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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.



November 11, 2018


SCRIPTURE: Genesis 27:5-10, 18-29


KEY VERSE: And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. (Genesis 27:23)


INTRODUCTION: This Bible study tells us how Jacob tricked his brother and his father.


·        Genesis chapter 27 has as its theme Jacob and Rebekah scheming to get the blessing of Isaac for Jacob (the younger son).


It is the blessing which Isaac intended for Esau (the first born son). But Jacob, the second born son, wanted the blessing from his father.


INSIGHT: He knew God had promised his mother that the elder would serve the younger; so the blessing was his already. (1) However, Jacob did not believe God. (2) Rebekah, his mother, did not believe God. (3) Evidently Isaac, the father, didn’t believe God. He would never have attempted to bypass Jacob and give the blessing to Esau if he really believed God. He followed his own feelings and appetite in contradiction to the distinct Word of God.


·        The method Jacob used in obtaining the birthright cannot be supported on any grounds whatsoever.


Jacob used fraud and deceit. His conduct was despicable. God did not condone this any more than He condoned the conduct of Sarah and Abraham in the matter of Hagar and Ishmael. God could NOT use the trickery and cleverness of Jacob. God deals with Jacob in a very definite way. He had to pay for his sin. If we would read the whole chapter, we would see this later in the chapter.


·        Chapter 26 concluded with Esau (who was about forty years old) marrying two Hittite women.


This was a grief to Isaac and to Rebekah. Now they recognize that, if Jacob is not to marry a Hittite or a Philistine, he must be sent away to Haran where Isaac got his bride from the family of Abraham.




A. Mother Rebekah Was Eavesdropping. (Genesis 27:5)


(Genesis 27:5) And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.


1. When Isaac sent for Esau to come to his tent, Rebekah noticed it and stayed close by to learn what was happening.


Later, when Esau revealed that he planned to kill his brother, Rebekah also heard that (Gen. 27:42); so she must have been adept at eavesdropping and keeping abreast of family affairs.


2. Isaac and Rebekah were backslidden.


It’s tragic when a husband and wife, once so dedicated to the Lord and each other, have cooled off spiritually so much and no longer discuss God’s Word or pray together.


B. Jacob And Rebekah Were Scheming. (Genesis 27:6-10)


(Genesis 27:6-10) And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.


1. Knowing that Jacob was chosen to receive the covenant blessing, Rebekah immediately took matters into her own hands to make sure her favorite son got what the Lord had promised him.


Had she and Jacob talked with Isaac while Esau was out hunting, perhaps he would have seen the light and agreed with them. Instead, however, Rebekah chose to control Jacob and deceive her husband.


INSIGHT: The New Testament commentary on this scene is James 3:13-18. Isaac was depending on his own physical senses, but Rebekah was depending on the wisdom of the world. However, the world’s wisdom always leads to trouble. “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there” (James 3:16).


2. So quickly did Rebekah outline her plan that it looks like she must have thought it through well in advance.


She knew that Esau was her husband’s favorite son and that her husband was not the spiritual man that he once was. Rebekah even had a recipe ready, and she must have been an excellent cook to be able to make goats taste like venison!


II. JACOB’S DECEPTION CARRIED OUT. (Genesis 27:18-19, 21-27)


INSIGHT: In cooperating with the scheme, Jacob was only obeying his mother, but he could have refused and suggested that they just face the situation honestly and confront Isaac. But once Jacob donned Esau’s clothes and took the savory meal in his hands, the die was cast and he had to play the part successfully. See how one lie led to another, for deception can be defended only by more deception. Jacob was weaving the tangled web.


A. Jacob Lied About His Name. (Genesis 27:18-19)


(Genesis 27:18-19) 18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? 19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.


Did Isaac ask for identification because he was hard of hearing? Probably not (See Gen. 27:22); it’s likely he was starting to get suspicious because he didn’t expect Esau to return so quickly from the hunt (See Gen. 27:20). Furthermore, the voice he heard didn’t sound like the voice of Esau. That’s when Jacob told his first lie: He claimed to be Esau. 


B. Jacob Lied Again About His Identity And About His Love. (Genesis 27:21-27)


(Genesis 27:21-27) 21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. 24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:


1. Unwilling to trust his ears, Isaac felt Jacob’s hands and mistook goatskin for human hair, and Jacob assured him again that he indeed was Esau (Jacob lied).


How tragic it is to see a son so dishonor his father! After Isaac had eaten the meal, he asked Jacob to kiss him, and that kiss was the sixth lie, for it was hypocritical (Luke 22:48). How could Jacob claim to love his father when he was in the act of deceiving him? Since the smell of the garments finally convinced Isaac that Esau was there, the stage was now set for the giving of the blessing.


2. Isaac blessed Jacob with natural and material wealth, so important to people who belong to the land, but he added political authority with reference to his own people and other nations (See Gen. 27:29).


Isaac reaffirmed the word God gave about the boys (See Gen. 25:23), and in using plural nouns (“brothers” and “sons”), he looked beyond Jacob’s day to the time when Abraham’s seed would multiply.( During the reigns of King David and King Solomon, other nations were subjected to the rule of Israel.) He assured him not only of God’s blessing, but also of God’s protection, and he quoted the Lord’s original promise to Abraham (See Gen. 12:3).


3. The dirty deed was done. Isaac couldn’t revoke the blessing, and nobody in the family could alter the consequences.


III. JACOB’S DECEPTION COMPLETED. (Genesis 27:20, 28-29)


INSIGHT: Isaac is giving the blessing which he had received -- he is passing it on. The interesting thing is that it already belonged to Jacob. God had said that it did. God had already blessed Jacob. God is not accepting this deception at all.


A. Remember Jacob’s Lie. (Genesis 27:20)


(Genesis 27:20) And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me.


While it was God’s will that Jacob be blessed, Jacob’s deception was not sanctioned by God. In his lie Jacob used the phrase “the LORD your God” in recognition that the covenant blessing had not yet passed to him and that he had not yet committed himself totally to Jehovah.


B. Remember Jacob’s Blessing. (Genesis 27:28-29)


(Genesis 27:28-29) 28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: 29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.


God overruled the sinfulness of all four participants -- Isaac’s stubborn partiality, Esau’s reckless determination to go his own way, Rebekah’s deceit, and Jacob’s ambition -- to bring about His ends. The blessing has three elements:


1. The promise of plenty, which assumed possession of the land and the blessing of fertility (See Gen. 17:8).


2. The promise of domination, echoing the promise to Abraham, with the addition that the recipient will rule over the rest of his family as well (See Gen. 22:17).


3. The contrasting blessing and cursing, which repeated God’s initial call to Abraham (See Gen. 12:3).


The Pretender
By Anne Cetas


1. When a waitress in Ohio asked to see a customer’s driver’s license, she was shocked when she saw the photo on the ID.


It was her own picture! The waitress had lost her driver’s license a month earlier, and this young woman was using it so she’d have “proof” she was old enough to drink alcohol. The police were called, and the customer was arrested for identity theft. Trying to gain what she wanted, she pretended to be someone she wasn’t.


2. Jacob, in the Old Testament, did some pretending too.


With his mother Rebekah’s help, he fooled his dying father into believing he was his brother Esau so he could gain the blessing meant for the elder son (Gen. 27). Jacob got caught after his deceitful act, but it was too late for Esau to receive the blessing.


3. Pretending goes on in our churches today.


 Some people put on a false front. They use the right “Christian” words, attend church almost every Sunday, and even pray before meals. They pretend they “have it all together” in order to gain the approval of others. But inside they’re struggling with brokenness, guilt, doubt, or an addiction or other persistent sin.


4. God placed us in a body of believers to support one another.


Admit that you aren’t perfect. Then seek the counsel of a godly brother or sister in Christ.


Don’t hide your sin and cover up,
Pretending there is nothing wrong;
Instead, confess it and repent,
Then God will fill your heart with song. --


 -- Adapted from Anne Cetas, Our Daily Bread (RBC), November 23, 2007


CONCLUSION: What were the end results of Jacob’s deception?


·        Esau Received A Blessing. (Genesis 27:39–40)


Esau would share in the fertility of the land but would not reap its primary benefits. The land later occupied by the Edomites, between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, is partially barren with areas of great fertility. Isaac predicted that Esau’s descendants would live by war; his blessing was that the domination by Israel would have limited duration.


·        Jacob Received A Blessing. (Genesis 28:1–4)


Isaac confirmed the Abrahamic Covenant blessing in full knowledge of Jacob’s identity. The name God Almighty (Heb. El Shaddai, Genesis 28:3), was also used by God in assigning the covenant sign of circumcision (Gen. 17).


In the OT, the word “assembly” (Gen. 28:3) is used of God’s congregation and later of the Jewish synagogue. This, along with Isaac’s order not to marry a Canaanite wife, emphasizes the set-apart character of Israel, God’s chosen people.


·        Esau And Jacob Suffered The Consequence. (Genesis 27:41)


The unrighteous method used to assure the carrying out of God’s promise did not invalidate the promise, but it did result in FAMILY STRIFE and SEPARATION.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Be what God intends you to be -- don’t pretend to be what you’re not.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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