And Rebekah took the best clothing of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
Read Chapter 27
Ambrose of Milan
Accordingly Jacob received his brother’s clothing, because he excelled the elder in wisdom. Thus the younger brother took the clothing of the elder because he was conspicuous in the merit of his faith. Rebekah presented this clothing as a symbol of the church; she gave to the younger son the clothing of the Old Testament, the prophetic and priestly clothing, the royal Davidic clothing, the clothing of the kings Solomon and Hezekiah and Josiah. She gave it too to the Christian people, who would know how to use the garment they had received, since the Jewish people kept it without using it and did not know its proper adornments. This clothing was lying in shadow, cast off and forgotten; it was tarnished by a dark haze of impiety and could not be unfolded further in their confined hearts. The Christian people put it on, and it shone brightly. They made it bright with the splendor of their faith and the light of their holy works. Isaac recognized the familiar fragrance that attached to his...
The fact that Jacob wears the robe signifies that the Word has been clothed by the flesh, while the skins of the kids wrapped around his arms show that he has received in himself all our sins by stretching his hands and arms on the cross, as Isaiah himself has said: “He has borne our sins and carried our diseases.”
Notice here, I ask you, along with Rebekah’s affection, her great wisdom as well. Since it was mentioned previously that one was hairy and the other smoothskinned, she clad him in Esau’s clothing, the text says, and covered his skin, disguising him all over so as to bring off the deception. And after putting the food and bread into Jacob’s hands she had him take it to his father. Consider here again, I ask you, how it was all due to grace from above. I mean, whereas we contribute our utmost, we enjoy in generous measure as well cooperation from God. You see, in case we show indifference and prove recalcitrant, he wants us also to make an effort so that in this way our contribution may be demonstrated. It is neither the case that everything is due to help from on high (rather we, too, must contribute something), nor on the other hand does he require everything of us, knowing as he does the extraordinary degree of our limitations. On the contrary, out of fidelity to his characteristic lo...