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39 So his father Isaac said to him,

“See here,[a] your home will be by[b] the richness[c] of the earth,
and by the dew of the sky above.
40 You will live by your sword
but you will serve your brother.
When you grow restless,
you will tear off his yoke
from your neck.”[d]

41 So Esau hated[e] Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother.[f] Esau said privately,[g] “The time[h] of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill[i] my brother Jacob!”

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  1. Genesis 27:39 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) calls for someone’s attention.
  2. Genesis 27:39 tn Or “next to.” The preposition מִן (min) generally indicates the source of something or separation from something, and so is often rendered “from.” Older translations (KJV, ASV, Douay-Rheims, Young’s, JPS) took the preposition as indicating source: “of the fatness of the earth.” More recent translations (NASB, NIV, ESV, NLV) take it as separative: “away from the fatness.” In Jacob’s blessing the preposition works with the verb “give” and indicates source. In Esau’s blessing the preposition functions in a nominal clause and modifies “your dwelling.” HALOT says that מִן can point “to the place… where something can be found” and thus means “in” in Gen 2:8; Lev 14:41; 2 Sam 5:13; Ezra 1:4; Job 30:30; Isa 5:26; 23:7 (HALOT 597, s.v.). In combination with the verb “to dwell,” the preposition מִן means “by,” “next to,” or “across from” (Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam 20:25; Ezek 16:46; Jonah 4:5). The closest parallel for the noun “dwelling” is Gen 10:30 where מִן as “away from” is not possible (rather “at” or “beginning at.”) sn In contrast to Jacob, to whom God will give some of earth’s fatness and heaven’s dew, Esau will dwell next to these. Esau himself continues to dwell with Isaac in Canaan, so perhaps he dwells “at” or “in” the richness of the land. But the land of his descendants, Edom, is more arid and might be considered “next to” or “across from” Canaan. The main contrast seems to be that God will give Jacob something, while Esau will have access to two of the same things. “Grain” and “wine” are not repeated for Esau, which may also reflect different conditions in Edom and Canaan.
  3. Genesis 27:39 tn Heb “from the fatness.”
  4. Genesis 27:40 sn You will tear off his yoke from your neck. It may be that this prophetic blessing found its fulfillment when Jerusalem fell and Edom got its revenge. The oracle makes Edom subservient to Israel and suggests the Edomites would live away from the best land and be forced to sustain themselves by violent measures.
  5. Genesis 27:41 tn Or “bore a grudge against” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV). The Hebrew verb שָׂטַם (satam) describes persistent hatred.
  6. Genesis 27:41 tn Heb “because of the blessing which his father blessed him.”
  7. Genesis 27:41 tn Heb “said in his heart.” The expression may mean “said to himself.” Even if this is the case, v. 42 makes it clear that he must have shared his intentions with someone, because the news reached Rebekah.
  8. Genesis 27:41 tn Heb “days.”
  9. Genesis 27:41 tn The cohortative here expresses Esau’s determined resolve to kill Jacob.

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