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Jacob and Esau

(Back to OT Junior Seminary Overview)

Old Testament Lesson 16: Genesis 25-27

To Prepare: Read Genesis 25 and Genesis 27; print a copy of the activity below for each child participating.


To Teach: Begin with a prayer. Isaac and his wife Rebekah wanted to have children, but she was barren. (That means she could not get pregnant.) Isaac prayed to the Lord, they were blessed, and Rebekah became pregnant. While she was pregnant, she felt ‘a struggle within her womb’ (fighting in her stomach) and prayed to know what was going on. Read Genesis 25:23 to see what she was told. Highlight “two nations” and “the elder shall serve the younger.”

Read Genesis 25:24-28. Point out that Jacob and Esau were fraternal twins, with different appearances, personalities, and skills. See what it says about why Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob.

Explain what a birthright is, and that traditionally it belongs to the oldest son. Read and explain Genesis 25:30-34. Pottage is kind of like soup. If Esau was really going to die from hunger, do you think his brother would have given him food without a price? Explain that Esau’s birthright included all the blessings of the covenant that Abraham made, to be a great nation with many descendants, to have a special relationship with God. Ask the children if they think selling that for some soup was a good idea. He must not have thought it was very important! Esau betrayed his birthright in other ways, like marrying Hittite women (women who did not have the Gospel covenants). He was not willing to do the hard work to find someone he could have an eternal marriage with.

When Isaac was old, he prepared to give Esau the birthright blessing, but Rebekah had a plan to help Isaac get it. Isaac was worried that tricking his father for the blessing was a sin, but Rebekah had received revelation and she knew that the blessing should go to Isaac. Read or summarize Genesis 27:5-17 to explain Rebekah’s plan.

Read or summarize Genesis 27:18-29. Did Rebekah’s plan work?

When Esau came back from hunting, Isaac told him he had already given his blessing away, and had been tricked by Jacob. Esau was very upset and wanted his father to give him another blessing. (Genesis 27:38) He was so angry that he made plans to kill Jacob. Rebekah warned Jacob of these plans, and told him to go hide with her family until she called him back.

Finish up with the activity sheet. You did it again!

(Go to Lesson 17)

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