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.
A. M. 2244. B.C. 1760
And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
I know not
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
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.
that I may eat
The blessing, says Dr. A. Clarke, which Isaac was to confer on his son, was a species of divine right, and must be communicated with appropriate ceremonies. As eating and drinking were used among the Asiatics on almost all religious occasions, and especially in making and confirming covenants, it is reasonable to suppose, that something of this kind was essentially necessary on this occasion; and that Isaac could not convey the right, till he had eaten of the meat provided for the purpose by him who was to receive the blessing.
Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
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:
Matammim, from taam, to taste or relish: how dressed is uncertain, but its name declares it nature.
And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
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.
and I shall
And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
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:
27 The Septuagint translates it 'a goodly robe,' which was a long garment that great men used to wear, (Lu. 46 20:46; 22 15:22.) The priest afterwards in the law had 'holy garments' to minister in, (Ex. 2 28:2-4.) Whether the first-born before the law had such to minister in is not certain: for, had they been common garments, why did not Esau himself or his wives keep them? But being, in likelihood, holy robes, received from their ancestors, the mother of the family kept them in sweet chests, from moths and the like; whereupon it is said, (ver. 27,) 'Isaac smelled the smell of his garments.'
Travellers inform us, that the Eastern goats have long, fine, and beautiful hair, of the most delicate silky softness; indeed the animals generally in those hot countries are not covered with so thick a coat of hair as they are in more northerly regions; so that Isaac might easily be deceived, when his eyes were dim, and his feeling no less impaired than his sight.
And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
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.
Heb. before me.
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.
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.
How wonderful, says Mr. Scott, is that difference which there is betwixt the faces and the voices of the several individuals of the human species! Scarcely any two of the innumerable millions are exactly alike in either, and yet the difference cannot be defined or described! The power, wisdom, and kindness of our Creator should be admired and adored in this remarkable circumstance; for they are very visible. This description of Jacob is not unaptly accommodated to the character of a hypocrite: his voice, his language, is that of a Christian; his hands, or conduct, that of an ungodly man: but the judgment will proceed from God, the Judge of all, at the last day, as in the present case, not by the voice, but by the hands.
And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.
And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
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.
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:
the smell of a field
A field where aromatic plants, flowers, fruits, and spices grew in abundance, with which these garments (see ver. 15) of Esau might probably have been perfumed by being laid up with them.
Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
of the dew
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.
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.
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.
trembled very exceedingly
Heb trembled with a great trembling greatly.
Heb. hunted. thou camest.
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.
And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
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?
i.e., a supplanter.
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?
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.
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;
or, of the fatness.
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.
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.
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.
Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;
a few days
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?
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?