By: Ely Lagajino

Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. Proverbs 20:17 (ESV)

Old age made Isaac weak and blind, and he felt that the end was near. He decided to formally confer the birthright blessing to his favorite son Esau. The ceremony must be accompanied by feasting like celebrating a birthday.  It was an essential family affair to install the next leader and priest of the family in charge of the religious and secular matters when the father dies. But Rebekah and Jacob were not invited to attend the blessing, probably to avoid opposition.


He called Esau and said, “Go out into the field and hunt for a deer. Make me the dish of venison I like best, then I will give you the blessing.”

Of course, Esau did not tell his father that he had waved his birthright for a bowl of boiled red beans. And Jacob had no courage to tell his father the crafty move he made.

Rebekah heard Isaac’s plan, and she immediately called Jacob and said, “Obey my command, and you will get the blessing. Go to the flocks and bring me two kids of goats, and I will cook them like the meat Esau cooks for your father. Then bring it to him, and he will think that you are Esau, and he will bless you.”

At first, Jacob hesitated, but his mother gave him the assurance. Maybe Jacob defended himself in his thoughts; his brother Esau made his oath of promise when he sold his birthright for food. Anyway, he could negotiate with his brother and give what he wanted in the birthright, such as the double portion of their parent’s flocks, silver and gold, and even sacks of red mongo beans, Esau’s favorite.

Oftentimes, people get what they want despite being dishonest, but someone usually gets hurt. Would Jacob tell Isaac that Esau sold his birthright to him? If he knew, would Isaac allow Jacob to receive the birthright because Esau wasn’t interested? If Isaac remained innocent, how would Jacob receive the birthright without Isaac knowing? What would happen when Esau returns?

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