When Isaac was old and almost blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, "My son?" "Yes, Father?" Esau replied.
"I am an old man now," Isaac said, "and I expect every day to be my last.
Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game for me.
Prepare it just the way I like it so it's savory and good, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die."
But Rebekah overheard the conversation. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game,
she said to her son Jacob, "I overheard your father asking Esau
to prepare him a delicious meal of wild game. He wants to bless Esau in the LORD's presence before he dies.
Now, my son, do exactly as I tell you.
Go out to the flocks and bring me two fine young goats. I'll prepare your father's favorite dish from them.
Take the food to your father; then he can eat it and bless you instead of Esau before he dies."
"But Mother!" Jacob replied. "He won't be fooled that easily. Think how hairy Esau is and how smooth my skin is!
What if my father touches me? He'll see that I'm trying to trick him, and then he'll curse me instead of blessing me."
"Let the curse fall on me, dear son," said Rebekah. "Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats."
So Jacob followed his mother's instructions, bringing her the two goats. She took them and cooked a delicious meat dish, just the way Isaac liked it.
Then she took Esau's best clothes, which were there in the house, and dressed Jacob with them.
She made him a pair of gloves from the hairy skin of the young goats, and she fastened a strip of the goat's skin around his neck.
Then she gave him the meat dish, with its rich aroma, and some freshly baked bread.
Jacob carried the platter of food to his father and said, "My father?" "Yes, my son," he answered. "Who is it -- Esau or Jacob?"
Jacob replied, "It's Esau, your older son. I've done as you told me. Here is the wild game, cooked the way you like it. Sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing."
Isaac asked, "How were you able to find it so quickly, my son?" "Because the LORD your God put it in my path!" Jacob replied.
Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come over here. I want to touch you to make sure you really are Esau."
So Jacob went over to his father, and Isaac touched him. "The voice is Jacob's, but the hands are Esau's," Isaac said to himself.
But he did not recognize Jacob because Jacob's hands felt hairy just like Esau's. So Isaac pronounced his blessing on Jacob.
"Are you really my son Esau?" he asked. "Yes, of course," Jacob replied.
Then Isaac said, "Now, my son, bring me the meat. I will eat it, and then I will give you my blessing." So Jacob took the food over to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him. Then Isaac said,
"Come here and kiss me, my son."
So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, "The smell of my son is the good smell of the open fields that the LORD has blessed.
May God always give you plenty of dew for healthy crops and good harvests of grain and wine.
May many nations become your servants. May you be the master of your brothers. May all your mother's sons bow low before you. All who curse you are cursed, and all who bless you are blessed."
As soon as Isaac had blessed Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunting trip.
Esau prepared his father's favorite meat dish and brought it to him. Then he said, "I'm back, Father, and I have the wild game. Sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing."
But Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "Why, it's me, of course!" he replied. "It's Esau, your older son."
Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, "Then who was it that just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him with an irrevocable blessing before you came."
When Esau understood, he let out a loud and bitter cry. "O my father, bless me, too!" he begged.
But Isaac said, "Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has carried away your blessing."
Esau said bitterly, "No wonder his name is Jacob, a for he has deceived me twice, first taking my birthright and now stealing my blessing. Oh, haven't you saved even one blessing for me?"
Isaac said to Esau, "I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine -- what is there left to give?"
Esau pleaded, "Not one blessing left for me? O my father, bless me, too!" Then Esau broke down and wept.
His father, Isaac, said to him, "You will live off the land and what it yields,
and you will live by your sword. You will serve your brother for a time, but then you will shake loose from him and be free."
Esau hated Jacob because he had stolen his blessing, and he said to himself, "My father will soon be dead and gone. Then I will kill Jacob."
But someone got wind of what Esau was planning and reported it to Rebekah. She sent for Jacob and told him, "Esau is threatening to kill you.
This is what you should do. Flee to your uncle Laban in Haran.
Stay there with him until your brother's fury is spent.
When he forgets what you have done, I will send for you. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"
Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm sick and tired of these local Hittite women. I'd rather die than see Jacob marry one of them."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)