Esau Sells His Birthright to Jacob

Genesis 26:1a; 25:29-34

Highlights From this Passage

  • God provides for Isaac during the famine.
  • Esau foolishly gives up his birthright for fleeting pleasure.

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There was a famine in the land, in addition to the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.

Jacob boiled stew. Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with some of that red stew, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

Jacob said, “First, sell me your birthright.”

Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?”

Jacob said, “Swear to me first.”

He swore to him. He sold his birthright to Jacob. Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright.

Abraham’s Death

Genesis 25:7-11

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These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred seventy-five years. Abraham gave up his spirit, and died at a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is near Mamre, the field which Abraham purchased from the children of Heth. Abraham was buried there with Sarah, his wife. After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac, his son. Isaac lived by Beer Lahai Roi.

The Birth of Esau and Jacob

Genesis 25:19-28

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This is the history of the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Paddan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian, to be his wife. Isaac entreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren. Yahweh was entreated by him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her. She said, “If it is like this, why do I live?” She went to inquire of Yahweh. Yahweh said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb.
Two peoples will be separated from your body.
The one people will be stronger than the other people.
The elder will serve the younger.”

When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him Esau. After that, his brother came out, and his hand had hold on Esau’s heel. He was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

The boys grew. Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he ate his venison. Rebekah loved Jacob.

Abraham Marries Keturah

Genesis 25:1-6

Highlights from this Passage

  • Abraham takes Keturah as his wife, and they have many children. 
  • Abraham gives all his goods to Isaac.

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Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan became the father of Sheba, and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, but Abraham gave gifts to the sons of Abraham’s concubines. While he still lived, he sent them away from Isaac his son, eastward, to the east country.

Isaac and Rebekah’s Marriage

Genesis 22:20-24; Genesis 24

Highlight from this Passage

  • This is Rebekah’s genealogy.
  • Abraham causes his servant to swear to take a wife for Isaac.
  • The servant prays to God.
  • The friends of Rebekah commit the matter to God; they ask her consent, and she agrees. 

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After these things, Abraham was told, “Behold, Milcah, she also has borne children to your brother Nahor: Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Abraham was old, and well advanced in age. Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh. I will make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live. But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

The servant said to him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?”

Abraham said to him, “Beware that you don’t bring my son there again. Yahweh, the God of heaven—who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your offspring—he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath to me. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”

The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master’s with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water. He said, “Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, ‘Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,’ then she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder. The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin. No man had known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up. The servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher.”

She said, “Drink, my lord.” She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will also draw for your camels, until they have finished drinking.” She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.

The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether Yahweh had made his journey prosperous or not. As the camels had done drinking, the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold, and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay?”

She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” She said moreover to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge in.”

The man bowed his head, and worshiped Yahweh. He said, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Yahweh has led me on the way to the house of my master’s relatives.”

The young lady ran, and told her mother’s house about these words. Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. When he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. He said, “Come in, you blessed of Yahweh. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”

The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.”

Laban said, “Speak on.”

He said, “I am Abraham’s servant. Yahweh has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. Yahweh has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys. Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him. My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, but you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’ He said to me, ‘Yahweh, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my relatives, and of my father’s house. Then you will be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don’t give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.’ I came today to the spring, and said, ‘Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go— behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes out to draw, to whom I will say, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” then she tells me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,”—let her be the woman whom Yahweh has appointed for my master’s son.’ Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink. I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands. I bowed my head, and worshiped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter for his son. Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.”

Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The thing proceeds from Yahweh. We can’t speak to you bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as Yahweh has spoken.”

When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to Yahweh. The servant brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother. They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”

Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go.”

He said to them, “Don’t hinder me, since Yahweh has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”

They said, “We will call the young lady, and ask her.” They called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”

She said, “I will go.”

They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men. They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them.”

Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way. Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South. Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes and looked. Behold, there were camels coming. Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she got off the camel. She said to the servant, “Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?”

The servant said, “It is my master.”

She took her veil, and covered herself. The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Sarah’s Death

Genesis 23

Highlights from this Passage

  • Abraham laments Sarah’s death.
  • Abraham buys a field to bury her from the Hittites.
  • Sarah is buried in Machpelah.

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Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years. This was the length of Sarah’s life. Sarah died in Kiriath Arba (also called Hebron), in the land of Canaan. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. Abraham rose up from before his dead and spoke to the children of Heth, saying, “I am a stranger and a foreigner living with you. Give me a possession of a burying-place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”

The children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, “Hear us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the best of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb. Bury your dead.”

Abraham rose up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, to the children of Heth. He talked with them, saying, “If you agree that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, that he may sell me the cave of Machpelah, which he has, which is in the end of his field. For the full price let him sell it to me among you as a possession for a burial place.”

Now Ephron was sitting in the middle of the children of Heth. Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the children of Heth, even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying, “No, my lord, hear me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the children of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.”

Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land. He spoke to Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, “But if you will, please hear me. I will give the price of the field. Take it from me, and I will bury my dead there.”

Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, “My lord, listen to me. What is a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver between me and you? Therefore bury your dead.”

Abraham listened to Ephron. Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the current merchants’ standard.

So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all of its borders, were deeded to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan. The field, and the cave that is in it, were deeded to Abraham by the children of Heth as a possession for a burial place.

Abraham’s Faith is Tried

Genesis 22:1-19

Highlights from this Passage

  • Abraham’s faith is proved in offering his son Isaac.
  • The Lord’s angel provides a sacrifice in Isaac’s place.

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After these things, God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

He said, “Now take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.”

Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey; and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there. We will worship, and come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, “My father?”

He said, “Here I am, my son.”

He said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they both went together. They came to the place which God had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to kill his son.

Yahweh’s angel called to him out of the sky, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

He said, “Here I am.”

He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham called the name of that place “Yahweh Will Provide”. As it is said to this day, “On Yahweh’s mountain, it will be provided.”

Yahweh’s angel called to Abraham a second time out of the sky, and said, “‘I have sworn by myself,’ says Yahweh, ‘because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your offspring greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gate of his enemies. All the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring, because you have obeyed my voice.’”

So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech

Genesis 21:22-34

Highlight from this Passage

  • Abraham makes a covenant with Abimelech.
  • Abraham called upon the Lord God.

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At that time, Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do. Now, therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son. But according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner.”

Abraham said, “I will swear.” Abraham complained to Abimelech because of a water well, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. Abimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this thing. You didn’t tell me, and I didn’t hear of it until today.”

Abraham took sheep and cattle, and gave them to Abimelech. Those two made a covenant. Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs, which you have set by themselves, mean?”

He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that it may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well.” Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because they both swore an oath there. So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Abimelech rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God. Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days.

The Birth of Isaac

Genesis 21:1-21

Highlights from this Passage

  • Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah as promised.
  • Ishmael mocks Isaac.
  • Hagar is cast out with her son.
  • The angel comforts Hagar.

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Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said, and Yahweh did to Sarah as he had spoken. Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was one hundred years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him. Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears will laugh with me.” She said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

The child grew and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this servant and her son! For the son of this servant will not be heir with my son, Isaac.”

The thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight on account of his son. God said to Abraham, “Don’t let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your servant. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For your offspring will be named through Isaac. I will also make a nation of the son of the servant, because he is your child.” Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a container of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. The water in the container was spent, and she put the child under one of the shrubs. She went and sat down opposite him, a good way off, about a bow shot away. For she said, “Don’t let me see the death of the child.” She sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice, and wept. God heard the voice of the boy.

The angel of God called to Hagar out of the sky, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Get up, lift up the boy, and hold him with your hand. For I will make him a great nation.”

God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the container with water, and gave the boy a drink.

God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and as he grew up, he became an archer. He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother got a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

Abraham at Gerar

Genesis 20

Highlights from this Passage

  • Abraham dwells as a stranger in the land of Gerar.
  • God reproves Abimelech.
  • Sarah is restored with great gifts.
  • Abraham prays, and Abimelech and his are healed.

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Abraham traveled from there toward the land of the South, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in Gerar. Abraham said about Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man’s wife.”

Now Abimelech had not come near her. He said, “Lord, will you kill even a righteous nation? Didn’t he tell me, ‘She is my sister’? She, even she herself, said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.”

God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also withheld you from sinning against me. Therefore I didn’t allow you to touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife. For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you don’t restore her, know for sure that you will die, you, and all who are yours.”

Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ear. The men were very scared. Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done!” Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you have done this thing?”

Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely the fear of God is not in this place. They will kill me for my wife’s sake.’ Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is your kindness which you shall show to me. Everywhere that we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

Abimelech took sheep and cattle, male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored Sarah, his wife, to him. Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you. Dwell where it pleases you.” To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Behold, it is for you a covering of the eyes to all that are with you. In front of all you are vindicated.”

Abraham prayed to God. So God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children. For Yahweh had closed up tight all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.