King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Genesis 27

Isaac sends Esau for venison. (1-5) Rebekah teaches Jacob to obtain the blessing. (6-17) Jacob, pretending to be Esau, obtains the blessing. (18-29) Isaac’s fear, Esau’s importunity. (30-40) Esau threatens Jacob’s life, Rebekah sends Jacob away. (41-46)

Genesis 27 Audio:

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Isaac sends Esau for venison

1 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 eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.

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

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

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

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

Rebekah teaches Jacob to obtain the blessing

6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,

7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:

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

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

Jacob, pretending to be Esau, obtains the blessing

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

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.

20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.

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.

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

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

24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, 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.

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

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 the LORD hath blessed:

28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

29 Let people 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 he that blesseth thee.

Isaac’s fear, Esau’s importunity

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.

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

32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.

33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where 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.

34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

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

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?

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 shall I do now unto thee, my son?

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.

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

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

Esau threatens Jacob’s life, Rebekah sends Jacob away

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

42 And these 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.

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

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

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 deprived also of you both in one day?

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 which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Old: 137 years, when falling sickly and blind, at least for a time, he wished to bless Esau, who was 77 years old. T.

Ver. 4. That, &c. He does not mean, that the meat would induce him to give his blessing. Neither can we suppose, that he intended to pervert the order of God, in making the younger son subject to the elder, if he was informed by Rebecca, of that disposition of providence. C. — But of this he seems to have been ignorant, v. 29. 35. W.

Ver. 7. In the sight of the Lord, answers to my soul, &c. v. 4. I will bless thee with all earnestness and sincerity. H.

Ver. 12. Mocked him, taking advantage of his blindness and old age. M.

Ver. 13. This curse. Rebecca had too much confidence in God’s promises, to think that he would suffer them to be ineffectual. Hence, Onkelos makes her say, “I have learnt by revelation, that thou wilt receive no curse, but only blessing.” The sequel shewed, that she was directed by God in this delicate business. Theod. q. 78. C.

Ver. 15. Very good. Heb. desirable, kept among perfumes, v. 27. Such, the Hebrews say, were used by the first-born, when they offered sacrifice. S. Jerom, q. Heb.

Ver. 19. I am Esau, thy first-born. S. Augustine, (L. Contra Mendacium, c. x..) treating at large upon this place, excuseth Jacob from a lie, because this whole passage was mysterious, as relating to the preference which was afterwards to be given to the Gentiles before the carnal Jews, which Jacob by prophetic light might understand. So far is certain, that the first birth-right, both by divine election, and by Esau’s free cession, belonged to Jacob: so that if there were any lie in the case, it could be no more than an officious and venial one. Ch. — Ignorance might also excuse them from any sin; as many good and learned men have thought an officious lie to be lawful. S. Chrys. hom. 52. Origen. Bonfrere. And even if we allow that they did wrong; the Scripture relates, but does not sanction what they did, Let him that thinks himself to stand, take heed lest he fall. 1 Cor. x. 12. C. — As our Saviour says of S. John, He is Elias, Matt. xi, so, Jacob says, I am Esau, not in person , but in right of the first-born. W.

Ver. 22. Of Esau. Thus, too often our voice contradicts our hands or actions! H.

Ver. 27. Plentiful. A word retained by the Sam. and Sept. though lost in the Hebrew copies. Grotius. — Hath blessed with abundance of fruit and odoriferous herbs; such as had probably been shut up in the drawers with Esau’s robes. M.

Ver. 28. Wine. “By which Christ gathers together the multitude, in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.” S. Aug.

Ver. 29. Worship thee, with civil respect, (H.) as the Idumeans, Philistines and Moabites did, with respect to David, Solomon, and the Machabees, acknowledging their dominion, though reluctantly. — With blessing. Thus Rebecca had not given her son a vain assurance. Isaac prays that God may ever by his protector, and avenge his cause. H.

Ver. 30. Fear. Sept. “Isaac was rapt into an ecstasy exceedingly great;” during which God explained to him the meaning of what had happened, that he might not think of revoking his blessing. S. Aug. q. 80. He permitted Isaac to be in darkness respecting this affair, that it might be more manifest, that the will of man had no part in preferring Jacob; (S. Chrys. hom. 53.) and that Esau might not direct his rage against his father. W.

Ver. 33. Be blessed. Thus he confirms what he had done; and shews that he bore no resentment towards his younger son, nor esteemed himself to be mocked, v. 12. H.

Ver. 34. Roared, through savage fury and envy of his brother. Euseb. M.

Ver. 35. Deceitfully. Heb. slily; directed by wisdom, as the Chal. has it. S. Chrysostom (de sacerd.) praises the address of Jacob on this occasion. C.

Ver. 36. Jacob. That is, a supplanter. Ch. — My blessing. Both Isaac and Esau speak of this blessing, according to the dictates of nature. But God had disposed of it otherwise. The profane and cruel manners of Esau rendered him unworthy of it; and he could not maintain his natural claim, after having freely resigned it even with an oath. He seems to distinguish the blessing from the birth-right, though one necessarily followed the other. H.

Ver. 37. Brethren, or relations; (M.) for Isaac had no other children but these two. He never married any other woman but the beautiful and virtuous Rebecca. H.

Ver. 39. Moved; yet not so as to repent of what he had done; for Esau found no place of repentance in his father’s breast, although with tears he had sought it, (Heb. xii. 17.) desiring to obtain the blessing of the first-born. H. — In the fat, &c. Idumea was a barren country; and hence some would translate the Heb. “far from the fat…shall they dwelling be; but thou shalt live by the sword.” Thus min often means from, as well as for in: my flesh is changed on account of the want of oil, Ps. cviii. 24. Heb. a pinguedine. C. — But all the ancient versions agree with the Vulg. So that we may say, the blessing of God made those barren regions supply the wants of the people abundantly; and so the Idumeans were to live by the sword, they would seize the rich habitations of their neighbours, (H.) and thus obtain a country rendered fertile without their labour. M.

Ver. 40. Thy brother, in the reign of David, 2 K. viii. 14, and of the Machabees. Josep. Ant. xiii. 17. — Yoke. When the house of Juda shall rebel against the Lord, in the days of Joram, then the Idumeans shall regain their liberty for a time; (4 K. viii. 20.) to be subdued again after 800 years by John Hyrcan, the high priest. H. — All the blessing of Esau tends to confirm that already given to his brother; so that the apostle seems to have considered it unworthy of notice. C. — Jacob, in the mean time, never asserted his dominion; but still called Esau his lord, (C. xxxii. 4.) and behaved to him with the greatest deference. H. — Yet the Idumeans always hated the Jews, and assisted Titus to destroy Jerusalem. Joseph. T.

Ver. 41. My father. He has no regard for this mother. M. — Her love for Jacob filled him with greater indignation; and he resolved to murder him, in order, perhaps, to revenge himself on both. Though this cruel resolution was taken in his heart, with full deliberation, he was not so careful to conceal his intentions; but his watchful mother discovered it, and by her prudence, preserved him from committing the external sin: and Jacob from falling a prey to this second Cain.

Ver. 45. Both my sons. Esau would have forfeited his life for murder. C. ix. 6. H. — Perhaps she might also fear that Jacob, in his own defence, should in the very agony of death, give the aggressor a mortal wound; or that Esau, at least, would be forced to flee his country. Indeed, she considered him already as a lost man, on account of his marriage with the two women of Chanaan, and his savage manners. C.

Ver. 46. To live. Life will be a burden to me. M. — She does not mention the principal reason of her desiring Jacob to go to Haran, for fear of grieving the tender heart of her husband; who, it seems, knew not the temper of Esau so well as she did. C.