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?”

New International Reader's Version

Genesis 27

1Isaac had become old. His eyes were so weak he couldn’t see anymore. One day he called for his older son Esau. He said to him, “My son.”

“Here I am,” he answered.

Isaac said, “I’m an old man now. And I don’t know when I’ll die. Now then, get your weapons. Get your bow and arrows. Go out to the open country. Hunt some wild animals for me. Prepare for me the kind of tasty food I like. Bring it to me to eat. Then I’ll give you my blessing before I die.”

Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. Esau left for the open country. He went to hunt for a wild animal and bring it back. Then Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I heard your father speaking to your brother Esau. He said, ‘Bring me a wild animal. Prepare some tasty food for me to eat. Then I’ll give you my blessing before I die. The Lord will be my witness.’ ” Rebekah continued, “My son, listen carefully. Do what I tell you. Go out to the flock. Bring me two of the finest young goats. I will prepare tasty food for your father. I’ll make it just the way he likes it. 10 I want you to take it to your father to eat. Then he’ll give you his blessing before he dies.”

11 Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “My brother Esau’s body is covered with hair. But my skin is smooth. 12 What if my father touches me? He would know I was trying to trick him. He would curse me instead of giving me a blessing.”

13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse be on me. Just do what I say. Go and get the goats for me.”

14 So he went and got the goats. He brought them to his mother. And she prepared some tasty food. She made it just the way his father liked it. 15 The clothes of her older son Esau were in her house. She took Esau’s best clothes and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She covered his hands with the skins of the goats. She also covered the smooth part of his neck with them. 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,” Isaac answered. “Who is it?”

19 Jacob said to his father, “I’m your oldest son Esau. I’ve done as you told me. Please sit up. Eat some of my wild meat. Then 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. I want to know whether you really are my son Esau.”

22 Jacob went close to his father. Isaac touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob. But the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 Isaac didn’t recognize Jacob. Jacob’s hands were covered with hair like those of his brother Esau. So Isaac blessed him. 24 “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked.

“I am,” Jacob replied.

25 Isaac said, “My son, bring me some of your wild meat to eat. Then I’ll give you my blessing.”

Jacob brought it to him. So Isaac ate. Jacob also brought some wine. And Isaac drank. 26 Then Jacob’s father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son. Kiss me.”

27 So Jacob went to him and kissed him. When Isaac smelled the clothes, he gave Jacob his blessing. He said,

“It really is the smell of my son.
    It’s like the smell of a field
    that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you dew from heaven.
    May he give you the richness of the earth.
    May he give you plenty of grain and fresh wine.
29 May nations serve you.
    May they bow down to you.
Rule over your brothers.
    May the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed.
    And may those who bless you be blessed.”

30 When Isaac finished blessing him, Jacob left his father. Just then his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food. He brought it to his father. Then Esau said to him, “My father, please sit up. Eat some of my wild meat. Then give me your blessing.”

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

“I’m your son,” he answered. “I’m Esau, your oldest son.”

33 Isaac began to shake all over. He said, “Then who hunted a wild animal and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came. I gave him my blessing. And he will certainly be blessed!”

34 Esau heard his father’s words. Then he yelled loudly and bitterly. He said to his father, “Bless me! Bless me too, my father!”

35 But Isaac said, “Your brother came and tricked me. He took your blessing.”

36 Esau said, “Isn’t Jacob just the right name for him? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me. First, he took my rights as the oldest son. And now he’s taken my blessing!” Then Esau asked, “Haven’t you saved any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I’ve made him ruler over you. I’ve made all his relatives serve him. And I’ve provided him with grain and fresh 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 loudly.

39 His father Isaac answered him,

“You will live far away from the fruit of the earth.
    You will live far away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by using the sword.
    And you will serve your brother.
But you will grow restless.
    Then you will throw off the heavy load
    he has caused you to carry.”

41 Esau was angry with Jacob. He was angry because of the blessing his father had given to Jacob. He said to himself, “The days of sorrow over my father’s death are near. Then I’ll kill my brother Jacob.”

42 Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said. So she sent for her younger son Jacob. She said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to get back at you by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say. Run away at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44 Stay with him until your brother’s anger calms down. 45 When he forgets what you did to him, I’ll let you know. Then you can come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

46 Then Rebekah spoke to Isaac. She said, “I’m sick of living because of Esau’s Hittite wives. Suppose Jacob also marries a Hittite woman. If he does, my life won’t be worth living.”