Genesis 25:27-34

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 25:27-34

  1. Locate the passage

The two boys born to Isaac and Rebekah grew into men and the twins, who already don’t look alike reveal themselves to be even less identical in their personality and choice of profession. These distinctions also endear the each to a different one of their parents.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It records the conversation between Esau and Jacob over the selling of the birthright.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

25:27-28 – The twins are very different and the parents show favorites

25:29-34 – Esau sells Jacob his birthright for a bowl of stew

  1. Exegete the passage

This passages raises a lot of interesting questions. Is Isaac vindictive or simply opportunistic? Is Esau overly dramatic, desperately hungry, or does he simply show too little value towards his birthright? Since, it is “his” birthright, does he not have the right to do with it as he pleases? Or, does his attitude towards the easy sale of his birthright show a disrespect? The writer of Hebrews in 12:16, suggests that Esau was immoral and godless and implies that the “giving up” (Gr. “apodidomi”) his birthright for a “single meal” revealed too little respect for the Lord and his heritage.

25:27 – The Bible clearly depicts Jacob and Esau as different. Esau was hairy and Jacob was smooth. Esau liked to hunt and Jacob was a mild man. Esau was a “man of the field” and Jacob liked “dwelling in tents.”

25:28 – Parental favoritism is unacceptable and wrong. It’s natural to be more like some children than others, but this favoritism seemed to be well-known to all; and both parents participated in it. The text seems to indicate that Isaac loved Esau for what he got out of it “because he ate of his game.”

25:29 – Both Jacob and Esau are presented as cooking food in this passage. Esau prepared meat for his father and Jacob cooked stew. In this verse, Esau came back to the tent after a long day in the field and was weary and hungry. It’s easy to root for the wrong guy in this exchange. Jacob is not completely innocent, but Heb. 12:16 suggests that Esau sinned by showing so little regard for his birthright.

25:30 – “Feed me.”

25:30 – Lit. “Please let me eat from this red stuff.”

25:31-32 – Jacob’s condition for giving his brother some stew was the sale of the birthright. It seems highly unlikely that Esau was really “about to die” as he said. So, the sale seems foolish and short-sighted on his part. So, while the exchange clearly favored Jacob over Esau, the fact that the birthright meant so little to Esau suggests how little he valued his heritage.

25:34 – As happens to often, very soon after the exchange, Esau regretted his decision. But rather than repenting over his foolish decision, he responded by “despising” (Hb. “bazah”) his birthright. See Heb. 12:17.

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Category: Sermon Structure
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