What went wrong?

I’m bringing us something to think about from the Old Testament.   It seems Isaac, son of Abraham, was dying.  “Isaac said, ‘I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death…prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.’” (Genesis 27: 2, 4)  Now, we know that a father giving a blessing to his children was normally done just before the father died.  As we read on in the chapter, Jacob goes to Isaac, and claims to be Esau, the eldest of the sons.  Isaac was unable to recognize that it was Jacob, and gave Jacob Esau’s blessing.   Soon after, Esau came to Isaac, and said, “…my father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.” (Genesis 27: 31)   Notice Esau asks his father to ‘sit up and eat’, as if he were lying down at the time.  Later in the chapter we read Isaac “trembled violently”.   When Esau found out what Jacob had done Esau was angry.  “Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him.  He said to himself, ‘the days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.’” (Genesis 27: 41)   Rebekah, wife of Isaac, who conspired with Jacob wanted Jacob to flee from his brothers’ wrath.  She lamented, “…why should I lose both of you in one day?” (Genesis 27: 45.

The point of all this, is that it was pretty apparent to this family, that father Isaac was dying.  But, he didn’t die.  We are not told what was wrong with him, perhaps he was suffering with some serious illness, but the point is he lived many years beyond this time.  Isaac was still alive when Jacob returned from the home of Laban, and by that time Jacob had adult children of his own.    It strikes me as an interesting “coincidence” that Isaac’s life seems to have been extended.  Esau had vowed to kill Jacob as soon as his father Isaac died.  When Isaac didn’t die, and a considerable amount of time passed by, Esau had a change of heart, and when Jacob returned with his new family, “…Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.  And they both wept.” (Genesis 33: 4)


Dan Porte

Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Dan is a graduate of Otterbein College (now University). He graduated with a degree in education. From time to time Dan still substitute teaches. His interest in history led him to investigate the historical accuracy of the Bible. This, in turn, led to a full investigation of Apologetics.

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