The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other;
and the older will serve the younger.”
During Rebecca’s childbirth, there appeared to be a violent struggle in her stomach like two animals clawing and kicking at each other.
Worried, Rebecca asks the Lord what is going on?
God informs her that there are two nations fighting for dominance inside her womb.
God also informs Rebecca that the first one to pop out is NOT to be granted the rights of the firstborn.
This goes against the rules of the firstborn as set down in ancient times.
God is here reversing the natural order of things.
So the first baby who pops out is Esau.
The description given us is that he was a really hairy baby and had a strong red complexion.
The Hebrew word for hairy is “Se’ar“.
Later on in Genesis, we’ll find that Esau established his own country in an area that would come to be called Mount Seir.
Another important point to remember is that Esau and Edom are synonymous.
Later on in the Bible when we encounter the Edomites, understand that these are the descendants of Esau.
One easy way to remember this is that Edom in Hebrew means red.
We are told in verse 30, that after eating the red stew, Esau was given the name Edom.
And of course, Edom is also referring to his red, hairy body.
Since God had already pronounced that it would be Jacob (the second born) who would be given the firstborn rights, it was already a done deal.
It should also be mentioned that Rebecca had most likely already informed both Isaac and her two sons what God had told her during her childbirth.
However, when we read about what transpired next, it appears that both Jacob and Esau did not have the faith to accept what God had declared to be a fact.
One day when Esau returns from his hunting, he is very hungry and seeing that Jacob had cooked a “red stew” of lentils demands that he be fed.
Jacob utilizing this situation to try and craftily get what God already declared would be his tells Esau to sell him his birthright in return for the food.
So without batting an eye Esau sells his birthright to Jacob.
I reiterate my point that Esau had no birthright to sell because it already belonged to Jacob due to God’s declaration and of course Jacob did not have to bribe Esau to sell it because God had already given it to him.
Here we have two brothers acting impetuously because they couldn’t accept the declaration of God to be a reality.