Horst, Gerrit Willemsz. (c.1612 - 1652)

When Esau was 40 years old, against his parents’ wishes, he married two Hittite wivesJudith and Basemath. Marrying outside the extended clan greatly bothered his parents, Isaac and Rebekah.

Isaac was old and his eyes were weak. He called for his Esau and told him, “I am now an old man and near death. Get your hunting equipment (bows and arrows) and go into the country to hunt wild game for me (Isaac had a special affinity for the taste of wild game). Prepare for me a meal that you know I will like and bring it to me to eat so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”

Rebekah was listening as Isaac gave Esau the instructions. When Esau left for the countryside, she told her other son, Jacob, “I overheard your father telling Esau to bring back wild game for a meal so that he may give your older brother his blessing before he dies. Listen carefully and do what I tell you (literally, “listen to my voice”, a Hebrew expression which demands compliance). Go to the flock and bring me two choice young goats so that I may prepare a meal for your father. Then you will take it to your father to eat so that he gives you his blessing before he dies.”

Jacob pointed out that unlike his brother who was hairy, he was smooth skinned. “What if my father touches me? He would know that I am tricking him and would curse me rather than offering me his blessing?”

Rebekah responded, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say and go get the goats for me.”

Isaac Blessing Jacob by Giacchiano Assereto, Italian, c. 1640. Notice the goatskin jacket worn by Jacob and Rebekah holding a finger to her mouthAs instructed, Jacob retrieved the goats and gave them to his mother who prepared the meal for Isaac. Rebekah clothed Jacob with Esau’s best clothing and covered his hands and neck with goatskins to make him appear hairy like his brother. She then handed the prepared meal to Jacob to deliver to his father.

Jacob approached Isaac and said, “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 give me your blessing.”

Isaac responded, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”

“The Lord gave me success”, Isaac replied.

Then Isaac told Jacob, “Come nearer so that I may touch you to verify that you are my son Esau.”

Jacob went close to his father who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob but the hands are the hands of Esau.”.

Jacob brought Isaac his meal and some wine to drink. After Isaac ate, he said to Jacob, “Come here, my son, and kiss me” (a customary prelude to departure, one that is still followed today).

As Jacob leaned in for the kiss, Isaac caught the smell of Esau’s clothes. Isaac blessed Jacob and said, “The smell of my son is the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness, and abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and people bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”

Isaac blessing Jacob; Govert FLINCK; 1639; Oil on canvas; Rijksmuseum, AmsterdamAfter Isaac finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau arrived from hunting. Esau prepared a tasty meal for Isaac and brought it to his father. He said to Isaac, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing.”

Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”

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

Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me earlier? I ate it just before you came in and I blessed him – and indeed he will be blessed!”

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

But Isaac said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”

Esau said, “This is the second time he has taken advantage of me. He took my birthright and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then Esau asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made the others his servant. I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What can I possibly do for you, my son?”

Esau said to his father, “Don’t you have at least one blessing, my father?” Then Esau wept aloud.

Isaac answered Esau, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”

Thereafter, Esau held a grudge against Jacob. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near, then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. Now then, my son, do as I say. Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I will send word for you to come back home. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

What the story means to us today

Parental favoritism

Map showing the area where Edomites settledIn addition to revealing historical details outlining the rift between Jacob’s family line (the Covenant Line through which Jesus will be born) and the Edomites (Esau’s familial line), this story presents a strong lesson regarding the dangers of parental favoritism. Indeed, Rebekah got what she desired but in the end, her entire family was torn apart.

Deceit

The story is also one of deception of the most horrid kind – to take advantage of an old and disabled father is an unimaginably abhorrent ruse. Although the story portrays Jacob successfully obtaining what he and his mother wanted, Jacob’s flight to safety will result in grave consequences under the hand of his uncle, Laban.

Additional thoughts and considerations

A biblical story of deceit that tears at our emotions

That an act of deceit was used to fulfill God’s plans is typically an emotional tug-of-war for many.  God had already told Rebekah that “two nations were in her womb” and that the older would serve the younger. Isaac’s blessing on Esau confirms this yet again when he tells Esau, “you will live by the sword and you will serve your brother.” History shows that Jacob’s line would continually battle Esau’s line (the Edomites) for many generations before the Edomites finally fade from history. The Edomites regularly attacked Israel, and many wars were fought as a result. King Saul fought against the Edomites, and King David subjugated them, establishing military garrisons in Edom. With control over Edomite territory, Israel had access to the port of Ezion-Geber on the Red Sea, from which King Solomon sent out many expeditions.

With such a forewarning from God, Rebekah had much incentive to ensure Jacob obtained Isaac’s blessing (to ensure Jacob’s line, her favorite son, would prevail). We would presume Isaac knew this too. In addition, Isaac surely recognized the ignorance behind Esau’s previous frivolous barter of his birthright, his forbidden relationship with Canaanites and yet, beyond reason, he still granted an extravagant blessing to one he thought was Esau (Isaac’s favorite son).

To further complicate our feelings, the end result, despite the trickery used, fit God’s plan (favor for Jacob’s family line) although in the end, it completely tore a family apart. Naturally, we are inclined to read meaning in to the story that may not be there. The simple truth is, the Bible records the events as they happened, presenting the bad along with the good.

Deception used to fulfill the covenant line?

Why would God allow a deceptive act to fulfill the covenant line objective? It is shocking to see a story of deception in the Bible, especially when that deception appears to be required for God’s covenant line through Jacob to be fulfilled – and make no mistake, despite the colorful stories about Jacob, he was a dastardly, deceitful character. However, from all appearances, God’s will (that Jacob become the covenant line) would have been served whether or not Rebekah, Jacob, and Isaac followed God’s will instead of their own personal desires.

As a parent guides a child, God guides us. He does not force us to bend against our will but merely nudges us along allowing us the free choice to comply or deny his wishes. As heartbreaking as the events looked, maybe Rebekah learned a tremendous lesson after losing forever, her favorite son (after this, Rebekah will never see Jacob again). Possibly Jacob learned great life lessons through the upcoming trials he experiences in Haran under the hand of his uncle Laban. Possibly Isaac finally recognized the error of preferring one son over the other. We simply must take the story as is and recognize the historical significance of the events.

Isaac and Rebekah’s dislike of Esau’s Hittite wives

Isaac blesses Jacob (Jacob steals Esau's blessing)Esau’s Hittite wives were a source of trouble for Rebekah and hence, her later complaint to Isaac that Jacob should be barred from marrying a Hittite wife (Genesis 26:46). Surprisingly, her complaint was likely valid.  That Esau married a Hittite (from the Canaanites whom God had cast off) outside of the extended clan reflects Esau’s indifference to the covenant God made with Abraham. It is also possible that Rebekah’s disdain for Esau’s Hittite wives strengthened her belief that Esau was unworthy of the covenant privilege.

Jacob’s role in the scheme

Notice that Jacob says very little upon entering Isaac’s tent. Jacob questioned Rebekah’s plan not because it was wrong, but because he might get caught. Contrast what Jacob says to Isaac with Esau’s bold introduction upon his entrance into Isaac’s presence. It is likely that Jacob was frightened and uncertain about the scheme his mother had commanded he participate in.

It is also interesting to note that when Esau later entered Jacob’s tent, Isaac did not appear (at least momentarily) to recognize his voice. It is likely that Jacob’s response to Esau’s entry (after Jacob had already tricked him), reflects his disbelief that the person he had already granted the blessing to could have been anyone but Esau.

Why didn’t Isaac take back the blessing?

In ancient Israel, blessings and curses were considered irrevocable. Archeological evidence has proven that they were as binding as the modern-day signing of a contract or will.

Was Esau’s blessing really that bad?

It is likely that Esau’s blessing was not as bad as it sounds. Isaac blesses Esau the best that he can without revoking the blessing he already gave to Jacob. He confirms Jacob’s blessing but at least includes Esau in the right. Isaac’s blessing can be interpreted as blessing Esau with land located away from Jacob’s. Quite possibly the intent is to allow Esau to share in the prosperity that Jacob will enjoy.

Note too though, that Isaac says Esau will “serve” Jacob. Later in the Bible, we will see that Esau’s people (Edomites) would become vassals to Israel (Jacob’s people) under King David before “throwing off the yoke” in a revolt around 850 BC.

Jacob goes into hiding

Soon after the events presented in this story transpire, the story will shift to Jacob and Laban and the pain Jacob suffers at the hands of Laban. It is likely that Rebekah thought Esau would cool off quickly, allowing Jacob to return. As we will soon see, Rebekah will die before Jacob returns and thus, in all likelihood, never saw her favorite son again.

The science and history behind the story

The difference in a birthright and a blessing

Esau had already sold his birthright to Jacob and here we see Rebekah and Jacob (Rebekah’s favorite son) trick Esau out of his blessing too. In ancient Israel, a birthright was the right of the firstborn son to inherit a double portion of Isaac’s belongings. The blessing is closely related but distinct from a birthright in that a birthright specifies the property that will be passed from one generation to another while a blessing focuses on future wealth, leadership, and posterity. In essence, through his blessing, Isaac is passing on the divinely ordained covenant relationship to Jacob.

The blessing ritual meal

It was customary to consume a ritual meal before the blessing was given. Once the ritual meal was complete, the formal blessing would be given to the recipient.

The land that Esau inherited

Um al-Biyara, an Edomite settlement that was inhabited between the 8th and 6th centuries B.C. Remains of Edomite houses can be seen on the summit.As evidenced by historical sources, Isaac’s blessings on Esau were stunningly accurate. As per Isaac’s blessing bestowed upon Esau, we now know that the land of Edom (the dwelling place of Esau) is very much the opposite of the land of Canaan. Located south of Judea and the Dead Sea, it is a mountainous area that is thoroughly barren. A visitor to the land once said it consists of “the most desolate and barren mountains probably in the world”.

The Edomites may have been connected with the Shasu and Shutu, nomadic raiders mentioned in Egyptian sources. Indeed, a letter from an Egyptian scribe at a border fortress in the Wadi Tumilat during the reign of Merneptah reports movement of nomadic “shasu-tribes of Edom” to watering holes in Egyptian territory.

Isaac’s blessing that “by the sword you will live” seems to have been fulfilled too. The historian Josephus describes the people of the land as “a tumultuous and disorderly nation, always on the watch on every motion, delighting in mutations”.

Isaac’s statement that “you will serve your brother” could have been no truer. History tells us that the relations between Israel and Edom were a constant state of servitude, revolt, and reconquest.

Bible Text

NIV

34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

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

“Here I am,” he answered.

2 Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. 3 Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”

5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 ‘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.’ 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”

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

13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; 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. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, 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. 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?”

19 Jacob said 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 give me your blessing.”

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

“The LORD your God gave me success,” he replied.

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

22 Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched 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; 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.”

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 him. When Isaac caught the smell of 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 you heaven’s dew

and earth’s richness—

an abundance of grain and new wine.

Ancient Edomite (descendant of Esau) settlement29 May nations serve you

and peoples bow down to you.

Be lord over your brothers,

and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.

May those who curse you be cursed

and those who bless you be blessed.”

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” 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. 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.

39 His father Isaac answered him,

“Your dwelling will be

away from the earth’s richness,

away from the dew of heaven above.

40 You will live by the sword

and you will serve your brother.

But when you grow restless,

you will throw his yoke

from off your neck.”

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

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

The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

The Message

34–35 When Esau was forty years old he married Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite. They turned out to be thorns in the sides of Isaac and Rebekah.

1 27 When Isaac had become an old man and was nearly blind, he called his eldest son, Esau, and said, “My son.”

“Yes, Father?”

2–4 “I’m an old man,” he said; “I might die any day now. Do me a favor: Get your quiver of arrows and your bow and go out in the country and hunt me some game. Then fix me a hearty meal, the kind that you know I like, and bring it to me to eat so that I can give you my personal blessing before I die.”

5–7 Rebekah was eavesdropping as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. As soon as Esau had gone off to the country to hunt game for his father, Rebekah spoke to her son Jacob. “I just overheard your father talking with your brother, Esau. He said, ‘Bring me some game and fix me a hearty meal so that I can eat and bless you with GOD’s blessing before I die.’

8–10 “Now, my son, listen to me. Do what I tell you. Go to the flock and get me two young goats. Pick the best; I’ll prepare them into a hearty meal, the kind that your father loves. Then you’ll take it to your father, he’ll eat and bless you before he dies.”

11–12 “But Mother,” Jacob said, “my brother Esau is a hairy man and I have smooth skin. What happens if my father touches me? He’ll think I’m playing games with him. I’ll bring down a curse on myself instead of a blessing.”

13 “If it comes to that,” said his mother, “I’ll take the curse on myself. Now, just do what I say. Go and get the goats.”

14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother and she cooked a hearty meal, the kind his father loved so much.

Isaac blesses Jacob (Jacob steals Esau's blessing)15–17 Rebekah took the dress-up clothes of her older son Esau and put them on her younger son Jacob. She took the goatskins and covered his hands and the smooth nape of his neck. Then she placed the hearty meal she had fixed and fresh bread she’d baked into the hands of her son Jacob.

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

“Yes?” he said. “Which son are you?”

19 Jacob answered his father, “I’m your firstborn son Esau. I did what you told me. Come now; sit up and eat of my game so you can give me your personal blessing.”

20 Isaac said, “So soon? How did you get it so quickly?”

“Because your GOD cleared the way for me.”

21 Isaac said, “Come close, son; let me touch you—are you really my son Esau?”

22–23 So Jacob moved close to his father Isaac. Isaac felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He didn’t recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s.

23–24 But as he was about to bless him he pressed him, “You’re sure? You are my son Esau?”

“Yes. I am.”

25 Isaac said, “Bring the food so I can eat of my son’s game and give you my personal blessing.” Jacob brought it to him and he ate. He also brought him wine and he drank.

26 Then Isaac said, “Come close, son, and kiss me.”

27–29 He came close and kissed him and Isaac smelled the smell of his clothes. Finally, he blessed him,

Ahhh. The smell of my son

is like the smell of the open country

blessed by GOD.

May God give you

of Heaven’s dew

and Earth’s bounty of grain and wine.

May peoples serve you

and nations honor you.

You will master your brothers,

and your mother’s sons will honor you.

Those who curse you will be cursed,

those who bless you will be blessed.

30–31 And then right after Isaac had blessed Jacob and Jacob had left, Esau showed up from the hunt. He also had prepared a hearty meal. He came to his father and said, “Let my father get up and eat of his son’s game, that he may give me his personal blessing.”

32 His father Isaac said, “And who are you?”

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

33 Isaac started to tremble, shaking violently. He said, “Then who hunted game and brought it to me? I finished the meal just now, before you walked in. And I blessed him—he’s blessed for good!”

34 Esau, hearing his father’s words, sobbed violently and most bitterly, and cried to his father, “My father! Can’t you also bless me?”

35 “Your brother,” he said, “came here falsely and took your blessing.”

36 Esau said, “Not for nothing was he named Jacob, the Heel. Twice now he’s tricked me: first he took my birthright and now he’s taken my blessing.”

He begged, “Haven’t you kept back any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I’ve made him your master, and all his brothers his servants, and lavished grain and wine on him. I’ve given it all away. What’s left for you, my son?”

38 “But don’t you have just one blessing for me, Father? Oh, bless me my father! Bless me!” Esau sobbed inconsolably.

39–40 Isaac said to him,

You’ll live far from Earth’s bounty,

remote from Heaven’s dew.

You’ll live by your sword, hand-to-mouth,

and you’ll serve your brother.

But when you can’t take it any more

you’ll break loose and run free.

41 Esau seethed in anger against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him; he brooded, “The time for mourning my father’s death is close. And then I’ll kill my brother Jacob.”

42–45 When these words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she called her younger son Jacob and said, “Your brother Esau is plotting vengeance against you. He’s going to kill you. Son, listen to me. Get out of here. Run for your life to Haran, to my brother Laban. Live with him for a while until your brother cools down, until his anger subsides and he forgets what you did to him. I’ll then send for you and bring you back. Why should I lose both of you the same day?”

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

The NET Bible

26:34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 26:35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety.

Jacob Cheats Esau out of the Blessing

Isaac blesses Jacob (Jacob steals Esau's blessing)27:1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he was almost blind, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son!” “Here I am!” Esau replied. 27:2 Isaac said, “Since I am so old, I could die at any time. 27:3 Therefore, take your weapons—your quiver and your bow—and go out into the open fields and hunt down some wild game for me. 27:4 Then prepare for me some tasty food, the kind I love, and bring it to me. Then I will eat it so that I may bless you before I die.”

27:5 Now Rebekah had been listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau went out to the open fields to hunt down some wild game and bring it back, 27:6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father tell your brother Esau, 27:7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare for me some tasty food. Then I will eat it and bless you in the presence of the LORD before I die.’ 27:8 Now then, my son, do exactly what I tell you! 27:9 Go to the flock and get me two of the best young goats. I’ll prepare them in a tasty way for your father, just the way he loves them. 27:10 Then you will take it to your father. Thus he will eat it and bless you before he dies.”

27:11 “But Esau my brother is a hairy man,” Jacob protested to his mother Rebekah, “and I have smooth skin! 27:12 My father may touch me! Then he’ll think I’m mocking him and I’ll bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” 27:13 So his mother told him, “Any curse against you will fall on me, my son! Just obey me! Go and get them for me!”

27:14 So he went and got the goats and brought them to his mother. She prepared some tasty food, just the way his father loved it. 27:15 Then Rebekah took her older son Esau’s best clothes, which she had with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 27:16 She put the skins of the young goats on his hands and the smooth part of his neck. 27:17 Then she handed the tasty food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.

27:18 He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?” 27:19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.” 27:20 But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world did you find it so quickly, my son?” “Because the LORD your God brought it to me,” he replied. 27:21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you, my son, and know for certain if you really are my son Esau.” 27:22 So Jacob went over to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s.” 27:23 He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s hands. So Isaac blessed Jacob. 27:24 Then he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” “I am,” Jacob replied. 27:25 Isaac said, “Bring some of the wild game for me to eat, my son. Then I will bless you.” So Jacob brought it to him, and he ate it. He also brought him wine, and Isaac drank. 27:26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27:27 So Jacob went over and kissed him. When Isaac caught the scent of his clothing, he blessed him, saying,

“Yes, my son smells

like the scent of an open field

which the LORD has blessed.

27:28 May God give you

the dew of the sky

and the richness of the earth,

and plenty of grain and new wine.

27:29 May peoples serve you

and nations bow down to you.

You will be lord over your brothers,

and the sons of your mother will bow down to you.

May those who curse you be cursed,

and those who bless you be blessed.”

27:30 Isaac had just finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 27:31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau said to him, “My father, get up and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.” 27:32 His father Isaac asked, “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,” he replied, “Esau!” 27:33 Isaac began to shake violently and asked, “Then who else hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it just before you arrived, and I blessed him. He will indeed be blessed!”

27:34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly. He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 27:35 But Isaac replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away your blessing.” 27:36 Esau exclaimed, “ ‘Jacob’ is the right name for him! He has tripped me up two times! He took away my birthright, and now, look, he has taken away my blessing!” Then he asked, “Have you not kept back a blessing for me?”

27:37 Isaac replied to Esau, “Look! I have made him lord over you. I have made all his relatives his servants and provided him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?” 27:38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only that one blessing, my father? Bless me too!” Then Esau wept loudly.

27:39 So his father Isaac said to him,

“Indeed, your home will be

away from the richness of the earth,

and away from the dew of the sky above.

27:40 You will live by your sword

but you will serve your brother.

When you grow restless,

you will tear off his yoke

from your neck.”

27:41 So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother. Esau said privately, “The time of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill my brother Jacob!”

27:42 When Rebekah heard what her older son Esau had said, she quickly summoned her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is planning to get revenge by killing you. 27:43 Now then, my son, do what I say. Run away immediately to my brother Laban in Haran. 27:44 Live with him for a little while until your brother’s rage subsides. 27:45 Stay there until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I’ll send someone to bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2006. Print.

King James Version

17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. 21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. 22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. 23 And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba. 24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. 25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well. 26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army. 27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you? 28 And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD. 30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. 31 And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. 32 And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. 33 And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day. 34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

27 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; 4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death. 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. 9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: 12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. 13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took lgoodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? 19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. 20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me. 21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him. 24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said,

See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:

28  Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven,

And the fatness of the earth,

And plenty of corn and wine:

29  Let people serve thee,

And nations bow down to thee:

Be lord over thy brethren,

And let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee:

Cursed be every one that curseth thee,

And blessed be he that blesseth thee.

30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me. 32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. 33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. 34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. 35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? 37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? 38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him,

Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth,

And of the dew of heaven from above;

40  And by thy sword shalt thou live,

And shalt serve thy brother;

And it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion,

That thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. 42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; 45 Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

Sources: NIV, The Message, The NET Bible, King James Version, NET Bible Notes, Faithlife Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, The Bible Reader’s Companion, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Holman Concise Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, The Teacher’s Commentary, The Bible Guide, Word Studies in the New Testament, Holman Bible Handbook, Calvin Commentaries, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines, The New Manner and Customs of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, The Archaeological Encyclopedia, Biblical Archeology Review, The New Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Analytical Lexicon, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database