Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jacob and Esau

Genesis 25:19-34, 27:1-45

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jacob Flees and Returns (Genesis 27:41-33:20; 35)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. 2 Timothy 1:8-9

Opening Prayer

The Next Generation (Genesis 25:19-23)
    How was God's promise to Abraham carried to the next generation?
      Genesis 17:15-19 = Miraculous birth of Isaac, God assigned covenant to Isaac
    How was this miracle repeated for the next generation?
      Genesis 25:19-21 = Rebekah was barren, she became pregnant thru prayer
    How long had Isaac waited for a child?
      Genesis 25:26b = 20 years, Isaac was 60 when Rebekah gave birth
    How did God control fertility in the following generation?
      Genesis 29:31 = Opened Leah's womb, Rachel was barren

    How were Rebekah's troubles in pregnancy a sign of things to come?
      Genesis 25:22-23 = Two nations, one stronger, older to serve younger
    How was this similar to the previous generation?
      Genesis 17:20-21 = Ishmael & Isaac become nations, covenant to younger
    How was this repeated in the next generation?
      Genesis 49:3-4, 10 = Reuben is firstborn, no longer excel, covenant thru Judah
    How was this repeated in the following generation?
      Genesis 48:17-20 = Jacob blessed Ephraim over Manasseh, both to become great, younger/greater

The Birthright
    The birthright belonged to the firstborn. It conveyed:
      Genesis 27:4 = Blessings of the father
      Genesis 27:29 = Leadership of the tribe and family
      Deuteronomy 21:17 = Double share of the inheritance
    What did the fathers want in each circumstance?
      Genesis 17:18 = If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!
      Genesis 25:28, 27:32-33 = Isaac loved Esau, Very upset when learned he blessed Jacob
      Genesis 49:3 = Reuben, my firstborn, my might, strength, honor, power
      Genesis 48:17-18 = Joseph corrects Jacob in blessing Manasseh over Ephraim
    What is God's message to us through these changes in birthright?
      Romans 9:10-16 = Does not depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy

The Sons (Genesis 25:24-26)
    What was the birth-order of Jacob and Esau?
      Genesis 25:24-26 = Esau first, then Jacob
    What were the meanings behind the names given to the sons?
      Esau = Means hairy - implies ruggedness and wildness
        Edom = red - reddish hair, red stew
      Jacob = he grasps the heel - means he deceives (you're pulling my leg)
        Israel = he struggles with God (32:28)

Expensive Stew (Genesis 25:27-34)
    How well did Esau's name fit him?
      Genesis 25:27-28 = Esau was a man of the open country, skillful hunter
    How well did his nickname, Edom, fit him?
      Genesis 25:29-30 = Esau also called Edom because of red stew
    How well did Jacob's name fit him?
      Genesis 25:31-33 = He deceived Esau out of his birthright for stew
      Genesis 27:36 = Jacob rightly named, deceived Esau twice

    How upset was Esau that he had lost his birthright?
      Genesis 25:34 = Wasn't at this time, he despised his birthright
    What does this say about Esau's discernment and faith?
      Hebrews 12:16 = Esau was godless, sold his birthright for a meal

Isaac's Last Responsibility (Genesis 27:1-4)
    What did Isaac need to take care of before he died?
      Genesis 27:1-4 = Pass on God's blessing to the next generation
    How was this repeated in other generations?
      Genesis 24:1-4 = Abraham sent servant to get covenant wife for Isaac
      Genesis 48:21-49:1 = Jacob about to die, blesses his sons
      Genesis 50:24 = Joseph about to die, gives promise to brothers (tribes)

    How old was Isaac at this time? == Don't read, see attached page
      Genesis 41:46-47; 45:6; 47:9; 30:25; 29:18, 21, 27,30 = J & E were 77
      Genesis 25:26 = Isaac was 137
      Genesis 35:28 = Isaac lived to 180
    Was Isaac's plan in line with God's plan?
      Genesis 25:23 = No, God had planned for the covenant to go through Jacob

Rebekah's Plan (Genesis 27:5-17)
    How righteous was Rebekah's plan after eavesdropping in on Isaac's plan?
      Genesis 27:5-10 = It wasn't, she planned to deceive for God's blessing
    Was Jacob resistant to sinning by deceit?
      Genesis 27:11-12 = No, he was only afraid of getting caught
    How did Rebekah ease Jacob's concern?
      Genesis 27:13 = Let the curse fall on me (Not afraid of God's curse)
    What details did Rebekah consider in her plan of deceit?
      Genesis 27:14-17 = Cooked to Isaac's liking, Esau's best clothes, goatskins on hand & neck

Jacob's Blessing (Genesis 27:18-29)
    How hard did Jacob work to deceive his father?
      Genesis 27:18-19 = Said he was Esau
      Genesis 27:20 = Included God in his lie
      Genesis 27:21-23 = Goatskins over hands to make hairy
      Genesis 27:24 = Again claimed to be Esau
      Genesis 27:25 = Gave food & wine as Isaac had asked Esau
      Genesis 27:26-27 = Wore Esau's clothes for his smell
    What was the blessing that Isaac gave Jacob?
      Genesis 27:28-29 = God bless you, others serve you & be blessed by you

Esau's Blessing (Genesis 27:30-40)
    Did Esau know what had just happened?
      Genesis 27:30-31 = No, Jacob had just left, Esau prepared food unaware
    How did Isaac and Esau react when they learned what had happened?
      Genesis 27:32-34 = They were very upset; Isaac trembled, Esau screamed
    Why didn't Isaac just give Esau the same blessing?
      Genesis 27:35-37 = Oral statements were legally binding and irrevocable
    What was the blessing that Isaac gave Esau?
      Genesis 27:38-40 = Live away from God's blessings, live by sword, serve your brother

Jacob Flees (Genesis 27:41-28:2)
    How upset was Esau with Jacob?
      Genesis 27:41 = Planned to kill him as soon as Isaac died
    What did Rebekah plan to protect Jacob?
      Genesis 27:42-45 = Sent him to Laban until Esau's anger subsided
    How did Rebekah again use deceit to accomplish her plan?
      Genesis 27:46-28:2 = Had Isaac send Jacob away to find a wife from the family

Examples of Faith? (Genesis 25-27)
    How did Isaac's faith, or lack of faith, reveal itself?
      Genesis 25:28 = Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob
      Genesis 27:1,4 = Planned to give God's blessing to favorite son, Esau
    How did Rebekah's faith, or lack of faith, reveal itself?
      Genesis 25:28 = Rebekah loved Jacob more than Esau
      Genesis 27:6-10 = Planned & helped Jacob deceive Isaac for blessing
      Genesis 27:46 = Deceived Isaac to send Jacob away for protection

    How did Jacob's faith, or lack of faith, reveal itself?
      Genesis 25:31 = Deceived Esau for his birthright
      Genesis 27:11-12 = not afraid of sinning, only of getting caught
      Genesis 27:19-27 = Deceived Isaac for God's blessing
    How did Esau's faith, or lack of faith, reveal itself?
      Genesis 25:33-34 = Despised his birthright, sold it for stew
      Genesis 26:34-35, 28:6-9 = Married outside the covenant family
      Genesis 27:38 = Pushed for blessing although God's blessing was given
      Genesis 27:41 = Held a grudge and planned to kill Jacob

    Why did God continue to bless and protect this family?
      Genesis 22:17-18 = This was the family of His covenant

Closing Prayer

Ages when Jacob stole Esau's blessing
    Genesis 41:46 - Joseph was 30 when he went to work for Pharaoh
    Genesis 45:6 - Jacob & sons came to Egypt 2 years into famine (after 7 years of prosperity)
    ==> Joseph was 39 when Jacob came to Egypt (30 + 7 + 2)
    Genesis 47:9 - Jacob was 137 when he came to Egypt
    ==> Jacob was 98 when Joseph was born (137 - 39)
    Genesis 30:25 - Jacob left Laban soon after Joseph was born (when he was 98)
    Genesis 29:18-30 - Jacob had worked for Laban for 21 years (7 + 7 + 7)
    ==> Jacob was 77 when he started work for Laban
    Genesis 27:41-43 - Jacob went to Laban immediately after he stole Esau's blessing
    ==> Jacob was 77 when he stole Esau's blessing
    Genesis 25:24 - Jacob & Esau were twins
    ==> Esau was 77 when he Jacob stole his blessing

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

Use of this material is provided free of charge for use in personal or group Bible Study, no permission needed.
The author reserves all rights for use in published material or in uses where fees are involved.
For permission, or to provide your comments, insights and feedback, contact the author at:


Return to Bible Stories for Adults Home Page