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Genesis 27:40-41


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.” 1 

27:41 So Esau hated 2  Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother. 3  Esau said privately, 4  “The time 5  of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill 6  my brother Jacob!”

1 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.

2 tn Or “bore a grudge against” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV). The Hebrew verb שָׂטַם (satam) describes persistent hatred.

3 tn Heb “because of the blessing which his father blessed him.”

4 tn Heb “said in his heart.” The expression may mean “said to himself.” Even if this is the case, v. 42 makes it clear that he must have shared his intentions with someone, because the news reached Rebekah.

5 tn Heb “days.”

6 tn The cohortative here expresses Esau’s determined resolve to kill Jacob.

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