Genesis 26–27: Jacob Received Covenant Blessings

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 30


In Genesis 26 we read about how the Lord prospered Isaac and renewed the Abrahamic covenant with him (see 3–5, 23–25). Chapter 26 also tells of other experiences Isaac had that were like what happened to his father, Abraham (see 6–11, 19–22, 26–31). The concluding verses of the chapter tell how Esau decided to marry out of the covenant and how that decision saddened Isaac and Rebekah.Some people think they can receive blessings without obeying the commandments relating to those blessings. They are mistaken (see D&C 130:20–21). In Genesis 25:29–34 we read how Esau cared more about satisfying his immediate personal appetites than about the responsibilities and blessings of being the firstborn son in the covenant. In Genesis 26:34–35, Esau again showed how little he valued the covenant when he chose a wife outside of the covenant. Knowing these two things about Esau is helpful in understanding what happened in Genesis 27. We must realize that Esau had not qualified for the blessings Isaac desired to give him.You should also note that the blessings promised to Jacob in Genesis 27 were conditional—meaning they were only promised to Jacob if he lived faithful to the covenant. The blessings were not automatic. As you continue to read Genesis 28–35, look for what Jacob did to see that the promised blessings were fulfilled.

Understanding the Scriptures

Genesis 27

Quiver(v. 3)Arrow holder 
Savoury (vv. 4, 7, 9, 17, 31)Good tasting 
Fetch (vv. 9, 13–14, 45)Get 
Goodly raiment (v. 15)Nice clothing 
Badest (v. 19)Asked 
Discerned him not (v. 23)Could not tell it was him 
Fatness (vv. 28, 39)Prosperity 
Scarce (v. 30)Barely 
Subtilty (v. 35)Deceit 
Supplanted me (v. 36)Taken my place or things 
Sustained (v. 37)Blessed 
Dominion (v. 40)The opportunity to establish yourself in the land 
Break his yoke from off thy neck (v. 40)Not be his servant 
Touching (v. 42)Concerning 
Purposing (v. 42)Planning 
Fury (v. 44)Anger 

Genesis 27—A Stolen Blessing?

Even though Isaac thought he was blessing Esau, when he realized he had blessed Jacob he did not change the blessing or curse Jacob (see Genesis 27:33). Apparently, Isaac recognized that the Lord inspired him to bless the right person. The story of Jacob and Isaac helps us realize that the Lord inspires His servants to accomplish His will in spite of their weaknesses or incomplete knowledge of a situation.

Jacob was promised blessings at the time of the events in Genesis 27, but those blessings were not fulfilled until he was obedient to the commandments that allowed those blessings to come into his life.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Genesis 26–27.

Activity A iconGive Counsel to Esau

Imagine that you are Esau’s friend and have the opportunity to speak with him after the events of Genesis 27. Considering what you’ve learned from Genesis 25–27, help Esau understand why Jacob received the covenant blessings and suggest what Esau should do.