Genesis 27:30–40

27 30 It happened when Isaac had finished blessing Jacob and just as Jacob left his father Isaac, Esau, his brother, came back from his hunt. 31 He, too, made a delicious dish, brought it to his father, and said, “Rise father, sit up and eat from the game of his son, and give your blessing.”
     32 Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?”
     And he said, “I am your son, Esau, your firstborn son.”
     33 Isaac trembled, trembled violently. He said, “Who hunted the game they brought? I ate all of it before you came, and I gave him my blessing. The blessing remains with him.”
     34 When Esau heard what his father said, he trembled violently and cried a bitter cry. He said to his father, “Bless me, also, Father!”
     35 Isaac said, “Your brother has come in deceit and taken your blessing.”
     36 Esau said, “Is this why he was called Jacob/Heel Thief? He has tricked me[a] twice now: My birthright he took and now he has taken my blessing.” He continued, “Haven’t you reserved a blessing for me?”
     37 Isaac responded to Esau, “I have already made him master for you and all his brothers as slaves. I sustained him with the strength of grain and wine. What is left for me to do for you, my son?”
     38 Esau said to his father, “Have you only a single blessing, father? Bless me too, Father!” And Esau raised his voice in weeping.
     39 Isaac, his father, responded and said to him,
     “Now, from the fat of the earth, make your dwelling,
           and from the dew of the heavens above.
     40 You will live by your sword;
           you will serve your brother.
     But when you use it,
          you will break his yoke from off your neck.”

Jacob has prevailed. What about Esau?

As Jacob sneaks away under the edge of the tent with his booty of a purloined blessing, Esau enters through the tent’s door bringing a bowl of fresh game.

Repeating the introduction of Jacob, Esau bids his father rise, eat, and bless him. The repeated question put to Jacob, “Who are you?” is now addressed the Esau, who, rightly, says he is Esau.

Finally, fully awake to the situation and not caught in his obsession about death, Isaac fears the G*D he has never been close to. Not really knowing his sons, the question is who beat Esau to the blessing that cannot be taken back or repeated. Once a blessing is applied, it is gone.

Esau cries out for a blessing even though he had previously given away access to it for a bowl of lentil stew. After shouting for his right, Esau begs, “Bless me, too, Father.” This appeal in vs. 34 will be made twice more, in vss. 36 and 38.

After affirming that the blessing has gone, Isaac accedes to the plea of Esau, his favorite, and offers a blessing close to the one Rebekah and Jacob tricked from him.

According to the blessings, both are to live within the abundance of a good creation. Hierarchy cannot remove the right of either for access to earth’s abundance. After this basic holder for both brothers, there is space for both—so fratricide is avoided. Jacob will have the power of people, and Esau will have the power of his own hand. The power of the hand counteracts Jacob’s rule over his brother as Esau and his Edomite descendants will be separated, not ruled over by Jacob’s seed, and engaged as a separate people.

The import of their birth is now confirmed and begun to be lived out. Readers might also reflect on the line of the younger Nahor (Rebekah) tricking the line of the elder Abram (Isaac). Who has the last laugh?

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