Genesis 25b – Two Brothers


This Bible Characters Series is designed for children. Adults will find it very difficult; children will not. It is designed to consider texts literally and from very literal Hebrew renderings. It is presently being used in a Sunday School class with very young children. They not only learn the material, but they give a report of what they have learned before the Church Service begins, demonstrating that they understood it very well.

No topic is avoided in the questions and answers. Children easily learn about every issue of life (including sexual issues and the deepest theological issues) from these texts in Genesis. If you are not interested in children directly learning these things, this series is not for you.

Another document of the same title will be found without ‘QA’ in its title; that is the same document, but without supplied answers. These documents are posted on the web for anyone to use, copy, and modify their own copies as they see fit. There is no monetary transaction for their usage.

Background and Printed Text: Genesis 25:19-34

Genesis 25:19 And these are the birthings of He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) son of Father-Of-A-Crowd (Avraham). Father-Of-A-Crowd (Avraham) childed He-Will-Laugh (Isaac). 20And He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) was a son of 40 year in his taking Multiple-Pouring (Rebecca) daughter of They-Destroyed-A-Mighty-One (Bethuel) the I-Will-Elevate-‘ite’ (Syrian) from Ransom-Of-I-Will-Elevate (Padan-Aram) sister of White (Laban) the I-Will-Elevate-‘ite’ (Syrian) to him for a woman.

21And He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) entreated to Yehovah to-straight-in-front-of his woman. For he is barren {fem.}. And Yehovah was entreated for him. And Multiple-Pouring (Rebecca) his woman conceived. 22And the children oppressed-themselves inside her. And she said, “If established, why am I this {masc.}?” And she walked to research Yehovah. 23And Yehovah said to her, “Two races are in thy belly. And two folks will be separated from thine internals. And a folk will be-bolder than a folk. And a many will serve a younger.”

24And her days were filled to birth. And behold, twins are in her belly! 25And the first exited reddish—all of him as a fur-coat of hair. And they called his name Hairy. 26And after establishment his brother exited. And his hand is grasping into a heel of Hairy. And he called his name He-will-Heel. And He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) is the son of 60 year in birthing them.

27And the youths ‘bigged’. And Hairy was a man knowing hunting, a man of a field. And He-Will-Heel is a perfect man dwelling tents. 28And He-Will-Laugh (Isaac) loved Hairy, because hunting is in his mouth. And Multiple-Pouring (Rebecca) loves He-Will-Heel.

29And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) stewed a stew. And Hairy (Esau) came from the field. And he is tired. 30And Hairy (Esau) said unto He-Will-Heel, “Engorge me, na, from the red—from this red! For I am tired!” Therefore he called his name Red. 31And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) said, “Sell her—thy firstbornness—to me as the day [today]!” 32And Hairy (Esau) said, “Behold I am walking to die! And why is this firstbornness to me?” 33And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) said, “Vow to me as the day [today]!” And he vowed to him. And he sold his firstbornness to He-Will-Heel. 34And He-Will-Heel (Jacob) gave bread and stew of lentils to Hairy (Esau). And he ate. And he drank. And he arose. And he walked. And Hairy (Esau) despised the firstbornness.


I. The Three Characters (verses 19-20)

The text shows three characters who are important to know now: Isaac, Rebekah (also spelled Rebecca, or Rivka) and Laban. Bethuel will not play a significant role, but Laban will continue to have a part in the affairs of Avraham’s main heirs.



1.   Was Laban a good guy?

2.   What does the meaning of Rebecca’s name have to do with her character?


II. The Question (verses 21-23)

Another woman in this lineage besides Sarah was barren. If she did not have a child, Isaac would have a problem: the promise would end. He was promised that he would produce a great race. There must be at least one son if this is going to occur.

Isaac entreated (strongly requested) Yehovah directly in front of Rebecca on her behalf. Yehovah hearkened (heard and did), and Rebecca conceived.

During her pregnancy, a fight regularly occurred in her womb, but she did not know what was happening. She asked, “If established, why am I this?” She walked (went) to research Yehovah.

Yehovah gave her information that explains some of the Bible’s events.

  • Two races are in her belly.
  • Two folks will be separated from her internals.
  • One folk will be bolder than the other folk.
  •  A many shall serve a younger.



1.   Why did Isaac entreat Yehovah for his wife instead of his wife entreating for herself, or rather than Isaac entreating for himself?

2.   Does Yehovah always respond to a strong request?

3.   Should you request things from Yehovah?

4.   Why did the children oppress themselves within her? What was going on with them?

5.   What did she mean by “If established, why am I this”?

6.   What gave Rebekah the impression that God would tell her what was going on with the children in her womb, since it was her husband who went to Yehovah to entreat for her in the first place?

7.   Where did she go to inquire of Yehovah (verse 22)?

8.   The text states that she went to research Yehovah. What does that mean?

9.   Can verse 23 be used in arguments regarding abortion?

10. Yehovah in Malachi 1:3 states, “I hated Esau.” Did Yehovah hate Esau from birth?

11. Does verse 23 teach predestination—the idea that God causes folks to be and to do things that they would probably not have been and not have done?

12. What does “belly” mean?

13. What are internals?

14. Which folk will be bolder than the other folk?

15. Who are the many and who is the younger in “A many will serve a younger”?


III. The Naming (verses 24-26)

It was time for her delivery. She knew (from Yehovah) that she had twins. The first twin was covered with red hair like a red fur coat. They called him Hairy (Esau). The next twin then came out with his hand grasping into the heel of Hairy (Esau). He was named for the act of holding on to the heel: He-Will-Heel (Jacob). These two feisty twins were born to a sixty-year-old man. Rebekah had waited twenty years for this occasion.



1.   Exactly what does the name Jacob mean?


IV. Occupations and Favorites (verses 27-28)

They ‘bigged’ means they got bigger—they grew. Esau learned how to hunt, and was a very successful hunter. He also loved to camp (he was a man of a field), and knew well how to deal with his environment.

Jacob was a perfect man. He stayed around the tents, and he lived there (rather than camping out).

Isaac loved Esau because of the taste of the game that Esau brought and fixed for him.

Rebekah loves Jacob. No reason is given.



1.   In verse 27, the word perfect is used where other translations use plain or simple. Which translation is correct, and how can one know?

2.   Was Jacob really perfect? Did he not have to come to God later, and turn from some very evil things?

3.   What does perfect mean?

4.   Was Isaac wrong for loving Esau because of the game that Esau caught (verse 28)?

5.   Was Rebekah’s love for Jacob pure—that is, entirely right?

6.   Is it right for a parent to love one child more than another child?


V. The Sale and the Vow (verses 29-34)

Jacob also knew how to cook. Esau was a good hunter, but he did not necessarily eat what he caught out in the field. He came back quite tired. Jacob was fixing what really looked good. It was red because of the ingredients Jacob used. Esau requested some of the red stew, because he was tired. Much work and time was required to fix a meal. He apparently did this often, because it became his nickname: Red.

On this occasion, Jacob wanted something in return for the stew. “Sell her—thy firstbornness—to me as the day [today]!” He desired to purchase Esau’s status as the firstborn. Esau’s reply was curious: “Behold I am walking to die! And why is this firstbornness to me?” (I made up the word ‘firstbornness.’ It is similar to ‘birthright,’ but it is a little different.)

Jacob told him to swear (vow) “as the day” (today). Esau was quite willing. He chose to sell his position of being the firstborn. Then Jacob fed him well.

Esau ate and drank. It was a good meal. After Esau finished, he got up and went. Esau despised the status of being firstborn.



1.   In the text starting in verse 29, does there seem to be any animosity (any anger or hatred) between Esau and Jacob?

2.   Why was Esau tired?

3.   What did Esau mean by “Engorge me”?

4.   Who called Esau’s name Red?

5.   What did the ‘firstbornness’ (‘birthright’) include?

6.   How does ‘firstbornness’ differ from birthright?

7.   Why did Jacob desire the position of being firstborn if it included responsibilities?

8.   Why did Jacob desire this today?

9.   Why didn’t Esau care about his firstborn status?

10. Some claim that Esau was close to death, and that Jacob took advantage of him by demanding his birthright before feeding him. Is this true?

11. Why did Jacob insist that Esau vow?

12. What is so special about a vow compared to promise?