Bible Society of South Africa

Day 9 – Jacob and Esau Compete

Read about how Jacob and Esau competed.

Bible text(s)

Isaac Blesses Jacob

1Isaac was now old and had become blind. He sent for his elder son Esau and said to him, “My son!”

“Yes,” he answered.

2Isaac said, “You see that I am old and may die soon. 3Take your bow and arrows, go out into the country, and kill an animal for me. 4Cook me some of that tasty food that I like, and bring it to me. After I have eaten it, I will give you my final blessing before I die.”

5While Isaac was talking to Esau, Rebecca was listening. So when Esau went out to hunt, 6she said to Jacob, “I have just heard your father say to Esau, 7‘Bring me an animal and cook it for me. After I have eaten it, I will give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.’ 8Now, my son,” Rebecca continued, “listen to me and do what I say. 9Go to the flock and pick out two fat young goats, so that I can cook them and make some of that food your father likes so much. 10You can take it to him to eat, and he will give you his blessing before he dies.”

11But Jacob said to his mother, “You know that Esau is a hairy man, but I have smooth skin. 12Perhaps my father will touch me and find out that I am deceiving him; in this way I will bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.”

13His mother answered, “Let any curse against you fall on me, my son; just do as I say, and go and get the goats for me.” 14So he went to get them and brought them to her, and she cooked the kind of food that his father liked. 15Then she took Esau's best clothes, which she kept in the house, and put them on Jacob. 16She put the skins of the goats on his arms and on the hairless part of his neck. 17She handed him the tasty food, together with the bread she had baked.

18Then Jacob went to his father and said, “Father!”

“Yes,” he answered. “Which of my sons are you?”

19Jacob answered, “I am your elder son Esau; I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of the meat that I have brought you, so that you can give me your blessing.”

20Isaac said, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”

Jacob answered, “The LORD your God helped me to find it.”

21Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so that I can touch you. Are you really Esau?” 22Jacob moved closer to his father, who felt him and said, “Your voice sounds like Jacob's voice, but your arms feel like Esau's arms.” 23He did not recognize Jacob, because his arms were hairy like Esau's. He was about to give him his blessing, 24but asked again, “Are you really Esau?”

“I am,” he answered.

25Isaac said, “Bring me some of the meat. After I have eaten it, I will give you my blessing.” Jacob brought it to him, and he also brought him some wine to drink. 26Then his father said to him, “Come closer and kiss me, my son.” 27As he came up to kiss him, Isaac smelt his clothes — so he gave him his blessing. He said, “The pleasant smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed. 28May God give you dew from heaven and make your fields fertile! May he give you plenty of corn and wine! 29May nations be your servants, and may peoples bow down before you. May you rule over all your relatives, and may your mother's descendants bow down before you. May those who curse you be cursed, and may those who bless you be blessed.”

Esau Begs for Isaac's Blessing

30Isaac finished giving his blessing, and as soon as Jacob left, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31He also cooked some tasty food and took it to his father. He said, “Please, father, sit up and eat some of the meat that I have brought you, so that you can give me your blessing.”

32“Who are you?” Isaac asked.

“Your elder son Esau,” he answered.

33Isaac began to tremble and shake all over, and he asked, “Who was it, then, who killed an animal and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came. I gave him my final blessing, and so it is his for ever.”

34When Esau heard this, he cried out loudly and bitterly and said, “Give me your blessing also, father!”

35Isaac answered, “Your brother came and deceived me. He has taken away your blessing.”

36Esau said, “This is the second time that he has cheated me. No wonder his name is Jacob. He took my rights as the firstborn son, and now he has taken away my blessing. Haven't you saved a blessing for me?”

37Isaac answered, “I have already made him master over you, and I have made all his relatives his slaves. I have given him corn and wine. Now there is nothing that I can do for you, my son!”

38Esau continued to plead with his father: “Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me too, father!” He began to cry.

39Then Isaac said to him,

“No dew from heaven for you,

No fertile fields for you.

40You will live by your sword,

But be your brother's slave.

Yet when you rebel,

You will break away from his control.”

41Esau hated Jacob, because his father had given Jacob the blessing. He thought, “The time to mourn my father's death is near; then I will kill Jacob.”

42But when Rebecca heard about Esau's plan, she sent for Jacob and said, “Listen, your brother Esau is planning to get even with you and kill you. 43Now, my son, do what I say. Go at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44and stay with him for a while, until your brother's anger cools down 45and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send someone to bring you back. Why should I lose both my sons on the same day?”

Isaac Sends Jacob to Laban

46Rebecca said to Isaac, “I am sick and tired of Esau's foreign wives. If Jacob also marries one of these Hittite women, I might as well die.”

1Isaac called Jacob, greeted him, and said to him, “Don't marry a Canaanite woman. 2Go instead to Mesopotamia, to the home of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of the young women there, one of your uncle Laban's daughters. 3May Almighty God bless your marriage and give you many children, so that you will become the father of many nations! 4May he bless you and your descendants as he blessed Abraham, and may you take possession of this land, in which you have lived and which God gave to Abraham!” 5Isaac sent Jacob away to Mesopotamia, to Laban, who was the son of Bethuel the Aramean and the brother of Rebecca, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

Esau Takes Another Wife

6Esau learnt that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Mesopotamia to find a wife. He also learnt that when Isaac blessed him, he commanded him not to marry a Canaanite woman. 7He found out that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Mesopotamia. 8Esau then understood that his father Isaac did not approve of Canaanite women. 9So he went to Ishmael son of Abraham and married his daughter Mahalath, who was the sister of Nebaioth.

Jacob's Dream at Bethel

10Jacob left Beersheba and started towards Haran. 11At sunset he came to a holy place and camped there. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone. 12He dreamt that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it. 13And there was the LORD standing beside him. “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham and Isaac,” he said. “I will give to you and to your descendants this land on which you are lying. 14They will be as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. They will extend their territory in all directions, and through you and your descendants I will bless all the nations. 15Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you.”

16Jacob woke up and said, “The LORD is here! He is in this place, and I didn't know it!” 17He was afraid and said, “What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God; it must be the gate that opens into heaven.”

18Jacob got up early next morning, took the stone that was under his head, and set it up as a memorial. Then he poured olive oil on it to dedicate it to God. 19He named the place Bethel. (The town there was once known as Luz.) 20Then Jacob made a vow to the LORD: “If you will be with me and protect me on the journey I am making and give me food and clothing, 21and if I return safely to my father's home, then you will be my God. 22This memorial stone which I have set up will be the place where you are worshipped, and I will give you a tenth of everything you give me.”

Genesis 27:1-28:22GNBOpen in Bible reader

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Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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