Jacob and Esau


Rebekah had twin babies

1. Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, was going to have twin babies, and the children “struggled together within her.” When she prayed to the Lord, He said that the babies would grow up to become the fathers of two nations and that “the elder shall serve the younger.” (See Gen. 25:20–23.)

Esau born first

2. Esau was born first. Then when Jacob was born, “his hand took hold on Esau’s heel.” Isaac loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (See Gen. 25:24–26, 28.)

Later Jacob made some pottage

3. When they were older, Jacob made a pot of pottage, a kind of thick soup. (See Gen. 25:29.)

Esau was hungry

4. Esau was very hungry from having worked all day in the fields. He asked Jacob for some pottage. Jacob answered, “Sell me this day thy birthright.” (A birthright is a blessing given to the oldest boy.) (See Gen. 25:30–31.)

He gave up his birthright for pottage

5. Esau said, “Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” Esau did not care about the Lord or the blessing; but Jacob was righteous, and the birthright was important to him. Jacob gave Esau the pottage, which he ate. (See Gen. 25:32–34.)

Isaac sent Esau for some venison

6. Years later, when Isaac was old and blind, he told Esau to take his bow and arrow and bring him some venison to eat; afterward he would bless Esau. Rebekah heard what Isaac said, and she told Jacob. (See Gen. 27:1–7.)

Jacob pretended to be Esau

7. While Esau was hunting, Jacob killed two goats, which Rebekah cooked Isaac’s favorite way. Remembering what the Lord had said to her, Rebekah told Jacob to pretend to be Esau. (See Gen. 27:9–14.)

Jacob dressed like Esau

8. Because Esau was a hairy man, Rebekah put goatskins on Jacob’s arms and neck. She also dressed him in Esau’s clothing. Jacob took the prepared meat to his father. (See Gen. 27:15–18.)

He told Isaac he was Esau

9. When Isaac asked, “Who art thou, my son?” Jacob said, “I am Esau thy firstborn.” Isaac felt the goatskins and believed him. (See Gen. 27:18–23.)

Isaac blessed Jacob to be a ruler

10. Isaac blessed Jacob that people would serve him and that he would rule over his brother and nations. He also blessed Esau and explained that he must serve Jacob. Thus, the Lord’s declaration to Rebekah was fulfilled. (See Gen. 27:26–29.)

[illustrations] Illustrated by Paul Mann