Esau And Jacob

When I hear my friends say they hope their children don’t have to experience the hardships they went through-I don’t agree. Those hardships made us what we are. You can be disadvantaged in many ways, and one way may be not having had to struggle. (William M. Batten, Fortune Mag … More


With Abraham dead, the text now presents Isaac, his son, as the center of interest. He was 40 years old when he married Rebekah (v. 19). However, Isaac never matches his father, either spiritually or in personality. Much less is spoken of him than of either Abraham or Jacob. Nevertheless he is still counted among the great patriarchs of the Israelite nation and given an important place in history. God supernaturally provided a son for Isaac, in fact it is the first record in the Bible of the birth of twins. Like Sarah, Rebekah was barren (v. 21). However, in contrast to Abraham Isaac prayed and God responded.

In this passage we see the two boys and the competition between them was fierce. We can see a comparison in the struggle between Jacob and Esau to the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the spirit lusteth against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).

A. Twin boys in the womb (vv. 19-26) - As soon as Rebekah conceived a battle was raging within. She had two natures within and those two natures were at war. This secret war was experienced (v. 22), explained (v. 23) and exposed (vv. 24-26).

B. Twin boys in the world (vv. 27-34) - Birth did not heal the breach between the brothers. As the years went by the rivalry between them grew. The natures of these two boys were exactly opposite from one another. Esau was motivated by the flesh and Jacob motivated by passion.

Esau wanted earthly things and Jacob was interested in eternal things. What Jacob desired was what  God desired, whereas Esau had no thought about God at all (vv. 29-34). Because of Esau’s very appearance Rebekah was repelled by him and gave her love to Jacob. However Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison (v. 28). One day Esau came home hungry when his brother Jacob was cooking some stew and sold his rights as the first-born son.(vv. 30-34).


The conflict that troubled this family ought to provide a warning to parents who show favoritism to one child over another. I pray that this will never happen in my family or the generations to come.

Genesis 25:19-34 (English Standard Version)

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