Bible Society of South Africa

Jacob and Esau

Isaac married and had two sons. The name of his wife was Rebecca, and his two sons were Esau and Jacob. Esau was older than Jacob.

Esau became a hunter. He loved the outdoor life. Isaac loved his son Esau. He like eating the animals Esau killed.

Jacob was a quiet man. He stayed at home. Rebecca loved Jacob very much.

One day the Lord had said to Rebecca, “Esau is older than Jacob, but Esau will serve Jacob.”

One day Esau came in from hunting. He said to Jacob, “I’m starving; give me some of your stew.”

“Promise me your place – I want to be the elder brother,” answered Jacob. Esau did so.

Isaac was now old and had become blind. One day he said to his elder son, Esau, “You see I am old and may die soon. Go out and kill an animal for me. Cook me some of that tasty food that I like. Then I will bless you before I die.”

While Isaac was talking to Esau, Rebecca was listening.

Rebecca said to Jacob, “Listen to me and do what I say. Go and pick out tow fat young goats. Then I can cook them and make some of that food your father likes so much. You can take it to him to eat. Then he will give you his blessing.”

But Jacob said to his mother, “Esau is a hairy man, but I have smooth skin. Perhaps my father will touch me. Then he will find out that I am not Esau.”

His mother answered, “Just do as I say.”

Jacob went to get the goats and brought them to his mother. She cooked the kind of food that his father liked.

She took Esau’s best clothes and put them on Jacob. She put the skins of the goats on his arms and neck.

Isaac could not see. He said to Jacob, “Which of my sons are you?” Jacob answered, “I am your elder son, Esau. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of the meat. Then you can give me your blessing.”

Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so that I can touch you.” Isaac felt Jacob and said, “Your voice sounds like Jacob’s voice, but your arms feel like Esau’s arms.”

Isaac gave Jacob his blessing. He said, “May God give you dew from heaven, all the good things of the earth. Many people will be your servants. They will bow down before you. Your brothers will bow before you. If anybody does something bad to you, he will suffer. If someone does good to you, he will receive good in return.”

As soon as Jacob had left, his brother Esau came in from hunting. He also cooked some tasty food and took it to his father.

Isaac asked, “Who are you?” He answered, “Your elder son Esau.”

Isaac began to shake all over. He asked, “Who was it who killed an animal and brought it to me? I gave him my blessing, and so it is his for ever.”

Esau cried, “Give me your blessing also, father!” But Isaac said, “Your brother has taken away your blessing.”

Esau was very cross. He cried out loudly, “This is the second time Jacob has cheated me.” Esau hated Jacob. He thought, “My father will die; then I will kill Jacob.”

Rebecca said to Jacob, “Go at once to your uncle Laban. Stay with him for a while, until your brother’s anger cools down.”

At sunset Jacob came to a place where he camped. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone.

He dreamt: He saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven. Angels were going up and coming down the stairway. The Lord came and stood beside Jacob. He said, “I am the Lord. I will give to you and your family this land on which you are lying. Remember, I will be with you wherever you go.”

Jacob got up early next morning. He took the stone and set it up. He named the place Bethel. To him it was like a house of God.

Then Jacob went on his way toward the land where his uncle lived.

Genesis 25:19-34; 27:1-28:22


llustrations by Annie Vallotton © Bible Society of South Africa
Colouring in picture ©

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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