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Wednesday, August 14 2013
Genesis 25: The Birth of Jacob and Esau
" Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob"
After the death of Sarah, and the birth of Ishmael to Hagar, Abraham "took a wife, and her name was Keturah." She had six sons of Abraham: "Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah" (Midian was the progenitor of the Midianites; centuries later, Moses married a Midianite, Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, "the priest of Midian" - see Moses And Zipporah). Abraham also had children with concubines. While Isaac inherited the responsibility and purpose of Abraham's Messianic presence in Canaan (see Genesis 12: Abram's Mission and Camped Out In Canaan), the sons of Keturah and "unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." They thereafter became most of the "Arab" nations of today (see also A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions).
"25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 25:2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 25:4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
Abraham died at a great age and was buried with Sarah in the tomb at Hebron (see Genesis 23: Sarah's Cave).
"25:7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
As the LORD promised to Hagar (see Genesis 16: The LORD's Seed Promise To Hagar), her son of Abraham was greatly blessed, "And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria" (see the Fact Finder question below).
"25:12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
Abraham, and the LORD, had chosen a wife for Isaac. Their choice was Rebekah (see Genesis 24: The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah).
"25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac:
Some believe that Cain and Abel were twins i.e. that "Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel" describes the birth of twins, first Cain, and the Abel immediately after. Whether the few Biblical conflicts between twins began with Cain and Abel is debatable, but it was surely evident in Jacob and Esau.
"25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
Although twins, they were fraternal, not identical - in appearance or personality. Their differences were further aggravated by parental favoritism: "Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob."
"25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
As the firstborn son, the "birthright" naturally belonged to Esau. The famous incident where Esau sold it to Jacob for a bowl of stew marked the time when the sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau began to turn deadly - another Cain and Abel in the making, if, as we will cover in subsequent studies, their mother Rebekah had not parted them.
"25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
Fact Finder: How did all of the sons of Abraham fulfill the "from the Nile to the Euphrates" prophecy?
This Day In History, August 14
405 BC: The Battle of Aegospotami, a naval victory of Sparta over Athens, the final battle of the Peloponnesian War. The Athenian commander, Conon, lost 160 of his 180 ships and the 4,000 of his troops that were captured were all executed (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).
1385: The Battle of Aljubartota. A decisive engagement in which Portuguese forces stopped the Spanish invasion of Portugal led by John I, king of Castile. The victory assured Portugal's independence.
1415: The Battle of Ceuta. Portuguese forces under Henry the Navigator were victorious over the Marinids.
1551: Turkish forces captured Tripoli (for the history of the later Turkish-Ottoman Empire, see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1559: Spanish explorer de Luna enters Pensacola Bay, Florida.
1733: The War of the Polish Succession began.
1784: The first Russian colony in Alaska was founded on Kodiak Island.
1893: France became the first country in the world to require motor vehicle registration.
1900: The Boxer Rebellion in China ended.
1912: U.S. Marines invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-installed puppet regime there (communist Russia did the same sort of thing through much of the 20th century e.g. Hungary, Poland, East Germany etc.).
1916: During the First World War (1914-1918), Romania declared war on Austria-Hungary.
1941: The Atlantic Charter, a joint declaration issued during the Second World War by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (the U.S. at the time still not in the war) after 5 days of conferences aboard warships in the North Atlantic.
1945: Japan formally surrendered at the end of the Second World War. The war's death toll: 15,000,000 military and 38,000,000 civilian dead.
1947: Pakistan was founded when British rule over the region ended and the Asian subcontinent was partitioned into Islamic Pakistan and predominantly Hindu India. Pakistan comprised two portions, West and East, which later became independent Bangladesh.
1973: The secret U.S. bombing of Cambodia ended, marking the end of 12 years of U.S. involvement in Indochina.
1980: Gdansk, Poland shipyard workers under the leadership of Lech Walesa began strikes against the communist government.
1994: The terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as "Carlos the Jackal," was captured.
2003: A days-long power blackout began in the northeast U.S. and Canada, affecting 45 million people in the U.S. and 10 million in Ontario. It was caused by a malfunction at a power plant in Ohio that caused a cascade of power failures in power stations around the Great Lakes region. It was the second-largest blackout in history, second only to the 1999 blackout in Brazil.