Jacob acquires his father’s blessing
1When Isaac had grown old and his eyesight was failing, he summoned his older son Esau and said to him, “My son?”
And Esau said, “I’m here.”
2He said, “I’m old and don’t know when I will die. 3So now, take your hunting gear, your bow and quiver of arrows, go out to the field, and hunt game for me. 4Make me the delicious food that I love and bring it to me so I can eat. Then I can bless you before I die.”
5Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau went out to the field to hunt game to bring back, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I just heard your father saying to your brother Esau, 7‘Bring me some game and make me some delicious food so I can eat, and I will bless you in the LORD’s presence before I die.’ 8Now, my son, listen to me, to what I’m telling you to do. 9Go to the flock and get me two healthy young goats so I can prepare them as the delicious food your father loves. 10You can bring it to your father, he will eat, and then he will bless you before he dies.”
11Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “My brother Esau is a hairy man, but I have smooth skin. 12What if my father touches me and thinks I’m making fun of him? I will be cursed instead of blessed.”
13His mother said to him, “Your curse will be on me, my son. Just listen to me: go and get them for me.” 14So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made the delicious food that his father loved. 15Rebekah took her older son Esau’s favorite clothes that were in the house with her, and she put them on her younger son Jacob. 16On his arms and smooth neck she put the hide of young goats, 17and the delicious food and the bread she had made she put into her son’s hands.
18Jacob went to his father and said, “My father.”
And he said, “I’m here. Who are you, my son?”
19Jacob said to his father, “I’m Esau your oldest son. I’ve made what you asked me to. Sit up and eat some of the game so you can bless me.”
20Isaac said to his son, “How could you find this so quickly, my son?”
He said, “The LORD your God led me right to it.”#27.20 Or made something good happen for me
21Isaac said to Jacob, “Come here and let me touch you, my son. Are you my son Esau or not?” 22So Jacob approached his father Isaac, and Isaac touched him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the arms are Esau’s arms.” 23Isaac didn’t recognize him because his arms were hairy like Esau’s arms, so he blessed him.
24Isaac said, “Are you really my son Esau?”
And he said, “I am.”
25Isaac said, “Bring some food here and let me eat some of my son’s game so I can bless you.” Jacob put it before him and he ate, and he brought him wine and he drank. 26His father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27So he came close and kissed him. When Isaac smelled the scent of his clothes, he blessed him,
“See, the scent of my son
is like the scent of the field
that the LORD has blessed.
28May God give you
showers from the sky,
olive oil from the earth,
plenty of grain and new wine.
29May the nations serve you,
may peoples bow down to you.
Be the most powerful man among your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Those who curse you will be cursed,
and those who bless you will be blessed.”
Esau receives a secondary blessing
30After Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and just as Jacob left his father Isaac, his brother Esau came back from his hunt. 31He too made some delicious food, brought it to his father, and said, “Let my father sit up and eat from his son’s game so that you may bless me.”
32His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”
And he said, “I’m your son, your oldest son, Esau.”
33Isaac was so shocked that he trembled violently. He said, “Who was the hunter just here with game? He brought me food, and I ate all of it before you came. I blessed him, and he will stay blessed!”
34When Esau heard what his father said, he let out a loud agonizing cry and wept bitterly. He said to his father, “Bless me! Me too, my father!”
35Isaac said, “Your brother has already come deceitfully and has taken your blessing.”
36Esau said, “Isn’t this why he’s called Jacob? He’s taken me#27.36 Heb ya’acob, a wordplay on Jacob twice now: he took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing.” He continued, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”
37Isaac replied to Esau, “I’ve already made him more powerful than you, and I’ve made all of his brothers his servants. I’ve made him strong with grain and wine. What can I do for you, my son?”
38Esau said to his father, “Do you really have only one blessing, Father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.
39His father Isaac responded and said to him,
“Now, you will make a home
far away from the olive groves of the earth,
far away from the showers of the sky above.
40You will live by your sword;
you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless,#27.40 Heb uncertain
you will tear away his harness
from your neck.”
Jacob sent away for protection
41Esau was furious at Jacob because his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, When the period of mourning for the death of my father is over, I will kill my brother.
42Rebekah was told what her older son Esau was planning, so she summoned her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Esau your brother is planning revenge. He plans to kill you. 43So now, my son, listen to me: Get up and escape to my brother Laban in Haran. 44Live with him for a short while until your brother’s rage subsides, 45until your brother’s anger at you goes away and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I suffer the loss of both of you on one day?”
46Rebekah then said to Isaac, “I really loathe these Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women, like the women of this land, why should I go on living?”
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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.