A Spurgeon Snapshot: Was Isaac also Deceitful? (Genesis 27:2-4)

“He [Isaac] said, “Look, I am old and do not know the day of my death. So now take your hunting gear, your quiver and bow, and go out in the field to hunt some game for me. Then make me a delicious meal that I love and bring it to me to eat, so that I can bless you before I die.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭27‬:‭2‬-‭4‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Just when you think you know everything there is to know about a passage you’ve probably read a hundred times, along comes Charles Spurgeon, pointing out a detail you had never noticed before.

In the account of Jacob getting Isaac’s blessing instead of Esau (Genesis 27), Spurgeon suggests that Isaac was acting deceitfully, not just Jacob and Rebekah. He points out that the usual custom for a dying patriarch was to call the entire family in so they could all hear the blessing, similar to a modern day reading of a will in the presence of all the surviving family members.

But Isaac didn’t do this. Out of earshot from his wife (or so he thought), he arranged for Esau to bring him a meal so he could bless him one on one. Spurgeon notes the contrast between this and Jacob’s blessing of his children in the next generation (see Genesis 49:1). Then, Spurgeon writes:

But this blessing was to be done in a covert, secret way. Isaac was afraid of the valid objection that might be raised by his wife, that God had said the elder should serve the younger. …He had no confidence in his wife and did not tell her what he was going to do. And it is generally a bad thing that a man is going to do when he does not tell his wife about it.

Spurgeon Study Bible, p 37.

Wow! Not only a fresh interpretation from nearly 200 years ago, but also some of the most sound marriage advice a husband will ever hear. Go Spurgeon!

I am using the Spurgeon Study Bible for my Bible Read Through in 2023. All of the study notes are quotes from Charles Spurgeon’s sermons and writing. For more on Charles Spurgeon, click here. The Spurgeon Study Bible is available from Lifeway, Christianbook.com, and Amazon.

Author: James

I pastor Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville, Alabama. I read a lot, write a little, and drink lots of coffee. I have three callings in life: surrender to Christ, be a husband to Trish, and be the best father/grandfather I can be. Everything else is an assignment, because everything else can be done by someone else.

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