The Book of Genesis

week 48

Chapter 25:22-34


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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise


  • Gen 25:22-23 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her:
    "Two nations are in your womb,
    Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
    One people shall be stronger than the other,
    And the older shall serve the younger."


  • I knew it; I knew it. I told you they were going to have twins.
    This is also the first mention of twins being born in the bible.
    So were there other twins born before this time? The bible doesn't say. It is possible. But then this could also be the first, we just don't know. (How's that as a clear as mud answer?)
    It's also interesting that even in the womb these two boys are struggling, because as we will see they also struggled growing up together.

    Rebekah didn't know what was going on. The cool thing is that when Rebekah felt something weird going on or something she didn't understand, her response wasn't to get all excited. But as it clearly states in verse 22
    "So she went to inquire of the LORD".

    We talked some in past studies about marriage and why it's important to marry someone who is a believer. And here we see that the right choice was made for Isaac, because his wife was a believer in God just as Isaac and his father Abraham were.

    Today both men and women go running to seek help from the world before going to the Lord. Then after the world says there is something wrong, then they seek the Lord.
    But we should learn by Rebekah's example of seeking the Lord first.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against doctors at all. I believe they are gifts from God.
    But we must also remember our great physician Jesus Christ.

  • Luke 4:17-21 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
    18 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
    Because He has anointed Me
    To preach the gospel to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
    19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. '

    20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."


  • Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, "Permit even this." And He touched his ear and healed him.


  • Mark 5:34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."


  • Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
    He was bruised for our iniquities;
    The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
    And by His stripes we are healed.


  • Possibly today you need a physical healing, or maybe an emotional or spiritual healing.
    Seek the Lord first and allow Him to either heal you or direct you to the correct physician or person to be healed or helped by.

    "Steve, I've prayed and prayed, but still the Lord doesn't heal me. Is it possible that I don't have enough faith or that the Lord doesn't want to heal me because He doesn't really care about me?"

    First off, the Lord loves you with a love that the world will never have, or understand. God created you and He CAN heal you.
    I don't know why God doesn't heal everyone, but even the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

  • 1 Tim 5:23 (NLT) Don't drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.


  • Now Paul had the gift of healing as we see in Acts:

  • Acts 28:8-9 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.


  • But for one reason or another, God choose not to heal Timothy at that time, so Paul gave him a remedy.

    Paul who wrote:

  • 2 Cor 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.


  • Knew that we don't order God around and just because Timothy wasn't healed that didn't make Paul's faith any less, in fact at the end of the letter to Timothy, Paul says:

  • 1 Tim 6:20-21 (NLT) 20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. 21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.
    May God's grace be with you all.


  • I know it's hard sometimes when we don't see evidence of our prayers being answered. Just remember that God is in control, and if He says not yet, then trust that God knows what He's doing!

    Back to Genesis. We read in verse 23 another prophecy of the Lord.

  • And the LORD said to her:
    "Two nations are in your womb,
    Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
    One people shall be stronger than the other,
    And the older shall serve the younger."


  • So who are these two nations and peoples?
    The younger one was named Jacob with God renaming him Israel, and through him came the twelve tribes and nation of Israel.

  • Gen 32:28 And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed."


  • The prophecy of the older serving the younger was something that was unheard of.
    But God is always in control and He knows what He's doing.
    God also speaks of the birthright of the first born in Deuteronomy.

  • Deut 21:15-17 (NLT) 15"Suppose a man has two wives, but he loves one and not the other, and both have given him sons. And suppose the firstborn son is the son of the wife he does not love.16 When the man divides the inheritance, he may not give the larger inheritance to his younger son, the son of the wife he loves. 17 He must give the customary double portion to his oldest son, who represents the strength of his father's manhood and who owns the rights of the firstborn son, even though he is the son of the wife his father does not love.


  • From the first-born son, Esau came the land of Edom. The Edomites were a hindrance to the children of Israel during their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.

  • Num 20:14-21 (NLT) 14 While Moses was at Kadesh, he sent ambassadors to the king of Edom with this message:

    "This message is from your relatives, the people of Israel: You know all the hardships we have been through,15 and that our ancestors went down to Egypt. We lived there a long time and suffered as slaves to the Egyptians. 16 But when we cried out to the LORD, he heard us and sent an angel who brought us out of Egypt. Now we are camped at Kadesh, a town on the border of your land. 17 Please let us pass through your country. We will be careful not to go through your fields and vineyards. We won't even drink water from your wells. We will stay on the king's road and never leave it until we have crossed the opposite border."

    18 But the king of Edom said, "Stay out of my land or I will meet you with an army!"

    19 The Israelites answered, "We will stay on the main road. If any of our livestock drinks your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through your country and nothing else."

    20 But the king of Edom replied, "Stay out! You may not pass through our land." With that he mobilized his army and marched out to meet them with an imposing force. 21 Because Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through their country, Israel was forced to turn around.


  • The Edomites where known to go on raiding expeditions and then hide in the high rocky mountains of Edom. Sela (Petra which means "the rock") was the capital of Edom.

  • Gen 25:24-26 24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.


  • So the twins are born and the first-born was named Esau, which means "Hairy" which we read that he was a hairy redhead.

    The second was named Jacob, which means "Heel-Holder".
    Was this a sign with Jacob holding onto Esau's heel as they were born?

    It's possible, because it seems that Jacob was holding back Esau even at birth, and as we will continue we see that Esau gets held back even further, going from first born with all the birthrights; to selling his birthright for a bowl of soup.

    Once again we see that Isaac was 60 years old when his twin sons were born, which would make Abraham 160 years old. Now that's a real Grandpa.

  • Gen 25:27-28 27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.


  • Esau grew up to be a mans-man, rugged and tough like a construction worker who enjoyed the outdoors and hunting.
    But Jacob was a mild manner, office worker type of person. He would prefer to sit back and read a good book rather then go play football.

    We see that Isaac loved Esau more because he was a man that any father would be proud of, a star football player, and a son that a dad could take out hunting and fishing and enjoy the outdoors with.
    Jacob was loved more by his mother Rebekah, because he probably stayed home and helped his mother around the tent (They didn't have houses then like we do now.) so she didn't have to worry that he would get hurt or killed out there in the wild.

    But even as a God fearing family, they still played favorites in the family.
    God doesn't do that with us. God sees us all the same, not playing favorites.
    Jesus died for all, not just the chosen few that He loved more then others.
    God doesn't love you more then me, or me more then you.
    Just because someone seems to be more spiritual or a stronger Christian then you, doesn't affect the way God loves you.
    God knows you are growing as a Christian and He doesn't base his love on what you do for Him, but what you do with His Son Jesus.

    People don't go to hell because God hates them or doesn't love them. People send themselves to hell by rejecting His Son Jesus.

    So don't play favorites with your children. They each have their own personalities; they are their own separate person. If one is a rugged boy like Esau and the other is a mild manner boy like Jacob, they are both creations of God, given to you a God's gift and blessing.

  • Gen 25:29-34 29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary." Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright as of this day." 32 And Esau said, "Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?" 33 Then Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.


  • Can you imagine the scene here as you are reading it?
    Esau was out hunting all day, he probably got up before daybreak and went out hunting, not eating or even having a cup of coffee before he went out.
    So Esau comes home late in the evening starving to death and exhausted.
    As he comes home he smells this great smell of lentil soup cooking on the fire. His stomach is growling because he is so hungry.
    So he asks his brother Jacob for some of the soup.
    I like the way the Living Bible puts it:

  • Gen 25:30 (Living) Esau: "Boy, am I starved! Give me a bite of that red stuff there!" (From this came his nickname "Edom," which means "Red Stuff.")


  • I don't care what they red stuff is, I'm starved let me have some of it. Jacob replies with:

  • Gen 25:31 (Living) Jacob: "All right, trade me your birthright for it!"


  • Even now Jacob is scheming wanting the birthright, which belongs to Esau. I have to wonder if Jacob planned this whole ordeal. He may have known that Esau would often go out hunting all day and come home tired and hungry. And Jacob may have fed Esau each time he came home. Maybe his parents said to him, "Make dinner tonight and have it ready when your brother gets home."
    Jacob may have been tired of feeling like his brothers servant and thought, "I'll get back at Esau. I steal his birthright and he wont even care, because all he cares about is his own skin. He'll fall right into this."

    Esau replied with:

  • Gen 25:32 (Living) Esau: "When a man is dying of starvation, what good is his birthright?"


  • Why didn't he just make his own dinner? Couldn't he just throw together a sandwich or pop something into the microwave?

    You have to remember that the food that was eaten back then had to be grown and/or hunted, then prepared and cooked. There were no "30 minute meals for a family of four" cookbooks back then. No refrigerators and no microwaves or even stoves as we know them.

    "Could Esau have waited? Was he really about to die?"

    I really doubted it. He may have been totally exhausted to the point that he felt like it, but I don't think he would have died if he waited and made his own dinner.
    It's a simple case of feeding the flesh and forgetting about the more important things.

    Jesus was even tempted with this same thing by Satan after Jesus has fasted for 40 days.

  • Matt 4:1-4 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "


  • Jesus knew that there were more important things in life then food. And one of those more important things was you. You see if Jesus would have given in to temptation, then He could not die for our sins. He had to be without spot or blemish. Jesus had to have never ever sinned.

  • 2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


  • Finally Jacob replies with:

  • Gen 25:33 (Living) Jacob: "Well then, vow to God that it is mine!" And Esau vowed, thereby selling all his eldest-son rights to his younger brother.


  • Or as it says in the NKJV or KJV "Swear to me this day."
    Swearing or making a vow before God, Esau may have said, "As God is our witness, my birthright I give to you this day for your stew."
    It wasn't just a, "I swear" as children do on a school playground. This was a serious oath before God. To be born first was a blessing, but Esau didn't care, he put his flesh before God's blessing in his life. He spoke before he thought about what he was doing.

  • Gen 25:34 (Living) Then Jacob gave Esau bread, peas, and stew; so he ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the loss of the rights he had thrown away.


  • So Esau had his bean soup and bread, there wasn't even any meat in it. There was not very much substance to this type of stew or soup, possible lentils, water and a few herbs for flavor. It was like eating Chinese food, after an hour, your hungry again.

    But that's the way sin is, no real substance to it, and when you are in sin you don't seem to get enough. You don't care that you are going to hell or who you are hurting, just as long as your flesh is satisfied that's all you care about.
    Just remember we came from the same way of life before we accepted Jesus into out lives. So don't be too hard on Esau.
    The bad thing is we still do this sometimes even as Christians. When we are in sin, then we are feeding our flesh and not caring about what we are giving up or who we are affecting.

    To be indifferent or to despise something is to not really care about it.
    That's the way Esau was with his birthright. The NKGV say he "despised his birthright".
    He really didn't care about what he was doing. Maybe he really didn't think that he would really lose his birthright. After all, who heard the oath? Only Jacob and God.
    The important one who heard was God.
    God heard Esau's voice and also knew his heart. God knew Esau didn't care about anything other then himself and would be this way all his life teaching his children the same thing.
    God knew ahead of time that all this was going to happen. Remember God words to Rebekah?

  • Gen 25:23 And the LORD said to her:
    "Two nations are in your womb,
    Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
    One people shall be stronger than the other,
    And the older shall serve the younger."


  • Although Esau may have been physically stronger then Jacob, Jacob was spiritually stronger then Esau.
    And Esau had just sold his birthright meaning that he would now have to serve Jacob, just as God Prophesied.

    Well. We made it through another chapter in Genesis. Next week we will see a, "like father like son" scenario, with Isaac being just like his father Abraham.

    May God richly bless you and keep you in all your ways this week!

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