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UNDERSTANDING THE INHERITANCE DISPUTE BETWEEN JACOB AND ESAU

01.13.17 | News, Biblical Study Of God's Word | by Bishop Lonnie Henderson

UNDERSTANDING THE INHERITANCE DISPUTE BETWEEN JACOB AND ESAU

    Understanding the inheritance dispute between Jacob and Esau

    Genesis 25:21-26King James Version (KJV)


    21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
    22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord.
    23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
    24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
    25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
    26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.


    Now traditionally, during that time, that the firstborn would be privy to the birthrights:


    Deuteronomy 21:15-17 King James Version (KJV)


    15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
    16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:
    17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.


    As noted, the firstborn was heir to twice as much as all the other siblings combined. According to this doctrine, Esau was to have twice as much as Jacob. However, Esau and Jacob were born before this law. The were born under the Hammurabi code of conduct which included this statute.


    Far too many people read the following verses within the Bible and wrongly conclude that Esau was defrauded of his rightful inheritance because of his mother's and Jacobs conspiracy.


    Genesis 27:6-29King James Version (KJV)


    6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
    7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death.
    8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
    9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
    10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
    11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
    12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
    13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
    14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
    15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
    16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
    17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
    18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
    19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
    20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me.
    21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
    22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
    23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.
    24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
    25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.
    26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
    27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:
    28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
    29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.


    Verse 29 is the fulfillment of what God had already declared in Genesis 25:23:


    Genesis 25:23King James Version (KJV)


    23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.


    Now, God did not reveal to Rebekah the details, but God reveals the details to us. You see, Esau, though the first born and therefore, according to tradition was privy to the birthrights, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Esau had despised his birthright and relinquished it to Jacob for food:


    Genesis 25:28-33King James Version (KJV)


    28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
    29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
    30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
    31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
    32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
    33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.


    So, even before Esau and Jacob's mom conspired with Jacob to supplant Esau's birthright, he had already released it to Jacob for pottage. God told Rebekah Esau's end from the beginning, but He did not reveal the in between:


    Isaiah 46:9-10King James Version (KJV)


    9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
    10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: