Genesis 27–28: On Deception, Dreams, & Soap-Operatic Heartbreak (Bible Talk, Ep. 9)

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Jacob and Esau have already been through a lot. These chapters of Genesis continue the story. They play out like an episode of a soap opera: family member against family member; deceit on top of deceit; the promise of revenge.

In this episode of Bible Talk, Alex Duke chats with Jim Hamilton and Sam Emadi about Genesis 27–28.

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1:05 / If last week was a love story, this week is more like a soap opera: Bad people doing bad things.

2:00 /  Alex breaks down Genesis 27 into four parts: Rebecca’s deceptive trick, Isaac’s mistaken blessing, Esau’s heart-breaking return, and Jacob’s terrified flight.

2:45 / Sam offers a few summary comments on chapter 27 before eventually answering the question he was asked (he says Rebecca is definitely deceptive…eventually).

6:56 / What’s going on with Isaac? What is this blessing, and was it wrong for Isaac to dry and give it to Esau in the first place?

9:18 / Is the birthright Esau traded in Genesis 25 the same thing as the blessing Jacob gets? Jim explains why they are not, but Sam draws a cheeky parallel between the two.

10:55 / Sam points out the four times Jacob lies to Isaac during this blessing debacle. He then ties Jacob’s deception to his being deceived later in Genesis 37. Jim shows how the language resembles the conversation between Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22.

13:00 / How does this chapter connect the blessing of Jacob to the promises given to Abraham in Genesis 15 and 17?

15:13 / Alex reads Genesis 27:30–40 and talks about Esau’s heartbreaking return.

20:55 / Sam gets nerdy and compares Jacob and Esau to Thor and Loki (not respectively, I don’t think. I don’t know).

21:10 / How can we get to the gospel from Genesis 27?

25:13 / How does Esau’s response to Jacob’s deception let us know Esau’s not a super great guy himself? What people in Genesis does he sound like?

27:43 / Who is Esau marrying, and why is it not at all a good thing?

29:50 / Could Esau have teamed up with Jacob instead of starting a family feud? The guys discuss.

30:41 / Jim summarizes Genesis 28:1–5. Did Jacob apologize to Isaac? The three promises of the Abrahamic covenant are re-upped as the narrative has shifts to Jacob.

32:13 / Sam attempts (and succeeds!) to briefly summarize Genesis 28:6–9. Esau tries to cover sin with more sin. Why do we do that?

33:05 / What is going on with Jacob’s “ladder?” What does it mean?

38:00 / Alex compares Jacob to a guy in Vegas who tricks people for money and points out the first time Jacob and the Lord “really do business together.”

39:16 / Sam gets his “mountain moment” but uses it to step on “chiasm corner” and beat Jim to the punch. Then Sam asks the question: “How is the Lord going to create this access point between the heavenly and earthly realms?” Through this promised seed!

41:46 / What observations and applications can we take away from Jacob’s vow at the end of Genesis 28? Check out the connections between Genesis 28 and Hosea 12! How would the Israelites reading Genesis have seen their own story in the life of Jacob?


47:12 / Jim has a question for Sam! How can listeners know the connections they bring out of these texts are legit? What kind of interpretive guardrails should we have in place? Are there bad ways to get to Jesus from Old Testament texts?

54:00 / Alex reveals his Hebrew woes. Sam implores pastors to keep up their biblical languages and for lay people to know their English Bibles cover-to-cover.

55:50 / How does Hebrews 6 help us understand Genesis 27?

Image: Isaac and Jacob, Jusepe de Ribera (1637) Copyright © Museo Nacional del Prado

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