Genesis 27:16
And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) The skins of the kids.—In hot countries the coats of animals are far less thick and coarse than in cold climates, and some species of Oriental goats are famous for their soft, silky wool. But in those cases in which men have their bodies covered with hair, it is by no means of a delicate texture. In Song of Solomon 4:1 Solomon’s hair is compared to that of a flock of goats.

Genesis 27:16. The skins of the kids of goats — It is observed by Bochart, that, in the eastern countries, goats’ hair is very like the human.

27:6-17 Rebekah knew that the blessing was intended for Jacob, and expected he would have it. But she wronged Isaac by putting a cheat on him; she wronged Jacob by tempting him to wickedness. She put a stumbling-block in Esau's way, and gave him a pretext for hatred to Jacob and to religion. All were to be blamed. It was one of those crooked measures often adopted to further the Divine promises; as if the end would justify, or excuse wrong means. Thus many have acted wrong, under the idea of being useful in promoting the cause of Christ. The answer to all such things is that which God addressed to Abraham, I am God Almighty; walk before me and be thou perfect. And it was a very rash speech of Rebekah, Upon me be thy curse, my son. Christ has borne the curse of the law for all who take upon them the yoke of the command, the command of the gospel. But it is too daring for any creature to say, Upon me be thy curse.Rebekah forms a plan for diverting the blessing from Esau to Jacob. She was within hearing when the infirm Isaac gave his orders, and communicates the news to Jacob. Rebekah has no scruples about primogeniture. Her feelings prompt her to take measures, without waiting to consider whether they are justifiable or not, for securing to Jacob that blessing which she has settled in her own mind to be destined for him. She thinks it necessary to interfere that this end may not fail of being accomplished. Jacob views the matter more coolly, and starts a difficulty. He may be found out to be a deceiver, and bring his father's curse upon him. Rebekah, anticipating no such issue; undertakes to bear the curse that she conceived would never come. Only let him obey.

Verse 14-29

The plan is successful. Jacob now, without further objection, obeys his mother. She clothes him in Esau's raiment, and puts the skins of the kids on his hands and his neck. The camel-goat affords a hair which bears a great resemblance to that of natural growth, and is used as a substitute for it. Now begins the strange interview between the father and the son. "Who art thou, my son?" The voice of Jacob was somewhat constrained. He goes, however, deliberately through the process of deceiving his father. "Arise, now, sit and eat." Isaac was reclining on his couch, in the feebleness of advancing years. Sitting was the posture convenient for eating. "The Lord thy God prospered me." This is the bold reply to Isaac's expression of surprise at the haste with which the dainty fare had been prepared. The bewildered father now puts Jacob to a severer test. He feels him, but discerns him not. The ear notes a difference, but the hand feels the hairy skin resembling Esau's; the eyes give no testimony. After this the result is summarily stated in a single sentence, though the particulars are yet to be given. "Art thou my very son Esau?" A lurking doubt puts the definite question, and receives a decisive answer. Isaac then calls for the repast and partakes.

13-17. and his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse—His conscience being soothed by his mother, preparations were hastily made for carrying out the device; consisting, first, of a kid's flesh, which, made into a ragout, spiced with salt, onions, garlic, and lemon juice, might easily be passed off on a blind old man, with blunted senses, as game; second, of pieces of goat's skin bound on his hands and neck, its soft silken hair resembling that on the cheek of a young man; third, of the long white robe—the vestment of the first-born, which, transmitted from father to son and kept in a chest among fragrant herbs and perfumed flowers used much in the East to keep away moths—his mother provided for him. Upon the two naked parts of his body, which were most likely to be discovered. As for his face, it is more than probable from his age, which was the same with Esau’s, Genesis 26:34, that nature had given him a covering like Esau’s.

And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands,.... Upon both his hands, and the whole of them that was bare, that he might appear to be like Esau:

and upon the smooth of his neck; which in Esau was covered with hair as his hands; and Hiscuni, a Jewish writer (s), observes, that the skins of goats are rough, and like the skin of a hairy man; and so Bochart (t) remarks, that goats' hair in the eastern countries is not much unlike human hair; see 1 Samuel 19:13.

(s) Apud Drusium in loc. (t) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 51. col. 626.

And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. the skins of the kids] An extraordinary comment upon the description of Esau as “a hairy man” (Genesis 25:25).

Verse 16. - And she put the skins of the kids of the goats - not European, but Oriental camel-goats, whose wool is black, silky, of a much finer texture than that of the former, and sometimes used as a substitute for human hair (cf. Song of Solomon 4:1); vide on this subject Rosenmüller's 'Scholia,' and commentaries generally - upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck - thus cautiously providing against detection, in case, anything occurring to arouse the old man's suspicions, he should seek, as in reality he did, to test the accuracy of his now dim sight and dull hearing by the sense of touch. Genesis 27:16Rebekah, who heard what he said, sought to frustrate this intention, and to secure the blessing for her (favourite) son Jacob. Whilst Esau was away hunting, she told Jacob to take his father a dish, which she would prepare from two kids according to his taste; and, having introduced himself as Esau, to ask for the blessing "before Jehovah." Jacob's objection, that the father would know him by his smooth skin, and so, instead of blessing him, might pronounce a curse upon him as a mocker, i.e., one who was trifling with his blind father, she silenced by saying, that she would take the curse upon herself. She evidently relied upon the word of promise, and thought that she ought to do her part to secure its fulfilment by directing the father's blessing to Jacob; and to this end she thought any means allowable. Consequently she was so assured of the success of her stratagem as to have no fear of the possibility of a curse. Jacob then acceded to her plan, and fetched the goats. Rebekah prepared them according to her husband's taste; and having told Jacob to put on Esau's best clothes which were with her in the dwelling (the tent, not the house), she covered his hands and the smooth (i.e., the smoother parts) of his neck with the skins of the kids of the goats,

(Note: We must not think of our European goats, whose skins would be quite unsuitable for any such deception. "It is the camel-goat of the East, whose black, silk-like hair was used even by the Romans as a substitute for human hair. Martial xii. 46." - Tuch on v. 16.)

and sent him with the savoury dish to his father.

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