Genesis 25:25

25 The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau.

Genesis 25:25 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 25:25

And the first came out red
Either his body, or rather the hair it was covered with, red; which was a sign, as Jarchi observes, that he would be a shedder of blood, fierce and cruel as were he and his posterity: all over like an hairy garment;
his body was all over full of hair, which stood as thick as a garment made of hair, and was a sign of the roughness of his disposition, as well as of the strength of his body: and they called his name Esau;
his parents, and those present at his birth, all that saw him thus covered with hair; for he had his name not from the colour of his body or hair; for the word does not signify "red", but comes from a word which signifies "to make", he being a "maker": that made his way out before his brother, or an active man as afterwards, or because of his hair was "made" or born more like a man than a child; and so the Targum adds,

``because he was wholly perfect, with the hair of his head and beard, and with his teeth and grinders:''
but chiefly because of his hairiness, for Esau in the Arabic language signifies "covered" F6, as he was with hair: some say, a word in that language signifies a hairy garment made of camel's hair F7.

F6 <arabic> "texit", "operuit", Castel. col. 2930.
F7 Vid. Stockium. p. 923.

Genesis 25:25 In-Context

23 The Lord said to her, "Two nations are within you; You will give birth to two rival peoples. One will be stronger than the other; The older will serve the younger."
24 The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons.
25 The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau.
26 The second one was born holding on tightly to the heel of Esau, so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who loved the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. esau: [This name is taken to refer to Seir, the territory later inhabited by Esau's descendants; Seir sounds like the Hebrew for "hairy."]
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.