The Birth of Esau and Jacob
19This is the story of Abraham's son Isaac. 20Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebecca, the daughter of Bethuel (an Aramean from Mesopotamia) and sister of Laban. 21Because Rebecca had no children, Isaac prayed to the Lord for her. The Lord answered his prayer, and Rebecca became pregnant. 22She was going to have twins, and before they were born, they struggled against each other in her womb. She said, “Why should something like this happen to me?” So she went to ask the Lord for an answer.
23 The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are within you;
You will give birth to two rival peoples.
One will be stronger than the other;
The older will serve the younger.”
24The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons. 25The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau. 26The second one was born holding on tightly to the heel of Esau, so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
Esau Sells His Rights as the First-Born Son
27The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who loved the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28Isaac preferred Esau, because he enjoyed eating the animals Esau killed, but Rebecca preferred Jacob.
29One day while Jacob was cooking some bean soup, Esau came in from hunting. He was hungry 30and said to Jacob, “I'm starving; give me some of that red stuff.” (That is why he was named Edom. )
31Jacob answered, “I will give it to you if you give me your rights as the first-born son.”
32Esau said, “All right! I am about to die; what good will my rights do me?”
33 Jacob answered, “First make a vow that you will give me your rights.”
Esau made the vow and gave his rights to Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave him some bread and some of the soup. He ate and drank and then got up and left. That was all Esau cared about his rights as the first-born son.
Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition)
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