Genesis: Raiment of Esau


“And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau,…and put them upon Jacob her younger son…(Ge.27:15-16) ”

Jacob coached by his mother approached Isaac his father, who blindly felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau.’ Feeling somewhat uneasy Isaac asked for confirmation, ‘Art thou my very son, Esau? And he said, I am (Ge.27:22-24):’ It was deception plain and simple. Both mother and younger son played to win and when the time came to bless his son Isaac smelled the raiment and curiously enough he saw Esau before him. He said, “See the smell of my son is as the smell as the smell of a field which the Lord hath smelled (Ge.27-29).”

The same zeal that Jacob showed to supplant his elder brother in the womb we see in his blatant lie. He had totally assumed the persona of Esau, which is symbolized by his brother’s raiment. Significance of raiment is similar to the name. For example Jacob and Israel have different meanings. Perhaps the single redeeming feature in defense of their deception lay in the fact that Esau had repudiated his birth-right under oath.

The Spirit uses the garments with a purpose and we have quite a number of verses to understand its significance. There is no man justified by works nor who can be called righteous by his own merit (Ps.14:3; Ro.3:10-12). Instead God imputes His righteousness to man. Jacob had thus put on an identity.   Likewise one puts on breastplate of righteousness (Ep.6:14) for example. By extension the metaphor of body is a tent that is set up and taken down with death. Here we have a verse of St Paul to this effect: “because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked (2 Cor.5:3,2,4-NIV).”


About bennythomas

I am a Dutch citizen. An architect by profession I am married and have six grandchildren. I am still keen on expressing myself and each day is new and an occasion where I might bring out from within something worthwhile.
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