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And plenty of corn and wine;
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 had 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 firstborn Esau.”
And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said :"Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, 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 he said: “Thy brother came with subtilty,
4. Explain this use of the word.
and hath taken away thy blessing.” And he said: —“Is not he rightly named Jacob?o for he hath supplanted me these two times : he took away my birthright,' and, behold, now he hath taken away my 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 Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
And Isaac his father answered and said unto him,
“Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of
7. Another story (Genesis xxv.) relates that Esau, in a fit of despondency, brought on by hunger and thirst during his desert wanderings, had sold his rights as the eldest son of his father for a mess of savoury pottage, which Jacob had prepared by his mother's advice.
And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him.
Note-Under the clan system of social order, the eldest son of the head of the clan had the first claim to the succession (his birthright), but was liable to be set aside if one of his younger brothers showed greater capacity for leadership. To avoid dangerous quarrels, the question of succession was settled, if possible, when the father was still in the full vigor of strength and authority.
See Outline Study, Note 11.
JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN
(Genesis xxxvii) Introductory Note.—The shrewd and prudent Jacob lived long in Mesopotamia with Laban, his equally shrewd and prudent uncle; married two of Laban's daughters; and became chief of a clan. Having returned to Canaan at the head of this clan, and having made his peace with Esau, also the head of a numerous family, he dwelt with his aged father at Hebron: and, after his father's death, had the pasture grounds of Canaan, while Esau retired to the wilderness southwest of the Dead Sea where his descendants became the nation Edom.
Jacob, or Israel, as he is also called, had twelve sons, of whom the two youngest, Joseph and Benjamin, were his favorites. When our story opens, Benjamin was but a child; but Joseph was old enough to have aroused the jealousy of his brothers.
And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his
brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably' unto him.
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them :-“Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: for, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.”
And his brethren said to him :-“Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over 'us?" And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said :-"Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.”
And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him :"What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
And his brethren went to feed their father's fock in Shechem.3
And Israel said unto Joseph "Do not thy brethren
1. Study the use of this word. 2. See Outline Study, Note 49. 3. Central Palestine.