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  Discovery Box

Genesis 27:27-40

Context
27:27 So Jacob 1  went over and kissed him. When Isaac caught the scent 2  of his clothing, he blessed him, saying,

“Yes, 3  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 4 

and the richness 5  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 6  lord 7  over your brothers,

and the sons of your mother will bow down to you. 8 

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 9  his father’s 10  presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 11  27:31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau 12  said to him, “My father, get up 13  and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.” 14  27:32 His father Isaac asked, 15  “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,” 16  he replied, “Esau!” 27:33 Isaac began to shake violently 17  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. 18  He will indeed be blessed!”

27:34 When Esau heard 19  his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly. 20  He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 27:35 But Isaac 21  replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away 22  your blessing.” 27:36 Esau exclaimed, “‘Jacob’ is the right name for him! 23  He has tripped me up 24  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!” 25  Then Esau wept loudly. 26 

27:39 So his father Isaac said to him,

“Indeed, 27  your home will be

away from the richness 28  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.” 29 

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

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

3 tn Heb “see.”

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

5 tn Heb “and from the fatness.”

6 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.

7 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.”

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

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

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

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

12 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.

13 tn Or “arise” (i.e., sit up).

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

15 tn Heb “said.”

16 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.

17 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.

18 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?”

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

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

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

22 tn Or “took”; “received.”

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

24 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.”

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

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

27 tn Heb “look.”

28 tn Heb “from the fatness.”

29 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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