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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
Isaac Blesses Jacob
1#Ge 48:10; 1Sa 3:2When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could not see, he called Esau his oldest son and said to him, “My son.”
And he answered him, “Here I am.”
2He said, “I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3#Ge 25:27–28Therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4#Ge 27:25; 48:9And prepare for me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.”
5Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for wild game and bring it back, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, saying, 7‘Bring me wild game, and prepare for me savory food, that I may eat and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ 8#Ge 27:13Now therefore, my son, listen to me as I command you. 9Go now to the flock, and get me two choice young goats, so that I may prepare from them savory food for your father, such as he loves. 10Then you will take it to your father, so that he may eat and so that he may bless you before his death.”
11#Ge 25:25But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin. 12#Dt 27:18Perhaps my father will feel me, and I will seem to him as a deceiver, and I will bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”
13#Mt 27:25; 1Sa 25:24His mother said to him, “Let your curse be upon me, my son. Only listen to me and go get them for me.”
14He went and got them and brought them to his mother. Then his mother prepared savory food such as his father loved. 15#Ge 27:27Then Rebekah took the best clothes belonging to her older son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her youn­ger son. 16Then she put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17She put the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hands of her son Jacob.
18He came 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 just as you asked me. Please arise, sit and eat of my wild game, so that your soul may bless me.”
20Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?”
And he said, “Because the Lord your God brought it to me.”
21#Ge 27:12Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, so that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.”
22Jacob went near to his father Isaac, and he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23#Ge 27:16; Heb 11:20He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy, just like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. 24He asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”
And he said, “I am.”
25He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s wild game, so that my soul may bless you.”
And he brought it near to him, and he ate. He also brought him wine, and he drank. 26His father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.”
27#Heb 11:20He 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 like the smell of the field
which the Lord has blessed.
28#Dt 33:28; 33:13; Ge 27:39 Therefore, may God give you of the dew of heaven
and the fatness of the earth,
and plenty of grain and new wine.
29#Ge 12:3; Nu 24:9 Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brothers,
and let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
and blessed be those who bless you!”
30As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had barely gone out from the presence of his father Isaac, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31He also had prepared savory food and brought it to his father, and said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s wild game, so that your soul may bless me.”
32Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?”
And he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.”
33#Ge 28:3–4; Ro 11:29Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who? Where then is he who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him. Yes, and he shall be blessed.”
34#Heb 12:17When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceedingly bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!”
35He said, “Your brother came deceitfully and has taken away your blessing.”
36#Ge 25:26Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now he has taken away my blessing.” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
37#Ge 27:28–29; 2Sa 8:14Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “I have made him your lord, and I have given to him all his brothers as servants; and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What can I now do for you, my son?”
38#Heb 12:17; Ge 27:34And Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father!” Then Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39#Ge 27:28; Heb 11:20Isaac his father answered and said to him,
“Your dwelling shall be
away from the fatness of the earth
and away from the dew of heaven from above.
40#Ge 25:23; 2Ki 8:20–22 You will live by your sword
and will serve your brother.
When you become restless,
you will break his yoke
from your neck.”
Jacob Escapes From Esau
41#Ge 37:4; 50:3–4So 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 kill my brother Jacob.”
42These words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Your brother Esau consoles himself regarding you by planning to kill you. 43#Ge 11:31; 27:8Now therefore, my son, listen to me and get up and flee to Laban, my brother in Harran. 44#Ge 31:38Stay with him a few days until your brother’s fury subsides, 45until your brother’s anger against you turns away, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46#Ge 24:3; 26:34–35Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am tired of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, such as these who are of the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”