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Jacob and Esau

Remember last week we learned that God promised Abraham he would have as many family members as there were stars in the sky?

Abraham and his wife Sarah were very old—Abraham was 100! But they did have a baby just as God promised they would. His name was Isaac.

When Isaac grew up, he got married to Rebekah. God told Isaac the same promises he had told Abraham—-he would have a very large family, he would give their family the land of Canaan, and all people on earth would be blessed through them.

Rebekah gave birth to twin boys—-the first baby to be born was named Esau. He was red and hairy all over. The second baby to be born was named Jacob and he had smooth skin.

(Bring out twin baby dolls for the kids to pass around and hold)

Read from Genesis 25:27-34

“When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled hunter. He loved to be out in the fields. But Jacob was a quiet man. He stayed among the tents. Isaac loved Esau. Esau hunted the wild animals that Isaac enjoyed eating. But Rebekah loved Jacob.

One day Jacob was boiling a pot of vegetable soup. Esau came in from hunting in the fields. He was weak from hunger. So Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red soup. I am weak with hunger.” (That is why people call him Edom.) But Jacob said, “You must sell me your rights as the firstborn son.”

Explain that a birthright was everything the oldest son would inherit like land, money, a house, etc. Esau wouldn’t have had to worry about any of those things when he got older! But, he was very hungry and made a very bad decision.

“Esau said, “I am almost dead from hunger. If I die, all of my father’s wealth will not help me.”

But Jacob said, “First, promise me that you will give it to me.” So Esau made a promise to Jacob. In this way he sold his part of their father’s wealth to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and vegetable soup. Esau ate and drank and then left. So Esau showed how little he cared about his rights as the firstborn son.”

When Jacob and Esau were older, Jacob tricked Esau again.

Their father Isaac was very old and his eyes were not good. One day he called Esau and told him that he would die soon and he wanted to give him a blessing before he died. He asked Esau to go hunting and make him good food to eat.

So Esau went out to hunt.

Their mother, Rebekah was listening and she told Jacob, “Your father is going to bless Esau. Listen to what I say. Go out and bring me two goats. I will cook them the way your father likes. Then you can take the food to him and he will bless you instead!

But Jacob reminded his mother that Esau was a hairy man and that his skin was smooth. He said, “if my father touches me, he will know I am not Esau.” His mother told him to listen to her.

So Jacob went to get the two goats so that his mother could cook them. Then she had him fasten goat skins to his hands and neck so that they would feel hairy and she gave him some of Esau’s clothes to wear. Jacob went to see his father Isaac and took him the food Rebekah had made.

Isaac heard Jacob talking and thought “that sounds like Jacob.” But then he felt his hand and smelled his clothes, so he decided it must be his other son Esau. So he blessed him—he asked God to take special care of him.

In a little while, Esau came back from hunting and prepared food the way his father liked it. He went to see his father with the food and said, “Here I am father so that you may bless me. I have brought you the food you asked for.” Isaac was upset. He said, “But I already gave my blessing! Who was that I blessed?” Then they knew that Jacob and Rebekah had tricked them and Esau was very upset. So in the end, Jacob got all the blessings of the firstborn son, even though they should have gone to Esau.

Bible Bag Ideas:

Coloring sheets—lots of choices here.

Add fur to Jacob page (will need faux fur from craft store or see link below)

Other Activities:

  • play with a toy bow/arrow like Esau

  • cook and eat a stew/soup with your child

  • talk about twins—the differences between identical and fraternal

  • make a pretend “nature soup”. Give child a bowl and let them add leaves, grass, flowers, water, etc. and a spoon to stir with. Be sure they know it is not for eating.


Product Links:

Isaac Blesses Jacob and Esau book—Archway Books are amazing!

Plush babies (two of these would work well for Jacob and Esau)

Explore more


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