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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.

Genesis 27

27
Jacob Steals Esau’s Blessing
1One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, “My son.”
“Yes, Father?” Esau replied.
2“I am an old man now,” Isaac said, “and I don’t know when I may die. 3Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die.”
5But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, 6she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, 7‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ 8Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you. 9Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. 10Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.”
11“But look,” Jacob replied to Rebekah, “my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. 12What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.”
13But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!”
14So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it. 15Then she took Esau’s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob. 16She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats. 17Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread.
18So Jacob took the food to his father. “My father?” he said.
“Yes, my son,” Isaac answered. “Who are you—Esau or Jacob?”
19Jacob replied, “It’s Esau, your firstborn son. I’ve done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing.”
20Isaac asked, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”
“The Lord your God put it in my path!” Jacob replied.
21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.” 22So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s,” Isaac said. 23But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacob’s hands felt hairy just like Esau’s. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob. 24“But are you really my son Esau?” he asked.
“Yes, I am,” Jacob replied.
25Then Isaac said, “Now, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing.” So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him. 26Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come a little closer and kiss me, my son.”
27So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, “Ah! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which the Lord has blessed!
28“From the dew of heaven
and the richness of the earth,
may God always give you abundant harvests of grain
and bountiful new wine.
29May many nations become your servants,
and may they bow down to you.
May you be the master over your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
All who curse you will be cursed,
and all who bless you will be blessed.”
30As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt. 31Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, “Sit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing.”
32But Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”
Esau replied, “It’s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.”
33Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!”
34When Esau heard his father’s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry. “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!” he begged.
35But Isaac said, “Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.”
36Esau exclaimed, “No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice.#27:36 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for “heel” and “deceiver.” First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, haven’t you saved even one blessing for me?”
37Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?”
38Esau pleaded, “But do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!” Then Esau broke down and wept.
39Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him,
“You will live away from the richness of the earth,
and away from the dew of the heaven above.
40You will live by your sword,
and you will serve your brother.
But when you decide to break free,
you will shake his yoke from your neck.”
Jacob Flees to Paddan-Aram
41From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.”
42But Rebekah heard about Esau’s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, “Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. 43So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran. 44Stay there with him until your brother cools off. 45When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.”