Genesis 25:19-28    Birth of Jacob & Esau

19 This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham begot Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. 21 Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her:


"Two nations are in your womb,

 Two peoples shall be separated from your body;

 One people shall be stronger than the other,

 And the older shall serve the younger."


24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.


27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”    NKJV


Facts revealed:

Y      Isaac was 40 years old when he took Rebekah as his wife; Abraham was 140 years old.  Since Abraham lived 175 years, Isaac was husband to Rebekah 35 years before Abraham died.

Y      Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian from Padan Aram and sister to Laban the Syrian.

Y      Rebekah was barren, so after 19 futile years Isaac pleaded with Yehowah for his wife and Yehowah granted his plea and she conceived.

Y      The children struggled in her womb.

Here we learn that the unborn are called children, they are alive and conscious of their surroundings, and they can fight even before they are born.  This should be considered today as the “Pro Choice” people attempt to suggest that the unborn are only a mass called a fetus and that abortion is not murder.


Y      Rebekah was concerned because of the struggling within her and went to inquire of Yehowah.  We do not know where she went to inquire of Yehowah, but we do know that Yehowah answered her and spoke audibly to her as He told her of the outcome of the struggle.

Y      Esau received two names, Esau which means “hairy,” and Edom which means “red.”  His red hair was like a hairy garment like fur. 

Y      When Jacob was born he took hold of Esau’s heel and they called him Jacob which means “heel catcher,” or, “one who fights with the heal.” 

This is in keeping with the expectation of mankind from the time of the Garden of Eden when God had said of the Seed of the woman that he would bruise the serpent’s head and the serpent would bruise his heel. [Genesis 3:15]  Obviously the parents knew about the prophecy and thought that this was a “sign” pointing to its fulfillment. 


It was only in Christian tradition that “Jacob” became defined as meaning “deceiver, or supplanter.”  Parents would never name their son a deceiver just because they took hold of another’s heel unless instructed to do so by God, and God’s prophecy was that the older would serve the younger which would bring an exalting name rather than a demeaning one.


Y      Isaac was 60 years old when the boys were born, so Abraham would be 160 years old at the time and that would put their birth 15 years before Abraham died, 18 years before Salah died, 50 years before Shem the son of Noah died, and 79 years before Eber died.  See Genealogy Chart

Y      Esau was a man of the field, a skillful hunter and Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game.

Y      Jacob was a “tam” which is a Hebrew word meaning “complete, pious, gentle, dear, upright, perfect, plain, undefiled” man dwelling in tents and Rebekah loved him.  See definition below


Strong’s numbering


tam --


perfect, complete


a)  complete, perfect; one who lacks nothing in physical strength, beauty, etc.

b)  sound, wholesome; an ordinary, quiet sort of person

c)  complete, morally innocent, having integrity; one who is morally and ethically pure

(from The Online Bible Thayer's Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Copyright (c)1993, Woodside Bible Fellowship, Ontario, Canada. Licensed from the Institute for Creation Research.)