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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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Commentary on Genesis

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27, 1–45 :

What Jacob did in deceiving his father and thereby cheating Esau out of Isaac's deathbed blessing is condemned as blameworthy, not only by Hosea ( 12, 4 ) and Jeremiah ( 9, 3 ), but also, indirectly, by the Yahwist narrator of the present story, who makes the reader sympathize with Esau as the innocent victim of a cruel plot, and shows that Jacob and his mother, the instigator of the plot, paid for it by a lifelong separation from each other. The story was told because it was part of the mystery of God's ways in salvation history—his use of weak, sinful men to achieve his own ultimate purpose.

27, 4 :

My special blessing: “the blessing of my soul.” The same expression is used also in vv 19. 25. 31 . In the context it must mean something like a solemn deathbed blessing, believed to be especially efficacious.

27, 36 :

He has now supplanted me: in Hebrew, wayyaqebeni, a wordplay on the name Jacob, yaaqob; see Jer 9, 3 and note, as well as Gn 25, 26 . There is also a play between the Hebrew words bekora (“birthright”) and beraka (“blessing”).

27, 46–28, 9 :

This section, which is from the Priestly source and a direct sequel of Gn 26, 34f , presents a different, though not contradictory, reason for Jacob's going to Paddan‐aram: namely, to preserve racial purity among the chosen people. The account of Esau's marriages is given for the purpose of explaining the racial mixture of the Edomites, who were descended in part from tribes related to Israel, in part from older peoples in Edom called Hittites, Horites or Hivites, and in part from the Ishmaelite (Arabian) tribes who later invaded the region.

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