Gen. 25:24-28  Jacob, Esau

            Gen. 25:24 "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."

            "And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau."  Esau got his name based on the appearance he had when he was born.  The name Esau literally means red.  This is also the meaning of the name Edom.  Apparently his hair was red and he had hair all over his body at birth.

            "And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob."  The name Jacob, means a supplanter or one who removes or carries a thing away by fraud or trickery.  This was a strange name for them to name a son, but Jacob in his earlier life lived up to the meaning of his name.  In this supplanting or trickery, Esau, Jacob's brother was to be his primary target. 

            "Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents."  These twin boys were quite different both in appearance and in their manners.  Esau was a man's boy.  He did what most men would be proud of.  He was a cunning hunter and a man of the field.  This red headed, hairy boy, no doubt, made his father proud with his manly deeds.  In contrast Jacob was a plain man.  The fields and hunting was not his "cup of tea."   He liked dwelling in tents and cooking.  He was a mama's boy.  He did things with his mama. 

            "And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob."  This is exactly what you would have suspected based on the nature of the two boys.  However, as we will learn, God's children can change and Jacob will be one who will be a hard worker in the field and a good provider for his family.  He will also grow mightily in faith before God.  However, beforehand he will live up to his name.


Gen. 25:29-34  Esau Sells His Birthright

             Gen. 25:29 "And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." 

            The above passage tells us a lot about the two young men.  First, we learn of Esau that he was only interested in living in the moment.  He was looking for instant gratification.  He was not concerned or worried about the future, but lived for the instant gratification of the moment.  He was faint from his hunting and Jacob had made up a nice pot of red pottage.  He was willing to give up his birthright in order to have a meal of red pottage.  The instant gratification was to fulfill his fleshly lust for delicious pottage.  He so lightly considered his own birthright as being important and valuable.  After all, he reasoned, what good would it do him now if he could not have what his soul lusted after and that is a delicious meal of red pottage.  He was all about fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind.  He was typical of those who are children of wrath and of those who are children of God before are they are born of the Spirit.  Thus, Esau despised his birthright.

            Jacob was a conniving businessman.  While Jacob valued the birthright that belonged to his brother, he was willing to take advantage of any situation or even create a situation where he could get advantage.  By offering his brother Esau a meal of beans in exchange for the birthright, Jacob showed his extreme selfishness as well.  The unselfish thing would have been to give his brother a bowl of red pottage of beans.  However, Jacob had lusted after his brother's birthright and obtained it through supplanting his brother with the offer to exchange the bowl of beans for his brother's birthright.  Selfishness is the chief characteristic of God's children before the new birth.