I received the following question:

Did Issac know he was really blessing Jacob?

That is a great question. Bullinger in The Companion Bible thought he did, as Hebrews 11:20 says, “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.” Bullinger points out it couldn’t have been by faith if he didn’t know what he was doing. Bullinger suggests that he figured out that it was Jacob at the last minute before blessing him. But that goes against Genesis 27:23, which clearly states, “And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.” This clearly says he did not recognize him.

So how do we reconcile this with being “by faith”? I believe that God revealed to him the truth of the blessing he was giving. Isaac knew that the son he was blessing when he blessed Jacob would be the son who would be blessed, for God had revealed it to him. When he discovered that Jacob had deceived him and received the blessing, he did not waver, or attempt to question the blessing. He knew this blessing was God’s blessing, and could not be changed, whether or not Jacob had deceived him. Thus, Isaac blessed Jacob, and then Esau his brother, by faith, for he believed the words he spoke that were given to him by God, and refused to take them back, even though he might have wanted to.

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