Genesis 27

Isaac blesses Jacob

1 Isaac became old. He could not see anything because his eyes were weak. He called for his older son, Esau. Isaac said, ‘My son.’ Esau replied, ‘Yes, I am here.’ 2 Isaac said, ‘I am an old man. I may die very soon. 3 Get your bow and your arrows. Go out into the country and kill some wild animals for me. 4 Then prepare the food that I like to eat. Bring it to me so that I can eat it. Then I will give you my blessing before I die.’

27:3People use bows to shoot arrows. An arrow is like a stick with a sharp point at the end.
27:4In the Old Testament, a father gave his blessing to the oldest son. This son has the birthright. Isaac does not know that Esau sold his birthright. (See 25:31-34.) Esau does not tell Isaac that he has sold his birthright.

5 Rebekah listened to what Isaac said to Esau. She waited until Esau went out to the country to kill an animal and bring back the meat. 6 Then she said to Jacob, ‘I heard your father say this to Esau: 7 “Bring me some meat and prepare the food that I like to eat. When I have eaten it, I will give you my blessing. I will bless you in front of the Lord before I die.”  8 Now my son, listen carefully and do as I tell you. 9 Go out to the animals and bring two goats to me. They must be very good young goats. Then I will prepare some food that your father likes to eat. I will cook the meat in the way that he likes. 10 Then take the food to your father. When he has eaten it, he will give you his blessing before he dies.’

11 Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, ‘That will be difficult. Hair covers my brother's skin. But my skin does not have any hair. 12 My father may touch me. Then he will know that I am deceiving him. He will not bless me. He will curse me instead.’ 13 Jacob's mother said, ‘My son, the curse will happen to me, not you. Do what I say. Go and get the things that I told you.’

14 Jacob went and he got the goats. He brought them to his mother. She prepared some food in the way that Isaac liked to eat. 15 Then Rebekah took some of Esau's best clothes that were in her house. She put them on Jacob, her younger son. 16 She covered Jacob's hands with the skin from the goats. She also covered the part of his neck that had no hair. 17 Then she gave to Jacob the food that Isaac liked to eat. And she gave him some bread that she had made.

27:16Goats have hair on their skin. Rebekah did this to make Isaac think that Jacob was Esau. If Isaac touched Jacob, he would think that Jacob was Esau. He would think that because of the hair on the skin.

18 Jacob went to his father. He said, ‘My father.’ Isaac replied ‘Yes, my son. Who are you, Esau or Jacob?’ 19 Jacob said, ‘I am Esau. I am your firstborn son. I have done as you told me. Please sit up. Eat some of the meat from the wild animal that I killed. Then you can bless me.’ 20 Isaac asked his son, ‘My son, how did you find it so quickly?’ Jacob replied, ‘The Lord your God helped me find it.’

27:20Jacob says ‘the Lord your God’. Jacob does not call God his own God.

21 Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come near to me so that I can touch you, my son. Then I will know if you really are my son Esau.’

22 Jacob went close to his father. Isaac touched him and he said, ‘The voice is Jacob's voice. But the hands are Esau's hands.’ 23 Isaac did not know that it was Jacob because he could feel the hair on Jacob's hands. They felt like Esau's hands. So Isaac blessed Jacob.

24 Isaac asked again, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ Jacob replied, ‘I am.’ 25 Isaac said, ‘My son, bring me some of your meat. I will eat it. Then I will bless you.’ So Jacob brought the food to him and Isaac ate it. Jacob also brought some wine and Isaac drank it.

26 Then Isaac said, ‘Come here my son and kiss me.’ 27 So Jacob went to Isaac and kissed him. Isaac smelled the clothes that Jacob wore. Then Isaac blessed him. He said,

‘The smell of my son is like the smell of a field.

It is like a field that the Lord has blessed.

28 May God give you rain for your crops,

so that they grow well in the good ground.

Then you will have plenty of grain for food.

And you will have grapes to make wine.

27:28Crops are plants. They can be any plants that people or animals eat.

29 May the people of many nations serve you.

May they respect you as their master.

You will rule over your brothers.

Yes, your mother's sons will bend down to respect you.

May God curse anyone who curses you.

And may he bless anyone who blesses you.’

27:29This is what God told Rebekah. See Genesis 25:23.

30 When Isaac had blessed Jacob, Jacob left him. Just then, Esau came back from the country where he had killed an animal. 31 He prepared nice food that Isaac liked to eat. Then he took the food to his father, Isaac. Esau said, ‘My father, please sit up. Eat some of the meat from the wild animal that I have killed. Then you can bless me.’

32 His father Isaac asked, ‘Who are you?’ Esau replied, ‘I am your firstborn son, Esau.’ 33 Isaac's body shook very much. He asked, ‘Who was it who killed an animal and brought the meat to me? Just before you came, I ate all of it. And then I blessed him. And God will certainly bless him!’

27:33Isaac's body shook. He now knows what Jacob has done. He knows that he cannot remove his blessing from Jacob. The son that he loves cannot receive the blessing. Isaac knows that God will bless Jacob and not Esau.

34 Esau heard what his father had said and he cried aloud. He was very upset. He said, ‘My father, please bless me too!’ 35 But Isaac said, ‘Your brother came to me. He deceived me and he took your blessing away from you.’ 36 Esau said, ‘Yes, “Jacob” is the right name for him. He has cheated me twice. First he took my birthright. Now he has taken my blessing as well!’ Then Esau asked his father, ‘You must still have some blessing left for me, don't you?’

27:36Jacob means ‘He deceives’. This is what ‘deceives’ means. Jacob says things that are not true. And he does things that are not right.

37 Isaac replied, ‘I have made Jacob master over you. All his relatives will become his servants. I have given him crops and wine. So what can I still do to bless you, my son?’

27:37Isaac is saying that there is no blessing left for Esau.

38 Esau said, ‘My father, you surely have one blessing left for me. Please bless me too!’ Then Esau wept loudly.

39 Isaac replied,

‘You will not live in a place where the ground gives good food.

You will not have rain to make your crops grow.

40 You will have to fight to get the things that you need.

You will serve your brother as your master.

But when you choose to turn against him,

you will become free from his power over you.’

27:40This is the only blessing that Isaac could give Esau. He could not take back the blessing that he gave to Jacob.

41 Because Isaac had blessed Jacob, Esau hated his younger brother Jacob. Esau said quietly, ‘My father will die soon. When we have buried his body, I will kill my brother.’ 42 Someone told Rebekah what her older son, Esau, had said. So she told her younger son, Jacob, to come to her. She said to him, ‘Your brother Esau wants to kill you, because of what you did to him. 43 Now my son, do what I tell you. Quickly go away from here. Go to my brother Laban who lives in Haran. 44 Live with him for a time. Stay there until your brother is not angry with you any longer. 45 He may forget what you did to him. Then I will send a message to you, so that you can come back from Haran. I do not want to lose both of my sons in one day.’

27:45Rebekah thinks that Esau and Jacob will kill each other. Or she thinks that, if Esau kills Jacob, other people will have to kill Esau.

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, ‘I do not like living in the same place as Esau's wives. It makes me very upset, because they are Hittites. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women who live in this land, I will be very sad. I would rather die!’

27:46Rebekah wants Isaac to send Jacob away to find a wife. He will send Jacob to go to his relatives. Rebekah wants that to happen so that Esau will not be able to kill Jacob. Jacob stayed in Haran for 20 years. Rebekah did not see Jacob again.