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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
1And it came to be, when Yitsḥaq was old and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called Ěsaw his elder son and said to him, “My son.” And he answered him, “Here I am.”
2And he said, “See now, I am old, I do not know the day of my death.
3“Now then, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt wild game for me.
4“And make me a tasty dish, such as I love, and bring it to me to eat, in order that my being does bless you before I die.”
5And Riḇqah heard when Yitsḥaq spoke to Ěsaw his son. And Ěsaw went to the field to hunt wild game and to bring it.
6And Riḇqah spoke to Ya‛aqoḇ her son, saying, “See, I heard your father speak to Ěsaw your brother, saying,
7Bring me wild game and make me a tasty dish to eat, and bless you in the presence of יהוה before my death.’
8“And now my son, listen to my voice according to what I command you.
9Please go to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, and I make a tasty dish from them for your father, such as he loves.
10And you shall take it to your father, and he shall eat it, so that he might bless you before his death.
11And Ya‛aqoḇ said to Riḇqah his mother, “See, Ěsaw my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man.
12What if my father touches me? Then I shall be like a deceiver in his eyes, and shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.
13But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son. Only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.”
14And he went and fetched them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made a tasty dish, such as his father loved.
15And Riḇqah took the best garments of her elder son Ěsaw, which were with her in the house, and put them on Ya‛aqoḇ 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 the tasty dish and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Ya‛aqoḇ.
18And he went to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
19And Ya‛aqoḇ said to his father, “I am Ěsaw your first-born, I have done as you said to me. Please rise, sit and eat of my wild game, so that your being might bless me.”
20But Yitsḥaq said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because יהוה your Elohim brought it to me.”
21Then Yitsḥaq said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “Please come near, so that I feel you, my son, whether you truly are my son Ěsaw or not.”
22And Ya‛aqoḇ went near to Yitsḥaq his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Ya‛aqoḇ, but the hands are the hands of Ěsaw.”
23And he did not recognise him, for his hands were hairy like his brother Ěsaw’s hands, and he blessed him.
24And he said, “Are you truly my son Ěsaw?” And he said, “I am.”
25And he said, “Bring it near to me, and let me eat of my son’s wild game, so that my being might bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate. And he brought him wine, and he drank.
26And his father Yitsḥaq said to him, “Please come near and kiss me, my son.”
27And he came near and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which יהוה has blessed.
28And Elohim give you of the dew of the heavens, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.
29Let 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 those cursing you, and blessed be those blessing you!”
30And it came to be, as soon as Yitsḥaq had finished blessing Ya‛aqoḇ, and Ya‛aqoḇ had hardly left the presence of Yitsḥaq his father, that Ěsaw his brother came in from his hunting.
31And he too had made a tasty dish and brought it to his father, and said to his father, “Let my father rise and eat of his son’s wild game, so that your being might bless me.”
32And his father Yitsḥaq said to him, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your son, your first-born, Ěsaw.”
33Then Yitsḥaq trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who was it then who hunted wild game and brought it to me? And I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him. Yes, he is blessed.”
34When Ěsaw heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, me too, O my father!”
35And he said, “Your brother came with deceit and took your blessing.”
36And Ěsaw said, “Was his name, then, called Ya‛aqoḇ? For he has caught me by the heel these two times. He took my birthright, and see, now he has taken my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
37Then Yitsḥaq answered and said to Ěsaw, “See, I have made him your master, and all his brothers I have given to him as servants. And I have sustained him with grain and wine. And what, then, shall I do for you, my son?”
38And Ěsaw said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me, me too, O my father!” And Ěsaw lifted up his voice and wept.
39And Yitsḥaq his father answered and said to him, “See, your dwelling is of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of the heavens from above.
40And by your sword you are to live, and serve your brother. And it shall be, when you grow restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
41And Ěsaw hated Ya‛aqoḇ because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Ěsaw said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father draw near, then I am going to kill my brother Ya‛aqoḇ.”
42And the words of Ěsaw her older son were reported to Riḇqah, and she sent and called Ya‛aqoḇ her younger son, and said to him, “See, your brother Ěsaw comforts himself concerning you, to kill you.
43“And now, my son, listen to my voice, and rise, flee to my brother Laḇan in Ḥaran.
44And stay with him a few days, until your brother’s wrath turns away,”
45until your brother’s displeasure turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. And I shall send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”
46And Riḇqah said to Yitsḥaq, “I am disgusted with my life because of the daughters of Ḥĕth. If Ya‛aqoḇ takes a wife from the daughters of Ḥĕth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what is my life to me?”