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Venison

Although "venison" is today usually defined as "meat from a deer used as food," the English word originated from an old Latin word, venari, which meant to hunt in the general sense. The original Hebrew word that is usually translated as venison, pronounced tsah-yid, itself also meant to hunt game, not a specific type of game. As such, that original Hebrew word is variously, and accurately, translated in the King James Version as venison, hunter, victuals (derived from a Latin word meaning vital; the English word "victuals" became the American word "vittles") and provision.

"Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison"

The King James references to "venison" all involve Esau and his twice losing out to his "younger" brother Jacob (their age was practically the same; they were fraternal twins). Esau was the favorite son of Isaac "because he did eat of his venison." On the other hand, their mother "Rebekah loved Jacob." It was a sure recipe for family strife, as Isaac himself had experienced with his own brother Ishmael (see also Isaac and Ishmael).

Hunter

"And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob."

"And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom."

"And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright."

"And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?"

"And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob."

"Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25:27-34 KJV)

With the legal birthright in Jacob's hand, the customary paternal blessing from father to eldest son was next (keep in mind that Jacob and Esau, as twins, were the same physical age, and although Esau was born first, as a fraternal twin Jacob may have been conceived first, thereby making him the elder by existence).

"And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I."

"And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death [see also What Happens When You Die?]: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die."

"And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before The Lord before my death. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death."

"And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing."

"And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them."

"And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob."

"And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?"

"And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me."

"And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son?"

"And he said, Because The Lord thy God brought it to me."

"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."

"And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau?"

"And he said, I am."

"And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee."

"And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son."

"And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which The Lord [see also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee." (Genesis 27:1-29 KJV)

Fact Finder: What happened when Esau returned and discovered that Jacob had again got the best of (or from) him?
Genesis 27:30-45; see also Jacob and Laban

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