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 became old. He could not see anything because his eyes were weak. He called for his older son, Esau. Isaac said, ‘My son.’ Esau replied, ‘Yes, I am here.’ 2Isaac said, ‘I am an old man. I may die very soon. 3Get your bow and your arrows. #27:3 People use bows to shoot arrows. An arrow is like a stick with a sharp point at the end. Go out into the country and kill some wild animals for me. 4Then prepare the food that I like to eat. Bring it to me so that I can eat it. Then I will give you my blessing before I die.’ #27:4 At that time a father gave his blessing to the oldest son. This son had the birthright. Isaac did not know that Esau had sold his birthright. See Genesis 25:31-34.
5Rebekah listened to what Isaac said to Esau. She waited until Esau went out to the country to kill an animal and bring back the meat. 6Then she said to Jacob, ‘I heard your father say this to Esau: 7“Bring me some meat and prepare the food that I like to eat. When I have eaten it, I will give you my blessing. I will bless you in front of the Lord before I die.” 8Now my son, listen carefully and do as I tell you. 9Go out to the animals and bring two goats to me. They must be very good young goats. Then I will prepare some food that your father likes to eat. I will cook the meat in the way that he likes. 10Then take the food to your father. When he has eaten it, he will give you his blessing before he dies.’
11Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, ‘That will be difficult. Hair covers my brother's skin. But my skin does not have any hair. 12My father may touch me. Then he will know that I am deceiving him. He will not bless me. He will curse me instead.’ 13Jacob's mother said, ‘My son, the curse will happen to me, not you. Do what I say. Go and get the things that I told you.’
14Jacob went and he got the goats. He brought them to his mother. She prepared some food in the way that Isaac liked to eat. 15Then Rebekah took some of Esau's best clothes that were in her house. She put them on Jacob, her younger son. 16She covered Jacob's hands with the skin from the goats. She also covered the part of his neck that had no hair. 17Then she gave to Jacob the food that Isaac liked to eat. And she gave him some bread that she had made.
18Jacob went to his father. He said, ‘My father.’ Isaac replied ‘Yes, my son. Who are you, Esau or Jacob?’ 19Jacob said, ‘I am Esau. I am your firstborn son. I have done as you told me. Please sit up. Eat some of the meat from the wild animal that I killed. Then you can bless me.’ 20Isaac asked his son, ‘My son, how did you find it so quickly?’ Jacob replied, ‘The Lord your God helped me find it.’ #27:20 Jacob said ‘the Lord your God’. Jacob did not call God his own God.
21Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come near to me so that I can touch you, my son. Then I will know if you really are my son Esau.’
22Jacob went near to his father. Isaac touched him and he said, ‘The voice is Jacob's voice. But the hands are Esau's hands.’ 23Isaac did not know that it was Jacob because he could feel the hair on Jacob's hands. They felt like Esau's hands. So Isaac blessed Jacob.
24Isaac asked again, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ Jacob replied, ‘I am.’ 25Isaac said, ‘My son, bring me some of your meat. I will eat it. Then I will bless you.’ So Jacob brought the food to him and Isaac ate it. Jacob also brought some wine and Isaac drank it.
26Then Isaac said, ‘Come here my son and kiss me.’ 27So Jacob went to Isaac and kissed him. Isaac smelled the clothes that Jacob wore. Then Isaac blessed him. He said,
‘The smell of my son is like the smell of a field.
It is like a field that the Lord has blessed.
28May God give you rain for your crops,
so that they grow well in the good ground. #27:28 Crops are plants. They can be any plants that people or animals eat.
Then you will have plenty of grain for food.
And you will have grapes to make wine.
29May the people of many nations serve you.
May they respect you as their master.
You will rule over your brothers.
Yes, your mother's sons will bend down to respect you.
May God curse anyone who curses you.
And may he bless anyone who blesses you.’ #27:29 This is what God told Rebekah. See Genesis 25:23.
30When Isaac had blessed Jacob, Jacob left him. Just then, Esau came back from the country where he had killed an animal. 31He prepared nice food that Isaac liked to eat. Then he took the food to his father, Isaac. Esau said, ‘My father, please sit up. Eat some of the meat from the wild animal that I have killed. Then you can bless me.’
32His father Isaac asked, ‘Who are you?’ Esau replied, ‘I am your firstborn son, Esau.’ 33Isaac's body shook very much. He asked, ‘Who was it who killed an animal and brought the meat to me? Just before you came, I ate all of it. And then I blessed him. And God will certainly bless him!’ #27:33 Isaac's body shook. He now realizes what Jacob has done. He knows that he cannot remove his blessing from Jacob. The son that he loves cannot receive the blessing. Isaac knows that God will bless Jacob and not Esau.
34Esau heard what his father had said and he cried aloud. He was very upset. He said, ‘My father, please bless me too!’ 35But Isaac said, ‘Your brother came to me. He deceived me and he took your blessing away from you.’ 36Esau said, ‘Yes, “Jacob” is the right name for him. He has cheated me twice. First he took my birthright. Now he has taken my blessing as well!’ Then Esau asked his father, ‘You must still have some blessing left for me, don't you?’ #27:36 Jacob means ‘He deceives’. This is what ‘deceives’ means. Jacob says things that are not true. And he does things that are not right.
37Isaac replied, ‘I have made Jacob master over you. All his relatives will become his servants. I have given him crops and wine. So what can I still do to bless you, my son?’ #27:37 Isaac was saying that there is now no blessing for Esau.
38Esau said, ‘My father, you surely have one blessing left for me. Please bless me too!’ Then Esau wept loudly.
‘You will not live in a place where the ground gives good food.
You will not have rain to make your crops grow.
40You will have to fight to get the things that you need.
You will serve your brother as your master.
But when you choose to turn against him,
you will become free from his power over you.’ #27:40 This was the only blessing that Isaac could give Esau. He could not take back the blessing that he gave to Jacob.
41Because Isaac had blessed Jacob, Esau hated his younger brother Jacob. Esau said quietly, ‘My father will die soon. When we have buried his body, I will kill my brother.’ 42Someone told Rebekah what her older son, Esau, had said. So she told her younger son, Jacob, to come to her. She said to him, ‘Your brother Esau wants to kill you, because of what you did to him. 43Now my son, do what I tell you. Quickly go away from here. Go to my brother Laban who lives in Haran. 44Live with him for a time. Stay there until your brother is not angry with you any longer. 45He may forget what you did to him. Then I will send a message to you, so that you can come back from Haran. I do not want to lose both of my sons in one day.’ #27:45 Rebekah thought that Esau and Jacob would kill each other. Or she thought that, if Esau killed Jacob, other people would have to kill Esau.
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, ‘I do not like living in the same place as Esau's wives. It makes me very upset, because they are Hittites. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women who live in this land, I will be very sad. I would rather die!’ #27:46 Rebekah wanted Isaac to send Jacob away to find a wife. He would send Jacob to go to his relatives. Rebekah wanted that to happen so that Esau would not be able to kill Jacob. Jacob stayed in Haran for 20 years. Rebekah did not see Jacob again.
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