Jacob Steals the Blessing


Bible Passage: Genesis 27:1-29

Jacob was never entitled to the blessing of the firstborn son. That privilege by right of birth belonged to his older brother, Esau, who was the firstborn and favorite son of their father, Isaac. However, Jacob understood the great value of the blessing, and he wanted that privilege for himself. So along with his mother, Jacob came up with a crafty scheme. He prepared a meal in order to steal his brother’s blessing away. What can the story of this sinful patriarch possibly teach us about the perfect Lord Jesus? In order to accomplish our redemption, Jesus, like Jacob, prepared a meal at the Last Supper. But it was a very different meal than Jacob’s. Jesus was willing to suffer the cross in order to offer that meal to his people, and in so doing, share the glorious blessing of God the Father freely with his brothers! 

Lesson Commentary


Listen to Dr. Warren Gage & Dr. Robey Barnes discuss the story of Jacob stealing the blessing, and how it teaches the gospel by pointing us to the suffering and resurrection glory of Jesus!

The Gospel Connections


In Luke 24, Jesus taught his disciples that every story in the Bible points directly to him! He explained that we simply need to look for the gospel pattern of “suffering followed by glory.” That is, we need to look for something that points to his suffering on the cross, followed by something that points to the glory of his resurrection! Use the gospel chart below to help you find “the story within the story!” 

Jacob Steals the Blessing from His Brother

Jesus Shares the Blessing with His Brothers

1. Esau was to receive the blessing of the firstborn by his blind father Isaac (Gen 27:1-4).

1. Jesus was to receive the blessing of the firstborn by his impartial Father God (Psa 21:6; Rom 9:5).

2. Isaac asked for a savory meal from Esau’s venison before he blessed his firstborn son Esau (Gen 27:3-4).

2. The Father was aware of our great sin. His judgment would have placed us under his curse (Gal 3:10).

3. Jacob prepared a savory meal for his father, Isaac, while Esau was in the field (Gen 27:8-9).

3. Jesus prepared a savory meal for his Father while we were estranged, a meal of his own body and blood (1 Cor 11:23-26).

4. Jacob disguised himself as Esau, wearing goat hair around his neck and arms and dressing in Esau’s clothes, offering a savory meal to his father (Gen 27:15-16).

4. Jesus for our sake took on our identity before his Father. He took on the bestial aspect of our sin, dressing in our own garments of unrighteousness (John 3:14).

5. The blind Isaac tested his son to confirm his identity. Then he conferred an irrevocable blessing on Jacob, taking him for Esau (Gen 27:30-33).

5. Father God impartially tested Jesus in all things. He conferred on Jesus the curse of our death. Jesus shared his garments of perfect virtue with us, that we might share his blessing (1 Pet 2:24; Gal 3:13).

6. Esau returned from the field, but learned that Isaac had given his blessing to his brother Jacob (Gen 27:34-35).

6. When Jesus returned from the grave, we learned that the Father had blessed him so that we might share in his blessing (Eph 1:3-5, 11-14).

7. Esau cried out to his father Isaac in grief that Jacob had supplanted him of his birthright and his blessing (Gen 27:36).

7. We cried out to the Father in faith and thanksgiving, for Jesus has given us to share in his birthright and his blessing (Rom 8:15).

Gospel Study Notes

The accounts of the birthright and the blessing each center on a type of eucharistic meal, which furthers the gospel pattern. Esau claims he is at the point of death when Jacob makes the lentil stew (Gen 25:32). Isaac claims to be at the point of death when he requests the meal of game that will prompt his blessing (Gen 27:2-4).

Connection #1

Esau had the right to receive the blessing of the firstborn of Jacob (Gen 27:1-4). Jesus had the right to receive the blessing of the firstborn (only begotten) Son of God (Psa 2:7; Rom 9:5).

Connection #2

Isaac announced his intention to bestow his blessing on Esau (Gen 27:3-4). Father God knew of our sin, which placed us in the way of his judgment and curse (Gal 3:10).

Connection #3

Jacob prepared a savory meal to represent himself as his brother in order to supplant Esau in the blessing of Isaac (Gen 27:8-9). Jesus prepared a savory meal for his Father, a meal of his own body and blood (1 Cor 11:23-26).

Connection #4-5

Jacob assumed the identity of his brother before his father, all to dispossess Esau of his father’s blessing (Gen 27:15-16). Jesus assumed our sinful identity before his Father, all to take away our curse and share with us his blessing (1 Pet 2:24; Gal 3:13).

Connection #6

Esau was dispossessed by Jacob’s deceit (Gen 27:34-35). The guileless Jesus (1 Pet 2:22) willingly and openly took our sinful identity onto himself, suffering the just punishment of our sins on the cross (1 Pet 2:24), all to share his perfect righteousness with us when God raised him from the dead (Rom 4:25).

Connection #7

Esau cried out to his father that his brother had disposed him of both his birthright and blessing (Gen 27:36). Jesus dispossessed himself of all privilege (Phil 2:5-11) in order to share his birthright and blessing with us (Rom 8:15)! What a Savior! How in every way he is greater than Jacob (John 4:12)!

Gospel Applications

Jacob esteemed the birthright and blessing of Abraham’s covenant, while Esau despised them. But Jacob’s method of dispossessing his brother Esau was by deceit. We like Esau, had no regard for the benefits of the Lord’s covenant of grace. We like Jacob, were filled with deceit. But Jesus, who was without guile, satisfied in perfect justice our sin and curse before his Father in order to share his blessing with us. Is Jesus not greater than Jacob to our grateful hearts?

Dr. Warren Gage © 2022

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