I have often wondered how I’d feel if I’d received the kind of blessing Jacob received at the hands of Isaac. I would be so head-swollen (Nigerian lingua), that I’d attempt to stand before a moving train just to test the efficacy of such blessings in my life. His was more expansive than Abraham, and Isaac before him as it covered almost all aspects of his life, spiritually, physically and otherwise, and it went to show how much thought Isaac put into making a blessing for his beloved son, Esau who unfortunately missed out on it by a twist of fate, if you know what I mean. If you don’t, then you can take the fact that Esau played a greater role in denying himself the blessings from his father (to the bank) by (1) selling his birthright to his brother Jacob for a plate of pottage, and thereby ultimately rejecting the perks and responsibility of that office/position, such that his intention to still receive his father’s blessing, apparently reserved for the first born was just him trying to eat his cake and have it; (2) he married from a place not only his parents were distraught about, but also that did not key into Yahweh’s plan for a people he intended to raise as ELECT of HIS, a criteria HE had applied in choosing Abraham, Isaac over Ishmael, and then Jacob over Esau, as I’ve shown you before now in the earlier installments.
When Isaac felt he was dealing with Jacob, even though with some reservations about his voice, but confident because of the hair (from one of the goats Rebekah had killed to make him venison) on Jacob’s hands and neck, he went ahead and “… blessed him” (Genesis 27:23). “And he said, Are you my very son Esau? And he (Jacob) said, I am.” (v.24). Thereafter, Isaac ate of the venison and also drank the wine that was presented to him, which may have also dulled his ability to notice other things about Jacob that sets him apart from Esau. Once Isaac was done eating, he called Jacob closer, “… and kissed him, and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him” (v.27), and this is how we enter into one of my favourite passages in the scriptures – Jacob’s Blessings. In reaction to smelling Jacob’s raiment/clothing, which originally belonged to Esau (v.15), but was compelled to wear it by Rebekah, Isaac began blessing Jacob.
Lemme however give you a bit of understanding about what Esau’s clothing must smell like. Esau is described in the biblical account of this story as “…a skillful hunter, a man of the field” (Genesis 25:27), in the days when there were no deodorants or roll-ons (for armpits) like we have today, Esau must have had this body odour about him, from foraying into the fields, bushes and forests in search of prey. His clothes too must smell awful, and it must be testament to the difference in smell between these brothers that Rebekah implored Jacob to approach his aged and blind father only while wearing Esau’s clothing, so he could also smell like the bushes from where Esau earns his living, and the animals he kills for venison. Interestingly, despite the awful smell of Esau, Isaac explored positivity from that, saying “See, the smell of my son, is as the smell of a field which YAHWEH has blessed:” (Genesis 27:27). I have once been to a field that was been prepared for cultivation, with manuring and the smell was disgusting, yet such lands produce bountiful yields. In pronouncing this sort of blessing on Jacob, it will go to mean that even Jacob’s shit (pardon my French) is a blessing. His shit automatically became sweet, with a stroke of YAHWEH-inspired blessing.
Isaac went on further to say that, “and YAHWEH give you of the dew of heaven (seeing as farming/agriculture was the chief occupation of the time, and can also be applicable to other occupations, if we take a further look at the full implications and ramifications of this blessing), and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine:” (v.28) as Jacob (Israel) has continued to be to this day, converting the desert of the part of the Middle East they occupy into productive land agriculturally. In verse 29, Isaac is accounted to have blessed Jacob thus, “Let people serve you, And nations bow down to you”, and though many will refuse to acknowledge that this continually comes to pass about Israel, even to this day, but the truth is that, in the many gifts Jews have bequeathed our civilization socially, financially, medically, physically, militarily, scientifically, technologically, politically, even religiously amongst others, we inadvertently either as individuals or nations, bow down to Israel (even as I will later post this on Facebook, founded by a Jew). Interestingly, the many times Israel have suffered (as with now), it has always been in relation to the affected hateful nation (or people) refusing to acknowledge this fact, and for that moment in history (till date) sought to reverse the trend, until they (the conquering power sometimes) be subdued, or even obliterated (many times just by the passage of time), and Israel one again rising out of the ashes like a phoenix.
In verse 29, Isaac prophetically blessed Jacob further, stating “Be mighty over your brethren (forget the military might of the United States of America, Russia, even China, in the Middle East, there’s only one military power, and Arabs, Palestinians, Persians and other ethnic groups in that region attest to the fact that Israel is the single most militarily enabled country in their region. They don’t just mouth it, they’ve witnessed it, even as Israel is the only country that has the IRON DOME Antimissile Defence System/Technology – probably inspired by the LEGEND of the HAND that thwarted aerial attacks on Israel from her Arab neighbours in the SIX DAY WAR and The YOM KIPPUR WAR, for instance), and let your mother’s sons bow down to you:” (v.29) even in biblical times Esau never edged it over Jacob even though the former was already established by the time his twin brother was just upcoming in life (see Genesis chapter 36). That’s why one should never be discouraged by whatever position one presently finds oneself in life, in considering oneself as not moving fast enough, compared to one’s peers (including those who started the race of life long after one started his or hers), who seem to have everything smoothly going for them, because our paths are different, and only in the end if we really care to note, does this all, make sense.
You just need to look at the state of the Middle East, and nations elsewhere in the world (including Nigeria, when under the rulership of religious fundamentalists antagonistic to Israeli policies, as evidenced by how she votes at the United Nations when resolutions to punish Israel is placed on the table, and also the cold diplomatic relationship between the nations), that hate Israel to understand the implication of harbouring hatred towards Israel (Jacob). Some of the Middle Eastern nations who are quick to blame any ill befalling the people of that region, and/or Palestinians on Israel are today embroiled in one sociopolitical strife or another, even African countries that have aligned their positions with such countries because of religious affinities haven’t fared better, while in contrast, those who have embraced Israel have benefited from technology, agricultural advancements, as well as medical assistance (amongst many other aid) that the Israeli government willingly provide as with equals, unlike the predatory relationships western nations have with most developing nations in Africa and elsewhere.
It must be that Isaac had those hateful Arab and Persian states in mind when he blessed Jacob thus – “Cursed be everyone that curses you” (Genesis 27:29), and the United States of America (except in the final days of the Obama administration, when against precedence the USA refused to veto a resolution against Israel), and other Israeli allies (nations or individuals) in mind when he uttered lastly, “… and BLESSED be every one that blesses you”. Now tell me, and be honest about it, if you wouldn’t climb the highest building in the world, and attempt a bungee jumping without the necessary apparatus, just so you could test the efficacy of these blessings, had you been Jacob. You could feel the love Isaac had for Esau in every word of his proclamation of this blessings, he took care of almost everything like I had earlier alluded to. Unfortunately, it was to the son he loved less, but highly favoured of YAHWEH that he bestowed his blessings upon, because “… as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting” (v.30).
– Genesis Chapter 27 Verses 24 – 30, THE SACRED SCRIPTURES (Bethel Edition), An Assemblies of Yahweh ®, Publication, © 1981 (Fourth Printing, 1993).