LESSON 8 - JACOB'S BIRTHRIGHT
Rebekah was the wife of Isaac, the only son of Abraham and Sarah.
Rebekah and Isaac wanted to have a baby, but for some reason they could not. Isaac prayed to Yahweh that they would have a baby.
Yahweh heard Isaac and Rebekah. Finally, they discovered that Rebekah was going to have a child. She was going to have not just one, but she had two, twin boys. When the babies grew inside her a little, they began to move so much that she was afraid she was going to die.
When she asked Yahweh about it, He said, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall be separated from you. The one people shall be stronger than the other people and the older shall serve the younger,” Genesis 25:23.
Rebekah told Isaac about what Yahweh had said and she remembered this promise from Yahweh for many years.
Later, when the babies were born, the first baby came out red, and had a lot of hair all over his body—they called him “Esau.”
After Esau was born his brother Jacob was born. When Jacob was being born he took hold of Esau’s heel, and his mother named him “Jacob,” Hosea 12:3-4. “Jacob” means “supplanter” in Hebrew.
Are you a twin? Do you know any twins? Can you think of reasons it might be fun to have a twin brother or sister?
Word Challenge: There are two types of twins generally. They are "identical" and "fraternal." Look them up and see if you can list the differences between them.
SUPER Challenge: What "type" of twins do you think Jacob and Esau were and why?
As Esau and Jacob were growing up, they heard the wonderful stories from their father, Isaac, and their grandfather, Abraham, about how Yahweh had talked with Abraham and promised great blessings to Abraham’s descendents. When the boys grew up, Esau became a good hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a plain man who stayed near the tents.
Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the deer meat that he got when he hunted, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
One day when Esau was out in the field, he hunted for a long time but didn’t get anything except he got very hungry. At that time Jacob had just made some vegetable stew.
Esau came to Jacob and said, “Feed me! I’m about to die of hunger!”
Jacob said, “I will give you some food if you will sell me your birthright.” The birthright was all the things Esau would get because he was the first born son.
Esau said, “I am at the point to die, and what good will my birthright do for me if I am dead.”
Jacob said, “Swear to me this day,” and Esau swore to Jacob, and sold his birthright to Jacob for the stew.
Then Jacob gave Esau some good bread and lots of lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose up and went his way. Esau didn’t appreciate how valuable his birthright was. Yahweh had promised the good things to Jacob before they were born because he knew Esau wouldn’t care about the birthright and wouldn’t serve Him faithfully.
Isaac obeyed Yahweh’s laws and Yahweh blessed him very much.
When Isaac was old, his eyes became very weak and he could not see. He figured he was going to die soon.
Isaac called Esau, his oldest son, and said to him, “I do not know the day of my death but I think it will be soon. Take your weapons, your arrows and your bow and go out to the field and shoot a deer and make me some of that good, tasty meat that I love and bring it to me, so that I may eat it and I will bless you before I die.
Rebekah heard what Isaac had said to Esau. When Esau went to the field to hunt, Rebekah went to her son Jacob and told him what Isaac had said to Esau. She told Jacob, “Go to the flock and fetch two good baby goats, and I will make them into savory meat for your father. Bring this to your father so he can bless you before he dies.”
Jacob told his mother that his father would know the difference between him and his brother Esau because Esau was very hairy, but Jacob had very little hair on his body. Jacob said, “My father will feel me and he will know I’m not Esau, and I will bring a curse on myself instead of being blessed.”
His mother told him that the curse would be on her, not him. She told Jacob to do as she said. Jacob did everything his mother had said to do.
Rebekah took some of Esau’s clothes and put them on Jacob, her younger son. She put the goats’ skins on Jacob and gave him the savory meat and bread which she had prepared.
He went to his father and said, “Here I am father, your son is here. I am Esau your first born. I have done everything that you have told me to do.”
Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly?”
Jacob said, “Because Yahweh sent it to me.”
Isaac wasn’t too sure that this was really Esau, so he told him to come near to him because he wanted to feel him and smell him. Esau had a lot of hair and wore goat’s skins. Goat’s skins smell like goats. Rebekah had put goats’ skins on Jacob’s hands and arms so they would feel and smell more like Esau.
Jacob went near to Isaac his father and Isaac felt Jacob and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Isaac said to Jacob, “Are you my very own son Esau?”
Jacob said, “I am.”
Isaac then ate the food that Jacob had brought him. After Isaac had eaten and had drunk the wine he told Jacob to come near to him. Isaac could smell the smell of the goat skins and he thought “this might really be Esau.”
Isaac then blessed Jacob and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of the field which Yahweh has blessed. May Elohim give you the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and new wine. Let people serve you and nations bow down to you: be mighty over your brethren and let your mother’s son’s bow down to you. Cursed be every one who curses you and blessed be every one who blesses you,” (Genesis 17:27-29).
Isaac had no sooner blessed Jacob when Esau came back from the field. When Jacob had left his father, Esau came to his father and he also had food for his father and brought it to him. Esau said to his father, “Arise and eat what I have brought to you so you can bless your son.”
Isaac said, “Who are you?”
Esau said, “I am your son, your first born son, Esau.”
Isaac told Esau that he had already blessed his son. He explained that Jacob had deceived him and he had already received the blessing Esau thought he would get from Isaac.
When Esau heard this, he cried bitterly and said to his father, “Bless me, too.” Esau said, “My brother has come and take away my blessing.” He was very upset because this was the second time that Jacob had taken something from him by outwitting him. The first time was when Esau sold his birthright and now Jacob was given the blessing, too, instead of Esau.
Esau asked his father if he still could give him a blessing.
Isaac answered, “I have made Jacob your master, and all his brethren I have given to him for servants. I have provided him with corn and wine: and what shall I do for you?”
Esau lifted up his voice and said, “Don’t you have just one blessing for me?”
Isaac told Esau, “Your dwelling will be the fatness of the earth and of the dew of heaven from above, and you shall live by the sword, and serve your brother.”
Even though things were working out exactly the way Yahweh had said they would before the boys were born, Esau still hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. Esau said, “When my father dies, I will kill Jacob.”
Rebekah heard what Esau was planning on doing to Jacob and she was afraid that Esau would hurt him. She asked Isaac to send Jacob away to find a good wife. Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. He stayed in Haran overnight. He took a stone and used it for a pillow and lay down in this place to sleep.
He had a dream that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And look! The angels of Yahweh were going up and down on it. Yahweh stood above it, and said, “I am Yahweh, the Elohim of Abraham your father, and the Elohim of Isaac. The land you lie on, I will give to you and to your seed. And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the West, and to the East, and to the North, and to the South, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed by you and your seed,” (Genesis 28:13-14).
Yahweh also told Jacob that He was with him and would always be with him wherever he went.
Jacob woke up from his sleep and said, “Surely Yahweh is in this place and I didn’t realize it.”
Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome this place is! It must really be the house of Yahweh, and this is the gate of heaven.”
Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had used for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil over it. Jacob called this place Bethel which means “house of Elohim.” The city used to be called Luz.
Jacob vowed a vow, saying, “If Elohim will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothes to put on so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then Yahweh shall be my Elohim. And this stone which I have set up for a pillar shall mark Elohim’s house and of everything that He shall give me I will surely give a tenth to Yahweh.” We don’t know what Jacob did with his tithes but he might have given them to Melchizedek, the priest of El Elyon, whom Abraham had known.
Yahweh will send a blessing to those who follow Him!
LESSON 8 - ACTIVITIES
Here are some questions to see how much you learned from the Lesson you just completed. You can print out this page to write your answers and do any activities that follow. Make sure you have an adult or a big brother or sister check your work! You may even get a "star" on it!
What was Isaac’s wife’s name?
What were Isaac’s twin boys’ names?
What did Esau give up for food?
Which son did Isaac like better?
Which son did Isaac's wife like better?
Why did Isaac want Esau to come to him?
What did Jacob do so that his father would not know him?
What did Esau think about Jacob going to see their father in his place?
What did Esau say he would do to Jacob?
What did Jacob do with the stone he used for a pillow?
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Jacob and Esau - A Crossword Puzzle
(Even though there are verses given to help you, try to do it without looking up the verses!)
And Now - Your Clues!
|2||Esau's wife (Genesis 26:34)|
|5||Jacob and Esau were _________ (Genesis 25:24)|
|7||Jacob's new name (Genesis 32:28)|
|8||Jacob dreamed he saw a _______ leading to heaven (Genesis 28:12)|
|9||Esau sold his _______ for a meal (Genesis 25:33)|
|12||Jacob tricked his father and received Esau's ______ ________ (Genesis 27:15-23)|
|13||Rebekah's favorite son (Genesis 25:28)|
|1||Esau's occupation (Genesis 25:27)|
|3||Esau's body was covered with _______ (Genesis 25:25)|
|4||What Jacob and the angel did (Genesis 32:24)|
|6||Jacob's first wife (Genesis 29:21-30)|
|8||Jacob's father-in-law (Genesis 29:16)|
|10||Jacob's second wife (Genesis 29:21-31)|
|11||Meat Isaac asked Esau to bring him (Genesis 27:3)|
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Here's a picture to color!
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I am the El of Bethel,
where you anointed a pillar,
where you vowed a vow to me.
Now arise, get out of this land and
return to the land of your birth.
If you finished this Lesson and all the activities, you can click here to go to the next lesson!