And Isaac said to Jacob, Come near, I pray you, that I may feel you, my son, whether you be my very son Esau or not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Come near . . . that I may feel thee.—Besides the answer, in a style very different from Esau’s way of thinking, Isaac was surprised at the short delay in bringing the savoury meat; for the game had to be sought at a distance away from the cattle-pastures. Though, too, the voices of the twins had a certain degree of similarity, yet they would also have their peculiarities, and Isaac detected the difference. But the artifice of the kid-skins fitted, no doubt, cleverly to Jacob’s hands and neck saved him from detection; for after Isaac had passed his hands over him, his doubt entirely vanished.Genesis 27:21. Come near, that I may feel thee — He had some suspicion from his voice, and too quick return, that it was not Esau.
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.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. Come near] Isaac’s shadow of suspicion has not yet been dispelled, even by the invocation of the Divine Name. He requires to be assured by the very test that Jacob, in Genesis 27:12, had dreaded would defeat his mother’s stratagem. This point raises the excitement of the story.
(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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