19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abrahams son: Abraham was the father of Isaac,
20and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean.
21Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.
22The children struggled together within her; and she said, If it is to be this way, why do I live?* So she went to inquire of the Lord.
23And the Lord said to her,
Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger.
24When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26Afterwards his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esaus heel; so he was named Jacob.* Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skilful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30Esau said to Jacob, Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished! (Therefore he was called Edom.*) 31Jacob said, First sell me your birthright. 32Esau said, I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me? 33Jacob said, Swear to me first.* So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011