Jacob and Esau

After Isaac and Rebelath had been married for a few years, Rebekah gave birth to twin boys. The eldest was called Esau. He grew into a red, hairy man who loved the outdoors. Isaac liked to eat the meat that Esau cooked after he went hunting and he loved Esau best.

Jacob was the youngest. He was a quieter, more thoughtful man. He often stayed at home and did jobs. His mother loved him best as he was a good help around their home.There was always tension between the brothers.

After Isaac and Rebelath had been married for a few years, Rebekah gave birth to twin boys. The eldest was called Esau. He grew into a red, hairy man who loved the outdoors. Isaac liked to eat the meat that Esau cooked after he went hunting and he loved Esau best. Jacob was the youngest. He was a quieter, more thoughtful man. He often stayed at home and did jobs. His mother loved him best as he was a good help around their home.There was always tension between the brothers. They were very different and didn’t always agree. Their family was rich. Esau, being the oldest, would get most of the riches when Isaac died. Jacob was not happy about this.

One day Jacob was at home cooking stew when Esau came home. Esau had been out hunting and had come back feeling really hungry. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that stew. I’m starving!”
Jacob wasn’t going to give his stew away for free. He replied, “only if you give me your birthright.” This was a big thing to ask for. That meant Jacob would receive most of the family riches, and blessings from God. Esau however, was only thinking of his stomach.
“If I don’t get some stew I am going to die,” he said, “what good is the birthright to me?” He then gave the birthright to Jacob. Only then did Jacob give him some stew and bread.

Many years later, Isaac went blind. He knew he wouldn’t live much longer. He called for Esau
“Go and catch a wild deer and make some tasty stew for me,” he said. “When you have done
that, I will give you your special blessing.” Isaac’s wife Rebekah heard them talking. She thought that Jacob deserved that blessing. Esau didn’t care – he had swapped his birthright for Jacob’s stew. He didn’t deserve to get the blessing.

She called for Jacob and told him what Isaac had said to Esau.
“Listen carefully,” she said. “Go and get me two little goats from our flock and I will make a stew,
just how your father likes it. Then you can take it to your father and get the blessing.”
“But I’m not hairy like Esau,”Jacob said. “Dad will know its me, and curse me instead.”
“Just do as I say,” said his mother. “I will sort it out.”

So Jacob went to get the goats. He brought them to his mother, and she made the stew. Then she took the skin of the goats and tied it on his arms and neck. She also put Jacob in Esau’s clothes. This was so he would feel and smell like Esau.
Jacob then went into his father.
“Who is this?” said Isaac. “Are you Jacob or Esau?”
“I am Esau,” lied Jacob. “Here is the meat. Sit up now and eat it, so I can have my blessing.” Isaac was puzzled. He asked Jacob, “How did you find it so quickly?”
“God helped me,” Jacob said.
“Come here then,” said Isaac. “I want to touch you. I need to know that it is really you.” Jacob went close to his father. Isaac touched his arms.
“You sound like Jacob, but you feel like Esau.” Isaac said, a bit confused. “Are you really Esau?”
Jacob lied to his father again. “I am.”
“Bring me some of your meat then, so that I can eat. Then I will give you your blessing,” his father said.
Jacob brought his father the meat and some wine, and he ate and drank When he was finished Isaac spoke to Jacob again.
“Come here and kiss me,” he said. Jacob went and kissed him. Isaac could smell Esau’s clothes and convinced that it was Esau, blessed Jacob.
“May God help you,” he said. “May you have good crops and plenty of corn and wine. May you rule over other nations, and the rest of your family.”Jacob then went out.

A few minutes later Esau brought his meat to Isaac.
“I have come back Father,” he said. “Here is your meat.”
Isaac shook. “Esau! Is that you?”
“Yes,” said Esau. “It’s me, with your meat. Are you going to bless me?”
“Your brother has tricked me,” Isaac said. “I have given him your blessing.”
“Bless me too, Dad,” cried Esau.
“I am sorry Esau, I have no more blessings. Jacob has stolen them.”

Because of this Esau was really angry with Jacob. He knew Isaac would die soon. He planned in his mind to kill Jacob then. Luckily for Jacob, Rebekah found out. She called for Jacob and told him to run away to her family. She then said to Isaac, “The women who live here are bad. I would be upset if Jacob married one of them. Let’s send him to my brother. He will look after him, and Jacob can find a wife there. Isaac agreed, and Jacob set off. Now Esau could not hurt him.

See if you can answer these questions:
1.Do you think their family was very happy?
2. What did Jacob pay for Esau’s birthright?
3. Why did Jacob have to go away?

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