The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 27:1–46

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And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said unto him: 'My son'; and he said unto him: 'Here am I.'

Now Isaac was old, and his eyes were cloudy, and so he was not able to see. And he called his elder son Esau, and he said to him, “My son?” And he responded, “Here I am.”

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And he said: 'Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death.

His father said to him: “You see that I am old, and I do not know the day of my death.

And Isaac said to him, Behold now, I am old, and I do not know the day of my death;

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Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison;

Take your weapons, the quiver and the bow, and go out. And when you have taken something by hunting,

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and make me savoury food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.'

make from it a small meal for me, just as you know I like, and bring it, so that I may eat and my soul may bless you before I die.”

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And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.

And Rebecca heard Isaac speaking to Esau his son; and Esau went to the plain to procure venison for his father.

And when Rebekah had heard this, and he had gone out into the field to fulfill his father’s order,

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And Rebekah spoke unto Jacob her son, saying: 'Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying

she said to her son Jacob: “I heard your father speaking with your brother Esau, and saying to him,

Then Rebekah said to Jacob her son, Behold, I heard your father say to Esau your brother,

Bring me venison, and make me savoury food, that I may eat, and bless thee before YHWH before my death.

‘Bring to me from your hunting, and make me foods, so that I may eat and bless you in the sight of the Lord before I die.’

Bring me game, and make me stewed meat, that I may eat and bless you in the presence of the LORD before I die.

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Now therefore, my son, hearken to my voice according to that which I command thee.

Now then, my son, hearken to me, as I command thee.

Therefore, now my son, agree to my counsel,

Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury food for thy father, such as he loveth;

And go to the cattle and take for me thence two kids, tender and good, and I will make them meats for thy father, as he likes.

and go straight to the flock, and bring me two of the best young goats, so that from them I may make meat for your father, such as he willingly eats.

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10  and thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, so that he may bless thee before his death.'

10  Then, when you have brought these in and he has eaten, he may bless you before he dies.”

10  And you shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, and that he may bless you in the presence of the LORD before his death.

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11  And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother: 'Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.

11  He answered her: “You know that my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am smooth.

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12  My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a mocker; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.'

12  If my father should lay hands on me and perceive it, I am afraid lest he think me willing to mock him, and I will bring a curse upon myself, instead of a blessing.”

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13  And his mother said unto him: 'Upon me be thy curse, my son; only hearken to my voice, and go fetch me them.'

13  And his mother said to him: “Let this curse be upon me, my son. Yet listen to my voice, and go directly to bring what I said.”

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14  And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savoury food, such as his father loved.

14  So he went and took and brought them to his mother; and his mother made meats, as his father liked them.

14  He went out, and he brought, and he gave to his mother. She prepared the meats, just as she knew his father liked.

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15  And Rebekah took the choicest garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son.

15  And Rebecca having taken the fine raiment of her elder son Esau which was with her in the house, put it on Jacob her younger son.

15  And she clothed him with the very fine garments of Esau, which she had at home with her.

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16  And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck.

16  And she encircled his hands with little pelts from the young goats, and she covered his bare neck.

17  And she gave the savoury food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

17  And she gave him the small meal, and she handed him the bread that she had baked.

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18  And he came unto his father, and said: 'My father'; and he said: 'Here am I; who art thou, my son?'

18  And he brought them to his father, and said, Father; and he said, Behold I am here; who art thou, son?

18  When he had carried these in, he said, “My father?” And he answered, “I’m listening. Who are you, my son?”

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19  And Jacob said unto his father: 'I am Esau thy first-born; I have done according as thou badest me. Arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.'

19  And Jacob said to his father, I, Esau thy first-born, have done as thou toldest me; rise, sit, and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.

19  And Jacob said: “I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you instructed me. Arise; sit and eat from my hunting, so that your soul may bless me.”

20  And Isaac said unto his son: 'How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son?' And he said: 'Because YHWH thy God sent me good speed.'

20  And Isaac said to his son, What is this which thou hast quickly found? And he said, That which the Lord thy God presented before me.

20  And again Isaac said to his son, “How were you able to find it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “It was the will of God, so that what I sought met with me quickly.”

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21  And Isaac said unto Jacob: 'Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.'

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22  And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said: 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.'

22  He approached his father, and when he had felt him, Isaac said: “The voice indeed is the voice of Jacob. But the hands are the hands of Esau.”

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23  And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him.

23  And he did not recognize him, because his hairy hands made him seem similar to the elder one. Therefore, blessing him,

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24  And he said: 'Art thou my very son Esau?' And he said: 'I am.'

24  he said, “Are you my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.”

25  And he said: 'Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee.' And he brought it near to him, and he did eat; and he brought him wine, and he drank.

25  Then he said, “Bring me the foods from your hunting, my son, so that my soul may bless you.” And when he had eaten what was offered, he also brought forth wine for him. And after he finished it,

26  And his father Isaac said unto him: 'Come near now, and kiss me, my son.'

26  he said to him, “Come to me and give me a kiss, my son.”

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27  And he came near, and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said: See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which YHWH hath blessed.

27  And he drew nigh and kissed him, and smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said, Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of an abundant field, which the Lord has blessed.

27  He approached and kissed him. And immediately he perceived the fragrance of his garments. And so, blessing him, he said: “Behold, the smell of my son is like the smell of a plentiful field, which the Lord has blessed.

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28  So God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat places of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.

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29  Let peoples serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be every one that blesseth thee.

29  And may the peoples serve you, and may the tribes reverence you. May you be the lord of your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down before you. Whoever curses you, may he be cursed, and whoever blesses you, may he be filled with blessings.”

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30  And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

30  Scarcely had Isaac completed his words, and Jacob departed, when Esau arrived.

31  And he also made savoury food, and brought it unto his father; and he said unto his father: 'Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.'

31  And he brought his father foods cooked from his hunting, saying, “Arise, my father, and eat from your son’s hunting, so that your soul may bless me.”

32  And Isaac his father said unto him: 'Who art thou?' And he said: 'I am thy son, thy first-born, Esau.'

32  And Isaac said to him, “But who are you?” And he answered, “I am your firstborn son, Esau.”

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33  And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said: 'Who then is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.'

33  And Isaac was amazed with very great amazement, and said, Who then is it that has procured venison for me and brought it to me? and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed.

33  Isaac became frightened and very astonished. And wondering beyond what can be believed, he said: “Then who is he that a while ago brought me the prey from his hunting, from which I ate, before you arrived? And I blessed him, and he will be blessed.”

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34  When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said unto his father: 'Bless me, even me also, O my father.'

34  Esau, having heard his father’s words, roared out with a great outcry. And, being confounded, he said, “But bless me also, my father.”

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35  And he said: 'Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy blessing.'

35  And he said, “Your twin came deceitfully, and he received your blessing.”

35  But his father said, Your brother came with deceit, and has already received your blessing.

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36  And he said: 'Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.' And he said: 'Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?'

36  But he responded: “Justly is his name called Jacob. For he has supplanted me yet another time. My birthright he took away before, and now, this second time, he has stolen my blessing.” And again, he said to his father, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me also?”

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37  And Isaac answered and said unto Esau: 'Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him; and what then shall I do for thee, my son?'

37  Isaac answered: “I have appointed him as your lord, and I have subjugated all his brothers as his servants. I have reinforced him with grain and wine, and after this, my son, what more shall I do for you?”

38  And Esau said unto his father: 'Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father.' And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

38  And Esau said to him: “Have you only one blessing, father? I beg you, bless me also.” And when he wept with a loud wail,

39  And Isaac his father answered and said unto him: Behold, of the fat places of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above;

39  Isaac was moved, and he said to him: “In the fatness of the earth, and in the dew of heaven from above,

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40  And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt break loose, that thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck.

40  will your blessing be. You will live by the sword, and you will serve your brother. But the time will arrive when you will shake off and release his yoke from your neck.”

40  And by your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but if you shall repent, his yoke shall pass away from off your neck.

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41  And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau said in his heart: 'Let the days of mourning for my father be at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.'

41  And Esau was angry with Jacob because of the blessing, with which his father blessed him; and Esau said in his mind, Let the days of my father’s mourning draw nigh, that I may slay my brother Jacob.

41  Therefore, Esau always hated Jacob, for the blessing with which his father had blessed him. And he said in his heart, “The days will arrive for the mourning of my father, and I will kill my brother Jacob.”

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42  And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah; and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him: 'Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.

42  These things were reported to Rebekah. And sending and calling for her son Jacob, she said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau is threatening to kill you.

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43  Now therefore, my son, hearken to my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;

43  Now then, my son, hear my voice, and rise and depart quickly into Mesopotamia to Laban my brother into Charran.

43  Therefore, now my son, listen to my voice. Rise up and flee to my brother Laban, in Haran.

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44  and tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;

44  And you will dwell with him for a few days, until the fury of your brother subsides,

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45  until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him; then I will send, and fetch thee from thence; why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?'

45  and rage depart from thee, and he forget what thou hast done to him; and I will send and fetch thee thence, lest at any time I should be bereaved of you both in one day.

45  and his indignation ceases, and he forgets the things that you have done to him. After this, I will send for you and bring you from there to here. Why should I be bereaved of both my sons in one day?”

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46  And Rebekah said to Isaac: 'I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?'

46  And Rebecca said to Isaac, I am weary of my life, because of the daughters of the sons of Chet; if Jacob shall take a wife of the daughters of this land, wherefore should I live?

46  Then Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?