God Chose Jacob
Abraham wanted his son Isaac to have a wife from his own people. Therefore Abraham sent one of his servants back to Mesopotamia to the land of his father. God led the servant to the woman he had chosen for Isaac. Her name was Rebecca.
For 20 years Rebecca did not have any children. Then Isaac prayed to God for her, and God gave her twin boys (Genesis 25:21). Before they were born, God told Rebecca: “…the older will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). The first boy was called Esau and the second was called Jacob.
Esau became a great hunter and liked to be in the fields. Jacob was quiet and liked to stay in the tents. One day when Esau came home from hunting, he was very hungry. He asked Jacob for something to eat. Jacob said: “I will give it to you if you give me your rights as the firstborn son” (Genesis 25:31). So Esau sold his rights to Jacob for a bowl of thick soup.
21 Because Rebecca had no children, Isaac prayed to the Lord for her. The Lord answered his prayer, and Rebecca became pregnant. 22 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.
23 The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are within you;
You will give birth to two rival peoples.
One will be stronger than the other;
The older will serve the younger.”
24 The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons. 25 The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau. 26 The 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.
Esau Sells His Rights as the First-Born Son
27 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. 28 Isaac preferred Esau, because he enjoyed eating the animals Esau killed, but Rebecca preferred Jacob.
29 One day while Jacob was cooking some bean soup, Esau came in from hunting. He was hungry 30 and said to Jacob, “I’m starving; give me some of that red stuff.” (That is why he was named Edom.)
31 Jacob answered, “I will give it to you if you give me your rights as the first-born son.”
When Isaac became very old and could not see very well, he wanted to bless Esau his first-born. But Jacob tricked his father, Isaac, by acting like Esau. In this way he received the blessing which Isaac wanted to give to Esau.