SynopsisVerses 1–7 recount Abraham’s passing. Before he died, he took another wife, and had more children. However, verses 5–6 say that he gave his other children gifts while he was still alive, and sent them to the land of the east, and when he died, everything that was left went to Isaac. He died at 175, “…at a good old age, an old man and full of years…” (verse 8)
The LORD said to her,When they were born, Esau was born first, and was red and covered in hair. (“Esau” means “hairy”; he was also nicknamed “Edom”, which means “red”.) Second came Jacob, who was grasping Esau’s heel. (“Jacob” means “he grasps the heel”, which figuratively means “he deceives”.)
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”
Then there is another footnote, saying that “Edom” means “red”. I’m not sure why this nickname is relevant to this particular episode.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.
ThoughtsAs is usual, these days, I don’t have much to say about this chapter; it all seems so straightforward.
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.We’ll be reading about the tears later in Genesis.