Genesis 27:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 27:21, NIV: "Then Isaac said to Jacob, 'Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.'"

Genesis 27:21, ESV: "Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.”"

Genesis 27:21, KJV: "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."

Genesis 27:21, NASB: "Then Isaac said to Jacob, 'Please come close, so that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.'"

Genesis 27:21, NLT: "Then Isaac said to Jacob, 'Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.'"

Genesis 27:21, CSB: "Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come closer so I can touch you, my son. Are you really my son Esau or not?""

What does Genesis 27:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Rebekah first proposed her plan for Jacob to steal Esau's blessing (Genesis 27:6–10), Jacob was mostly worried about being caught and cursed (Genesis 27:12). In the previous verses, Jacob has lied outright to Isaac, insisting that he is, in fact, Esau, come to receive the blessing (Genesis 27:18–19). Isaac, though blind (Genesis 27:1), is asking reasonable questions. He wonders how Esau could have returned so quickly with food, and for "Esau," really a disguised Jacob, to come closer. One can only imagine Jacob's heart beating hard as he tried, at the urging of his mother, to deceive his elderly father into giving him the family blessing.

Perhaps unconvinced by Jacob's claim that God gave him record-breaking success, Isaac now asks to feel Jacob so that he can know for sure this is Esau. After all, Esau was famous for his hairiness (Genesis 25:25). Jacob was smooth. One touch would reveal all. Fortunately for Jacob, Rebekah had anticipated this moment. She put the skin of the goats she had used to prepare the meal on Jacob's arms and neck (Genesis 27:16). Would the goat hair now be convincing enough to fool Isaac into thinking he was touching Esau?