These are the generations of Izhak bar Abraham. And because the appearance of Izhak resembled the appearance of Abraham, the sons of men said, In truth Abraham begat Izhak. And Izhak was the son of forty years when he took Rivekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramite, who was of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Aramite, unto him for a wife. And Izhak went to the mountain of worship, the place where his father had bound him. And Izhak in his prayer turned the attention of the Holy One, blessed be He! from that which He had decreed concerning him who had been childless. And he was enlarged, and Rivekah his wife was with child. And the children pressed in her womb as men doing battle. And she said, If this is the anguish of a mother, what then are children to me? And she went into the school of Shem Rabba to supplicate mercy before the Lord. [JERUSALEM. And the children pressed in her womb, and she said, If such be the anguish of a mother, what now is life, that children are to be mine? And she went to supplicate mercy before the Lord in the beth midrash of Shem Rabba.] And the Lord said to her, Two peoples are in thy womb, and two kingdoms from thy womb shall be separated; and one kingdom shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall serve the younger, if the children of the younger will keep the commandments of the Law.
And the two hundred and seventy days of her being with child were completed to bring forth; and, behold, twins were in her womb. And the first came forth wholly red, as a garment of hair: and they called his name Esau, because he was born altogether complete, with the hair of the head, and the beard, and teeth, and grinders. [JERUSALEM. And the first came forth wholly red, as a garment of hair: and they called his name Esau.] Afterward came forth his brother, and his hand had hold on the heel of Esau. And they called his name Jakob (Yaakov). And Izhak was a son of sixty years when he beget them.
And the lads grew; and Esau was a man of idleness to catch birds and beasts, a man going forth into the field to kill lives, as Nimrod had killed, and Hanok his son. But Jakob was a man peaceful in his words, a minister of the instruction-house of Eber, seeking instruction before the Lord. And Izhak loved Esau, for words of deceit were in his mouth; but Rivekah loved Jakob.
On the day that Abraham died, Jakob dressed pottage of lentiles, and was going to comfort his father. And Esau came from the wilderness, exhausted; for in that day he had committed five transgressions: he had worshipped with strange worship, he had shed innocent blood, he had gone in unto a betrothed damsel, he had denied the life of the world to come, and had despised the birthright. And Esau said to Jakob, Let me now taste that red pottage, for I am faint,--therefore he called his name Edom. And Jakob said, Sell to-day, as (on this very) day, what thou wouldst hereafter appropriate, thy birthright, unto me. And Esau said, Behold, I am going to die, and in another world I shall have no life; and what then to me is the birthright, or the portion in the world of which thou speakest? And Jakob said, Swear to me to-day that so it shall be. And he sware to him, and sold his birthright to Jakob. And Jakob gave to Esau bread and pottage fo lentiles. And he ate and drank, and arose and went. And Esau scorned the birthright, and the portion of the world that commeth. [JERUSALEM. And he arose, and went. And Esau despised the birthright, and vilified the portion in the world that cometh, and denied the resurrection of the dead.]
XXVI. And there was a mighty famine in the land of Kenaan, besides the former famine which had been in the days of Abraham; and Izhak went to Abimelek king of the Philistaee at Gerar. It had been in Izhak's heart to go down to Mizraim; but the Lord appeared to him, and said, Go not down to Mizraim; dwell in the land as I have told thee; sojourn in the land, and My Word shall be for thy help, and I will bless thee; for to the end to thy sons will I give all these lands, and I will establish the covenant which I have covenanted with Abraham thy father. And I will multiply thy sons as the stars of the heavens, and will give to thy sons all these lands, and through thy sons shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; on account that Abraham obeyed My word, and kept the keeping of My word, My statutes, My covenants, and My laws. And Izhak dwelt in Gerar. And the man of the place inquired concerning his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he reasoned in his heart, Lest the men of the place should kill me for Rivekah, because she was of beautiful appearance. And it was when days had increased to him in abiding there, that Abimelek the king of the Philistaee looked from a window, and beheld, and Izhak was disporting with Rivekah his wife. [JERUSALEM. And he looked.] And Abimelek called Izhak, and said, Nevertheless she is thy wife; and why hast thou said, She is my sister? And Izhak answered him, Because I said in my heart, Lest they kill me on her account. And Abimelek said, Why hast thou done this to us? It might have been that the king, who is the principal of the people, had lain with thy wife, and thou wouldst have brought guilt upon us. [JERUSALEM. And Abimelek said to him, What is this that thou hast done to us? Very possibly might one of the young men have lain with thy wife, and there would have been great guilt brought upon us.]
And Abimelek instructed all the people, Whoever shall go near to injure this man or his wife, shall verily be put to death. And Izhak sowed unto righteousness in that land, and found in that year a hundred for one, according to his measure. And the Lord blessed him, and the man increased, and went forward increasing until he was very great. And he had flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle, and great cultivation; and the Philistaee envied him. And all the wells which the servants of his father had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistaee stopped up and filled with earth.
And Abimelek said to Izhak, Go from us; for thou art stronger than we in riches very much. And Izhak went thence, and sojourned in the vale of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Izhak digged again the wells of water which the servants of his father had digged in the days of Abraham his father, and which the Philistaee had stopped after Abraham was dead; and he called them by the names his father had called them. And the servants of Izhak digged in the border of the vale, and found there a well of flowing water. And the shepherds of Gerar contended with Izhak's shepherds, saying, The water is ours. And it was the will of Heaven, and it dried. But when they returned to Izhak, it flowed. And he called the name of the well (Esek) Contention, because (etheseku) they had quarrelled with him on account of it. And they digged another well; and they contended for it also; and it dried, and did not flow again. And he called the name of it (Sitnah) Accusation. And he removed from thence and digged another well, and for that they did not contend as formerly, and he called the name of it (Ravchatha) Spaciousness; for he said, Now hath the Lord given us space to spread us abroad in the land. And he went up from thence unto Beersheba. And the Lord appeared to him that night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not; for My Word is for thy help, and I will bless thee, and multiply thy sons for the righteousness' sake of Abraham My servant. And he builded there an altar, and prayed in the name of the Lord. And he spread his tabernacle there, and the servants of Izhak digged there a well. And when Izhak went forth from Gerar the wells dried up, and the trees made no fruit; and they felt that it was because they had driven him away, all these things had befallen them. And Abimelek went to him from Gerar, and took his friends to go with him, and Phikol the chief of his host. And Izhak said to them, Why come you to me that I should pray for you, when you have hated me, and driven me from you? And they answered, Seeing, we have seen, that the Word of the Lord is for thy help, and for thy righteousness' sake all good hath been to us; but when thou wentest forth from our land the wells dried up, and our trees made no fruit; then we said, We will cause him to return to us. And now let there be an oath established between us, and kindness between us and thee, and we will enter into a covenant with thee, lest thou do us evil. Forasmuch as we have not come nigh thee for evil, and as we have acted with thee only for good, and have indeed sent thee away in peace; thou art now blessed of the Lord. And they arose in the morning, each man with his brother; and he broke off from the bridle of his ass, and gave one part to them for a testimony. And Izhak prayed for them, and they were enlarged. And Izhak accompanied them, and they went from him in peace.
And on that day the servants of Izhak came and told him concerning the well they had digged, and said to him, We have found water; and he called it Sheba (the Swearing); therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day.
And Esau was the son of forty years; and he took to wife Yehudith daughter of Beari the Hittah, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittah. And they bowed in strange worship, and set themselves to rebel in their evil conduct against Izhak and against Rivekah. [JERUSALEM. And they were refractory, swelling in spirit with strange worship, and would not receive instruction either from Izhak or Rivekah.]
XXVII. And it was when Izhak was old and his eyes were darkened from seeing,--because when his father was binding him he had seen the Throne of Glory, and from that time his eyes had begun to darken,--that he called Esau his elder son, on the fourteenth of Nisan, and said to him, My son, behold, this night they on high praise the Lord of the world, and the treasures of the dew are opened in it. And he said, Behold, I am.
And he said, Behold, now I am old; I know not the day of my death: but now take thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow; and go forth into the field, and take me venison, and make me food such as I love, and bring to me, and I will eat, that my sould may bless thee ere I die.
And Rivekah heard by the Holy Spirit as Izhak spake with Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to take venison to bring it. And Rivekah spake to Jakob her son, saying, Behold, this night those on high praise the Lord of the world, and the treasures of the dew are opened in it; and I have heard thy father speaking with Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me food, and I will bless thee in the presence of the Lord before I die. And now my son receive from me what I command thee: Go now to the house of the flock, and take me from thence two fat kids of the goats; one for the pascha, and one for the oblation of the feast; and I will make of them food for thy father such as he loveth. And thou shalt carry to thy father, and he will eat, that he may bless thee before his death.
And because Jakob was afraid to sin, fearing lest his father might curse him, he said, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall be in his eyes like one who derideth him, and bring upon me a curse and not a blessing.
And she said, If with blessings he bless thee, they shall be upon thee and upon thy sons; and if with curses he should curse thee, they shall be upon me and upon my soul: therefore receive from me, and go and take for me.
And he went and took, and brought to his mother; and his mother made food such as his father loved. And Rivekah took the pleasant vestments of Esau her elder son which had formerly been Adam's; but which that day Esau had not worn, but they remained with her in the house, and (with them) she dressed Jakob her younger son. And the skins of the kids she laid upon his hands and the smooth parts of his nect. And the food and the bread she had made she set in the hand of Jakob her son.
And he entered unto his father, and said, My father. And he said, Behold me: who art thou, my son? And Jacob said to his father, I am Esau thy firstborn: I have done as thou spakest with me. Arise now, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Izhak said to his son, What is this that thou hast found so soon, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God had prepared it before me. And Izhak said to Jakob, Come near now, and I will feel thee, my son, whether thou be my son Esau or not. And Jakob drew near to Izhak his father, who touched him, and said, This voice is the voice of Jakob, nevertheless the feeling of the hands is as the feeling of the hands of Esau. But he recognised him not, because his hands were hairy as the hands of Esau his brother, and he blessed him. And he said, But art thou my son Esau? And he said, I am. And he said, Draw near, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he approached him, and he ate; and he had no wine; but an angel prepared it for him, from the wine which had been kept in its grapes from the days of the beginning of the world; and he gave it into Jakob's hand, and Jakob brought it to his father, and he drank. And Izhak his father said, Draw near now, and kiss me, my son; and Jakob drew near and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his vestments, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of the fragrant incense which is to be offered on the mountain of the house of the sanctuary, which shall be called a field which the Lord hath blessed, and that He hath chosen, that therein His Shekinah might dwell.
Therefore the Word of the Lord give thee of the good dews which descend from the heavens, and of the good fountains that spring up, and make the herbage of the earth to grow from beneath, and plenty of provision and wine. Let peoples be subject to thee, all the sons of Esau, and kingdoms bend before thee, all the sons of Keturah; a chief and a ruler be thou over thy brethren, and let the sons of thy mother salute thee. Let them who curse thee, my son, be accursed as Bileam bar Beor; and them who bless thee be blessed as Mosheh the prophet, the scribe of Israel. [JERUSALEM. Let peoples serve before thee, all the sons of Esau: all kings be subject to thee, all the sons of Ishmael: be thou a chief and a ruler over the sons of Keturah: all the sons of Laban the brother of thy mother shall come before thee and salute thee. Whoso curseth thee, Jakob, my son, shall be accursed as Bileam ben Beor; and whoso blesseth thee shall be blessed as Mosheh the prophet and scribe of Israel.]
And it was when Izhak had finished blessing Jakob, and Jakob had only gone out about two handbreadths from Izhak his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. And the Word of the Lord had impeded him from taking clean venison; but he had found a certain dog, and killed him, and made food of him, and brought to his father, and said to his father, Arise, my father, and eat of my venison,that thy soul may bless me.
And Izhak his father said to him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy firstborn, Esau. And Izhak was moved with great agitation when he heard the voice of Esau, and the smell of his food rose in his nostrils as the smell of the burning of Gehennam; and he said, Who is he who hath got venison, and come to me, and I have eaten of all which he brought me before thou camest, and I have blessed him, and he shall, too, be blessed?
When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a cry exceeding great and bitter, and said to his father, Bless me, me also, my father! And he said, Thy brother hath come with subtilty, and hath received from me thy blessing. And he said, His name is truly called Jakob; for he hath dealt treacherously with me these two times: my birthright he took, and, behold, now he hath received my blessing! And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? And Izhak answered and said to Esau, Behold, I have appointed him a ruler over thee, and all his brethren have I made to be his servants, and with provision and wine have I sustained him: and now go, leave me; for what can I do for thee, my son? And Esau answered his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, me also, my father. And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
And Izhak answered and said to Esau, Behold, among the good fruits of the earth shall be thy habitation, and with the dews of the heavens from above. And upon thy sword shalt thou depend, entering at every place: yet thou shalt be supple and credulous, and be in subjection to thy brother; but it will be that when his sons become evil, and fall from keeping the commandments of the law, thou shalt break his yoke of servitude from off thy neck. [JERUSALEM. And by thy weapons thou shalt live, and before thy brother be subject. And it shall be when the sons of Jakob labour in the law, and keep the commandments, they will set the yoke of subjection on thy neck; but when the sons of Jakob withdraw themselves and study not the law, nor keep the commandments, behold, then shalt thou break their yoke of subjection from off thy neck.]
And Esau kept hatred in his heart against Jakob his brother, on account of the order of blessing with which his father had blessed him. And Esau said in his heart, I will not do as Kain did, who slew Habel in the life (time) of his father, for which his father begat Sheth, but will wait till the time when the days of mourning for the death of my father come, and then will I kill Jakob my brother, and will be found the killer and the heir.
And the words of Esau her elder son, who thought in his heart to kill Jakob, were shown by the Holy Spirit to Rivekah, and she sent, and called Jakob her younger son, and said to him, Behold, Esau thy brother lieth in wait for thee, and plotteth against thee to kill thee. And now, my son, hearken to me: arise, escape for thy life, and go unto Laban my brother, at Haran, and dwell with him a few days, until the wrath of thy brother be abated, until thy brother's anger have quieted from thee, and he have forgotten what thou hast done to him; and I will send and take thee from thence. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day: thou being slain, and he driven forth, as Hava was bereaved of Habel, whom Kain slew, and both were removed from before Adam and Hava all the days of the life of Adam and Hava? [JERUSALEM. Until the time when the bitterness of thy brother shall be turned away from thee.]
And Rivekah said to Izhak, I am afflicted in my life on account of the indignity of the daughters of Heth. If Jakob take a wicked wife from the daughters of Heth, such as these of the daughters of the people of the land, what will life be to me?
XXVIII. And Izhak called Jakob, and blessed him, and commanded him, and said to him, Thou shalt not take a wife from the daughters of the Kenaanaee. Arise, go to Padan of Aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father, and take thee from thence a wife from the daughters of Laban mother's brother. And El Shadai will bless thee with many possessions, and increase thee and multiply thee into twelve tribes, and thou shalt be worthy of the congregation of the sons of the Sanhedrin, the sum of which is seventy, according to the number of the nations. And He will give the blessing of Abraham to thee, and to thy sons with thee, and cause thee to inherit the land of thy sojourning, which he gave unto Abraham. And Izhak sent Jakob away, and he went to Padan Aram unto Laban bar Bethuel the Armaite, the brother of Rivekah the mother of Jakob and Esau.
And Esau considered that Izhak had blessed Jakob, and had sent him to Padan Aram to take to him from thence a wife, when he blessed him, and commanded him, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of the Kenaanites; and that Jakob obeyed the word of his father, and the word of his mother, and was gone to Padan Aram: and Esau considered that the daughters of Kenaan were evil before Izhak his father, and Esau went unto Ishmael, and took to wife Mahalath, who is Besemath the daughter of Ishmael bar Abraham, the sister of Nebaioth from his mother, besides his other wives.