Genesis 25:19 – 28:9

Genesis chapter 25, verse 19 to chapter 28, verse 9


Rebekah, Isaac’s wife , is having difficulty having children. After Isaac prays to God, Rebekah gets pregnant with twins. The pregnancy is not easy, the twins begin to struggle in the womb. When they are born, the first son is red and hairy, and is named Esau. His brother, immediately follows, holding onto Esau’s heel. He becomes Jacob. Esau grows to be a hunter, and Jacob is quite and is a homebody. Isaac prefers the eldest, while Rebekah favors Jacob.

One day Esau return from a hunting. He is starved. He sees that Jacob is cooking some stew and demands some. Jacob insists that in exchange for some of the food, Esau must sell him his birthright. Esau immediately agrees.

During a famine, God tells Isaac to remain in Canaan, and not go to Egypt, as his father Abraham had. God says that if he stays God will bless him with the same blessings Abraham received: possession of the land and many descendants. Isaac remains. While dwelling in a place called Gerar, he tells the inhabitants, who are Philistines, that Rebekah is his sister.   One day their ruler sees Isaac and Rebekah together and understands that they are in fact married. He confronts Isaac, who explains that he was afraid that he would be harmed if people knew their true relationship. Isaac becomes very wealthy and eventually is asked to leave the area. After wandering throughout the land, he settles in Beersheva and makes peace with the Philistines.

Meanwhile, the eldest son disappoints his parents by marrying a woman of the Hittite nation.

Isaac grows old and is preparing to bless his sons. He tells Esau that before he receives his blessing, he must prepare a meal for his father. While Esau is out hunting, Rebekah tells Jacob to trick his father by impersonating Esau. Jacob does and receives the blessing meant for Esau. Esau returns to serve his father the meal and discovers what Jacob did. He becomes very angry. Rebekah is worried that Esau will hurt Jacob, so she sends Jacob to her brother Laban’s home in haran. She tells Isaac that Jacob should be sent there to find a bride.

Torah Portion in English

19) This is the story of Isaac, son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac. 20) Isaac was forty years old when he took to wife Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21) Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord responded to his plea, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22) But the children struggled in her womb, and she said, “If so, why do I exist?” She went to inquire of the Lord, 23) and the Lord answered her, “Two nations are in your womb, Two separate peoples shall issue from your body; One people shall be mightier than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.” 24) When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb.

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. What are the names of Isaac and Rebekah’s sons?
  2. Look up the meaning of the name “Jacob”. What does it mean? Why does it connect to the story?
  3. When Rebekah cries out to God about the struggle going on in her womb, what does God tell her?
  4. What did Esau give up for a bowl of stew?
  5. What did Rebekah convince Jacob to do at the end of Isaac’s life?
  6. How did Esau react?
  7. Where did Jacob go?