What does Genesis 27:5 mean?
ESV: Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it,
NIV: Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back,
NASB: Now Rebekah was listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game to bring home,
CSB: Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac said to his son Esau. So while Esau went to the field to hunt some game to bring in,
NLT: But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game,
KJV: And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
NKJV: Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it.
Verse Commentary:
In the previous verses, Isaac, now quite old and blind, had summoned Esau to his side. He explained his intent to pass his fatherly blessing on to Esau. First though, Isaac asked Esau to go hunt for fresh game and prepare him a meal (Genesis 27:1–4). This skill with obtaining meat was given earlier in Scripture as the reason Isaac favored Esau (Genesis 25:28). Jacob, the second of the twin sons, was instead favored by his mother, Rebekah.

Rebekah overhears this exchange between Isaac and Esau. Was she intentionally spying on Isaac? It's not clear, but a pattern of deception and manipulation has been established among the various members of the family. Jacob had bamboozled his older brother into selling his birthright at some point in the past (Genesis 25:29–34). Isaac appears to be trying to pass on the blessing to Esau without either Rebekah or Jacob finding out first—perhaps partly because he knows about Esau's foolish oath. Clued in to Isaac's plan, Rebekah and Jacob will launch into a scheme of their own.
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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