The Stolen Blessing
1When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could not see,#Gn 48:10; 1Sm 3:2 he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.”
And he answered, “Here I am.”
2He said, “Look, I am old and do not know the day of my death. 3So now take your hunting gear, your quiver and bow, and go out in the field to hunt some game for me.#Gn 25:27–28 4Then make me a delicious meal that I love and bring it to me to eat, so that I can bless you before I die.”#Gn 27:19,25,31; 48:9,15–16; Dt 33:1; Heb 11:20
5Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac said to his son Esau. So while Esau went to the field to hunt some game to bring in, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Listen! I heard your father talking with your brother Esau. He said, 7‘Bring me game and make a delicious meal for me to eat so that I can bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ 8Now, my son, listen to me and do what I tell you. 9Go to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, and I will make them into a delicious meal for your father — the kind he loves. 10Then take it to your father to eat so that he may bless you before he dies.”
11Jacob answered Rebekah his mother, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am a man with smooth skin.#Gn 25:25 12Suppose my father touches me. Then I will be revealed to him as a deceiver and bring a curse rather than a blessing on myself.”
13His mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son. Just obey me and go get them for me.”
14So he went and got the goats and brought them to his mother, and his mother made the delicious food his father loved. 15Then Rebekah took the best clothes of her older son Esau, which were in the house, and had her younger son Jacob wear them. 16She put the skins of the young goats on his hands and the smooth part of his neck. 17Then she handed the delicious food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.
18When he came to his father, he said, “My father.”
And he answered, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
19Jacob replied to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may bless me.”
20But Isaac said to his son, “How did you ever find it so quickly, my son?”
He replied, “Because the Lord your God made it happen for me.”
21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can touch you, my son. Are you really my son Esau or not?”
22So Jacob came closer to his father Isaac. When he touched him, he said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. 24Again he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”
And he replied, “I am.”
25Then he said, “Bring it closer to me, and let me eat some of my son’s game so that I can bless you.” Jacob brought it closer to him, and he ate; he brought him wine, and he drank.
26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come closer and kiss me, my son.” 27So he came closer and kissed him. When Isaac smelled#27:27 Lit smelled the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said:
Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
28May God give to you —
from the dew of the sky#Gn 27:39; Dt 32:2; 33:13,28; 2Sm 1:21; Pr 3:20; Is 18:4; Hs 14:5; Hg 1:10; Zch 8:12
and from the richness of the land#Nm 18:12 —
an abundance of grain and new wine.#Dt 7:13; Jl 2:19
29May peoples serve you#Gn 25:23; Is 45:14; 49:7,23; 60:12–14
and nations bow in homage to you.
Be master over your relatives;
may your mother’s sons bow in homage to you.
Those who curse you will be cursed,
and those who bless you will be blessed.#Gn 12:3; Nm 24:9
30As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob and Jacob had left the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau arrived from his hunting. 31He had also made some delicious food and brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat some of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.”
32But his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”
He answered, “I am Esau your firstborn son.”
33Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably. “Who was it then,” he said, “who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it all before you came in, and I blessed him. Indeed, he will be blessed!”
34When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” #Heb 12:17
35But he replied, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36So he said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?#27:36 = He Grasps the Heel#Gn 25:26,32–34 For he has cheated me twice now. He took my birthright, and look, now he has taken my blessing.” Then he asked, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”
37But Isaac answered Esau, “Look, I have made him a master over you, have given him all of his relatives as his servants, and have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then can I do for you, my son?”
38Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.#27:38 Lit Esau lifted up his voice and wept
39His father Isaac answered him,
Look, your dwelling place will be
away from the richness of the land,
away from the dew of the sky above.
40You will live by your sword,
and you will serve your brother.
But when you rebel,#27:40 Hb obscure
you will break his yoke from your neck.
41Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau determined in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42When the words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she summoned her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. 43So now, my son, listen to me. Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44and stay with him for a few days until your brother’s anger subsides — 45until your brother’s rage turns away from you and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I lose you both in one day?”
46So Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick of my life because of these Hethite girls.#Gn 26:34–35; 28:8 If Jacob marries someone from around here,#27:46 Lit someone like these daughters of the land like these Hethite girls, what good is my life?” #Gn 24:3
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Isaac Blesses Jacob
1Isaac was now old and had become blind. He sent for his elder son Esau and said to him, “My son!”
“Yes,” he answered.
2Isaac said, “You see that I am old and may die soon. 3Take your bow and arrows, go out into the country, and kill an animal for me. 4Cook me some of that tasty food that I like, and bring it to me. After I have eaten it, I will give you my final blessing before I die.”
5While Isaac was talking to Esau, Rebecca was listening. So when Esau went out to hunt, 6she said to Jacob, “I have just heard your father say to Esau, 7‘Bring me an animal and cook it for me. After I have eaten it, I will give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.’ 8Now, my son,” Rebecca continued, “listen to me and do what I say. 9Go to the flock and pick out two fat young goats, so that I can cook them and make some of that food your father likes so much. 10You can take it to him to eat, and he will give you his blessing before he dies.”
11But Jacob said to his mother, “You know that Esau is a hairy man, but I have smooth skin. 12Perhaps my father will touch me and find out that I am deceiving him; in this way I will bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.”
13His mother answered, “Let any curse against you fall on me, my son; just do as I say, and go and get the goats for me.” 14So he went to get them and brought them to her, and she cooked the kind of food that his father liked. 15Then she took Esau's best clothes, which she kept in the house, and put them on Jacob. 16She put the skins of the goats on his arms and on the hairless part of his neck. 17She handed him the tasty food, together with the bread she had baked.
18Then Jacob went to his father and said, “Father!”
“Yes,” he answered. “Which of my sons are you?”
19Jacob answered, “I am your elder son Esau; I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of the meat that I have brought you, so that you can give me your blessing.”
20Isaac said, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”
Jacob answered, “The LORD your God helped me to find it.”
21Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so that I can touch you. Are you really Esau?” 22Jacob moved closer to his father, who felt him and said, “Your voice sounds like Jacob's voice, but your arms feel like Esau's arms.” 23He did not recognize Jacob, because his arms were hairy like Esau's. He was about to give him his blessing, 24but asked again, “Are you really Esau?”
“I am,” he answered.
25Isaac said, “Bring me some of the meat. After I have eaten it, I will give you my blessing.” Jacob brought it to him, and he also brought him some wine to drink. 26Then his father said to him, “Come closer and kiss me, my son.” 27#Heb 11.20As he came up to kiss him, Isaac smelt his clothes — so he gave him his blessing. He said, “The pleasant smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed. 28May God give you dew from heaven and make your fields fertile! May he give you plenty of corn and wine! 29#Gen 12.3May nations be your servants, and may peoples bow down before you. May you rule over all your relatives, and may your mother's descendants bow down before you. May those who curse you be cursed, and may those who bless you be blessed.”
Esau Begs for Isaac's Blessing
30Isaac finished giving his blessing, and as soon as Jacob left, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31He also cooked some tasty food and took it to his father. He said, “Please, father, sit up and eat some of the meat that I have brought you, so that you can give me your blessing.”
32“Who are you?” Isaac asked.
“Your elder son Esau,” he answered.
33Isaac began to tremble and shake all over, and he asked, “Who was it, then, who killed an animal and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came. I gave him my final blessing, and so it is his for ever.”
34When Esau heard this, he cried out loudly and bitterly and said, “Give me your blessing also, father!”
35Isaac answered, “Your brother came and deceived me. He has taken away your blessing.”
36 # Gen 25.29–34 Esau said, “This is the second time that he has cheated me. No wonder his name is Jacob.#27.36 Jacob: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “cheat”. He took my rights as the firstborn son, and now he has taken away my blessing. Haven't you saved a blessing for me?”
37Isaac answered, “I have already made him master over you, and I have made all his relatives his slaves. I have given him corn and wine. Now there is nothing that I can do for you, my son!”
38 # Heb 12.17 Esau continued to plead with his father: “Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me too, father!” He began to cry.
39 # Heb 11.20 Then Isaac said to him,
“No dew from heaven for you,
No fertile fields for you.
40 # Gen 36.8; 2 Kgs 8.20 You will live by your sword,
But be your brother's slave.
Yet when you rebel,#27.40 rebel; or grow restless.
You will break away from his control.”
41Esau hated Jacob, because his father had given Jacob the blessing. He thought, “The time to mourn my father's death is near; then I will kill Jacob.”
42But when Rebecca heard about Esau's plan, she sent for Jacob and said, “Listen, your brother Esau is planning to get even with you and kill you. 43Now, my son, do what I say. Go at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44and stay with him for a while, until your brother's anger cools down 45and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send someone to bring you back. Why should I lose both my sons on the same day?”
Isaac Sends Jacob to Laban
46Rebecca said to Isaac, “I am sick and tired of Esau's foreign wives. If Jacob also marries one of these Hittite women, I might as well die.”
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.