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Jacob and Esau

Updated on August 3, 2018
AF Mind profile image

Given the historical and spiritual significance of the Bible, Kevin has devoted himself to studies through prayer and discernment.


Who are they?

Jacob and Esau were the sons of Isaac and Rebekah, meaning they are the grandchildren of Abraham. So Abraham's descendants were heirs to the promise of Genesis 15: 8.

  • “To your descendants, I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.”

But there was something different about their birth. From the womb, they were struggling with each other. Genesis 25:23-28 says God said unto her, "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels, and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." Verses 24-28.

  • 24 "And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb."
  • 25 "And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau."
  • 26 "And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them."
  • 27 "And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents."
  • 28 "And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob."

Now we can see a few differences between the two. Esau was described as red, while Jacob was just dark like everyone else. Esau was a hunter, Jacob was not. Isaac favored Esau, Rebekah favored Jacob. Notice how Jacob grabbed the heel of his brother. Keep that in mind as we read on.

What Happened?

As the tradition goes, the oldest was given the better portion. Esau, being the older son, had this right. But he didn't keep it. He gave it to Jacob.

Genesis 25:29-34

  • 29 "Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted."
  • 30 "And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.)"
  • 31 "Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.”
  • 32 "Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”
  • 33 "Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob."
  • 34 "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright."

So Esau gave Jacob his birthright. Jacob now has the birthright as being the oldest, meaning that he would be entitled to the inheritance. Now there is possibly more to the story in The Book of Jasher, such as why Esau was about to die and why he didn't attack his brother later on in Genesis 33 when he could, but I am unsure of it. The Apocryphal text can be tricky to understand, so I encourage you to pray for discernment if your heart is right with The Most High. Now let's get back to the story. Due to the duplicate alert, you will have to read these verses for yourself and then come back to my commentary. Please read Genesis 27:1-Genesis 28:7.


So Jacob is now going to trick his father into giving him the blessing.


Jacob has the official blessing. Think of the birthright as a contract, and the blessing is the signature. Now it is officially Jacob's blessing. Now how does Esau react?


That's right. Esau had no love for his brother, even though it was his fault that this happened. He didn't say he was wrong and that he would serve his brother as part of the deal. He said he was going to kill Jacob. It seems Jacob was the one that The Most High was calling to the promise. Otherwise, he wouldn't be as blessed as he was and he would have been at odds with The Most High.

Genesis 28 1-6

So now we see that Esau has broken a commandment to stay away from women not of his line. This shows how much he did not care for the words of the Most High.

What Happened Next?

Esau and his brother are long since dead. But in the book of 2 Kings his descendants are not.

2 Kings 8:20

  • "In his (Jehoram's) days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves."

So here we see that Edom tried to do their own thing. They rebelled against Jacob, which means they broke the brotherly covenant that their ancestor made. The Book of Obadiah 1-21 talks about something else that the nation of Edom did, and what will happen to the nation.

So not only did they disobey the covenant by revolting, but they also didn't fight for their brotherly kingdom. The deal was that Esau, while he would get some good places and live by the sword, would serve his brother Jacob. Jacob would be his master. But the nation of Edom rebelled against Jacob. That is why The Most High hates the nation of Edom, as in Esau. The same is paralleled in Malachi 1:1-5.

Esau was a very carnal person with no love for the Most High, and no love for his brother. He brought about his own downfall and lost his right to be the heir to Abraham. We must not do as he did. The Most High has promised for his children. Disobeying him will result in our downfall and a very special inheritance with it.

More Info Below

A lot of people speculate that the Europeans are the Edomites. According to the scripture, is this true? Peace and blessings and all praises to the Most High.


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    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      3 years ago from Brisbane

      Isa and Eesa relate to the correct phonetic name of "Jesus" in Sanskrit (ie Esu) and Arabic (ie Esau). When anglicised the "J" is added (quite incorrectly in relation to middle eastern dialects). Without the " J" we get Esus.

      Esus and Esau are so close phonetically it makes no difference. Plus Arabic translates Jesus as Esau!

    • AF Mind profile imageAUTHOR

      AF Mind 

      3 years ago

      You did not answer anything.

      Edomites were specifically those who were of descent from Edom, or were from the kingdom of Edom.

      I looked it up. The closest names would be Isa or Eesa. Besides, he had a Hebrew name. His name was not Jesus. Why would the Messiah share the name with the one who tried to kill the 12 Tribes?

      That would mean that the promises to the 12 Tribes are gone. It is rightfully Jacob's no matter what. The only time the promise was taken was when they disobeyed, but even then it was given back when they restored the covenant. The Most High is not just going to get rid of his promise.


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