1Forsooth Isaac waxed eld [or old], and his eyes dimmed, and he might not see. And he called Esau, his more or older son, and said to him, My son! Which answered, I am present.
2To whom the father said, Thou seest that I have waxed eld, and I know not the day of my death#27:2 Isaac would still be alive more than 20 years after this event(!)..
3Take thine arms, an arrow case, and a bow, and go out; and when thou hast taken anything by hunting,
4make me a stew thereof, as thou knowest that I will or desire, and bring it to me that I eat, that my soul bless thee before that I die.
5And when Rebecca had heard this thing, and he had gone forth into the field that he fulfill the behest of his father,
6she said to her son Jacob, I heard thy father speaking with Esau, thy brother, and saying to him,
7Bring thou to me of thine hunting, and make thou meats, that I eat, and that I bless thee before the Lord before that I die.
8Now therefore, my son, assent to my counsels,
9and go to the flock, and bring to me twain [or two] of the best kids, that I make meats of those to thy father, which he shall eat gladly;
10and that when thou hast brought in those meats, and he hath eaten, he bless thee before that he die.
11To whom Jacob answered, Thou knowest that Esau my brother is an hairy man, and I am smooth;
12if my father shall touch or draw me to him, and feel me, I dread lest he guess that I would scorn him, and he bring in cursing on me for blessing.
13To whom his mother said, My son, this cursing be in me; only hear thou my voice, and go, and bring that that I said.
14He went, and brought it, and gave it to his mother. She made ready meats, as she knew that his father would have,
15and she clothed Jacob in [the] full good clothes of Esau, which she had at home with herself.
16And she wrapped his hands about with little skins of goat kids, and covered the nakedness of his neck;
17and she gave to him the stew, and betook him [the] loaves, which she had baked.
18And when these were brought in, he said, My father! And he answered, I am here; who art thou, my son?
19And Jacob said, I am Esau, thy first begotten son. I have done to thee as thou commandedest to me; rise thou up, and sit, and eat of my venison, that thy soul bless me.
20Again Isaac said to his son, My son, how mightest thou find this venison so soon? Which answered, It was God’s will, that this thing that I would, should come soon to me.
21And Isaac said, My son, come thou hither, that I touch thee, and that I prove whether thou be my son Esau, or nay.
22Jacob nighed to his father; and when Isaac had feeled him, he said, Soothly the voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands be the hands of Esau.
23And Isaac knew not Jacob, for the hairy hands showed the likeness of the elder son. Therefore Isaac blessed Jacob,
24and said again, Art thou my son Esau? Jacob answered, I am.
25And Isaac said, My son, bring thou to me meats of thine hunting, that my soul bless thee. And when Isaac had eaten these meats brought, Jacob brought also wine to Isaac, and when this was drunken,
26Isaac said to him, My son, come thou hither, and give to me a kiss.
27Jacob nighed, and kissed him; and anon as Isaac feeled the odour of his clothes, he blessed him, and said, Lo! the odour of my son as the odour of a plenteous field which the Lord hath blessed.
28God give to thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of [the] earth, abundance [or plenty] of wheat, and of wine, and of oil;
29and peoples serve thee, and lineages worship thee; be thou lord of thy brethren, and the sons of thy mother be bowed before thee; be he cursed that curseth thee, and he that blesseth thee, be he [full-]filled with blessings.
30Scarcely Isaac had filled the word, and when Jacob was gone out, Esau came,
31and brought in meats sodden of the hunting to the father, and said, My father, rise thou, and eat of the hunting of thy son, that thy soul bless me.
32And Isaac said, Who art thou? Which answered, I am Esau, thy first begotten son.
33Isaac dreaded with a great aston-ishing; and he wondered more than it may be believed, and said, Who therefore is he which a while ago brought to me venison taken, and I ate of all things before that thou camest; and I blessed him? and he shall be blessed.
34When the words of the father were heard, Esau roared with a great cry, and was astonied, and said, My father, bless thou also me.
35Which said, Thy brother came prudently [or beguilingly], and took thy blessing.
36And Esau added, Justly his name is called Jacob, for lo! he [hath] supplanted me another time; before he took away my first begotten things, and now the second time, he [hath] ravished privily my blessing. And again he said to the father, Whether thou hast not reserved a blessing also to me?
37Isaac answered, I have made him thy lord, and I have made subject all his brethren to his servage; I have stablished him in wheat, and wine, and oil; and so, my son, what shall I do to thee after these things?
38To whom Esau said, Father, whether thou hast only one blessing? I beseech thee, that also thou bless me. And when Esau wept with great yelling,
39Isaac was stirred, and said to him, Thy blessing shall not be in the fatness of [the] earth, and in the dew of heaven from above;
40thou shalt live by sword, and thou shalt serve thy brother, and time shall come when thou shalt shake away, and unbind his yoke from [off] thy nolls.
41Therefore Esau hated evermore Jacob for the blessing by which the father had blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning of my father shall come, and I shall slay Jacob, my brother.
42These things were told to Rebecca, and she sent, and called her son Jacob, and said to him, Lo! Esau, thy brother, menaceth [or threateneth] to slay thee;
43now therefore, my son, hear thou my voice, and rise thou up, and flee to Laban, my brother, into Haran;
44and thou shalt dwell with him a few days, till the strong vengeance of thy brother rest, and his indignation cease,
45and till he forget those things which thou hast done against him. Afterward I shall send, and I shall bring thee from thence hither. Why shall I be made sonless of ever either son in one day?
46And Rebecca said to Isaac, It annoyeth or vexeth me of my life for the daughters of Heth; if Jacob take a wife of the kindred of this land, I will not live.
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Jacob’s Deception.#The chapter, a literary masterpiece, is the third and climactic wresting away of the blessing of Esau. Rebekah manages the entire affair, using perhaps her privileged information about Jacob’s status (25:23); Jacob’s only qualm is that if his father discovers the ruse, he will receive a curse instead of a blessing (vv. 11–12). Isaac is passive as he was in chaps. 22 and 24. The deception is effected through clothing (Jacob wears Esau’s clothing), which points ahead to a similar deception of a patriarch by means of clothing in the Joseph story (37:21–33). Such recurrent acts and scenes let the reader know a divine purpose is moving the story forward even though the human characters are unaware of it. 1When Isaac was so old that his eyesight had failed him, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son!” “Here I am!” he replied. 2Isaac then said, “Now I have grown old. I do not know when I might die. 3So now take your hunting gear—your quiver and bow—and go out into the open country to hunt some game for me. 4Then prepare for me a dish in the way I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you#I may bless you: Isaac’s blessing confers fertility (vv. 27–28) and dominion (v. 29). The “dew of heaven” is rain that produces grain and wine, two of the principal foodstuffs of the ancient Near East. The “fertility of the earth” may allude to oil, the third basic foodstuff. The full agricultural year may be implied here: the fall rains are followed by the grain harvests of the spring and the grape harvest of late summer, and then the olive harvest of the fall (cf. Dt 11:14; Ps 104:13–15). before I die.”
5Rebekah had been listening while Isaac was speaking to his son Esau. So when Esau went out into the open country to hunt some game for his father,#Gn 25:28. 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Listen! I heard your father tell your brother Esau, 7‘Bring me some game and prepare a dish for me to eat, that I may bless you with the Lord’s approval before I die.’ 8Now, my son, obey me in what I am about to order you. 9Go to the flock and get me two choice young goats so that with these I might prepare a dish for your father in the way he likes. 10Then bring it to your father to eat, that he may bless you before he dies.” 11But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man and I am smooth-skinned!#Gn 25:25. 12Suppose my father feels me? He will think I am making fun of him, and I will bring on myself a curse instead of a blessing.” 13His mother, however, replied: “Let any curse against you, my son, fall on me! Just obey me. Go and get me the young goats.”
14So Jacob went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared a dish in the way his father liked. 15Rebekah then took the best clothes of her older son Esau that she had in the house, and gave them to her younger son Jacob to wear; 16and with the goatskins she covered up his hands and the hairless part of his neck. 17Then she gave her son Jacob the dish and the bread she had prepared.
18Going to his father, Jacob said, “Father!” “Yes?” replied Isaac. “Which of my sons are you?” 19Jacob answered his father: “I am Esau, your firstborn. I did 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 get it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “The Lord, your God, directed me.” 21Isaac then said to Jacob, “Come closer, my son, that I may feel you, to learn whether you really are my son Esau or not.” 22So Jacob moved up closer to his father. When Isaac felt him, he said, “Although the voice is Jacob’s, the hands are Esau’s.” 23(He failed to identify him because his hands were hairy, like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him.) 24Again Isaac said, “Are you really my son Esau?” And Jacob said, “I am.” 25Then Isaac said, “Serve me, my son, and let me eat of the game so that I may bless you.” Jacob served it to him, and Isaac ate; he brought him wine, and he drank. 26Finally his father Isaac said to him, “Come closer, my son, and kiss me.” 27As Jacob went up to kiss him, Isaac smelled the fragrance of his clothes. With that, he blessed him, saying,
“Ah, the fragrance of my son
is like the fragrance of a field
that the Lord has blessed!#Gn 22:17–18; Heb 11:20.
28May God give to you
of the dew of the heavens
And of the fertility of the earth
abundance of grain and wine.
29#Gn 25:23; 49:8; Nm 24:9. May peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you;
Be master of your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be those who curse you,
and blessed be those who bless you.”
30Jacob had scarcely left his father after Isaac had finished blessing him, when his brother Esau came back from his hunt. 31Then he too prepared a dish, and bringing it to his father, he said, “Let my father sit up and eat some of his son’s game, that you may then give me your blessing.” 32His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” He said, “I am your son, your firstborn son, Esau.” 33Isaac trembled greatly. “Who was it, then,” he asked, “that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it all just before you came, and I blessed him. Now he is blessed!” 34As he heard his father’s words, Esau burst into loud, bitter sobbing and said, “Father, bless me too!” 35When Isaac said, “Your brother came here by a ruse and carried off your blessing,” 36Esau exclaimed, “He is well named Jacob, is he not! He has supplanted me#He has supplanted me: in Hebrew, wayyaqebeni, a wordplay on the name Jacob, ya‘aqob; see Jer 9:3 and Gn 25:26. There is also a play between the Hebrew words bekorah (“right of the firstborn”) and berakah (“blessing”). twice! First he took away my right as firstborn, and now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not saved a blessing for me?”#Gn 25:26, 29–34; Hos 12:4. 37Isaac replied to Esau: “I have already appointed him your master, and I have assigned to him all his kindred as his servants; besides, I have sustained him with grain and wine. What then can I do for you, my son?” 38But Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me too, father!” and Esau wept aloud.#Heb 12:17. 39His father Isaac said in response:
“See, far from the fertile earth
will be your dwelling;
far from the dew of the heavens above!#Heb 11:20.
40By your sword you will live,
and your brother you will serve;
But when you become restless,
you will throw off his yoke from your neck.”#2 Kgs 8:20, 22; 2 Chr 21:8.
41Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. Esau said to himself, “Let the time of mourning for my father come, so that I may kill my brother Jacob.”#Wis 10:10; Ob 10. 42When Rebekah got news of what her older son Esau had in mind, she summoned her younger son Jacob and said to him: “Listen! Your brother Esau intends to get his revenge by killing you. 43So now, my son, obey me: flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44and stay with him a while until your brother’s fury subsides— 45until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back. Why should I lose both of you in a single day?”
Jacob Sent to Laban. 46Rebekah said to Isaac: “I am disgusted with life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob also should marry a Hittite woman, a native of the land, like these women, why should I live?”#Gn 26:34–35.
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