Abraham’s Other Wife and Sons
25 Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah, 2 and she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s sons were the Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were sons of Keturah. 5 Abraham gave everything he owned to Isaac. 6 But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of his concubines, and while he was still alive he sent them eastward, away from his son Isaac, to the land of the East.
7 This is the length of Abraham’s life: 175 years. 8 He took his last breath and died at a good old age, old and contented, and he was gathered to his people. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hethite. 10 This was the field that Abraham bought from the Hethites. Abraham was buried there with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who lived near Beer-lahai-roi.
Ishmael’s Family Records
12 These are the family records of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s slave, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons; their names according to the family records are Nebaioth, Ishmael’s firstborn, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are Ishmael’s sons, and these are their names by their settlements and encampments: twelve leaders of their clans. 17 This is the length of Ishmael’s life: 137 years. He took his last breath and died, and was gathered to his people. 18 And they settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt as you go toward Asshur. He stayed near all his relatives.
The Birth of Jacob and Esau
19 These are the family records of Isaac son of Abraham. Abraham fathered Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took as his wife Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord was receptive to his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 But the children inside her struggled with each other, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her:Two nations are in your womb;
two peoples will come from you and be separated.
One people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.24 When her time came to give birth, there were indeed twins in her womb. 25 The first one came out red-looking, covered with hair like a fur coat, and they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out grasping Esau’s heel with his hand. So he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
Esau Sells His Birthright
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field exhausted. 30 He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.” That is why he was also named Edom.31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die, so what good is a birthright to me?”33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to Jacob and sold his birthright to him. 34 Then Jacob gave bread and lentil stew to Esau; he ate, drank, got up, and went away. So Esau despised his birthright.
The Promise Reaffirmed to Isaac
26 There was another famine in the land in addition to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, at Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I tell you about; 3 stay in this land as an alien, and I will be with you and bless you. For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring, and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky, I will give your offspring all these lands, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed[r] by your offspring, 5 because Abraham listened to me and kept my mandate, my commands, my statutes, and my instructions.” 6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.
7 When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say “my wife,” thinking, “The men of the place will kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is a beautiful woman.” 8 When Isaac had been there for some time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from the window and was surprised to see[s] Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.9 Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So she is really your wife! How could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might die on account of her.”10 Then Abimelech said, “What is this you’ve done to us? One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, “Whoever harms this man or his wife will certainly be put to death.”
Conflicts over Wells
12 Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in that year he reaped[t] a hundred times what was sown. The Lord blessed him, 13 and the man became rich and kept getting richer until he was very wealthy. 14 He had flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and many slaves, and the Philistines were envious of him. 15 Philistines stopped up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, filling them with dirt. 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us, for you are much too powerful for us.”[u]17 So Isaac left there, camped in the Gerar Valley, and lived there. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham and that the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19 Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of spring[v] water there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek[w] because they argued with him. 21 Then they dug another well and quarreled over that one also, so he named it Sitnah.[x] 22 He moved from there and dug another, and they did not quarrel over it. He named it Rehoboth[y] and said, “For now the Lord has made space for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
The Lord Appears to Isaac
23 From there he went up to Beer-sheba, 24 and the Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your offspring because of my servant Abraham.”25 So he built an altar there, called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. Isaac’s servants also dug a well there.
Covenant with Abimelech
26 Now Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me? You hated me and sent me away from you.”28 They replied, “We have clearly seen how the Lord has been with you. We think there should be an oath between two parties—between us and you. Let us make a covenant with you: 29 You will not harm us, just as we have not harmed you but have done only what was good to you, sending you away in peace. You are now blessed by the Lord.”30 So he prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31 They got up early in the morning and swore an oath to each other.[z] Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace. 32 On that same day Isaac’s servants came to tell him about the well they had dug, saying to him, “We have found water!” 33 He called it Sheba.[aa] Therefore the name of the city is still Beer-sheba[ab] today.
34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as his wives Judith daughter of Beeri the Hethite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hethite. 35 They made life bitter[ac] for Isaac and Rebekah.
Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. That doesn’t mean much to you and me, who live in a society that doesn’t care if you were the firstborn son in your family. But to Jacob and Esau, this meant everything. It meant headship of the family and a double share of the inheritance. You and I have an inheritance that was given to us in Christ, a birthright of sorts.
Matthew Henry comments: “The gratifying of the sensual appetite is that which ruins thousands of precious souls.” We must always be on our guard against the flesh. It will always try and overtake what God wants to do in us as children of His. Esau allowed his hunger to entice him to do something foolish. Today, don’t allow the flesh to entice you to do something foolish as well.