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1 Whether Jacob or his mother Rebeka were most blameable in this imposition upon Isaac in his old age, I cannot determine. However the blessing being delivered as a prediction of future events, by a Divine impulse, and foretelling things to befall to the posterity of Jacob and Esau in future ages, was for certain providential; and according to what Rebeka knew to be the purpose of God, when he answered her inquiry, "before the children were born," Genesis 25:23, "that one people should be stronger than the other people; and the elder, Esau, should serve the younger, Jacob." Whether Isaac knew or remembered this old oracle, delivered in our copies only to Rebeka; or whether, if he knew and remembered it, he did not endeavor to alter the Divine determination, out of his fondness for his elder and worser son Esau, to the damage of his younger and better son Jacob, as Josephus elsewhere supposes, Antiq. B. II. ch. 7. sect. 3; I cannot certainly say. if so, this might tempt Rebeka to contrive, and Jacob to put this imposition upon him. However, Josephus says here, that it was Isaac, and not Rebeka, who inquired of God at first, and received the forementioned oracle, sect. 1; which, if it be the true reading, renders Isaac's procedure more inexcusable. Nor was it probably any thing else that so much encouraged Esau formerly to marry two Canaanitish wives, without his parents' consent, as Isaac's unhappy fondness for him.
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