The book of Genesis records an instance in which Jacob deceives his father, Isaac, by pretending to be his brother.
He does this so that he can inherit his father’s blessing.
All of this seems to happen in fulfillment of God’s plan for Israel.
Does that make it right?
Here’s the story . . .
Jacob and Esau
NOTE: This post is part of a series on the “dark passages” in the Bible. Click here to see all of the posts in the series.
Here is how the book of Genesis describes the birth and early life of Jacob and his twin brother, Esau:
 The children struggled together within [Rebekah]; and she said, “If it is thus, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
 And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger.”
 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.
 Isaac loved Esau, because he ate of his game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Note the prophecy about the two children: “the elder [Esau] shall serve the younger [Jacob].”
This will ultimately be fulfilled by God using the line of Jacob to give rise to the people of Israel (in fact, “Israel” is an alternate name that Jacob will later acquire), but how will this take place?
At the moment, there seem to be two obstacles:
- First, as the older child, Esau has the birthright.
- Second, as Isaac favors Esau, he is likely to give him his dying, prophetic blessing.
The first obstacles is overcome when a famished Esau foolishly sells his birthright to Jacob (Gen 25:29-34).
That leaves us with the second problem . . .