My Bible History, OT 15 – The Brother’s Blessing

Isaac said, 'The voice is that of Jacob, but the hands are those of Esau.'Isaac said, ‘The voice is that of Jacob, but the hands are those of Esau.’For many years after their marriage Isaac and Rebecca had no children. At last, however, God answered their prayers and gave them two sons, Esau and Jacob.

Esau, the favorite son of Isaac, was the older son. He grew up to be a hunter, and was hairy and strong. Jacob, the favorite of Rebecca. became a shepherd. He stayed home much of the time.

One day, as Jacob was cooking some vegetables, Esau came in tired from a day of hunting. He asked, “Give me some of that pottage, for I am very faint.”

“Sell me your birthright,” said Jacob, “and I will give you some.”

As he was hungry, Esau exclaimed, “What good is my birthright if I die because of my faintness? Let it be done as you wish.” In this way Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage.

Now Isaac was grown very old, and his eyes were dim. One day. fearing that he would soon die, he called his favorite son Esau and said, “Go, and when you have taken some game, cook me a dish of it, and bring it, that I may eat. Then I shall bless you before I die.”

Esau hurried out to do as Isaac bade. But Rebecca, having heard the words of her husband, called Jacob and told him all that she had heard. She said, “Bring me two young goats from the flock, that I may cook them for your father.”

When the meat was cooked, Rebecca dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes, covered his neck and hands with the hairy skins, and sent him with the food to Isaac, to get his brother’s blessing. At first Jacob did not wish to go, but finally consented to do as his mother wished.

“Are you Esau?” asked Isaac, touching Jacob’s hands. “The voice is that of Jacob, but the hands are those of Esau.” Believing it was really Esau, Isaac ate the meat, and then gave Jacob his blessing.

After some time Esau returned, bringing the meat that he had prepared. “Eat of the meat, my father,” he said, “and give me your blessing.”

Isaac trembled with surprise. “Your brother Jacob has taken away your blessing!” cried he.

The Hebrews, by rejecting Jesus Christ, have like Esau lost the blessing which was their birthright.

– from My Bible History in Pictures, by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D., 1934; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael J O’Doherty of Manila, Philippines