Esau Gives Up His Birthright
Abraham was about 130 years old when he married Keturah, a woman scripture calls a “concubine,” and whose name means “incense or perfumed.”
God’s promise of nation-building continued through him, with Jokshan fathering two boys named Sheba and Dedan, who give birth to the ancient peoples of Saudi Arabia.
Midian’s sons, interestingly enough, gave birth to the Bedouin tribes of the Saudi peninsula.
The King James Bible says, “Abraham gave up the ghost,” a phrase I love. The ESV says, “He breathed his last.”
Isaac and Ishmael perform burial services for their father, entombing him with Sarah.
God honors his promise to Hagar by making Ishmael a great nation. Listed are his 12 sons, and in the future, the bloodlines of Esau will marry into Ishmael’s family.
Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah, who was most likely a teenager.
While Rebekah was pregnant, two nations were prophesied to be in her womb, with the younger being said to ultimately pull himself over the older.
Esau was a manly man right out of central casting—fit, capable outdoors, and a blessing to his father. He was also a great cook.
Jacob, the house-loving momma’s boy, was the younger twin, a bit of schemer, and capable in the kitchen as well.
Over time Jacob looked for an opportunity to steal the firstborn blessing from Esau, and that day arrived unexpectedly when Esau came home exhausted from working outside.
House boy knew it, so he baited his manly brother.
The Hebrew text is earthy, and I love it because I can hear their voices.
Esau literally said, “Let me gulp down some of this red stuff, for I am famished.” (Special thanks to Robert Alter). Jacob demands the price of Esau being fed was the selling of Esau’s birthright. Esau claims his birthright is of no use to him, so he transfers it to Jacob. It was a daring move by Jacob and a damning comment by Esau. Spiritual privileges are never to be thrown away and considered worthless.
Esau’s thinking was foolish, by selling his birthright for a simple meal, he took divine blessing and contaminated himself, it seems to have affected his bloodline. His kin, known as the Edomites, will eventually become wicked idolaters.
A famine is coming, and Isaac will now have to decide whether to trust God or lose faith.