Genesis 25:23, The Blessing That Jacob Returned

The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

//In Rebekah’s womb, the brothers Esau and Jacob are squabbling, and she grows concerned. When she inquires of God what is happening, God explains that they will be opposed, and the older will become servant to the younger.

Indeed, as the boys grow, Jacob steals both Esau’s birthright and his blessing. He seems to be coming out on top, just like God predicted. When Esau complains, his father Isaac replies that the blessing given to Jacob is irrevocable:

Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”

And so it seems Isaac gets it all. But is it really so?

Jacob and Esau separate, and when they finally come back together, Jacob repeatedly refers to himself as Esau’s servant and to Esau as his master. See verses 33:5, 8, 13-15. Jacob is calling Esau lord, precisely the title that Isaac says Esau must call Jacob. Moreover, afraid for his life because Esau had sworn to kill him, Jacob offers Esau a present and calls it his blessing:

Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it. –Genesis 33:11

Thus Jacob returns the blessing to Esau, and grants Esau back the rightful place as the firstborn. Wrong becomes right at last.


  1. I had to go back to the scriptures and read the chapters before and after this to grasp the understanding of what happened. I am still not really sure what is being asked of here, except the fact that wrong was righted since the Lord was gracious to jacob. It almost seems Like to me that it was a really convenient for Jacob to do so. What if the Lord had not been gracious to jacob? Would he had still been willing to return the blessing to Esau? I’d like to think he conscious was more in use after Esau had seen him with joy, hugged him and kissed his neck. If I am not mistaking, Jacob’s life continues to be blessed by the Lord, with many children, with G-d changing his name to Israel and his children becoming the 12 tribes, even Joseph’s sons receiving a blessing that was supposed to be for the oldest of Jacob’s son who was denied. So, we actually see history repeating repeating itself in this family for some purpose that G-d has. Again, I believe the Mormon’s have a prophecy predicting two nations at play with these blessings between Israel (judah) and Joseph (America) and the blessings being lost from the oldest to the youngest. Thanks for causing me to have to ponder this one and look to the scriptures to refresh my memory!

    • Lee Harmon

      Thanks for the input, Roger! You often go at these puzzles from a different direction than I do, so I don’t always relate. But are you suggesting that God’s favor was on Jacob because of his willingness to make things right with Esau? Or that Jacob made things right because he had changed over time, he became more Godly with the influence (favor) of God?

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