Genesis Lesson 16 Day 4

Genesis lesson 16 day 2, Genesis Lesson 16 Day 3, Genesis Lesson 16 Day 4,Genesis Lesson 16 Day 5

Genesis 25:27-34

Esau sells his birthright to Jacob because he was hungry.

9) Differences between Jacob and Esau


  • Covered with red hair from birth
  • A skillful hunter and an outdoorsman
  • Isaac’s favorite.
  • Destined to serve Jacob
  • God hated him. (Malachi 1:2-3)
  • Impulsive
  • Clueless (Genesis 26:34-35; Genesis 28:6-9)


  • Lived a quiet life
  • Content to stay at home among the tents
  • Rebekah’s favorite
  • Destined to be greater than Esau
  • God loved him. (Malachi 1:2-3)
  • Obedient (Genesis 28:1)
  • Devious

Paul wrote that God’s choice was not based on the performance of Jacob or Esau. The choice was made when they were not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil (Romans 9:11).1

“A woman once said to Mr. Spurgeon, ‘I cannot understand why God should say that He hated Esau.’ ‘That,’ Spurgeon replied, ‘is not my difficulty, madam. My trouble is to understand how God could love Jacob.’” (Newell in Romans, Verse by Verse)1


  • Conceived after Isaac pleaded with the Lord
  • They have the same mother and father.
  • The same birthday
  • Each will become a nation

10a) Birthright

The birthright belonged to the firstborn son and carried both a material and a spiritual advantage.

This word denotes the special privileges and advantages belonging to the first-born son among the Jews. He became the priest of the family. Thus Reuben was the first-born of the patriarchs, and so the priesthood of the tribes belonged to him. That honour was, however, transferred by God from Reuben to Levi (Numbers 3:12; Numbers 3:13, 8:18).5

According to the law later given to Moses, a father must give the firstborn son a double portion of all that he has. He may not show preference to the son of his favorite wife. (Deuteronomy 21:17)

In this case, both sons were born to the same wife in the same birth before the law was given. And God already chose Jacob as the rightful heir.

b) Esau despises his birthright and sells it.

Esau came home famished after hunting. Guzik writes, “Esau’s thought wasn’t that he was so hungry that he would die without food. Instead the idea was, “I will die one day anyway, so what good is this birthright to me?”1

Jacob knew the birthright was valuable in every family, but in this case, the inheritance included the covenant promises God gave to Abraham. Rebekah probably told Jacob about God’s promise concerning him, so perhaps he was looking for an opportunity to make it happen. Thus, he took advantage of his impulsive brother.

According to Leupold, Martin Luther drew attention to an important fact: this was not a valid transaction, because Jacob tried to purchase what was already his, and Esau tried to sell something that didn’t belong to him.1

Personal application

Recognize my spiritual birthright in Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

11) God’s plan comes to pass.

Esau cared little about his heritage or spiritual things. Jacob cared, but it doesn’t appear he pursued a relationship with Almighty God. He stayed among the daily distractions instead of going out in to the field to meditate as Abraham and Isaac once did. Perhaps, Isaac didn’t spend time instructing Jacob the way Abraham did with him.

Jacob later spends many hours in the fields. It’s encouraging to read how God’s plan came to pass despite Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob’s missteps.

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1. used by written permission.
2. AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4. Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5. M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain,

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