The Message

Genesis 27

1When 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.

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?”

46 Rebekah spoke to Isaac, “I’m sick to death of these Hittite women. If Jacob also marries a native Hittite woman, why live?”

Amplified Bible

Genesis 27

Jacob’s Deception

1Now when Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, he called his elder [and favorite] son Esau and said to him, “My son.” And Esau answered him, “Here I am.” Isaac said, “See here, I am old; [a]I do not know [b]when I may die. So now, please take your [hunting] gear, your quiver [of arrows] and your bow, and go out into the open country and hunt game for me; and make me a savory and delicious dish [of meat], the kind I love, and bring it to me to eat, so that my soul may bless you [as my firstborn son] before I die.”

But Rebekah overheard what Isaac said to Esau his son; and when Esau had gone to the open country to hunt for game that he might bring back, Rebekah said to Jacob her [younger and favorite] son, “Listen carefully: I heard your father saying to Esau your brother, ‘Bring me some game and make me a savory and delicious dish [of meat], so that I may eat it, and declare my blessing on you [c]in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ So now, my son, listen [carefully] to me [and do exactly] as I command you. Go now to the flock and bring me two good and suitable young goats, and I will make them into a savory dish [of meat] for your father, the kind he loves [to eat]. 10 Then you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before his death.” 11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Listen, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth [skinned] man. 12 Suppose my father touches me and feels my skin; then I will be seen by him as a cheat (imposter), and I will bring his curse on me and not a blessing.” 13 But his mother said to him, “May your curse be on me, my son; only listen and obey me, and go, bring the young goats to me.” 14 So Jacob went and got the two young goats, and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared a delicious dish of food [with a delightful aroma], the kind his father loved [to eat]. 15 Then Rebekah took her elder son Esau’s best clothes, which were with her in her house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she gave her son Jacob the delicious meat and the bread which she had prepared.

18 So he went to his father and said, “My father.” And Isaac said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done what you told me to do. Now please, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may bless me.” 20 Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found the game so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because the Lord your God caused it to come to me.” 21 But Isaac [wondered and] said to Jacob, “Please come close [to me] so that I may touch you, my son, and determine if you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob approached Isaac, and his father touched him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He could not recognize him [as Jacob], because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. 24 But he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” Jacob answered, “I am.” 25 Then Isaac said, “Bring the food to me, and I will eat some of my son’s game, so that I may bless you.” He brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come, my son, and kiss me.” 27 So he came and kissed him; and Isaac smelled his clothing and blessed him and said,

“The scent of my son [Esau]
Is like the aroma of a field which the Lord has blessed;
28 
Now may God give you of the dew of heaven [to water your land],
And of the fatness (fertility) of the earth,
And an abundance of grain and [d]new wine;
29 
May peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you;
Be lord and master over your brothers,
And may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed,
And may those who bless you be blessed.”

The Stolen Blessing

30 Now as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 Esau also made a delicious dish [of meat] and brought it to his father and said to him, “Let my father get up and eat some of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.” 32 Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he replied, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled violently, and he said, “Then who was the one [who was just here] who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I blessed him. Yes, and he [in fact] shall be (shall remain) blessed.” 34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with a great and extremely bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 35 Isaac said, “Your brother came deceitfully and has [fraudulently] taken away your blessing [for himself].” 36 Esau replied, “Is he not rightly named [e]Jacob (the supplanter)? For he has supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright, and now he has taken away my blessing. Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 But Isaac replied to Esau, “Listen carefully: I have made Jacob your lord and master; I have given him all his brothers and relatives as servants; and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then, can I do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” Then Esau [no longer able to restrain himself] raised his voice and wept [loudly].

39 Then Isaac his father answered and [prophesied and] said to him,

“Your dwelling shall be away from the fertility of the earth
And away from the dew of heaven above;
40 
But you shall live by your sword,
And serve your brother;
However it shall come to pass when you break loose [from your anger and hatred],
That you will tear his yoke off your neck [and you will be free of him].”

41 So 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 very near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 When these words of her elder son Esau were repeated to Rebekah, she sent for Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Listen carefully, your brother Esau is comforting himself concerning you by planning to kill you. 43 So now, my son, listen and do what I say; go, escape to my brother Laban in Haran! 44 Stay with him for a while, until your brother’s anger subsides. 45 When your brother’s anger toward you subsides and he forgets what you did to him, then [f]I will send and bring you back from there. Why should I be deprived of you both in a single day?”

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am tired of living because of the daughters of Heth [these insolent wives of Esau]. If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, like these daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 27:2 Isaac lived another forty-three years after this blessing was given to Jacob (35:27-29).
  2. Genesis 27:2 Lit the day of my death.
  3. Genesis 27:7 The patriarch’s formal blessing, offered before the Lord, was equivalent to an inalterable command and prophecy, whose outcome was assured. For that reason it had great importance and tangible value, especially for the firstborn son. When Esau sold his birthright (25:33), he did not imagine that, as a consequence, he would actually lose the blessing to which he had originally been entitled as the firstborn.
  4. Genesis 27:28 The Hebrew word refers to wine that is in the first stage of fermentation, still in the vat. Some of the rabbis said that the first stage takes three days, and that wine does not have a strong appeal to the senses until it is 40 days old (according to the Talmud).
  5. Genesis 27:36 See note 25:26.
  6. Genesis 27:45 Rebekah never saw her son Jacob again. He was well over forty and probably fifty-seven years old when he fled from Esau to Haran, and he stayed there at least twenty years.