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  The Great Bible Story #20
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Two nations start

Jacob Ninan
Rebekah was unable to have children, but when Isaac prayed to God for her, she conceived twins. God told her that two 'nations' were in her womb, and the nation coming from the younger son would be stronger than the other. The first son was born hairy and reddish and so they called him Esau and the younger son came out holding on to his brother's heel. They called him Jacob, meaning grabber. God would later say that He loved Jacob and 'hated' Esau. This was not really about these two individuals but about the sovereign choice which God had made for the nation of Israel which would come from Jacob. Since God loves everyone He creates, He did not have any hatred for Esau. These words 'love' and 'hate' were used here in a comparative way.

As the boys grew up, Esau became an outdoor man and a skilful hunter of animals, and Jacob was one who liked to stay quietly at home. Isaac and Rebekah made a mistake of choosing their favourites, and Isaac liked Esau for the tasty food he brought and Rebekah liked Jacob who was with her at home. This caused problems between the two brothers too. One day when Esau came back from hunting he was famished, and he saw that Jacob had prepared some lentil stew which gave out an inviting aroma. He asked Jacob if he could have some. Cunning man that Jacob was, he said that he would give Esau the stew if Esau would give him the birthright (that stood for his position as the first born and which entitled him to his father's blessings and inheritance according to the custom of those days). Esau was so hungry he didn't care for the birthright. He gave it away and took the stew from Jacob.

Isaac was getting old and he could hardly see. One day he asked Esau to hunt and make some food for him saying then he would pass on his blessings to him. Rebekah overheard it, and she told Jacob to pretend to be Esau and get the blessing. Jacob was scared he would be found out, and so she covered his hands with goat skins to imitate Esau's hair. She prepared the food and he took it to Isaac. Isaac was doubtful if this was Esau, but Jacob assured him he was. So Isaac blessed him with great blessings.

Later Esau came with his food and discovered that Jacob had stolen his blessings from Isaac. He was so mad with Jacob for taking away his birthright and now his blessings, that he wanted to kill him. Rebekah understood this and sent Jacob off to Laban, her brother, telling Isaac that Jacob needed to get a wife from there.


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Comfort & Counsel