God Chooses the Younger Twin

International Sunday School September 11 2022 Fall #2

Scripture Text

Genesis 25:19-34 ESV  These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac,  (20)  and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.  (21)  And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.  (22)  The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.  (23)  And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”  (24)  When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb.  (25)  The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau.  (26)  Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.  (27)  When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.  (28)  Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.  (29)  Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted.  (30)  And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.)  (31)  Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.”  (32)  Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”  (33)  Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.  (34)  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25:19-34 ESV

Notes

Background

J Vernon McGee — This is the line we are going to follow. “Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob” is the way the first chapter of Matthew begins. Each of these men had other sons, as we have seen. Abraham had quite a few sons, but the genealogy of those men is not followed. It is the genealogy of Isaac that is followed. You can forget Ishmael and Midian and Medan and all the rest. They will cross paths with the descendants of Isaac time and again, but we will not follow their lines.

Isaac and Rebekah Gen 25:19-20

  • Isaac was older than most grooms.

Rebekah Barren Gen 25:21

  • She was barren nineteen years after marriage.

Strife Gen 25:22-23

John Gill “… and she went to inquire of the Lord; to the school of Shem the great, say the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, and so Jarchi: the Arabic writers say (d), she inquired of Melchizedek; and, according to Aben Ezra, of some prophet, or of Abraham, who lived fifteen years after this event: and indeed, if she inquired of any particular person of note for religion, and as a prophet, there is none so likely as he, who was the friend of God”

Birth Gen 25:24-26

NICOT — For inside Rebekah’s womb two fetuses struggled with each other. The verb used here for the fetal movements is a strong one and means “to abuse, crush”; several times it parallels ʿāšaq, “to oppress” (1Sa 12:3, 1Sa 12:4; Hos 5:11; Amo 4:1).

Favoritism in the Family Gen 25:27-28

NICOT – Scripture has already provided two instances of fraternal rivalry: Cain and Abel, and Ishmael and Isaac. Both times the elder brother (as in the NT parable, Luk 15:25-32) emerges in a less than desirable light. The case is no different with Esau and Jacob.

Expensive Stew Gen 25:29-30

  • Hunger — Proverbs 13:25 (ESV) The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

Drama Queen Gen 25:31-33

  • Numbers 11:2-6 (ESV) Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down. [3] So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them. [4] Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! [5] We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. [6] But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

Birthright Despised Gen 25:34

  • Hebrews 12:16-17 (ESV) that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. [17] For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

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