A story of two brothers

Even before the twins Esau and Jacob were born, they seemed to be fighting over who would be first and best. Their parents, Isaac and Rebekah, named their first son after the way he looked. He was red and had lots of hair, so they called him Esau, meaning "hairy." Their second son was born holding on to Esau's heel as if to say, "No, wait, let me go first!" He was named Jacob, meaning "heel."

The two boys looked different, acted different, and liked different things. Esau was a strong hunter. He loved being outdoors in the wild. Jacob was just the opposite. He was a homebody who stayed close to his mother and the desert tents they lived in. Jacob often cared for the tamer animals like sheep and goats. Esau was his father's favorite, and Jacob his mother's

As the firstborn, Esau had the birthright. This involved a Hebrew practice in which the oldest son inherited twice as many of his father's possessions as his younger brothers. And the firstborn also received a special fatherly blessing.

November 26, 2007

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