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Who is Esau in the Bible? What did Esau do in the Bible?

In the case of Esau, the law of Cain and Abel applies, in a slightly softer way, not involving physical death. This second Old Testament example of God’s sovereign choice is taken from the second generation of Jewish ancestors. God wanted to make this point very clearly from the beginning of his relationship with his chosen people. This example of Jacob instead of Esau emphasizes God’s sovereignty more than the first because it was God choosing between twins; in the case of Abraham’s sons, God chose between one woman’s child over another woman’s child. But who is Esau in the Bible, and what did He do?

Esau in the Bible or Esav, is one of Isaac’s twin sons, whom his legitimate wife Rebekah bore. He was the firstborn who, according to the Old Law, had the right of the firstborn to inherit all things from his father. Esav disregards these rights; he empties them to his brother on a lentil counter.

Through Rebecca, God’s choice was shown when the twins had not yet been born and had done neither good nor evil. This indicates that God’s sovereign will was made not by works or previously known works but by the One who calls. God’s plan, not man’s works, is the basis of election. Rebekah was told, “The greater shall serve the lesser,” a divine choice confirmed by God’s words: Jacob I loved, and Issav I hated. This expression raises an old problem in Jewish theology, also reflected in Paul’s conception: One cannot find fault with the One Above for what he does. 

Who is Esav?

Even Abraham is the ancestor of the Israelites through his son Isaac and of the Arabs through Ishmael. Isaac and Rebekah had twins Esau and Jacob, and God blessed Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. His twelve sons are the grandsons of Esau and the ancestors of the tribes of Israel. So Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the first patriarchs of the chosen people, from whom the Saviour Jesus Christ was born.

Esau was the eldest of Isaac’s twin sons, and his relationship with Jacob, his brother, is the subject of well-known stories in Genesis. He was his father’s favorite son, and Isaac intended to give him the blessing that rightfully belonged to his eldest son.

However, Jacob’s supremacy over his older brother, which had been foretold beforehand and at the time of their birth, would eventually be unwittingly confirmed by Isaac, who was old.

What did Esau do in the Bible?

God hated Esau. Because he could be good if he wanted to be. Esau was born with genes predisposed him to a specific character, but Esau did nothing to compensate. Genetic behavioral defects are the effect of inherited sin, a human congenital disability that manifests in everyday life. Some are more prone to corruption than others. But if he wants to live forever, he needs to make efforts, and God, with His Holy Spirit, can help him.

Esau gave up his birthright for a meal of lentils. 

Jacob stole the blessing that culturally belonged to Esau. Birthright and blessing are two different things, each with its importance. To understand these two characters, Jacob and Esau in the Bible, it is necessary to understand these two elements: a birthright. According to the cultural customs of that time and place, the birthright belonged to the eldest son and consisted of fundamental rights, responsibilities, honors, and inheritances. So God made a promise to his grandfather, Abraham, and that promise was passed on to his father, Isaac. So the Lord promised Abraham that He would bless him and multiply his seed like the stars of heaven and the sand on the beach. This covenant between the Lord and Abraham was to be accomplished through Esau, his firstborn son.

Key Verse related to the life of Esau

When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.

Genesis 25:27 (NIV)

esau in the bible

How old was Esau when he sold his birthright?

There are indications that God was not pleased with how the patriarchal blessing was obtained: first, Rebekah does not attempt to persuade Isaac to change his mind about Esau. So Jacob’s vainglory highlights God’s disapproval of his methods. His protest reflects concern that he might be caught, not that he might dishonor Isaac. And curses in his lie that the Lord gave him success in his hunt.

Esau sold his birthright at the age of 15 years old, not knowing what God’s plans were.

After losing this honor, Esau hated Jacob, his brother, and decided to kill him after their father’s death (Just like the case of Cain, who planned to kill his brother, but he did it). Rebekah sent Jacob away from home to safety, believing that things would soon return to normal. But time passed, and Rebekah never got to see Jacob again.

Esau, in the Bible story

In Romans chapter 9, verse 11, it is reported that the twins had not yet been born and had done neither good nor evil. That the former judgment of God might stand. A choice was made, not by works, but by Him who calls. It was said to Rebekah, “The greater shall be a servant to the lesser.” As it is written: Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated. The Lord also said to her: Two nations are in your womb, and two countries shall be divided when they come out of your womb. One of these clouds will be stronger than the other. And the greater shall serve the lesser.

The story of Esau in the Bible is meant to highlight the disregard and ignorance of people of God’s plans. Scripture tells us that God knows each individual even before they are conceived.

In this case, God foresaw that Jacob would be better suited to pass on the “seed of the woman” to the world than Esau. Therefore Jacob and Esau in the Bible were very different from the moment of their birth. Although they were twin brothers, Jacob and Esau had very different personalities. So the Bible tells us that Jacob and Esau grew up very differently. In addition, Esau is said to have been a skillful hunter, a man of the field. At the same time, Jacob is said to have been a quiet, tent-dwelling man. Scripture paints a picture of opposite personalities, motivations, interests, and interests.

Two main lessons to learn from the story of Esau and Jacob

1. To have control over the stomach

In terms of curbing cravings or self-control over the stomach. We all need to take care of this because, to a greater or lesser extent, we all have problems with self-control. The lesson from Esau is that we need to develop self-control. Proper moderation is eating and drinking and having a sense of restraint. All the Christian virtues studied this week are part of the same fruit of the Spirit. The Bible tells us that man can live with the Word of God, not only with bread.

2. God redeems all people

From their lesson, we learn that God offers redemption to all humankind if they feel sorry for what they did. Because He is a loving Father that accepts everyone because we are His creation. Even Esau got his redemption because God is always good, and always, He is good.

Primary Takeaways

  • The older brother Esau did not serve Jacob, his younger twin.
  • Jacob’s election showed God’s love for Jacob. And God’s hatred for Esau was shown by Esau’s rejection of the people who would benefit from the promise. The notion of hatred does not have its usual meaning; it does not have an absolute but a relative value. And it refers to the preference of one over another. The theme of choice is found in other circumstances.
  • The Apostle Paul’s references to the Old Testament are essential, and his demonstration includes other significant themes. The Epistle to the Romans is probably one of history’s most analyzed and commented-upon writings because it explores, in a complex way, many theological issues found in both the Old and the New Testaments.


According to the Law, Jacob’s blessing was real, and he owned 100% of his father’s wealth, gold, servants, and flocks. Jacob had the right to call witnesses who heard of Esau’s plan to kill him and do to him exactly what he wanted to be done to him. So it is written in the Law: the two men in question shall appear before the judges. Let the judges make a thorough investigation. Then do to him as he was going to do to his brother. Thus you shall put away the evil from your midst. Have no pity, but ask life for life, an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.