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Lesson 223: Jacob And Esau

Updated: Jan 29

Gen. 25:19-34

Full Lesson HERE

INTRODUCTION. Abraham died when he was 175 years old. His sons Isaac and Ishmael

buried him in the same cave of Machpelah that Abraham had purchased for the burial of Sarah, his wife (Gen. 25:7-10).

After Isaac and Rebekah had been married for some time, Isaac prayed to the Lord that he and Rebekah might have a child. The Lord answered his prayer and Rebekah conceived. Before she gave birth the Lord spoke to Rebekah and told her two nations were in her womb, one would be stronger than the other, and the elder would serve the younger. When the twins were born, the firstborn son was called Esau, and the second son was called Jacob.

The twin boys grew, and Esau became a hunter while Jacob was a mild man dwelling in

tents. One day Esau came in from the fields hungry, and when he discovered Jacob cooking pottage (stew), he sold his birthright to his brother for the food.

The birthright was the special right by birth enjoyed by the firstborn son of the family. The firstborn son received a double portion of the inheritance of his father's possessions (Deut. 21 :17). In addition the firstborn received a special blessing from the father, for after the father died, the firstborn became head of the family.

By selling his birthright for some food, Esau foolishly gave up his firstborn rights of inheritance-a sacred possession-for a temporary satisfaction of his appetite. Even more serious was the loss of his position as the one through whom the spiritual promise to Abraham would be fulfilled. The Hebrew writer calls Esau "profane," for he disregarded something sacred, trading it for something common (Heb. 12: 16-17).

Many years later these twins had families of their own. The descendants of Esau are called Edomites (Gen. 36:9). The word Edom means red. The descendants of Jacob are called Israelites or the children of Israel, for Jacob was given this new name Israel by an angel (Gen. 32:28).

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