The Stolen Blessing

27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could not see,(A) 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. So now take your hunting gear, your quiver and bow, and go out in the field to hunt some game for me.(B) 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.”(C)

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 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, my son, listen to me and do what I tell you. 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.(D) 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 made it happen 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, “Bring it closer to me, and let me eat some of my son’s game so that I can bless you.” Jacob brought it closer 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[a] 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(E)
and from the richness of the land(F)
an abundance of grain and new wine.(G)
29 May peoples serve you(H)
and nations bow in worship to you.
Be master over your relatives;
may your mother’s sons bow in worship to you.
Those who curse you will be cursed,
and those who bless you will be blessed.(I)

30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob and Jacob had left the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau arrived from his hunting. 31 He had also made some delicious food and brought it to his father. 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!” (J)

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

36 So he said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?[b](K) 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 have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.[c]

39 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,[d]
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 Hethite girls.(L) If Jacob marries someone from around here,[e] like these Hethite girls, what good is my life?” (M)

Footnotes

  1. 27:27 Lit smelled the smell of
  2. 27:36 = He Grasps the Heel
  3. 27:38 Lit Esau lifted up his voice and wept
  4. 27:40 Hb obscure
  5. 27:46 Lit someone like these daughters of the land

27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see,(A) he called for Esau his older son(B) and said to him, “My son.”

“Here I am,” he answered.

Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death.(C) Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country(D) to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like(E) and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing(F) before I die.”(G)

Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country(H) to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob,(I) “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’(J) Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:(K) Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats,(L) so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.(M) 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing(N) before he dies.”

11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man(O) while I have smooth skin. 12 What if my father touches me?(P) I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse(Q) on myself rather than a blessing.”

13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me.(R) Just do what I say;(S) go and get them for me.”

14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it.(T) 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes(U) of Esau her older son,(V) which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins.(W) 17 Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.

18 He went to his father and said, “My father.”

“Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”(X)

19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn.(Y) I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game,(Z) so that you may give me your blessing.”(AA)

20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”

“The Lord your God gave me success,(AB)” he replied.

21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you,(AC) my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.”

22 Jacob went close to his father Isaac,(AD) who touched(AE) him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau;(AF) so he proceeded to bless him. 24 “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked.

“I am,” he replied.

25 Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.”(AG)

Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”

27 So he went to him and kissed(AH) him(AI). When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes,(AJ) he blessed him and said,

“Ah, the smell of my son
    is like the smell of a field
    that the Lord has blessed.(AK)
28 May God give you heaven’s dew(AL)
    and earth’s richness(AM)
    an abundance of grain(AN) and new wine.(AO)
29 May nations serve you
    and peoples bow down to you.(AP)
Be lord over your brothers,
    and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.(AQ)
May those who curse you be cursed
    and those who bless you be blessed.(AR)

30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”(AS)

32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”(AT)

“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.(AU)

33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me?(AV) I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!(AW)

34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry(AX) and said to his father, “Bless(AY) me—me too, my father!”

35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully(AZ) and took your blessing.”(BA)

36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob[a]?(BB) This is the second time he has taken advantage of(BC) me: He took my birthright,(BD) and now he’s taken my blessing!”(BE) Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine.(BF) So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.(BG)

39 His father Isaac answered him,(BH)

“Your dwelling will be
    away from the earth’s richness,
    away from the dew(BI) of heaven above.(BJ)
40 You will live by the sword
    and you will serve(BK) your brother.(BL)
But when you grow restless,
    you will throw his yoke
    from off your neck.(BM)

41 Esau held a grudge(BN) against Jacob(BO) because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning(BP) for my father are near; then I will kill(BQ) my brother Jacob.”(BR)

42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau(BS) had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you.(BT) 43 Now then, my son, do what I say:(BU) Flee at once to my brother Laban(BV) in Harran.(BW) 44 Stay with him for a while(BX) until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him,(BY) I’ll send word for you to come back from there.(BZ) Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite(CA) women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land,(CB) from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”(CC)

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 27:36 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.