When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he summoned his elder son Esau. 'Son!' he said, and Esau replied, 'Here I am.'
He then said, 'Look, I am old and do not know when I may die.
Now take your weapons, your quiver and bow; go out into the country and hunt me some game.
Make me the kind of appetising dish I like and bring it to me to eat and I shall give you my special blessing before I die.'
Rebekah was listening while Isaac was talking to his son Esau. So when Esau went into the country to hunt game for his father,
Rebekah said to her son Jacob, 'I have just heard your father saying to your brother Esau,
"Bring me some game and make an appetising dish for me to eat and then I shall bless you in Yahweh's presence before I die."
Now, son, listen to me and do as I tell you.
Go to the flock and bring me back two good kids, so that I can make the kind of special dish your father likes.
Then take it to your father for him to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.'
Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, 'Look, my brother Esau is hairy, while I am smooth-skinned.
If my father happens to touch me, he will see I am cheating him, and I shall bring a curse down on myself instead of a blessing.'
But his mother replied, 'On me be the curse, my son! Just listen to me; go and fetch me the kids.'
So he went to fetch them and brought them to his mother, and she made the kind of special dish his father liked.
Rebekah took her elder son Esau's best clothes, which she had at home, and dressed her younger son Jacob in them,
covering his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skins of the kids.
She then handed the special dish and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.
He went to his father and said, 'Father!' 'Yes?' he replied. 'Which of my sons are you?'
Jacob said to his father, 'I am Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of the game I have brought and then give me your soul's blessing.'
Isaac said to his son, 'Son, how did you succeed so quickly?' He replied, 'Because Yahweh your God made things go well for me.'
Isaac said to Jacob, 'Come closer, son, so that I can feel you and be sure whether you really are my son Esau or not.'
Jacob went closer to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, 'The voice is Jacob's voice but the arms are the arms of Esau!'
He did not recognise him since his arms were hairy like his brother Esau's, and so he blessed him.
He said, 'Are you really my son Esau?' And he replied, 'I am.'
Isaac said, 'Serve it to me, so that I can eat my son's game and give you my special blessing.' He served it to him and he ate; he offered him wine, and he drank.
His father Isaac said to him, 'Come closer, and kiss me, son.'
He went closer and kissed his father, who sniffed the smell of his clothes. Then he blessed him, saying: Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a fertile field which Yahweh has blessed.
May God give you dew from heaven, and the richness of the earth, abundance of grain and wine!
Let peoples serve you and nations bow low before you! Be master of your brothers; let your mother's other sons bow low before you! Accursed be whoever curses you and blessed be whoever blesses you!
As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and just as Jacob was leaving his father Isaac, his brother Esau returned from hunting.
He too made an appetising dish and brought it to his father, 'Father, please eat some of your son's game and then give me your special blessing.'
His father Isaac asked, 'Who are you?' 'I am your first-born son, Esau,' he replied.
At this Isaac was seized with a violent trembling and said, 'Who was it, then, that went hunting and brought me the game? I finished eating it just before you came; I blessed him, and now blessed he will remain!'
On hearing his father's words, Esau cried out loudly and bitterly and said to his father, 'Father, bless me too!'
But he replied, 'Your brother came by fraud and took your blessing.'
Esau said, 'His name should be Jacob right enough, for he has now supplanted me twice. First he took my birthright, and look, now he has gone and taken my blessing! But', he added, 'have you not kept a blessing for me?'
Isaac replied to Esau, 'I have already made him your master; I have given him all his brothers as servants, I have given him grain and wine to sustain him. So what can I do for you, son?'
Esau said to his father, 'Can you bless only once, father? Father, bless me too.' Isaac remained silent, and Esau began to weep aloud.
Then his father Isaac spoke again and said: 'Far from the richness of the earth and the dew of heaven above, your home will be.
By your sword you will live, and your brother will you serve. But when you win your freedom, you will shake his yoke off your neck.'
Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him, and Esau said to himself, 'The time to mourn for my father will soon be here. Then I shall kill my brother Jacob.'
When the words of Esau, her elder son, were repeated to Rebekah, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, 'Look, your brother Esau means to take revenge and kill you.
Now, son, listen to me; go at once and take refuge with my brother Laban in Haran.
Stay with him a while, until your brother's fury cools,
until your brother's anger is diverted from you and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I shall send someone to bring you back. I do not want to lose you both on one day!'
Rebekah said to Isaac, 'The Hittite women sicken me to death. If Jacob were to marry a Hittite woman like these, one of the local women, what would there be left in life for me?'