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Genesis 27

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.
27
Jacob Steals Esau’s Blessing
1And it happened that when Isaac was old and his eyesight was weak,#Literally “his eyes were weak from seeing” he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” And he#That is, Esau said to him, “Here I am.” 2And he said, “Look, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3So now, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt food for me. 4Then make for me tasty food like I love, and bring it to me. And I will eat it so that I#Or “my soul” can bless you before I die.
5Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to Esau his son, and when Esau went to the field to hunt wild game to bring back, 6Rebekah said to Jacob her son, “Look, I heard your father speaking to Esau your brother saying, 7‘Bring wild game to me and prepare tasty food so I can eat it and bless you before Yahweh before my death.’ 8So now, my son, listen to my voice, to what I command you. 9Go to the flock and take two good young goats from it for me, and I will prepare them as tasty food for your father, just as he likes. 10Then you must take it to your father and he will eat it so that he may bless you before his death.” 11Then Jacob said to his mother, “Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, but I am a smooth man. 12Perhaps my father will feel me and I will be in his eyes as a mocker, and he will bring upon me a curse and not a blessing.” 13Then his mother said to him, “Your curse be upon me, my son, only listen to my voice—go and get them for me.” 14So he went and took them, and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared tasty food as his father liked. 15Then Rebekah took some of her older son Esau’s best garments that were with her in the house, and she put them on Jacob her younger son. 16And she put the skins of the young goats over his hands and over the smooth part of his neck.17And she put the tasty food and the bread that she had made into the hand of Jacob, her son. 18And he went to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19And Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please get up, sit up and eat from my wild game so that you#Or “your soul” may bless me.” 20Then Isaac said to his son, “How#Literally “what is this?” did you find it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because Yahweh your God caused me to find it.”#Literally “made it to happen before me” 21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please, come near and let me feel you, my son. Are you really#Literally “are you this one?” my son Esau or not?” 22And Jacob drew near to Isaac his father. And he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23And he did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like the hands of Esau his brother. And he blessed him. 24And he said, “Are you really#Literally “are you this one?” my son Esau?” And he said, “I am.” 25Then he said, “Bring it near to me that I may eat from the game of my son, so that I#Or “my soul” may bless you.” And he brought it to him, and he ate. And he brought wine to him, and he drank. 26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” 27And he drew near and kissed him. And he#That is, Isaac smelled the smell of his garments, and he blessed him and said,
“Look, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that Yahweh has blessed!
28May God give you of the dew of heaven
and of the fatness of the earth,
and abundance of grain and new wine.
29Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you;
Be lord of your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
Cursed be those cursing you,
and blessed be those blessing you.”
30And as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, immediately after#Literally “it was only” Jacob had gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came back from his hunting. 31He too prepared tasty food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat from the wild game of his son, that you#Or “your soul” may bless me.” 32And Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33Then Isaac trembled violently.#Literally “trembled a great trembling unto exceeding” Then he said, “Who then was he that hunted wild game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I blessed him? Moreover, he will be blessed!” 34When Esau heard the words of his father he cried out with a great and exceedingly bitter cry of distress. And he said to his father, “Bless me as well, my father!” 35And he said, “Your brother came in deceit and took your blessing.” 36Then he said, “Isn’t that why he is named Jacob?#Literally “that his name is called Jacob?” He has deceived me these two times. He took my birthright and, look, now he has taken my blessing!” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you and I have given him all his brothers as servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. Now what can I do for you, my son?” 38And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me also, my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. 39Then Isaac his father answered and said to him,
“Your home shall be from#Or “away from” the fatness of the land,
and from the dew of heaven above.
40But by your sword you shall live,
and you shall serve your brother.
But it shall be that when free yourself
you shall tear off his yoke from your neck.
41Then Esau held a grudge against Jacob on account of the blessing with which his father had blessed him. And Esau said in his heart,#That is, “to himself” “The days of mourning for my father are coming, then I will kill Jacob my brother.” 42But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. And she sent and called for her younger son Jacob. And she said to him, “Look, Esau your brother is consoling himself concerning you, intending to kill you. 43Now then, my son, listen to my voice; arise and flee to Haran to Laban my brother. 44Stay with him a few days until the wrath of your brother has turned—45until the anger of your brother turns from you and he has forgotten what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I lose the two of you in one day?” 46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women.#Or “daughters of the Hittites” If Jacob takes a wife from Hittite women#Or “daughters of the Hittites” like these, from the native women,#Literally “daughters of the land” what am I living for?”#Literally “What is life to me?”