Thursday, January 6, 2022

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright
Image Credit:  FreeBibleImages.org

As we enter Genesis 25, we say goodbye to Abraham.  Noted with the historical account of Abraham's death is the record of his sons from Keturah, another wife Abraham had taken.  There are 6 sons and their descendents recorded in Genesis 25:1-4.  Abraham had at least 6 sons by Keturah, Ishmael by Hagar, and Isaac by Sarah.  In verse 5, we are told that Abraham left all that he had to Isaac.  However, before he died, he gave gifts to his other sons and then sent them away to the east.  

Abraham died at the age of 175.  Isaac and Ishmael had him buried in the same cave as Sarah in the field of Ephron.  

The next account in Genesis 25:12 is a short paragraph giving the account of Ishmael's sons and their descendants.  Ishmael had 12 sons which became 12 tribal rulers.  

Ishmael died at the age of 137.  His descendants settled near the eastern border of Egypt.  We are told in Genesis 25:18 that Ishmael's descendants "lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them."

From there we move into the familiar story about Jacob, Esau, and the birthright.  

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright

Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah.  You'll recall that story from my last post from this Genesis series.  For the next 20 years, Rebekah had remained barren.  

This story picks up with Isaac praying for his Rebekah.  

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. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?"  So she went to inquire of the Lord. - Genesis 25:21

The Lord answered:

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. - Genesis 25:23

The two babies Rebekah is carrying will grow up to be the nations of Israel (Jacob) and Edom (Esau).

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright
Life Lessons from Genesis by Max Lucado is available here.

Esau is born red and hairy.  Jacob is born next still holding onto Esau's heel.  By the time his twin sons were born, Isaac was 60 years old.

Esau grows up to be a skillful hunter, an outdoorsman but Jacob prefers to stay closer to home.  According to Genesis 15:28, Isaac loved Esau more, but Rebekah loved Jacob. more.   

Once after Esau had been out hunting, he comes home tired and hungry.  At the time, Jacob is cooking a stew.  Esau tells Jacob to give him some of the stew.  Jacob will only give Esau some stew if Esau agrees to give over his birthright to Jacob.  After Esau swears over his birthright to Jacob, Jaboc gives Esau bread and lentil stew.  Genesis 25:34 tells us that Esau despised his birthright.  

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright
Genesis 12 - 33 The Father of Israel Bible Study is available here.

This historical account is important because the exchange here between these two brothers is significant in the fulfillment of prophecy of the coming Messiah, Jesus.  The firstborn son in those days, according to the Believer's Commentary, was entitled to a double portion of his father's estate and he eventually would become the family head.  This exchange left Jacob in the position to inherit the inheritance of the firstborn and to one day become the family head.  Eventually, Jesus is born through the line of Jacob, not Esau.  This short exchange between these two brothers, sons of Isaac, grandsons of Abraham, set Jacob up for his place in the bloodline of Jesus.

We can note that Jacob did swindle his brother out of his birthright but we can also note that Esau didn't care about it anyway, at least not enough to value it more than a pot of stew.


Teach the Kids

Here is a list of places where you'll find resources to help teach your children the story of Jacob and Esau.

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright Coloring Flip Book for Kids by Me 😊 Download this cute little coloring flip book for your child to cut out, color, staple together, and read.

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright
Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright Coloring Flip Book for Kids

This flip book is a condensed version of the Bible story for younger children so be sure to read the entire historical account with your child.  You'll find it in Genesis 25. 

Download a copy of Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright Coloring Flip Book for Kids here.

More Ways to Teach Your Child About Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright from Mission Bible Class

Jacob and Esau Word Search from Bible Pathway Adventures

Games to Play When Teaching Jacob and Esau from Jesus Without Language

Genesis Worksheets from Bible Fun for Kids

Jacob and Esau Emergent Reader from Becky Castle at The Barefoot Teacher (Teachers Pay Teachers)

Jacob - Free Bible Lesson for Children from Trueway Kids

Jacob Bible Crafts and Activities from Danielle's Place

Esau and Jacob:  Bible Lesson Introduction Activity for Kids from Bible Baton

Jacob and Esau Sunday School Lesson for Kids from Church House Collection

This post is part of my Coloring through Genesis series featuring my Beautiful Word Coloring Bible.  You can get your Beautiful Word Coloring Bible here.

Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright
Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright:  The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

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