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Genesis 27

27
Jacob’s Deception
1Now when Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, he called his elder [and favorite] son Esau and said to him, “My son.” And Esau answered him, “Here I am.” 2Isaac said, “See here, I am old; #Isaac lived another forty-three years after this blessing was given to Jacob (35:27-29).I do not know #Lit the day of my death.when I may die. 3So now, please take your [hunting] gear, your quiver [of arrows] and your bow, and go out into the open country and hunt game for me; 4and make me a savory and delicious dish [of meat], the kind I love, and bring it to me to eat, so that my soul may bless you [as my firstborn son] before I die.”
5But Rebekah overheard what Isaac said to Esau his son; and when Esau had gone to the open country to hunt for game that he might bring back, 6Rebekah said to Jacob her [younger and favorite] son, “Listen carefully: I heard your father saying to Esau your brother, 7‘Bring me some game and make me a savory and delicious dish [of meat], so that I may eat it, and declare my blessing on you #The patriarch’s formal blessing, offered before the Lord, was equivalent to an inalterable command and prophecy, whose outcome was assured. For that reason it had great importance and tangible value, especially for the firstborn son. When Esau sold his birthright (25:33), he did not imagine that, as a consequence, he would actually lose the blessing to which he had originally been entitled as the firstborn.in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ 8So now, my son, listen [carefully] to me [and do exactly] as I command you. 9Go now to the flock and bring me two good and suitable young goats, and I will make them into a savory dish [of meat] for your father, the kind he loves [to eat]. 10Then you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before his death.” 11Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Listen, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth [skinned] man. 12Suppose my father touches me and feels my skin; then I will be seen by him as a cheat (imposter), and I will bring his curse on me and not a blessing.” 13But his mother said to him, “May your curse be on me, my son; only listen and obey me, and go, bring the young goats to me.” 14So Jacob went and got the two young goats, and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared a delicious dish of food [with a delightful aroma], the kind his father loved [to eat]. 15Then Rebekah took her elder son Esau’s best clothes, which were with her in her house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16And she put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17Then she gave her son Jacob the delicious meat and the bread which she had prepared.
18So he went to his father and said, “My father.” And Isaac said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done what you told me to do. Now please, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may bless me.” 20Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found the game so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because the Lord your God caused it to come to me.” 21But Isaac [wondered and] said to Jacob, “Please come close [to me] so that I may touch you, my son, and determine if you are really my son Esau or not.” 22So Jacob approached Isaac, and his father touched him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23He could not recognize him [as Jacob], because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. 24But he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” Jacob answered, “I am.” 25Then Isaac said, “Bring the food to me, and I will eat some of my son’s game, so that I may bless you.” He brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine and he drank. 26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come, my son, and kiss me.” 27So he came and kissed him; and Isaac smelled his clothing and blessed him and said,
“The scent of my son [Esau]
Is like the aroma of a field which the Lord has blessed;
28Now may God give you of the dew of heaven [to water your land],
And of the fatness (fertility) of the earth,
And an abundance of grain and #The Hebrew word refers to wine that is in the first stage of fermentation, still in the vat. Some of the rabbis said that the first stage takes three days, and that wine does not have a strong appeal to the senses until it is 40 days old (according to the Talmud).new wine;
29May peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you;
Be lord and master over your brothers,
And may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed,
And may those who bless you be blessed.”
The Stolen Blessing
30Now as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31Esau also made a delicious dish [of meat] and brought it to his father and said to him, “Let my father get up and eat some of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.” 32Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he replied, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33Then Isaac trembled violently, and he said, “Then who was the one [who was just here] who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I blessed him. Yes, and he [in fact] shall be (shall remain) blessed.” 34When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with a great and extremely bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 35Isaac said, “Your brother came deceitfully and has [fraudulently] taken away your blessing [for himself].” 36Esau replied, “Is he not rightly named #See note 25:26.Jacob (the supplanter)? For he has supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright, and now he has taken away my blessing. Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37But Isaac replied to Esau, “Listen carefully: I have made Jacob your lord and master; I have given him all his brothers and relatives as servants; and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then, can I do for you, my son?” 38Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” Then Esau [no longer able to restrain himself] raised his voice and wept [loudly].
39Then Isaac his father answered and [prophesied and] said to him,
“Your dwelling shall be away from the fertility of the earth
And away from the dew of heaven above;
40But you shall live by your sword,
And serve your brother;
However it shall come to pass when you break loose [from your anger and hatred],
That you will tear his yoke off your neck [and you will be free of him].”
41So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are very near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42When these words of her elder son Esau were repeated to Rebekah, she sent for Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Listen carefully, your brother Esau is comforting himself concerning you by planning to kill you. 43So now, my son, listen and do what I say; go, escape to my brother Laban in Haran! 44Stay with him for a while, until your brother’s anger subsides. 45When your brother’s anger toward you subsides and he forgets what you did to him, then #Rebekah never saw her son Jacob again. He was well over forty and probably fifty-seven years old when he fled from Esau to Haran, and he stayed there at least twenty years.I will send and bring you back from there. Why should I be deprived of you both in a single day?”
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am tired of living because of the daughters of Heth [these insolent wives of Esau]. If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, like these daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
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.