“And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭27:16‬ ‭

Where is this smooth or sometimes translated slippery חלקת part of the neck?

Some things to think about when answering this question.

  • Was it normal for humans to have hair like that of a young goat on that part of the neck?
  • Why didn’t Jacob have hair in that place? Or how different was it from Esau?
  • There is an informative short article here about human vellus hair. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_hair
    – Dottard
    Jan 7, 2021 at 20:26
  • 2
    Why is the “nephilim” tag used for this question? Jan 7, 2021 at 20:41
  • It may not be even necessary to identify the smooth part of the neck - men vary on where and how much hair they grow. All that is necessary is that Jacob had no body hair where Esau had it.
    – Dottard
    Jan 7, 2021 at 20:55
  • @DerÜbermensch “The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭25:25‬ ‭it’s not uncommon to have children born with hair or a small lanugo layer but it’s entirely uncommon to be born with hair all over. The fact that it speaks to the smooth of the neck, emphasizes in my mind a place that hair does not normally grow on humans, except those with genetic that are different like six fingers and six toes, like gigantic stature, like elongated skulls without the same cranial plates, like goat-like hair all over the body... Jan 8, 2021 at 0:09
  • 1
    @NihilSineDeo - agreed but it was clearly similar enough to make the ruse work. Perhaps, Isaac had rather arthritic hands and reduced sense of touch as well - we are not told.
    – Dottard
    Jan 8, 2021 at 0:54

2 Answers 2


Jacob was a smooth man, a plain man dwelling in tents.

Esau was a hairy man, a hunter, a man of the field.

And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. [Genesis 25:27 KJV]

And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: [Genesis 27:11 KJV]

So to disguise Jacob's smooth neck, there was put on his neck a skin with hair still in it.

Thus he became, as to his neck, like the hairy Esau.

  • That’s not so unusual for some men to be excessively “hairy”, what’s unusual is for hair to grow on the smooth part (which in my mind is the sides of the neck) and what’s also unusual is that Esau’s hair was indistinguishable to a young goat’s hair. That seems odd because among the plethora of human hair types I don’t know of any one being likened to a young goat’s hair. Goat’s hair is very dense and course but also has another downy undercoat, humans don’t have a top coat and downy undercoat. Besides that, Esau had an additional anomaly, his hair was reddish. Jan 7, 2021 at 18:45
  • @NihilSineDeo That Esau had ginger hair doesn't matter as Isaac's eyesight was 'dim' (cataracts ?).
    – Nigel J
    Jan 7, 2021 at 19:02

The front of my neck, if not shaved, is covered with beard. I don't think I'm alone in this:


The back side of my neck is relatively smooth. I don't think I'm alone in thisBald nape

However, many men, and women, grow abundant hair there.

So I think that Jacob's "smooth part of the neck" should be understood to be his nape.

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