The First Book of Moses Called Genesis
What is Birthright Bible Study
Esau and Jacob Birthright Story
Great to have you back! You've probably been wondering through the
last chapter, how exactly does a younger son actually obtain his
older brother's birthright ... You're about to find out.
Before we go into the story, there are a few things that may help you
to understand it from different perspectives. Think for a moment
about what the Lord said to Rebekah when she was expecting. We may
want to ask first, why was she the one God told about Isaac's sons
being two nations instead of telling Isaac? Well, let's think back
further. Does God have favorites? Heavens no, you say, clearing your
throat with certainty. If you were asked, who do you think God
favored, Cain or Abel, would you say God felt the same about each of
them? What about Ishmael and Isaac?
To help you understand even better, think of someone who has two
children. They are born from the same parents, however they are
completely different. From their personality to their appearance to
their ambition to - you name it, they're like night and day. Do you
have a favorite? Instantly we say, nope, because we don't want to
hurt anyone's feelings, or our pride wouldn't want anyone to think
badly of us for it. But in truth, there are many reasons why we have
favorites. It may be because they're the youngest, oldest, smartest,
whatever...est. Well, we are made in God's image. We all know we have
favorites, just as God did, does, and will. And God admits it
outright. Noah was certainly one of God's favorites Genesis
6:8. He refers to Jacob as the "apple of His eye" Deuteronomy
32:10. And the Israelites are His chosen people, are they
Now, we're not saying that God trusted Rebekah over Isaac or anything
of that sort, but remember Isaac favored Esau. After all, Esau was
the firstborn. Esau was the picture of strength, being an
outdoors-man and hunter. And Isaac, although he was Abraham's son and
the one that God chose to carry his promise through, he didn't have
the magnitude of faith that Abraham had. Abraham loved Ishmael, but
he had no qualms about banishing him to the wilderness to make the
path that God planned for Isaac free of obstacles. What we're saying
is that God knew Isaac was blinded by his favoritism for Esau and He
used Rebekah as a tool to be sure that the birthright, the
inheritance, the blessing, followed the branch of Isaac's bloodline
that He intended. There are many ways to look at things, and many
people would prefer to call the manner in which Jacob received the
blessing and birthright a deception. But from Rebekah's view, it was
a means to an end that God had confided to her.
Esau and Jacob Birthright Lesson With Esau and Jacob Birthright Explanation
Let's get back to our story now and find out how it all unfolded.
It just so happened that when Isaac grew old, he became blind. He
told Esau that he thought he was going to die soon. He told Esau to
go hunt some venison so that he could eat it and bless him before he
Rebekah overheard what Isaac told Esau and when he left to hunt, she
told Jacob that Esau was about to receive his father's blessing. She
told Jacob to go and get two baby goats and she would make them taste
like Esau's venison. Then Jacob would take it to Isaac and he would
bless Jacob instead.
But Esau is covered with hair and I'm not, Jacob said. If my father
touches me and thinks I'm deceiving him, I'll get a curse, not a
blessing. Rebekah told Jacob that if Isaac cursed him, the curse
would fall on her, and to obey what she said. She cooked the meat,
gave Jacob Esau's good clothes and made coverings for his hands and
his neck with the skins of the goats.
When everything was ready, and before Esau returned, Rebekah sent
Jacob in to Isaac with the food. Jacob said, It's me, Esau. I have
the venison for you to eat so your soul can bless me.
Isaac said, How did you find it so fast? And Jacob answered, The Lord
brought it to me. Isaac said, Come close to me so I can touch you and
see if you're Esau. Jacob went to his father and Isaac touched his
hands. He said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the
hands of Esau.
Isaac blessed Jacob, ate the meat and drank wine. He told him to come
near and kiss him. When Jacob kissed Isaac, he smelled the scent of
Esau's clothes and blessed him saying, my son smells like a field
that the Lord has blessed. For that reason, God give you of the dew
of heaven, and the richness of the earth. Let people serve you and
nations bow down to you. Be ruler over your brothers and let them bow
down to you. Let anyone that curses you be cursed and let anyone that
blesses you be blessed.
No sooner did Jacob leave his father's presence with Esau's blessing,
than Esau arrived himself with his venison prepared and asking for
Isaac to bless him. Isaac asked, Who are you? I'm Esau, he answered.
Isaac was very troubled. Then who was it that brought me meat and I
just blessed him? He will be blessed. When Esau heard what his father
said, he cried desperately and asked Isaac to bless him too.
Your brother came and cleverly took away your blessing, Isaac told
him. Esau tried again saying, But isn't he still Jacob? He has taken
my place twice now. He took away my birthright, and now he has taken
away my blessing. Don't you still have a blessing for me? And Isaac
answered Esau, I've made him ruler over you and have blessed him with
corn and wine.
Birthright Bible Study Warning
Esau and Jacob Birthright Blessing
Why couldn't Isaac just go ahead and bless Esau too, you may wonder.
Don't forget, God's covenant wasn't meant to be split in half, or for
that matter, divided in any way. Even though God used Rebekah to
execute the means by which Jacob received God's promise to Abraham,
the spirit of the promise still abided in Isaac, and once the
covenant was passed on by way of blessing and birthright to Jacob,
Isaac didn't have the power or the authority to provide a portion of
it to Esau. Isaac may have also remembered that he received the
promise instead of Ishmael, who was his father's oldest son
and that Abraham protected his possession of it.
However, Esau persisted, Please, just one blessing father, he cried
sincerely. Isaac answered, You will live from what the earth provides
and from the rain of heaven above, and by your sword will you live
and serve your brother. And someday when the opportunity arises, you
will forgive him.
Esau hated Jacob with perfect hatred because of the blessing that he
received. Esau said to himself, My father will die soon, then I will
kill my brother Jacob. Esau told Rebekah what he thought and she told
Jacob what Esau was planning to do. She sent Jacob away to her stay
with her brother Laban in Haran until Esau's anger had diminished.
And that's how Jacob took Esau's blessing. It was meant to be from
the start, when God told Rebekah that the older would serve the
younger. Jacob having hold on Esau's heel when he was born was
another indication that perhaps the baby was trying to pull his twin
brother back so he could be born first because he was rightly the
true heir in God's plan.
When you know the history of something, it makes things much easier
to understand. The terrorism crisis that the world experiences daily
in our modern world stems from this hatred that began in the days of
Ishmael and Isaac, and of Esau and Jacob.
Why don't they just get over it, you ask. For goodness sake, it's
been four thousand years. The answer to that folks is one word ...
Beliefs. You see, Islam (the Muslims, or descendants of Ishmael
and/or Esau) believe that the promise was with Ishmael which was
passed down to the Arabs instead of to the Jews through Isaac.
Birthright Bible Study Debate
Esau and Jacob Birthright Caused Division Felt Today
Just what is this "Islam" and who are the "Muslims?" You have never
seen either word in the Bible because they didn't exist in Biblical
times, but what follows is a short version of who they are.
The descendants of Ishmael were so mad at God for making the promise
to Isaac that they believed in a number of other gods. They were an
uncivilized people who believed in vengeance and violence much as God
described Ishmael's character and destiny before he was even born. It
wasn't until the 7th century A.D. that Islam was created. The
followers of Islam are called Muslims. For many Muslims, their
purpose is to join together to wage "holy war" against the
descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They believe that one of its
earliest prophets, Mohamed, whom you may have heard of before, was
carried by Allah (their god) to Jerusalem and he ascended into heaven
on his bicycle – or whatever – where the Dome of the Rock now stands.
At any rate, what started out as sibling rivalry has over thousands
of years progressed into religious conflict that threatens the world
even today. Islam believes in a continuing struggle (a never ending
war) to kill or convert everyone who isn't Muslim. You must agree
this is consistent with what the Bible says: The fight over the
promised land will never be settled peaceably (Zechariah
In our next story you'll find out what Jacob's ladder is and what
happens to him when he travels to Haran in refuge of his loathing
brother Esau. Don't miss it in our next Daily Bread.
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