Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. Many years went by, and still they didn't have any children. Isaac prayed to God, “Oh Lord, please look with favor on my wife Rebekah, and bless us with children.”
God heard Isaac's prayer.
Soon, Rebekah was going to have a baby - but not one baby, she was going to have two!
Before her twins were even born, Rebekah could feel them kicking and fighting.
“Why is this happening?” she asked God.
God answered her saying,
“The two children inside you will become the fathers of two nations. Just like the two are fighting with each other now, the two nations will struggle with each other. One will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger.”Soon it came time for the children to be born.
The first baby born was a boy. He was all red and covered
with hair, and so Isaac and Rebekah named him Esau which means 'hairy'.
The second baby was also a boy, and he was born grabbing onto Esau’s heel.
Isaac and Rebekah named him Jacob which means 'theif'.
Isaac was 60 years old when Esau and Jacob were born.
The boys grew up.
Esau became a strong and great hunter who loved the outdoors. Isaac preferred Esau because he loved the wild game he brought home from hunting
Jacob was a quiet man, who liked to stay inside. Rebekah preferred Jacob.
One day, Jacob was at home cooking. He had just made a great huge pot of stew. Esau came home from hunting and was so hungry.
“Give me some of that red stuff. I am so hungry!”
Jacob answered him, “Sure! I’ll give you some stew if you will give me your birthright.”
The birthright was a very important thing. It went to Esau because he was born first. When Isaac, his father, died, Esau’s birthright would make him head of the household. He would get twice as much of his father's wealth as Jacob would.
"What good will a birthright do me if I starve to
death? said Esau
“Do you promise?” Jacob asked.
“I promise,” Esau said.
Jacob gave Esau some stew and bread. Esau ate, drank and when he was done, got up and left. He gave up his birthright for a bowl of stew.
When Isaac was so old he could no longer see. He called
to Esau, his oldest son, and said, “My son..."
"Here I am, " said Esau
“My son, I am so old that I may die soon. Take your bow and arrows and go out hunting. When you come back, cook the meat you hunted and bring it to me to eat. Then I will bless you before I die.”
Rebekah heard everything that Isaac had said to Esau.
As soon as Esau left, Rebekah said Jacob, “Your father has sent Esau away to hunt. When Esau gets back, he is going to fix your father's favorite dinner, and your father is going to give him his blessing.
“Quick! Do what I say! Go out into the fields and bring me two young goats, and I will make your father's favorite dinner using them. Then, you take it to him, and your father will think you are Esau, and he will bless you.”
But Jacob said, “Esau is all hairy, and I am not! If my father feels me, he will know I am trying to trick him, and he will curse me instead of blessing me!”
“Let the curse be on me,” Jacob's mother said, “just do what I say.”
Jacob did as his mother asked and went out to get the goats.
Rebekah prepared a delicious meal from the goats that
Jacob had brought her. Then
she took some of Esau’s clothes and had Jacob put them on. She took the
skins from the goats and put them on Jacob's arms and the back of his neck
so that he would be hairy like his brother.
Carrying the meal, Jacob said, "Father."
"Yes, replied Isaac. "Which of my sons are you?"
“I am Esau, your first born, ” Jacob said. “I have done as you asked. Now eat so that you may give me your blessing”
“How did you do it so quickly?” his father asked.
“Your God was with me, ” Jacob answered.
Isaac said. “Come here. Let me touch you.”
Jacob went to him and Isaac felt the fur on Jacob's neck and arms.
Isaac said, “The voice is Jacob's, but the arms are Esau’s.”
Once more Isaac asked, “Are you really my son, Esau?”
“I am,” Jacob said.
And so Isaac ate the meal he thought Esau had brought
When he was finished he said, “Come here, my son, and kiss me, and then I will give you my blessing.”
So Jacob went to his father and kissed him. Isaac could smell the smell of Esau’s clothes, and so he said,
“The smell of my son is like the smell of open country the Lord has blessed. May God give you the dew of heaven, and the richness of the earth, corn and new wine in plenty!
Let nations and peoples serve you. May you rule over your brothers, and may they bow down to you. Let anyone who curses you be cursed, but blessed be anyone who blesses you!”
Jacob had barely left when his brother Esau came in from his hunting. He fixed his father's favorite meal, just as his father had asked him to. He brought it in to him, so that he could get his blessing.
“Who are you?” Isaac asked.
“I am your son, your firstborn, Esau,” he said.
“Then who was just here? Who brought my favorite meal, the one that I just ate? I gave him the blessing and I can't take it back!”
Esau cried out a great and bitter cry, “Bless me also,
“I can't,” Isaac said, “your brother has tricked me, and he has stolen your blessing.”
Esau cried out again, “You named him right when you named him Jacob. He has taken my place twice. First he took my birthright, and now he has stolen my blessing!”
“You must have saved a blessing for me,” Esau said to his father.
Isaac said, “I have already made you your brother's servant.
I have given him the corn and new wine of our fields. What do I have left
to give to you?”
Esau asked, “Have you only one blessing, my Father? Bless me also!"
Then his father said to him,
“Behold, you shall dwell in the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; By your sword shall you live, and serve your brother; and it shall come to pass when you have the dominion, you shalt break his yoke from your neck. ”
From that day on Esau hated his brother, Jacob.
“One day, my father will die,” he said, “and then I will kill Jacob!”
Esau’s words got back to Rebekah.
Rebekah said to Jacob, “Your brother wants to kill you. Go to my brother Laban in Haban and stay there until Esau has settled down. I will send for you when things are more calm."
Rebekah then went to her husband, Isaac. She said
to him, " I would be so disgusted if Jacob were to marry a woman that worships
idols like live here. Please send him to my brother, Labon in Hebron and
let him find a wife there."
Isaac agreed and called Jacob and gave him a blessing saying,
"You shall not marry a Cananite woman. Go to Padanaram, to the home of your mother's father Bethuel ; and chose a wife from the daughters of your uncle Laban.
And God Almighty bless you, and your marriage and give you many children.
May God bless you and your family as he blessed Abraham so you can possess the land he gave to Abraham."
Jacob left for his uncle's home.
Jacob had traveled the whole day. The sun had already
set. Jacob stopped for the night. He found a stone to put under his head
and laid down to sleep.
He had the most amazing dream.
In his dream, Jacob saw a stairway that reached all the way to heaven, and the angels of God were going, up and down on it.
There stood the Lord God right beside him!
God said to Jacob,
“I am the One Who Is, the God of your grandfather Abraham and of your father Isaac! I am here to make this promise to you. I will give you and your family the land where you are now resting. You will have many children. Your children will have children, until one day, they will be as many as the dust of the earth. In you and your descendants, all nations of the earth will be blessed. Know that I am with you and will protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you safely back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I have promised.”
Jacob woke up.
He exclaimed, “How awesome is this place! This is the house of God, and the very gate to heaven”
next morning, Jacob took the stone that he had under his head and set it
up as a marker for what had happened there. He poured oil on top of it.
He called that site Bethel, which means "House of God."
Then he made this promise to God. “If you watch over me as I go, and bring me safely back, then you shall be my God. I will worship you here in this place, and I will return to you one-tenth of everything you give me.”
Jacob continued on his journey and God was with him.
Go to Samson ... The Beginning
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