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Two stories Esau/Jacob, Abimilech/Isaac: Genesis 25–28

Now, I like lentils as much as the next person, and probably more, but would I trade them for a birthright? Maybe not.

It probably wasn’t quite so simple, though.

I suspect it was no accident that Jacob just happened to have a delicious meal ready just as Esau returned home hungry, possibly empty handed. It’s not impossible that Esau’s hunting trips hadn’t been doing too well, and that an exhausted and vulnerable Esau was likely.

I also suspect Esau didn’t really mean it when he agreed to give Jacob his rights as a firstborn: who would ever know, or believe it? So why not say whatever it took to get something to eat.

It looks like a setup that Esau walked into without realising what he would lose.

But words are powerful, and in saying he would forgo his birthright as firstborn:

Genesis 25:34Esau showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.

And it set up the opportunity for Jacob to later take it off him for good.

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