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Genesis 27

27
Jacob Tricks Isaac
1When Isaac was old, his eyesight was poor, so he could not see clearly. One day he called his older son Esau to him and said, “Son.”
Esau answered, “Here I am.”
2Isaac said, “I am old and don’t know when I might die. 3So take your bow and arrows and go hunting in the field for an animal for me to eat. 4When you prepare the tasty food that I love, bring it to me, and I will eat. Then I will bless you before I die.” 5So Esau went out in the field to hunt.
Rebekah was listening as Isaac said this to his son Esau. 6She said to her son Jacob, “Listen, I heard your father saying to your brother Esau, 7‘Kill an animal and prepare some tasty food for me to eat. Then I will bless you in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ 8So obey me, my son, and do what I tell you. 9Go out to our goats and bring me two of the best young ones. I will prepare them just the way your father likes them. 10Then you will take the food to your father, and he will bless you before he dies.”
11But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “My brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am smooth! 12If my father touches me, he will know I am not Esau. Then he will not bless me but will place a curse on me because I tried to trick him.”
13So Rebekah said to him, “If your father puts a curse on you, I will accept the blame. Just do what I said. Go get the goats for me.”
14So Jacob went out and got two goats and brought them to his mother, and she cooked them in the special way Isaac enjoyed. 15She took the best clothes of her older son Esau that were in the house and put them on the younger son Jacob. 16She also took the skins of the goats and put them on Jacob’s hands and neck. 17Then she gave Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
18Jacob went in to his father and said, “Father.”
And his father said, “Yes, my son. Who are you?”
19Jacob said to him, “I am Esau, your first son. I have done what you told me. Now sit up and eat some meat of the animal I hunted for you. Then bless me.”
20But Isaac asked his son, “How did you find and kill the animal so quickly?”
Jacob answered, “Because the Lord your God helped me to find it.”
21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son. Then I will know if you are really my son Esau.”
22So Jacob came near to Isaac his father. Isaac touched him and said, “Your voice sounds like Jacob’s voice, but your hands are hairy like the hands of Esau.” 23Isaac did not know it was Jacob, because his hands were hairy like Esau’s hands, so Isaac blessed him. 24Isaac asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”
Jacob answered, “Yes, I am.”
25Then Isaac said, “Bring me the food, and I will eat it and bless you.” So Jacob gave him the food, and he ate. Jacob gave him wine, and he drank. 26Then Isaac said to him, “My son, come near and kiss me.” 27So Jacob went to his father and kissed him. When Isaac smelled Esau’s clothes, he blessed him and said,
“The smell of my son
is like the smell of the field
that the Lord has blessed.
28May God give you plenty of rain
and good soil
so that you will have plenty of grain and new wine.
29May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
May you be master over your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
May everyone who curses you be cursed,
and may everyone who blesses you be blessed.”
30Isaac finished blessing Jacob. Then, just as Jacob left his father Isaac, Esau came in from hunting. 31He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. He said, “Father, rise and eat the food that your son killed for you and then bless me.”
32Isaac asked, “Who are you?”
He answered, “I am your son—your firstborn son—Esau.”
33Then Isaac trembled greatly and said, “Then who was it that hunted the animals and brought me food before you came? I ate it, and I blessed him, and it is too late now to take back my blessing.”
34When Esau heard the words of his father, he let out a loud and bitter cry. He said to his father, “Bless me—me, too, my father!”
35But Isaac said, “Your brother came and tricked me. He has taken your blessing.”
36Esau said, “Jacob is the right name for him. He has tricked me these two times. He took away my share of everything you own, and now he has taken away my blessing.” Then Esau asked, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”
37Isaac answered, “I gave Jacob the power to be master over you, and all his brothers will be his servants. And I kept him strong with grain and new wine. There is nothing left to give you, my son.”
38But Esau continued, “Do you have only one blessing, Father? Bless me, too, Father!” Then Esau began to cry out loud.
39Isaac said to him,
“You will live far away from the best land,
far from the rain.
40You will live by using your sword,
and you will be a slave to your brother.
But when you struggle,
you will break free from him.”
41After that Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing from Isaac. He thought to himself, “My father will soon die, and I will be sad for him. Then I will kill Jacob.”
42Rebekah heard about Esau’s plan to kill Jacob. So she sent for Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is comforting himself by planning to kill you. 43So, my son, do what I say. My brother Laban is living in Haran. Go to him at once! 44Stay with him for a while, until your brother is not so angry. 45In time, your brother will not be angry, and he will forget what you did to him. Then I will send a servant to bring you back. I don’t want to lose both of my sons on the same day.”
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am tired of Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of these Hittite women here in this land, I want to die.”
27
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.