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father ptraiventure 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 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 mpther: and his mother made savoury meat,. such as his father loved.

And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which. w.--re with her in. the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son. And she put the skina of the kids of the goats upon his hands,. and. upon the smooth of his neck,.

And she gave the savoury meat, and'the bread, which *he had prepared, iato the hand of her son Jacob.

And he came unto his father, and said, My father; and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?

And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy. firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, 1 pray thee, sit and. eat of my venison, that. thy soul. nay bless mc. ,„l .

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.

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.

And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed hira. .

And Isaac said, Art thou my very son Esau? and he said. I am. And Isaac said, Bring it near to me, and I wjll eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless.

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thee: and he brought it near 'to him, and he did eat: aild he brought him wine, and he, drank.

And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now,' and kiss me, my son. And he came near, andkisssd' fim: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is a* the smell of a field, which the Lord hath blessed. 'Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.

Let people serve thee, and nations bow down t« thee; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curs-' eth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

And it came to pass as soon as Isaac had made an' end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

And he also 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 his father said unto him, Who art thou? and he said, I am thy son, thy first-born Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and he said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me; and I have eaten of all before thou earnest, and have blessed him ? yea, and he shall be blessed.

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 Isaac said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.

And Esau said, Is not he rightily named Jacob? for he' hath supplanted me these two times: He took away my With-right; and behold, now he hath taken away my

^ "blessing *

blessing : and he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing

for me?"

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 E^au 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 ihe dew of heaven from above;

And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt server thy brother : and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

ANNOTATIONS An» REFLECTIONS. There is something so affecting in the account which is given in this section of Esau's disappointment, that the heart which can forbear to commiserate his distress must be totally destitute of sensibility; yet however we may be inclined to pity him and condemn Jacob, Esau will be found, on an impartial examination of his conduct, to hsve been still more culpable than his brother. Neither of them could indeed justhy claim the biasing as the reward of his merits, nor was it, as we observed before*, designed as a reward for any works of theirs, hut as 2 free gift from God to the posterity of Abraham in the line of Jacob, for purposes of mercy to all mankind.

But though the Lord thus predetermined the lot of the nations which Jacob and Esau represented, (as the heads from whom they were to proceed) He left them

* Section xxxii.

as individual! (like the rest of the human race) to the exercise of their own free will, both in respect to faith and moral actions: we will therefore, for the present suspend the farther consideration of the Divine ordinance in respect to the predestination of one people to supremacy, and the other to subjection, since we find that it was the business of an Apostle*, not of the Jewish hit' torian, to vindicate the justice of God in this particular.

Moses describes the conduct of the different parties, concerned in this transaction, as merely the result of human inclinations. uncontrouled by Divine power, so> far as it related to their own persons.

It will appear, in a folk)wing part of this history, that Isaac lived for a number of years after the event whichv is here recorded; but when he found the infirmities of age increasing upon him, and felt a sensible decay, of his faculties, it was wry natural- for him. to, fear that his end was approaching.

Esau seems to have made it one of the pleasures of his. life to shew his affection for his father, by procuring venison, and dressing it. for him in a manner agreeable to, his palate. Without imputing luxury, to Isaac, we may conceive thai.hetook particular delight in eating of this dish; for every parent knows, that the dutiful attention of a child can. give a value to the most trifling services..

Jacob w ho was. naturally of a very timid disposition,., observing the great ascendancy which, his brother had. gained oyer, his. father, attached himseifi as., we find, more particularly to his, mother; and each parent in->dulged a partiality, which inclined them respectively, to pepinote the interest of their particular favourites. This in all probability, gave rise to those jealousies and animosities,, which prevented the harmony that ought, to subsist in aUfamilies.

*. See Rom. is.

WhetherWhether a decay of memory betrayed Isaac into die error, is not mentioned; but he appears to have forgotten what the Lord had revealed to his wife, for he resolved to give to Esau the patemal blessing, (which. appears to have been the appointed means for the conveyance of the everlasting covenant), and to shew that he meant to bestow the blessing on Esau, as the reward of his filial piety, he required him to bring venison, that he might sanctify an action which had so peculiarly endeared him to his heart, by making it a kind of witness or token, on this solemn occasion. Isaac testified a sincere faith in the Divine promises, but, in his preference of Esau, he certainly acted on a wrong principle.

Rebekah also believed in the promises, and never lost sight of the Divine revelation which she had been favoured with before the birth of her children. Anxious to secure the blessing for Jacob, and supposing that she was cooperating with the will of God, she thought herself justified in employing artifices to obtain it.

Equally apprehensive of losing what he valued above all things, and accustomed to pay implicit obedience to his mother, Jacob thought it is duty to yield to her commands, even in opposition to the dictates of his o>»vn conscience; under this mistaken idea, he, with reite-. rated falsehood, deceived his aged father!

Both Rebekah and Jacob were commendable for having a due esteem for the paternal benediction.: bub nothing can justify their attempt to bring about theaccomplishment of a Divine prophecy, by a complication of frauds; it appears, however, to have been, a precipitate act, the result of inconsideration, rather than. premeditated wickedness. vt It is conjectured that the raiment which Jacob put; oo when he went to his father, was a dress which Esau. had to distinguish him as the eldest son.

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