Isaac and Rebekah had twins named Esau and Jacob. Isaac was close to Esau, but Rebekah was closer to Jacob. Esau was the oldest and was supposed to inherit all the birthrights from his father. "The boys grew up. Esau became a skillful hunter. He was a man who liked the open country. But Jacob was a quiet man. He stayed at home among the tents." Genesis 25:27
One day, Jacob was cooking a meal when Esau came home, hungry, from a long day of hunting. Jacob told his brother he'd give him food, on the condition that Esau give Jacob the rights of the firstborn (which meant Esau was due to get a larger plot of land than Isaac). Esau must have been really hungry, because he agreed.
Even though Esau gave up his larger plot of land, he was still due to receive his father's blessing as the firstborn, which meant he would get a larger inheritance. Later on in life, Isaac was old and could hardly see. Esau was a hairy guy, so Jacob put on some animal fur and tricked his dad into giving him the blessing meant for his brother. Rebekah gave him the idea since she loved Jacob more than Esau.
Jacob tricked both his older brother and his father and essentially became the firstborn son - by deception. Jacob fled to live with his Uncle Laban out of fear of Esau. He met Rachel and Leah (his future wives) there. God later called him to return to his homeland.
On the way back to meet Esau and ask for forgiveness, he had a dream, in which he struggled with God. During the dream, God changed his name to Israel.
His twelve sons became the twelve tribes of Israel. (We will learn more about them in the next couple weeks).
What is your favorite food? Have you ever been so hungry that you would give up your favorite toy forever for that food?
In our Bible story today, Esau gave up something very important for a bowl of stew.
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, ready story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Genesis 25:27-34
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?