Abraham’s Death and His Descendants
25 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.
These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife. After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.
These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. (These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled over against all his kinsmen.
The Birth of Esau and Jacob
These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 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. And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 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. 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.”
When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 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.
When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Esau Sells His Birthright
Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 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 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Genesis 25 reveals the death of Abraham, the barrenness of Rebekah, finally getting pregnant, carrying twins who would be at odds where the older would serve the younger. God never does things the way we think He should it seems and the unfolding of Isaac and Rebekah’s union would show the heartache with no children and when they had the contention between. This would be the making of the younger Jacob who in time would become Israel. The road of hardship was set by God as He would remarkably reveal Himself through all these things.
When things don’t go the way we expected it’s easy to become discouraged. When things turn out where we see no good from our own eyes, it’s easy to become angry at God. I’m reminded of the years of difficulty of Isaac and the boys Esau and Jacob where God was forging character. Would they rise to the occasion in the end?
For each of us, when unexpected trials come and days turn into years even of hardship, God is working on our own character and trust. Sometimes He chooses to use such disappointment and trial to reveal a side of Himself and the keeping of His Word that strengthens our faith and outlook of Him. He uses these situations as well to reveal His perfect will even though in the middle of it all, we see nothing of the sort. This day, where is your own trust despite the circumstances? Where is your own faith being hammered out through the difficulty? May God give each of us insight and strength to endure. May He provide direction and discernment as we choose to rely on Him rather than take matters into our own hands. He’s saying, “Just trust me.” Will you?
Genesis 25 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
In the music industry, most fans hate sellouts. According to Wikipedia, “selling out” is a common expression for the compromising of a person’s integrity, morality, authenticity, or principles in exchange for personal gain, such as money. In terms of music or art, selling out is associated with attempts to tailor material to a mainstream or commercial audience.
The reason this is so offensive is that it deals in compromises. Whether it be money or fame, selling out is one of the quickest ways to lose your dedicated fan base.
Here in Genesis 25, we see the true character of Esau in his behavior. Even though God chose Jacob before birth, the wisdom of God prevailed as Esau decided to “sell out.”
Genesis 25:29-34 HCSB Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field exhausted. 30 He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.” That is why he was also named Edom. 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die, so what good is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to Jacob and sold his birthright to him. 34 Then Jacob gave bread and lentil stew to Esau; he ate, drank, got up, and went away. So Esau despised his birthright.
Yes, it was not a great look for Jacob. He tricked his brother. However, Esau agreed, and with his agreement, he becomes the first human to coin the phrase YOLO. He doesn’t actually say it, but he comes pretty close! Since he knows he’s going to die one day anyway, he figures he might as well enjoy life right now. The soup looks good, so he takes it. In what is arguably the worst trade deal in human history, Esau gives up a lifelong blessing just to have some soup that smells good!
Additionally, Scripture tells us that Esau despised his birthright. He was flippant to spiritual and family matters. In one word, he was selfish.
What are the “birthrights” that we despise? Are we flippant with God on spiritual matters? Do we indulge ourselves with what we want now instead of holding out for a greater promise? These are all prickly questions to ponder.