/what Jacob would be, so I never questioned why the Lord would choose him. I think in simple terms and don’t usually get buried in all the “why did they? what did they think? what were their motives?”

  35. Was Adam, father of human race (God’s own) any better after he fell? Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. Jacob is not alone. Me, you, all, fell into the mess! resulting from fall of Adam. Thank God for His Perfect Lamb, “which taketh away the sin of the world”, Christ Jesus (John 1:29), which He promised at Eden (Gen 3:15). It is done! (John 19:30). The challenge now is harvest of as many souls as possible in Christ before the curtain is drawn on the age.

  36. shalom the blessing of Jacob was based on Gods choice.what do think Isaac was blind. this was purposed to make Gods plan work without any interference from him.Isaac loved Esau but God loved Jacob .By the way Jacob was the one cheated.what he did he claimed what belonged to him before his birth that is why he caught the heel of his brother trying to run away with the blessing. ask their mother she will tell you this fact.

  37. I once heard a preacher say that Jacob grabbed Esau’s heel to keep him from bashing in his head. I thought that was interesting. It reminds me of how Satan bruises the heel of the Savior, (crucifixion) but Yeshua crushed his head, by destroying him.

  38. My take, Dr. Eli, is that Jacob was a victim of the midwife. He was called a usurper even while he was still suckling, before he had had the opportunity to do what he was accused of. And when he left, he took nothing! Esau got all three portions!

  39. Dr, Eli, Thank you for your insights provided on the question. I have the following questions: 1. Where does the scripture say that Isaac had two different blessings? 2. The reparations Jacob sent, as we can plainly read from the narrative, is to pacify Easua for fear of retaliation. 3

    • He gave one blessing of prosperity to Isaac thinking that it was Esau, and then gave a second blessing of the promise to Jacob when he was leaving for Padan-Aram.

  40. IMO: Perhaps Jacob’s strength lay in his revelation of who he was in Yaweh: chosen, leading to his supplanting of Esau.

  41. The earth givin to ibraham must be to his inhirent after him ;they were ismaile and isak…. is’nt it…..????

    • Yes, Yishmael and Yitschaq were Avraham’s sons, (but he also had six other sons, Gen.25:1-2). But the Hebrew Bible continues in verse 5 that he gave everything to Yitschaq. Yishmael’s concubine mother Hagar was promised “I will exceedingly multiply your seed” but the promised land was for Yitschaq, the son of promise (Gen.26:3).

  42. Esau represents Jews who lost their ‘birthrights’ and ‘blessings’ by crucifying Messiah. Jacob represents spiritual Israel. Thats the reason why this story had a place.

    • Not really. Per the book of Hebrews, Esau represents those having a “root of bitterness” / fornicators / those who are profane (Heb.12:15-16). According to second temple interpreters forward, Esau represented Rome.

  43. You are all missing the point. Just like Yakob deceive Yitzak by dressing in Esau’s robes and GOAT SKINS……Esau in Judaism dresses with Lamb Skins pretending he is Yakob and Yehuda but he is Esau, Edom, Idumea. He is a counterfeit Yehudi ( Rev 2:9 & 3:9).

    • From what the Bible says, Esau didn’t really seem to take a major hit personally, but in the long run, the leadership of the family (given to the first-born) was certainly taken from him.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity or The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

      • Esau loose his birthright due to hunger. He as a hunter did not eat on his hunting trip.
        The Israelite’s murmur due lack of meat, why didn’t the slaughter some of their livestock?

        • Great question. The Bible has no answer, though. Maybe they worshiped the animals like Egyptians did, maybe the flocks were their source of income–not to be eaten, maybe they wanted bread specifically, and maybe they wanted smaller animals to enjoy freshly cooked meat (on-demand) rather than butchering a large animal that would need to be salted and later eaten cold (cf. Exo.16:3).

  44. I think God and Issac had different missions with these two brothers because before they were born he had a conversation with Ribeca. When time came for them to be blessed Issac prepared a blessing for his hier which was Essau which he gave to Jacob thinking it was Essau

  45. Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. He took away Esau’s birthright.Isaac said I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.GOD’S thoughts Are Not our thoughts.Esau was earthly man while jacb was not.when you buy something it yours.

  46. We all sin. We come to God and ask His blessings on us. He forgives He e restores He loves us with a everlasting love that endures for ever

  47. (Romans 9:6-8) God chose Abraham, God chose Isaac, God chose Jacob, God chose the people of Israel. No one earns the covenant, not even by the blessings of birth. Is this not the perspective of Christians?

  48. I have great appreciation for these insights. I am, however, concerned by the “believe what i say the ‘original manuscripts’ say or you’re not a true believer!” It is of great importance that we question, study and pursue each Scripture to God’s truth rather then our own.

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