Genesis 25:21 - 50:11
This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty
years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the
Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the
Aramean. Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife,
because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer,
and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled
each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening
to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to
her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from
within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than
the other, and the older will serve the younger.” When the
time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her
womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was
like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his
brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he
was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah
gave birth to them. The boys grew up, and Esau became a
skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was
content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a
taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in
from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick,
let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is
why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, “First sell me
your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What
good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me
first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to
Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil
stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau
despised his birthright.
When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter
of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the
Hittite. They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could
no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to
him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered. Isaac said, “I am
now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. Now
then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out
to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare
me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so
that I may give you my blessing before I die.” Now Rebekah
was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left
for the open country to hunt game and bring it back,  
Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your
father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and
prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my
blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ Now, my
son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock
and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some
tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. Then take it
to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing
before he dies.” Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my
brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. What if
my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and
would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.”
His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just
do what I say; go and get them for me.” So he went and got
them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared
some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. Then
Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which
she had in the house, and put them on her younger son
Jacob. 16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part
of his neck with the goatskins. Then she handed to her son
Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. He went
to his father and said, “My father.” “Yes, my son,” he
answered. “Who is it?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau
your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and
eat some of my game, so that you may give me your
blessing.” Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so
quickly, my son?” “The Lord your God gave me success,” he
replied. Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch
you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or
not.” Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him
and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are
the hands of Esau.” He did not recognize him, for his hands
were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to
bless him. “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “I am,”
he replied. Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your
game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.” Jacob
brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and
he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my
son, and kiss me.” So he went to him and kissed him. When
Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and
said, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that
the Lord has blessed. May God give you heaven’s dew and
earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine. May
nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord
over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow
down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those
who bless you be blessed.” After Isaac finished blessing him,
and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother
Esau came in from hunting. He too prepared some tasty food
and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father,
please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give
me your blessing.” His father Isaac asked him, “Who are
you?” “I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”
Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that
hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you
came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”
When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud
and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my
father!” But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took
your blessing.” Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?
This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He
took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he
asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?” Isaac
answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have
made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him
with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you,
my son?” Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one
blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau
wept aloud. His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will
be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of
heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve
your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his
yoke from off your neck.” Esau held a grudge against Jacob
because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to
himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I
will kill my brother Jacob.” When Rebekah was told what her
older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob
and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge
himself by killing you. Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee
at once to my brother Laban in Harran. Stay with him for a
while until your brother’s fury subsides. When your brother is
no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll
send word for you to come back from there. Why should I
lose both of you in one day?”