The Blessing of Abraham

To say that God blessed Isaac is an understatement.

Genesis 26 records how Isaac sowed in that parched soil and reaped a huge harvest. He owned such large flocks and herds that the Philistines envied him. He even began to dig again in wells that had long ago run dry, and fresh water sprang to the surface!

In Genesis 27, we find Isaac almost blind as he approaches the final days of his life. He knew the moment had come to pass his blessing down to his eldest son. So he requested that Esau, the rugged outdoorsman, kill some game and fix for him one more hearty meal, which he would eat before blessing Esau.

Rebekah overheard the conversation, and when Esau left, she prepared a meal for Jacob to take to his father instead. They went to great lengths to deceive the ailing Isaac, but their deception worked, and Isaac bestowed the blessing on Jacob instead of Esau.

Upon his return from hunting, Esau discovered what had taken place in his absence and was incensed, but the blessing given to Jacob was permanent. It could not be reversed.

To avoid the revenge of Esau, Jacob fled for his life, running to live with his uncle, Laban. There he married and greatly prospered.

Many years later, Jacob made the decision to return to his homeland with his family and their substantial possessions. Uncertain and fearful of how Esau would respond, he brought with him, a large number of gifts to appease his brother.

“The presents weren’t necessary. As he neared his brother, Jacob bowed down to the ground seven times, but the Bible says Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, kissed him, and they both wept” (Genesis 33:3-4).

All was forgiven!

The blessing of Abraham continued through Isaac and Jacob, and the seed multiplied through their descendants. Technically, Abraham was neither Arab nor Jew. It was his grandson, Jacob, whom God renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28), and it was Jacob’s sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel. One of those tribes was Judah—from which we derive the name “Jew.”