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Genesis 27:18-40

Context

27:18 He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac 1  replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?” 2  27:19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up 3  and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.” 4  27:20 But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world 5  did you find it so quickly, 6  my son?” “Because the Lord your God brought it to me,” 7  he replied. 8  27:21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you, 9  my son, and know for certain if you really are my son Esau.” 10  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. 11  27:24 Then he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” “I am,” Jacob 12  replied. 27:25 Isaac 13  said, “Bring some of the wild game for me to eat, my son. 14  Then I will bless you.” 15  So Jacob 16  brought it to him, and he ate it. He also brought him wine, and Isaac 17  drank. 27:26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27:27 So Jacob 18  went over and kissed him. When Isaac caught the scent 19  of his clothing, he blessed him, saying,

“Yes, 20  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 21 

and the richness 22  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 23  lord 24  over your brothers,

and the sons of your mother will bow down to you. 25 

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 26  his father’s 27  presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 28  27:31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau 29  said to him, “My father, get up 30  and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.” 31  27:32 His father Isaac asked, 32  “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,” 33  he replied, “Esau!” 27:33 Isaac began to shake violently 34  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. 35  He will indeed be blessed!”

27:34 When Esau heard 36  his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly. 37  He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 27:35 But Isaac 38  replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away 39  your blessing.” 27:36 Esau exclaimed, “‘Jacob’ is the right name for him! 40  He has tripped me up 41  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!” 42  Then Esau wept loudly. 43 

27:39 So his father Isaac said to him,

“Indeed, 44  your home will be

away from the richness 45  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.” 46 

1 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 sn Which are you, my son? Isaac’s first question shows that the deception is going to require more subterfuge than Rebekah had anticipated. Jacob will have to pull off the deceit.

3 tn Heb “get up and sit.” This may mean simply “sit up,” or it may indicate that he was to get up from his couch and sit at a table.

4 tn Heb “so that your soul may bless me.” These words, though not reported by Rebekah to Jacob (see v. 7) accurately reflect what Isaac actually said to Esau (see v. 4). Perhaps Jacob knew more than Rebekah realized, but it is more likely that this was an idiom for sincere blessing with which Jacob was familiar. At any rate, his use of the precise wording was a nice, convincing touch.

5 tn Heb “What is this?” The enclitic pronoun “this” adds emphasis to the question, which is comparable to the English rhetorical question, “How in the world?”

6 tn Heb “you hastened to find.” In translation the infinitive becomes the main verb and the first verb becomes adverbial.

7 tn Heb “caused to meet before me.”

8 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Because the Lord your God….’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

9 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.

10 tn Heb “Are you this one, Esau, my son, or not?” On the use of the interrogative particle here, see BDB 210 s.v. הֲ.

11 tn Heb “and he blessed him.” The referents of the pronouns “he” (Isaac) and “him” (Jacob) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Heb “Bring near to me and I will eat of the wild game, my son.” Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

15 tn Heb “so that my soul may bless you.” The presence of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) as subject emphasizes Isaac’s heartfelt desire to do this. The conjunction indicates that the ritual meal must be first eaten before the formal blessing may be given.

16 tn Heb “and he brought”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 tn Heb “and he drank”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 tn Heb “and he smelled the smell”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

20 tn Heb “see.”

21 tn Heb “and from the dew of the sky.”

22 tn Heb “and from the fatness.”

23 tn Heb “and be.” The verb is an imperative, which is used rhetorically in this oracle of blessing. It is an invitation to exercise authority his brothers and indicates that he is granted such authority by the patriarch of the family. Furthermore, the blessing enables the recipient to accomplish this.

24 tn The Hebrew word is גְבִיר (gevir, “lord, mighty one”). The one being blessed will be stronger and therefore more powerful than his brother. See Gen 25:23. The feminine form of this rare noun means “mistress” or “queen-mother.”

25 tn Following the imperative, the prefixed verbal form (which is either an imperfect or a jussive) with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

26 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite form of the verb makes the construction emphatic.

27 tn Heb “the presence of Isaac his father.” The repetition of the proper name (“Isaac”) was

28 tn Heb “and Esau his brother came from his hunt.”

29 tn Heb “and he said to his father”; the referent of “he” (Esau) has been specified in the translation for clarity, while the words “his father” have been replaced by the pronoun “him” for stylistic reasons.

30 tn Or “arise” (i.e., sit up).

31 tn Heb “so that your soul may bless me.”

32 tn Heb “said.”

33 tn Heb “and he said, ‘I [am] your son, your firstborn.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged for stylistic reasons.

34 tn Heb “and Isaac trembled with a great trembling to excess.” The verb “trembled” is joined with a cognate accusative, which is modified by an adjective “great,” and a prepositional phrase “to excess.” All of this is emphatic, showing the violence of Isaac’s reaction to the news.

35 tn Heb “Who then is he who hunted game and brought [it] to me so that I ate from all before you arrived and blessed him?”

36 tn The temporal clause is introduced with the temporal indicator and has the infinitive as its verb.

37 tn Heb “and he yelled [with] a great and bitter yell to excess.”

38 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

39 tn Or “took”; “received.”

40 tn Heb “Is he not rightly named Jacob?” The rhetorical question, since it expects a positive reply, has been translated as a declarative statement.

41 sn He has tripped me up. When originally given, the name Jacob was a play on the word “heel” (see Gen 25:26). The name (since it is a verb) probably means something like “may he protect,” that is, as a rearguard, dogging the heels. This name was probably chosen because of the immediate association with the incident of grabbing the heel. Esau gives the name “Jacob” a negative connotation here, the meaning “to trip up; to supplant.”

42 tn Heb “Bless me, me also, my father.” The words “my father” have not been repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.

43 tn Heb “and Esau lifted his voice and wept.”

44 tn Heb “look.”

45 tn Heb “from the fatness.”

46 sn You will tear off his yoke from your neck. It may be that this prophetic blessing found its fulfillment when Jerusalem fell and Edom got its revenge. The oracle makes Edom subservient to Israel and suggests the Edomites would live away from the best land and be forced to sustain themselves by violent measures.



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