What does Genesis 27:1 mean?
ESV: When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.”
NIV: When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, 'My son.' 'Here I am,' he answered.
NASB: Now it came about, when Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called his older son Esau and said to him, 'My son.' And he said to him, 'Here I am.'
CSB: When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could not see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, "My son."And he answered, "Here I am."
NLT: One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, 'My son.' 'Yes, Father?' Esau replied.
KJV: And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
Verse Commentary:
Several things about this verse and those that follow may be surprising to modern readers. First, it was apparently customary for fathers, near the end of their lives, to gather all of their children to explain their wishes and to pass on their property. In a time before written wills, and when families might include multiple wives and many children, this makes sense. Here, though, Isaac only calls one of his sons, Esau, and not Esau's twin brother, Jacob.

It is also surprising because of what we were told at the end of the previous chapter about Esau. His marriages to local Canaanite women had made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah. Why would Isaac now be so eager to pass on his blessing to Esau alone?

The blatant favoritism in the family certainly comes into play (Genesis 25:28). Isaac probably assumes that if Rebekah or Jacob know about what's about to happen, they will interfere. Isaac's near-blindness will play an important role in the tragically comic scenes to follow.
Verse Context:
Genesis 27:1–29 describes how the Abrahamic family blessing came to second-born Jacob, instead of his firstborn brother, Esau. Isaac intends to give the blessing to his favored son, Esau. Rebekah commands Jacob to impersonate Esau, instead, in order to get the blessing for himself. Isaac almost catches on but is convinced by the smell of Esau on Jacob's borrowed clothes, and the hairy, Esau-like goat's skin on Jacob's hands. Isaac gives to Jacob the future-defining blessing of God.
Chapter Summary:
Isaac's plan to pass the family blessing on to his favorite son, Esau, is thwarted by the deception of Isaac's wife Rebekah, and his other son Jacob. Old and blind, Isaac fails to recognize that the man claiming to be Esau is actually Jacob in a clever disguise. His prayer of blessing for wealth and rule over his brothers will remain valid though it is given under false pretense. Esau will be left with a blessing that sounds like a curse and a plan to murder his brother. Jacob will be forced to run for his life.
Chapter Context:
Prior chapters described the prosperity of Isaac, living in the Valley of Gerar. Genesis 27 leaps forward to near the end of Isaac's life. The time has come to pass on the family blessing. Isaac's intention to give that blessing to firstborn, Esau, is thwarted by the deception of Isaac's wife Rebekah and his other son Jacob. Isaac overcomes his suspicions that the man before him is not Esau and delivers the very blessing of God on Jacob. Esau is left with a near-curse and a murderous rage. Rebekah urges Jacob to go to her brother's household, a plan Isaac will endorse in the following chapter. There, he will ironically experience the sting of deception in his own life.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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