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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1And when Izhak was olde, and his eyes were dimme (so that he coulde not see) he called Esau his eldest sonne, and sayde vnto him, My sonne. And he answered him, I am here. 2Then he sayd, Beholde, I am nowe olde, and knowe not the day of my death: 3Wherefore nowe, I pray thee take thine instruments, thy quiuer and thy bowe, and get thee to the fielde, that thou mayest take mee some venison. 4Then make mee sauourie meate, such as I loue, and bring it me that I may eat, and that my soule may blesse thee, before I die. 5(Nowe Rebekah heard, when Izhak spake to Esau his sonne) and Esau went into the fielde to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6Then Rebekah spake vnto Iaakob her sonne, saying, Beholde, I haue heard thy father talking with Esau thy brother, saying, 7Bring mee vension, and make mee sauourie meate, that I may eate and blesse thee before the Lord, afore my death. 8Nowe therefore, my sonne, heare my voyce in that which I command thee. 9Get thee nowe to the flocke, and bring me thence two good kids of the goates, that I may make pleasant meate of them for thy father, such as he loueth. 10Then shalt thou bring it to thy father, and he shall eate, to the intent that he may blesse thee before his death. 11But Iaakob sayde to Rebekah his mother, Beholde, Esau my brother is rough, and I am smoothe. 12My father may possibly feele me, and I shall seem to him to be a mocker: so shall I bring a curse vpon me, and not a blessing. 13But his mother sayd vnto him, vpon me be thy curse, my sonne: onely heare my voyce, and go and bring me them. 14So he went and set them, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made pleasant meat, such as his father loued. 15And Rebekah tooke faire clothes of her elder sonne Esau, which were in her house, and clothed Iaakob her yonger sonne: 16And she couered his hands and the smoothe of his necke with the skinnes of the kiddes of the goates. 17Afterward she put the pleasant meate and bread, which she had prepared, in the hand of her sonne Iaakob. 18And when he came to his father, he sayd, My father. Who answered, I am here: who art thou, my sonne? 19And Iaakob sayde to his father, I am Esau thy first borne, I haue done as thou badest me, arise, I pray thee: sit vp and eate of my venison, that thy soule may blesse me. 20Then Izhak said vnto his sonne, Howe hast thou founde it so quickly my sonne? Who sayde, Because the Lord thy God brought it to mine hande. 21Againe sayde Izhak vnto Iaakob, Come neere nowe, that I may feele thee, my sonne, whether thou be that my sonne Esau or not. 22Then Iaakob came neere to Izhak his father, and he felt him and sayd, The voyce is Iaakobs voyce, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23(For he knewe him not, because his hands were rough as his brother Esaus hands: wherefore he blessed him) 24Againe he sayd, Art thou that my sonne Esau? Who answered, Yea. 25Then said he, Bring it me hither, and I will eate of my sonnes venison, that my soule may blesse thee. And he brought it to him, and he ate: also he brought him wine, and he dranke. 26Afterward his father Izhak sayd vnto him, Come neere nowe, and kisse me, my sonne. 27And hee came neere and kissed him. Then he smellled the sauour of his garmentes, and blessed him, and sayde, Behold, the smelll of my sonne is as the smelll of a fielde, which the Lord hath blessed. 28God giue thee therefore of the dewe of heauen, and the fatnesse of the earth, and plentie of wheate and wine. 29Let people bee thy seruantes, and nations bowe vnto thee: be Lord ouer thy brethren, and let thy mothers children honour thee. cursed be he that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee. 30And when Izhak had made an ende of blessing Iaakob, and Iaakob was scarce gone out from the presence of Izhak his father, then came Esau his brother from his hunting, 31And hee also prepared sauourie meate and brought it to his father, and sayd vnto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his sonnes venison, that thy soule may blesse me. 32But his father Izhak sayde vnto him, Who art thou? And he answered, I am thy sonne, euen thy first borne Esau. 33Then Izhak was stricken with a marueilous great feare, and sayde, Who and where is hee that hunted venison, and brought it mee, and I haue eate of all before thou camest? and I haue blessed him, therefore he shalbe blessed. 34When Esau heard the wordes of his father, he cryed out with a great crye and bitter, out of measure, and sayde vnto his father, Blesse me, euen me also, my father. 35Who answered, Thy brother came with subtiltie, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36Then he sayde, Was hee not iustly called Iaakob? for hee hath deceiued mee these two times: he tooke my birthright, and loe, nowe hath he taken my blessing. Also he sayd, Hast thou not reserued a blessing for me? 37Then Izhak answered, and sayd vnto Esau, Beholde, I haue made him thy lorde, and all his brethre haue I made his seruants: also with wheate and wine haue I furnished him, and vnto thee now what shall I doe, my sonne? 38Then Esau sayde vnto his father, Hast thou but one blessing my father? blesse mee, euen me also, my father: and Esau lifted vp his voyce, and wept. 39Then Izhak his father answered, and sayde vnto him, Behold, the fatnesse of the earth shall be thy dwelling place, and thou shalt haue of the dewe of heauen from aboue. 40And by thy sword shalt thou liue, and shalt be thy brothers seruant. But it shall come to passe, when thou shalt get the masterie, that thou shalt breake his yoke from thy necke. 41Therefore Esau hated Iaakob, because of the blessing, wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau thought in his minde, The dayes of mourning for my father will come shortly, then I will slay may brother Iaakob. 42And it was told to Rebekah of the wordes of Esau her elder sonne, and shee sent and called Iaakob her yonger sonne, and sayd vnto him, Beholde, thy brother Esau is comforted against thee, meaning to kill thee: 43Now therefore my sonne, heare my voyce, arise, and flee thou to Haran to my brother Laban, 44And tarie with him a while vntill thy brothers fiercenesse be swaged, 45And till thy brothers wrath turne away from thee, and hee forget the thinges, which thou hast done to him: then will I sende and take thee from thence: why shoulde I bee depriued of you both in one day? 46Also Rebekah said to Izhak, I am weary of my life, for the daughters of Heth. If Iaakob take a wife of the daughters of Heth like these of the daughters of the lande, what auaileth it me to liue?
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