Understanding the Scriptures
|Intreated (v. 21)||Prayed to|
|Barren (v. 21)||Could not have children|
|Why am I thus (v. 22)||Why is this happening|
|Separated from thy bowels (v. 23)||Born|
|Garment (v. 25)||Clothing|
|Cunning (v. 27)||Skillful|
|Venison (v. 28)||Meat from animals hunted by Esau|
|Sod (v. 29)||Cooked by boiling|
|Pottage (vv. 29–30, 34)||Stew|
|Faint (vv. 29–30)||Tired and hungry|
Genesis 25:30–34—Esau Sold His Birthright
In the culture of this time period, the firstborn son received a “birthright,” which included the right to preside in the family and a double portion of his father’s goods and land when his father died. The birthright son then could take care of the rest of the family, including his father’s widow. The revelation Rebekah received concerning her two sons probably prepared her to understand that this tradition would not necessarily apply in their family. Receiving the birthright of the covenant did not come because of birth order but because of righteousness. The story in Genesis 25:29–34 can help us see why Rebekah was told to expect the younger to receive the birthright. Some people criticize Jacob for “taking advantage” of his brother; however, we do not know the whole story. The story does show what little value Esau placed on the birthright and the blessings of being the firstborn son in the covenant line of Abraham and shows that Jacob desired those blessings.
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A as you study Genesis 25.
How Does It Happen Today?
Esau traded away something that would be of great value to him in the future (his birthright) for something of little value that could be obtained right away and satisfied an immediate appetite (hunger). Write about ways you see people today trading eternal opportunities and blessings for something worldly or something that satisfies an appetite.