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Genesis 25:27-28:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Esau Sells His Birthright

27 When the boys grew up, Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman,[a] but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home.[b] 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field exhausted. 30 He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.” That is why he was also named Edom.[c]

31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”

32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die, so what good is a birthright to me?”

33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to Jacob and sold his birthright to him. 34 Then Jacob gave bread and lentil stew to Esau; he ate, drank, got up, and went away. So Esau despised his birthright.

The Promise Reaffirmed to Isaac

26 There was another famine in the land in addition to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, at Gerar. The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I tell you about; stay in this land as a foreigner, and I will be with you and bless you. For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring, and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky, I will give your offspring all these lands, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed[d] by your offspring, because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My mandate, My commands, My statutes, and My instructions.” So Isaac settled in Gerar.

Isaac’s Deception

When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say “my wife,” thinking, “The men of the place will kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is a beautiful woman.” When Isaac had been there for some time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from the window and was surprised to see[e] Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.

Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So she is really your wife! How could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”

Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might die on account of her.”

10 Then Abimelech said, “What is this you’ve done to us? One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people with these words: “Whoever harms this man or his wife will certainly die.”

Conflicts over Wells

12 Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in that year he reaped[f] a hundred times what was sown. The Lord blessed him, 13 and the man became rich and kept getting richer until he was very wealthy. 14 He had flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and many slaves, and the Philistines were envious of him. 15 The Philistines stopped up all the wells that his father’s slaves had dug in the days of his father Abraham, filling them with dirt. 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us, for you are much too powerful for us.”[g]

17 So Isaac left there, camped in the Valley of Gerar, and lived there. 18 Isaac reopened the water wells that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham and that the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19 Then Isaac’s slaves dug in the valley and found a well of spring[h] water there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Quarrel[i] because they quarreled with him. 21 Then they dug another well and quarreled over that one also, so he named it Hostility.[j] 22 He moved from there and dug another, and they did not quarrel over it. He named it Open Spaces[k] and said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”

The Lord Appears to Isaac

23 From there he went up to Beer-sheba, 24 and the Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your offspring because of My servant Abraham.”

25 So he built an altar there, called on the name of Yahweh, and pitched his tent there. Isaac’s slaves also dug a well there.

Covenant with Abimelech

26 Now Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me? You hated me and sent me away from you.”

28 They replied, “We have clearly seen how the Lord has been with you. We think there should be an oath between two parties—between us and you. Let us make a covenant with you: 29 You will not harm us, just as we have not harmed you but have only done what was good to you, sending you away in peace. You are now blessed by the Lord.”

30 So he prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31 They got up early in the morning and swore an oath to each other.[l] Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace. 32 On that same day Isaac’s slaves came to tell him about the well they had dug, saying to him, “We have found water!” 33 He called it Sheba.[m] Therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba[n] to this day.

Esau’s Wives

34 When Esau was 40 years old, he took as his wives Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They made life bitter[o] for Isaac and Rebekah.

The Stolen Blessing

27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could not see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.”

And he answered, “Here I am.”

He said, “Look, I am old and do not know the day of my death. Take your hunting gear, your quiver and bow, and go out in the field to hunt some game for me. Then make me a delicious meal that I love and bring it to me to eat, so that I can bless you before I die.”

Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac said to his son Esau. So while Esau went to the field to hunt some game to bring in, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Listen! I heard your father talking with your brother Esau. He said, ‘Bring me the game and make a delicious meal for me to eat so that I can bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ Now obey every order I give you, my son. Go to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, and I will make them into a delicious meal for your father—the kind he loves. 10 Then take it to your father to eat so that he may bless you before he dies.”

11 Jacob answered Rebekah his mother, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am a man with smooth skin. 12 Suppose my father touches me. Then I will be revealed to him as a deceiver and bring a curse rather than a blessing on myself.”

13 His mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son. Just obey me and go get them for me.”

14 So he went and got the goats and brought them to his mother, and his mother made the delicious food his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of her older son Esau, which were in the house, and had her younger son Jacob wear them. 16 She put the skins of the young goats on his hands and the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed the delicious food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.

18 When he came to his father, he said, “My father.”

And he answered, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”

19 Jacob replied to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may bless me.”

20 But Isaac said to his son, “How did you ever find it so quickly, my son?”

He replied, “Because the Lord your God worked it out for me.”

21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can touch you, my son. Are you really my son Esau or not?”

22 So Jacob came closer to his father Isaac. When he touched him, he said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. 24 Again he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”

And he replied, “I am.”

25 Then he said, “Serve me, and let me eat some of my son’s game so that I can bless you.” Jacob brought it to him, and he ate; he brought him wine, and he drank.

26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come closer and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came closer and kissed him. When Isaac smelled[p] his clothes, he blessed him and said:

Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give to you—
from the dew of the sky
and from the richness of the land
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brothers;
may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Those who curse you will be cursed,
and those who bless you will be blessed.

30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob and Jacob had left the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau arrived from the hunt. 31 He had also made some delicious food and brought it to his father. Then he said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat some of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.”

32 But his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”

He answered, “I am Esau your firstborn son.”

33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably. “Who was it then,” he said, “who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it all before you came in, and I blessed him. Indeed, he will be blessed!”

34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!”

35 But he replied, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”

36 So he said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?[q] For he has cheated me twice now. He took my birthright, and look, now he has taken my blessing.” Then he asked, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”

37 But Isaac answered Esau: “Look, I have made him a master over you, have given him all of his relatives as his servants, and have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then can I do for you, my son?”

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you only have one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.[r]

39 Then his father Isaac answered him:

Look, your dwelling place will be
away from the richness of the land,
away from the dew of the sky above.
40 You will live by your sword,
and you will serve your brother.
But when you rebel,[s]
you will break his yoke from your neck.

Esau’s Anger

41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau determined in his heart: “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

42 When the words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she summoned her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. 43 So now, my son, listen to me. Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44 and stay with him for a few days until your brother’s anger subsides— 45 until your brother’s rage turns away from you and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I lose you both in one day?”

46 So Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick of my life because of these Hittite women. If Jacob marries a Hittite woman like one of them,[t] what good is my life?”

Jacob’s Departure

28 Isaac summoned Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him: “Don’t take a wife from the Canaanite women. Go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Marry one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you so that you become an assembly of peoples. May God give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham so that you may possess the land where you live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” So Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 25:27 Lit a man of the field
  2. Genesis 25:27 Lit man living in tents
  3. Genesis 25:30 = Red
  4. Genesis 26:4 Or will bless themselves
  5. Genesis 26:8 Or and he looked and behold
  6. Genesis 26:12 Lit found
  7. Genesis 26:16 Or are more numerous than we are
  8. Genesis 26:19 Lit living
  9. Genesis 26:20 Or Esek
  10. Genesis 26:21 Or Sitnah
  11. Genesis 26:22 Or Rehoboth
  12. Genesis 26:31 Lit swore, each man to his brother
  13. Genesis 26:33 Or Shibah
  14. Genesis 26:33 = Well of the Oath
  15. Genesis 26:35 Lit And they became bitterness of spirit
  16. Genesis 27:27 Lit smelled the smell of
  17. Genesis 27:36 = He Grasps the Heel
  18. Genesis 27:38 Lit Esau lifted up his voice and wept
  19. Genesis 27:40 Hb obscure
  20. Genesis 27:46 Lit of these daughters of the land

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