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Genesis 27

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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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Genesis 27
1¶ And it came to pass, that when Isaac became old, and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau, his eldest son, and said unto him, My son, and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
2And he said, Behold now, I am old: I know not the day of my death.
3Now, therefore, take I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow and go out to the field and take me some venison
4and make me savoury food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless thee before I die.
5And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau, his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison and to bring it.
6¶ Then Rebekah spoke unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau, thy brother, saying,
7Bring me venison and make me savoury food that I may eat and bless thee before the Lord before my death.
8Now, therefore, my son, hearken unto my voice according to that which I command thee.
9Go now to the flock and bring me from there two good kids of the goats, and I will make them savoury food for thy father, such as he loves;
10and thou shalt bring it to thy father that he may eat and that he may bless thee before his death.
11And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau, my brother, is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man;
12my father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon myself, and not a blessing.
13And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son; only obey my voice and go bring me them.
14And he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savoury food, such as his father loved.
15And Rebekah took good clothes of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob, her younger son:
16And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands and upon the smooth of his neck,
17and she gave the savoury food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18¶ And he came unto his father and said, My father, and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
19And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau, thy firstborn; I have done according as thou didst command me; arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
20Then Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me.
21And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
22And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
23And he discerned him not because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.
24And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
25And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.
26And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now and kiss me, my son.
27And he came near and kissed him, and he smelled the smell of his clothing and blessed him and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed.
28Therefore let God give thee of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of wheat and new wine.
29Let the peoples serve thee and nations bow down to thee; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee; cursed be every one that curses thee, and blessed be he that blesses thee.
30¶ And it came to pass as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31And he also had made savory food and brought it unto his father and said unto his father, Let my father arise and eat of his son’s venison that thy soul may bless me.
32And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
33Then Isaac trembled very exceedingly and said, Who is he that has taken venison and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest? I have blessed him and he shall be blessed.
34And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
35And he said, Thy brother came with deceit and has taken away thy blessing.
36And he said, Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times; he took away my birthright, and, behold, now he has taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
37And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren I have given to him for slaves, and with wheat and new wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now unto thee, my son?
38And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39Then Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth and of the dew of the heavens from above,
40and by thy sword shalt thou live and shalt serve thy brother; yet there shall be a time when thou shalt have dominion, and thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
41¶ And 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 at hand; then I will slay my brother Jacob.
42And these words of Esau, her elder son, were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as concerning thee, does comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
43Now therefore, my son, hear my voice and arise; flee unto Laban, my brother, to Haran
44and dwell with him a few days until thy brother’s fury turns away,
45until thy brother’s anger turns away from thee, and he forgets that which thou hast done to him; then I will send, and bring thee from there; for why should I be deprived of you both in one day?
46And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these who are of the daughters of this land, why should I want to live?