- Isaac lived a semi-nomadic life in Canaan.8
- Isaac relied on his father to select a bride for him when he was 40 years old.
- Isaac and Rebekah maintained a monogamous relationship.
- Even when Rebekah was barren, Isaac stayed with her and prayed for her. (Gen 25:21) She then conceived twins.
- The birthright included the primary headship
of the family, that is, rights as the eldest
son, a double portion of the inheritance, priestly
rights, and, in Abraham's family, heir to the
- Isaac chose to avoid conflict with the Canaanites
over the wells Abraham had dug. God told him
not to be afraid.13 (Gen 26:15-24)
This appears to be a turning point in Isaac's
life. Up to this point he passively accepted
what happened in his life; being used as the
potential object of sacrifice; waiting for the
selection of a bride; walking away from the
strife over the first two wells; being heartsick
over Esau's foreign wives. God tells him not
to be afraid. Not to be afraid to make decisions?
Not to be afraid of what others might think?
Not to be afraid to live?
- Isaac assumed a quiet role of maintaining
Abraham's work rather than pursuing heroic paths
of adventure, discovery, and leadership.14
- Isaac contributed to the growth of Hebrew
thought by maintaining a relationship with one
- Isaac was a man of peace, who praised God
when peace prevailed. (Gen 26:19-32)16
- Isaac was 120 years old and blind when he
asked Esau to prepare the meal of venison for
- Isaac thought he was ready to die, yet he
lived another sixty years after blessing Jacob.
- The blessing of Isaac certainly appears unalterable.
"Acts of blessing in the OT rest on accepted
conventions. If the blessing could not be revoked
by Isaac, it was because no convention was available
for its revocation. If there is such a convention,
Isaac chooses not to make use of it. Esau, in
asking for another blessing, appears to believe
that no such convention exists."18
- "One basic reason cited by Isaac for
not retracting the blessing involves the consumption
of a meal. (Gen 27:33) The meal was an integral
part of a conventional blessing ritual, without
which it would not have been valid."19
- It was unnecessary for Jacob and his mother
to conspire to steal the blessing. God had spoken
to Rebekah when she was pregnant, and predicted
that Esau would serve Jacob. (Gen. 25:23) Their
trickery and deceit obtained something God would
have provided freely had they behaved morally.20 A great lesson in yielding all to God!
- The great deception produces suffering: "Isaac
suffers for his preference for Esau, which was
not determined by the will of God but by his
weak affection: Esau suffers for despising the
blessing of the firstborn:" Rebekah suffers
in never seeing Jacob again: Jacob suffered
a strain of hardship and deception at the hand
8 Lawrence O. Richards. Richards Complete Bible Dictionary. Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers, 2002, p. 522.
12 J.R. Dummelow, ed. A Commentary on the Holy Bible. New York: Macmillan Co., 1908, p. 32.
13 Lawrence O. Richards. Richards Complete Bible Dictionary. Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers, 2002, p. 522.
14 Thomas L. Leishman. The Continuity of the Bible - The Patriarchs. Boston: CSPS, 1968, p. 19
15 Ibid. p. 19.
16 Richards, p. 523.
18 NIB, pp. 538-539.
19 Ibid, p. 539.
20 Richards, p. 538.
21 Dummelow, p. 33.