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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 25

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

Verses 1-11

Abraham's Death And Burial

Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. Abraham lived another 35 years beyond that time. He took another wife named Keturah. She bore six sons to him. Those sons received gifts from their father, but Isaac received the inheritance. Abraham sent those sons eastward, away from Isaac.

Abraham died at the age of one hundred seventy-five. Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, where Sarah was buried. After Abraham's death, the author tells us, "God blessed his son Isaac ( Gen_25:1-11 ).

Verses 20-28

The Birth of Jacob and Esau

After nineteen years of marriage, Isaac and Rebekah still had no children. Isaac prayed God would allow Rebekah to conceive. As John T. Willis observed, we may assume having children is a natural occurrence because so many are born. However, no child is conceived without God's blessing ( Psa_127:3 ). Not one, but two children were in Rebekah's womb. Because they struggled, she asked God if all was well. He said, "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."

When Isaac was sixty, she bore two sons. The firstborn was red haired and hairy, who they named Esau. The second was born while clutching his brother's heel. Thus, he was named Jacob, which means heel grabber. Esau grew up as a skillful hunter. Jacob grew up as a mild mannered man who dwelt in tents. Isaac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob ( Gen_25:20-28 ).

Verses 29-34

The Selling of the Birthright

A special blessing ordinarily went to the firstborn. In fact, under the law of Moses, the firstborn received a double portion when the inheritance was distributed. Of course, in the case of a descendant of Abraham and Isaac, the son of promise, God's promised blessing would also be there for the seed line. Yet, Esau considered immediate gratification of physical needs more important than the lasting benefits of the birthright.

When Esau came in from the field faint with hunger, he found Jacob preparing a stew. Jacob took advantage of the situation. He asked his brother to sell him the birthright for some of the stew. Esau reasoned death by starvation would eliminate the value of future blessings, so he agreed to sell. An inspired penman would later warn, "lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright" ( Heb_12:16 ). He showed more regard for his stomach than for God's blessings ( Gen_25:29-34 ).

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 25". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/genesis-25.html. 2014.
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