Sons in the Bible: Sons of Isaac

Isaac and Rebekah were married for almost twenty years before they had children. Both Isaac and Rebekah prayed fervently for offspring during this time.

Isaac loved Esau, while Rebekah loved Jacob

Rebecca was extremely uncomfortable during her pregnancy and sought the Lord. She was told she was carrying twins who were fighting in her womb and would fight all their lives.  She was told one would be stronger than the other and the older would serve the younger.

She gave birth to twins whom they named Esau and Jacob. Scripture tells us two nations wrestled within her womb.

Esau is described as red and hairy all over.  His name means rough, sensibly felt, handled or completely developed. He grew up to become a hunter. When he returned from the fields one day, he sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of stew. He married two Hittie wives, Judith and Basemath, “who vexed Isaac and Rebecca to know end, as they were idol worshippers.”

Rebekah overheard Isaac tell Esau to prepare for his blessing

Jacob came out grasping his brother’s heel and his name means supplanter or he who follows upon the heel of one. He described as being smooth skinned.  He was known for abiding in tents

By the time they were teenagers, Jacob is said to busy himself learning the word of God while Esau busied himself with idolatry.

The parents noticed the differences.  “Isaac loved Esau because he did eat of hunting, but Rebecca loved Jacob”  {Genesis 25:28}

Isaac sent Esau out to the fields for game, so that he could bestow his blessing upon his first born.  Rebekah {Rebecca} overheard his intent and assisted Jacob with preparing a meal for her husband.  It was Jacob who served his father, now blind, and received the blessing “with the dew of the heavens, the fatness of the earth, and rulership over many nations as well as his own brother.”

Years later, Rebekah helped her favorite son, Jacob, deceive her husband for a blessing

Jacob had just left the room when Esau arrived and Isaac realized he’d been duped. Esau was heartbroken by the deception and begged for his own blessing. Isaac could only promise, “By thy sword thou shalt live, and shalt serve thy brother; yet it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt cast off his yoke from off thy neck” (Gen 27:40).

Esau was filled with hatred against his brother and vowed to kill Jacob, who fled to the brother of Rebecca.  While with his Uncle Laban, Jacob married Leah and Rachel and took each of their maidservants.  He went on to have twelve sons and a daughter.

With his brother away, Esau realized his wives were evil in the eyes of his father.  He married Mahalath, daughter of Isaac’s half-brother Ishmael.

Rebekah never saw her favorite son again

Jacob lived with Laban for twenty years before returning.  While he was still far away, he sent gifts to his brother and the two men met along the path. Their reunion was an emotional one, before the men again departed ways.

Isaac died at the age of 180 and Jacob and Esau buried him in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Esau became the father of the Edomites and Jacob was renamed Israel and the father of the twelve tribes making up the Israelite’s.

God’s promises to Abraham and Isaac were carried on through Jacob.

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