Day 14: Isaac Blesses Jacob

Genesis 27:1-46 With his mother’s help, Jacob tricked Isaac into giving him the blessing intended for Esau. Isaac soon learned of the mistake, but the blessing could not be revoked. The Sacred Author does not take issue with Jacob’s ations; rather, they are treated as PART OF GOD’S PLAN. Though Rebekah used deception in order to advance her favorite son, God brought GOOD OUT OF HER DISHONEST ACTIONS. (CCC 302-303, 312-314, 1671-1673)

Genesis 28:1-22 Just as Abraham had cautioned Isaac, Isaac warned Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman. As bearer of the covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac intended to keep his descendants faithful to the covenant. Esau, who had already married Canaanite women, overheard this and took one of Ishmael’s daughters as a wife, but it was too late to regain Isaac’s favor. God’s promise to Jacob corresponded to the promises he made to Abraham: Jacob’s descendants would be numerous and inherit the land. Ladder: According to some Church Fathers, this ladder extended from Heaven to earth, representing a link between God and humanity. This dream was completely fulfilled in Christ, true God and true man: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man” (Jn 1:51). (CCC 2573)

Job 17:1-16 Job was convinced of his righteousness and complained that his affliction gave others, such as his three friends, the wrong impression that he was a sinner. A byword of the peoples: Job had been made a laughingstock. The analogy of Job symbolizing the Jewish people refers to the great sufferings of Israel at the hand of other nations who took great delight in its misfortunes. The Lord complained of this derision on several occasions in Scripture.

Ch 18:1-21 Bildad seemed exasperated that Job would not listen to the wisdom of his friends. He described in poetic form how evildoers lose everything from health and material goods to family and reputation.

Proverbs 3:1-12 A person possessing true wisdom TRUSTS IN THE LORD. We should petition God habitually for light so we can discern his will and have a disposition of fidelity to his Commandments. The habitual effort to fulfill God’s Law brings TRUE FULFILLMENT. (CCC 216)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 11: Jacob Steals Blessing and Flees (Genesis 27:1-46)

Through deceit, Jacob steals the blessing that belongs to his brother Esau as firstborn. Jacob in turn is deceived when he attempts to marry Rachel but his father-in-law Laban substitutes her older sister Leah. Laban cheats Jacob several times more, eventually causing Jacob to flee back to his homeland.

  • We are following the family story of the people of God, the Jewish people

  • As Christians, we are not separate people from Jewish people

  • Christianity is the FRUIT of the Jewish people

  • That is why we believe the story of Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob is OUR STORY

  • This whole Bible is our story

  • St. Paul says in his letter to the Romans, “As Gentile Christians, we have been grafted onto that tree, we have been brought into that family, that story, the process of salvation that God had begun so so long ago.”

  • The deceiver, the grasper, the rebel Jacob earlier MANIPULATED his brother out of his birthright

  • Now, he DECEIVES his father out of the blessing meant for Esau

  • Isaac’s blessing confers fertility (v 27-28) and dominion (v 29). The “dew of heaven” is rain that produces grain and wine, two of the principal foods of the ancient Near East. The “fat of the earth” may allude to oil, the third basic food. (*NABRE 3rd ed Catholic Study Bible)

  • There is something remarkable in this

  • One of those things is that the fact that when Isaac gave Jacob the blessing, after he had given it HE DID NOT TAKE THE BLESSING BACK

  • It is important to understand this

  • In so many ways, that is the basis for our SACRAMENTS

  • A Jewish male was brought into the covenant of Judaism by circumcision

  • You can’t undo a circumcision (I imagine that would be medically and surgically difficult ;) )

  • You are brought into the covenant and you are part of the covenant

  • As Christians, it is by our BAPTISM that we are brought into the covenant family of God

  • We are made into a SON or DAUGHTER OF GOD through Baptism and it cannot be undone

  • Isaac blesses Jacob and might regret the fact that he was deceived

  • But it was still a true, real blessing that he could not undo

  • Even if someone says they RENOUNCE their baptism, it cannot be undone

  • The blessing of a sacrament cannot be undone

  • Isaac in some ways knows that the blessing cannot be taken away, even if it was due to deception

  • Jacob is the receiver of the birthright and blessing

  • Jacob’s deception points us to something important

  • Earlier, Scripture noted that Esau was loved by Isaac and Jacob was loved by Rebekah

  • One of the great gifts of being loved by your parents is not knowing who their favorite child is (but I’m pretty sure I’m my parents’ favorite)

  • Because of that, there should be no animosity or competition between siblings

  • There is the sense that parents love all their children equally (ideally)

  • It is a great gift that if you as a parent do actually prefer one child over the other, that they don’t know it

  • Admittedly, some people are more lovable than others

  • The brokenness of Jacob and Esau showed that were competitive even in the womb of Rebekah (Jacob grabbed Esau’s leg in the womb)

  • This competition was exacerbated by the fact that one was preferred by the Father and one was preferred by the Mother

  • Could there be a lot of family problems that could be resolved by parents that resolve to love their children as equally as possible (we aren’t perfect so it would be hard to ALWAYS be this way)

  • Love each other as best we can instead of preferring one over the other

  • Like, share, and subscribe ;) (The podcast; I don’t need you to do it for these notes unless you want to)

  • Pray for Fr Mike, for the ministry of Ascension Presents, and for EACH OTHER

  • We are going on this journey as BROTHERS AND SISTERS who are LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY BY GOD

Prayer by Fr. Mike: "God in Heaven, we thank you. We give you praise and we give you glory. Thank you for giving us your Word and for sharing with us your heart. Because it is your heart that you have revealed to us in this Scripture, in this Word, in your Word. Let our hearts become like yours. Help us to love what you love and to despise what you despise. Help us to live as you have willed us to live and as you have made it possible for us to live by your Grace. May you be glorified in all things this day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen."


From Esau will come the Edomites, and Herod, the King of the Jews, who will be installed by the Romans. From Jacob will come the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and through Judah will come David, and through David, Jesus the Messianic King.

Interesting that in this episode Jacob is the one who wrongs Esau. Esau will eventually embrace Jacob, but his people, the Edomites, will keep animosity towards the Israelites. It makes me wonder if that history of familial animosity towards Israel affected Herod's fear of losing his throne, particularly to a child that descends from Jacob and came after him.