Message # 723
Clothes That Make the Person: Jacob and Esau
And [Jacob] came near and kissed [his father Isaac]; and [Isaac] smelled the smell of [Esau’s] clothing, and blessed
[Jacob] and said: “Surely, the smell of my son [Esau] is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed.”
Families can be complicated. Even more so in the ancient world: multiple children from multiple wives, extended families covering
several generations living together. The family of Isaac is a good example: Esau was his father’s favorite; Esau’s
younger twin brother, Jacob, was his mother’s favorite. As the older twin, Esau was due to receive his father’s
blessing, but Rebekah, the twins’ mother, wanted the blessing for Jacob.
Esau was a man of the world—an outdoorsman, a hunter, in whom Isaac took pride. Jacob was a deceiver, his mother’s
true son. In order to trick his blind father into giving him Esau’s blessing, Jacob dressed in his brother’s clothes
so his father would smell the aroma of Esau and give him the blessing.
Dressing up to be someone we’re not is not the way to God’s blessing. Be true to who you are, who God has called
you to be. Wear your own clothes, not those of another.
No wickedness on earth is more common than the various forms of deceit.
William S. Plumer