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Genesis  ◦   Chapter 27

1When Isaac was old and his vision so poor that he was nearly blind, he called his firstborn son Esau to himself and said, “My son!”

“I’m here,” Esau answered.

2Isaac said to him, “I am now very old, near the end of my life, and I could die at any time. 3So get your hunting gear – your quiver and bow – and go out in the countryside and hunt down some wild game for me. 4Then prepare me one of my favorite meals, seasoned the way you know I like it, and bring it to me to eat; and I will give you my blessing before I die.”

5Now, Rebekah was listening when Isaac told his son Esau it was time to receive his blessing. As soon as Esau left for the countryside to hunt the game to cook for his father, 6Rebekah went to her son Jacob and said, “Listen carefully: I overheard your father tell your brother Esau, 7‘go hunt some game and prepare one of my favorite meals for me to eat, and I will give you my blessing in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ 8So now, my son, we must act. Listen carefully and do exactly as I tell you: 9Bring me two young goats from the flock, so that I can prepare one of your father’s favorite meals, seasoned just the way he likes it. 10Then you will take the meal to your father for him to eat, and he will give you his blessing before he dies.”

11Jacob saw a flaw in his mother’s plan and said, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. 12What if father touches me and discovers the deception? He would curse me rather than bless me.”

13“Don’t worry,” she said, “if your father tries to curse you, I will step in and take the blame. Just do what I have said and get me the goats.”

14So he went and got the goats and brought them to his mother, and she prepared one of Isaac’s favorite dishes, seasoning it just the way he liked it. 15Then Rebekah took her older son Esau’s best clothes, which she had there in the house, and gave them to her younger son Jacob. 16She also placed the skins from the goats over his hands and the smooth part of his neck. 17Then she gave Jacob the flavorful food and the fresh bread she had made.

18Jacob then went in to his father and said, “Father!”

“Yes, my son,” he answered. “Which of my sons are you?”

19Jacob answered, “I am Esau – your firstborn. I am here with the meal you told me to prepare. Please sit up and eat some of my game, and then you can give me your blessing.”

20But Isaac questioned his son, “That was awfully fast! How were you able to find it so quickly?”

Jacob answered, “It surely must have been the Lord your God that put it in my path.”

21But Isaac was suspicious and said to Jacob, “Son, come over here, where I can touch you and confirm that you really are my son Esau.”

22Jacob moved next to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “Your voice sounds like Jacob, but your hands feel like Esau.” 23Isaac did not realize it was Jacob, for his hands felt hairy, like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. 24He asked one more time, “Are you really my son Esau?”

“I am!” Jacob lied.

25Isaac then instructed him, “Son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.”

Jacob brought the food to him, and he ate. He also brought him wine, and he drank.

26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and give me a kiss.”

27So Jacob went over and kissed him. Isaac smelled his clothes to confirm they smelled like Esau, and then he blessed him, saying: “Oh yes, the smell of my son is fresh like the scent of a field that the Lord has blessed. 28May God give you heaven’s life-giving water, an abundant life on the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine. 29May people serve you and nations honor you. May you lead all your relatives using God’s principles, so that your mother’s descendants will respect you and follow your leadership, and God’s saving plan be fulfilled through your descendants. May all who curse you be cursed and all who bless you be blessed.”

30Isaac had just finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob just barely left his father’s presence, when his brother Esau returned from his hunt. 31He too prepared one of Isaac’s favorite meals and brought it to him and said, “Father, I’m back. Sit up and eat some of my game, so that you can give me your blessing.”

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

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

33When Isaac heard this, he began to shake uncontrollably and said, “Then who was it that already brought me wild game? I ate just before you came in, and I gave him my blessing – and the blessing is indeed his!”

34When Esau heard what his father said, he cried out in bitter anguish and implored his father, “Please father, bless me too!”

35But Isaac said, “Your brother deceived me and took your blessing.”

36Esau replied, “He truly is a ‘Jacob’ – a deceiver grasping for what is not his! He has twice deceived me and taken what is mine: he took my birthright and now has taken my blessing!” Then he asked his father, “Have you no blessing left that you can give me?”

37Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him the heir of our family, the recipient of God’s promises and blessings; it is through him that God’s plan to save humanity will be realized. What else is left for me to do for you, my son?”

38Weeping loudly, Esau cried to his father, “Please father, do you have only one blessing? Isn’t there anything you can bless me with?”

39Sadly his father Isaac said to him, “Your blessing will not be from the abundance of the earth or the water from heaven. 40You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother, but you will eventually break free from his rule.”

41Esau was bitter and resentful toward Jacob, because he had stolen his father’s blessing. He said to himself, “My father is soon going to die. When he does, I will kill my brother Jacob.”

42When Rebekah found out what her older son Esau was planning, she immediately sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is biding his time, consoling himself with plots to kill you. 43So, my son, you must do what I say: Leave today and go to my brother Laban in Haran. 44Stay with him for a little while, until your brother’s rage subsides 45and he forgets what you did to him. When he is no longer angry with you, I will send word for you to come home. I couldn’t stand to lose two loved ones on the same day.”

46So Rebekah went to Isaac and said, “I am sick and tired of dealing with Esau’s Hittite wives. If Jacob marries a Hittite woman, it will be the death of me.”