THIS IS THE STORY of Abraham’s son Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebecca, the daughter of Bethuel (an Aramean from Mesopotamia) and sister of Laban. Because Rebecca had no children, Isaac prayed to the LORD for her. The LORD answered his prayer, and Rebecca became pregnant. She was going to have twins and before they were born, they struggled against each other in her womb. She said, “Why should something like this happen to me?” So she went to ask the LORD for an answer.
The LORD said to her, “Two nations are within you; You will give birth to two rival people. One will be stronger than the other; The older will serve the younger.”
The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons. The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau. he second one was born holding on tightly to the heel of Esau, so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who loved the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. Isaac preferred Esau, because he enjoyed eating the animals Esau killed but Rebecca preferred Jacob.
One day while Jacob was cooking some bean soup, Esau came in from hunting. He was hungry and said to Jacob, “I’m starving; give me some of that red stuff.” (That is why he was named Edom).
Jacob answered, “I will give it to your if you give me your rights as the first-born son.”
Esau said, “All right! I am about to die: what good will my rights do me?”
Jacob answered, “First make a vow that you will give me your rights.”
Esau made the vow and gave his rights to Jacob. Then Jacob gave him some bread and some of the soup. He ate and drank and then got up and left. That was all Esau cared about his rights as the first-born son.
(Quoted from Genesis 25:19-34, Today’s English Version)
Illustration by Nestor G. Magalpo, Sr.