Genesis 27:29 MEANING

Genesis 27:29
(29) Let people serve thee.--Heb., peoples. Up to this point the blessing had been general, but now Isaac bestows the birthright, carrying with it widespread dominion, precedence over all other members of the family, and special blessedness. The phrases "thy brethren" and "thy mother's sons" include all nations sprung from Abraham, and all possible offshoots from Isaac's own descendants.

Cursed . . . and blessed.--This is a special portion of the blessing given to Abraham (Genesis 12:3); but Isaac stops short with this, and does not bestow the greater privilege that "in him should all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4). The reason for this may be that it was a blessing which God must grant, and not man; or he may have had misgivings that it was more than Esau was worthy to receive; or, finally, his whole conduct being wrong, he could see and value only the earthly and lower prerogatives of the birthright. Subsequently he bestows the Abrahamic blessing upon Jacob in general terms (Genesis 28:4); but this, its highest privilege, is confirmed to Jacob by Jehovah Himself (Genesis 28:14).

Verse 29. - Let people serve thee (literally, and will serve thee, peoples; at once a prayer and a prophecy; fulfilled in the political subjection of the Moabites, Ammonites, Syrians, Philistines, and Edomites by David; the thought being repeated in the next clause), and nations bow down to thee (in expression of their homage): be lord over thy brethren, - literally, be a lord (from the idea of power; found only here and in ver. 37) to thy brethren. Imminence among his kindred as well as dominion in the world is thus promised - and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee (a repetition of the preceding thought, with perhaps a hint of his desire to humble Jacob, the favorite of Rebekah): cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee - framed on the model of the Abrahamic benediction (Genesis 12:3); but not so full as that, either because Isaac felt that after all Esau was not to be the progenitor of the holy seed (Murphy), or because, not being actuated by proper feelings towards Jehovah and his promises, the patriarch could not rise to that height of spiritual benediction to which he afterwards attained - Genesis 28:3, 4 (Keil), or because the prerogative of pronouncing the Abrahamic blessing in all its fullness Jehovah may have reserved to himself, as in Genesis 28:14 ('Speaker's Commentary').

CHAPTER 27:30-40

27:18-29 Jacob, with some difficulty, gained his point, and got the blessing. This blessing is in very general terms. No mention is made of the distinguishing mercies in the covenant with Abraham. This might be owing to Isaac having Esau in his mind, though it was Jacob who was before him. He could not be ignorant how Esau had despised the best things. Moreover, his attachment to Esau, so as to disregard the mind of God, must have greatly weakened his own faith in these things. It might therefore be expected, that leanness would attend his blessing, agreeing with the state of his mind.Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee,.... Which was literally true in the times of Joshua and the judges, when the Canaanites were conquered and subdued, and those that remained became tributary to the Israelites; and still more so in the times of David, a son of Jacob, in the line of Judah, when the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Ammonites, and Edomites, became subject to him, his servants and tributaries; and yet more so in the times of the Messiah that was to spring from Jacob, and did, to whom many nations have been already subject, and all will in the latter day, Psalm 72:11. And this passage is applied to the Messiah, and his times, by the Jews, in an ancient book (y) of theirs, at least said to be so. The Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it of the children of Esau or the Edomites, and of the children of Keturah; and that of Jerusalem, of the children of Esau, and of Ishmael:

be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee; these seem rather to be the children of Esau, Jacob's brother, and his mother's sons; the Targum of Jerusalem interprets the latter of the sons of Laban, his mother's brother, the Arabians and Syrians; which will be more fully accomplished when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, Revelation 11:15; who will then appear to be King of kings, and Lord of lords, Revelation 17:14, even the King of the whole earth:

cursed be everyone that curseth thee; it signifies, that those who were the enemies of Jacob, or would be the enemies of the church and people of God, his spiritual Israel, and of the Messiah, would be reckoned the enemies of God, and treated as such:

and blessed be he that blesseth thee; and that those that were his friends, and the friends of the people of God, and heartily wish well to the interest of Christ, these should be accounted the friends of God, and be used as such. The same blessing is pronounced on Abraham the grandfather of Jacob, Genesis 12:3.

(y) Zohar in Gen. fol. 84. 4.

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