Genesis 25:19-34

Jacob and Esau

19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac,
20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram[a] and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.
25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.[b]
26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.[c] Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents.
28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.[d] )
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25:19-34 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 25

This chapter contains an account of Abraham's marriage with another woman, and of the children he had by her and of their posterity Ge 25:1-4; of Abraham's disposal of his substance; and his sons, Ge 25:5,6; of the years of his life, his death and burial, Ge 25:7-11; of the children of Ishmael, and of the years of his life, and of his death, Ge 25:12-18; and of the sons of Isaac the fruit of prayer, and of the oracle concerning them before they were born, and of their temper and disposition, conduct and behaviour, Ge 25:19-34.

Genesis 25:19-34 In-Context

17 Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people.
18 His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur. And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them.
19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac,
20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.
25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.
26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents.
28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. )
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

Cross References 33

  • 1. S Genesis 2:4
  • 2. ver 26; Genesis 26:34; Genesis 35:28
  • 3. S Genesis 24:67
  • 4. S Genesis 22:22
  • 5. Ge 28:2,5,6; Genesis 30:20; Genesis 31:18; Genesis 33:18; Genesis 35:9,26; Genesis 46:15; Genesis 48:7
  • 6. S Genesis 24:29
  • 7. Genesis 31:20,24; Deuteronomy 26:5
  • 8. S Genesis 11:30
  • 9. Genesis 30:17,22; 1 Samuel 1:17,23; 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 33:13; Ezra 8:23; Psalms 127:3; Romans 9:10
  • 10. Exodus 18:15; Exodus 28:30; Exodus 33:7; Leviticus 24:12; Numbers 9:6-8; Numbers 27:5,21; Deuteronomy 17:9; Judges 18:5; 1 Samuel 9:9; 1 Samuel 10:22; 1 Samuel 14:36; 1 Samuel 22:10; 1 Kings 22:8; 2 Kings 3:11; 2 Kings 22:13; Isaiah 30:2; Jeremiah 21:2; Jeremiah 37:7,17; Ezekiel 14:7; Ezekiel 20:1,3
  • 11. S Genesis 17:4
  • 12. S Genesis 9:25; Genesis 48:14,19; Genesis 27:29,40; Malachi 1:3; Romans 9:11-12*
  • 13. Luke 1:57; Luke 2:6
  • 14. Genesis 38:27
  • 15. 1 Samuel 16:12
  • 16. Genesis 27:11
  • 17. Genesis 27:1,15
  • 18. Genesis 38:29
  • 19. Hosea 12:3
  • 20. Genesis 27:36; Genesis 32:27; Deuteronomy 23:7; Joshua 24:4; Obadiah 1:10,12
  • 21. S ver 7,S 20
  • 22. S Genesis 10:9
  • 23. ver 29; Genesis 27:3,5
  • 24. Genesis 27:; Genesis 3,4,9,14,; Genesis 19
  • 25. Genesis 27:6; Genesis 37:3
  • 26. 2 Kings 4:38-40
  • 27. S ver 27
  • 28. ver 34
  • 29. Genesis 32:3; Genesis 36:1,8,8-9,19; Numbers 20:14; Deuteronomy 23:7; Psalms 137:7; Jeremiah 25:21; Jeremiah 40:11; Jeremiah 49:7
  • 30. Deuteronomy 21:16-17; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2
  • 31. S Genesis 21:23; S Genesis 47:31
  • 32. Genesis 27:36; Hebrews 12:16
  • 33. ver 30

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  • [b]. "Esau" may mean "hairy" .
  • [c]. "Jacob" means "he grasps the heel" , a Hebrew idiom for "he deceives" .
  • [d]. "Edom" means "red."
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