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[267] But when he was old, and could not see at all, he called Esau to him, and told him, that besides his blindness, and the disorder of his eyes, his very old age hindered him from his worship of God [by sacrifice]; he bid him therefore to go out a hunting, and when he had caught as much venison as he could, to prepare him a supper 1 that after this he might make supplication to God, to be to him a supporter and an assister during the whole time of his life; saying, that it was uncertain when he should die, and that he was desirous, by prayers for him, to procure, beforehand, God to be merciful to him.

1 The supper of savory meat, as we call it, Genesis 27:4, to be caught by hunting, was intended plainly for a festival or a sacrifice; and upon the prayers that were frequent at sacrifices, Isaac expected, as was then usual in such eminent cases, that a divine impulse would come upon him, in order to the blessing of his son there present, and his foretelling his future behavior and fortune. Whence it must be, that when Isaac had unwittingly blessed Jacob, and was afterwards made sensible of his mistake, yet did he not attempt to alter it, how earnestly soever his affection for Esau might incline him to wish it might be altered, because he knew that this blessing came not from himself, but from God, and that an alteration was out of his power. A second afflatus then came upon him, and enabled him to foretell Esau's future behavior and foretell Esau's future behavior and fortune also.

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