JACOB AND ESAU BIBLE LESSON STUDY
Welcome back to your Daily Bread
Bible Study ... It's time for another wonderful story from the book of
Genesis. Our last story was about the arrangement for Isaac to marry Rebekah. It wasn't uncommon for marriage to be planned by the parents in
those days, and in some cultures, still is today, but to be told that your marriage was planned by God must have
been very comforting.
This chapter begins with some events
that happened over a span of time and then the main story follows. Speaking
of marriage, Abraham took another wife after the death of Sarah and her name
was Keturah. Six more children were born to Abraham by Keturah. But
Abraham gave all he owned to Isaac. He gave gifts to his other sons
while he was alive, and sent them eastward to live, away from Isaac.
Abraham lived to be 175 years old, and
Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave that was in the field that he
bought where Sarah was buried.
A noteworthy fact to remember is
mentioned in this chapter. Ishmael did indeed have twelve sons. And God
did make them a great nation. It stretched approximately from Assyria to
Egypt, which was more territory than the Promised Land. And Ishmael lived
to be 137 years old.
Now for our story.
Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah, and he prayed to God
because she couldn't have children. God heard
Isaac's prayer and Rebekah conceived.
Rebekah felt wrestling inside her, and
she asked the Lord why. The Lord told her that two nations were within her.
One nation will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the
younger. This is not the first time we've read about one family producing
more than one nation.
When Rebekah delivered she had twins,
and the first was red all over like a fur coat, and they named him Esau.
When the second child was born, he was holding on to Esau's heel, and they
named him Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when his sons were born.
The boys grew up and Esau became a
skillful hunter and outdoorsman; and Jacob was a homebody, with his life
centered on things indoors. Isaac loved Esau because he ate the venison
that he hunted, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
One day Jacob made stew and Esau came
in from hunting, very weak. Near fainting, Esau asked Jacob for some of the
stew. Jacob answered; First sell me your inheritance. Esau said, right now
I feel like I'm going to die, what good is an inheritance going to do me?
So Jacob made Esau promise, and Esau swore that Jacob could have his
Jacob gave Esau bread and some of the
stew and Esau recovered quickly from his weariness. From that day
forward, Esau despised the thought of his birthright.
Let's look back on what the Lord said
about Ishmael and how his hand would be against every man, and every man
would be against him. We found out that four thousand years later, this is
still affecting the world. Remember, the Lord said that the older would
serve the younger. This is the reason Jacob was clutching his brother's
heel at birth. The firstborn traditionally gets the inheritance. But as it
turned out, God told Rebekah the conclusion before it even happened. We'll
see how it affects God's chosen people in future stories of Daily Bread.