Guest Post by Dane Ortlund
Rebekah to her son Jacob, Genesis 27:8-9, 15:
“Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves.” . . . Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.
Concerning Jacob’s sons, Genesis 37:29-32:
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not.”
Derek Kidner insightfully comments on Genesis 37:
It is a masterly touch of narrative to leave Reuben’s agitation answered only by the grim activity over Joseph’s cloak. And there was irony in the choice of a goat (cf. 27:9) for the deception. (Genesis, 183)
Jacob, having deceived his father Isaac with a slaughtered goat and the garments of his father’s favorite son, Esau, is himself deceived by his own sons with a slaughtered goat and the garments of his own favorite son, Joseph.
See also Tim Keller’s eye-opening sermon series on Jacob from 2001.
(By the way: for insight and brevity, it’s hard to beat Kidner on the OT and Charles Cranfield on the NT. It’s said that Cranfield, who contributed the Romans volume in the ICC in the 70’s [here, here], would agonize over a single sentence for several days, getting it just right, before moving on. Those who have consulted this magnificent piece of work find that easy to believe.)