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Genesis  ◦   Chapter 25

1Abraham, lonely after Isaac’s marriage, took another woman, named Keturah, to be his mate.2She gave birth to his six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. 3Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan, and Dedan’s descendants were the Asshurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. 4Midian had five sons: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All of these were Keturah’s descendants.

5Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. 6But while Abraham was alive, he gave gifts to all his sons born to him by his concubines, and then sent them east, in order to establish Isaac as his sole heir to the land and prevent future family feuds.

7Abraham lived to be one hundred and seventy-five years old 8and stopped breathing and died at a ripe old age, having lived a rich and full life; he joined his ancestors asleep in death. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field that had belonged to Ephron son of Zohar the Hethite, 10and that Abraham had bought from the sons of Heth. Abraham was buried there with his wife, Sarah. 11After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who lived near Beer Lahai Roi.

12This is the record of Abraham’s son Ishmael, who was born to him by Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave-woman.

13These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, listed in order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. 16These were Ishmael’s sons who founded the tribes and encampments named after them. 17Ishmael lived to be one hundred and thirty-seven years old and stopped breathing and died, and joined his ancestors asleep in death. 18His descendants settled from Havilah to Shur near the Egyptian border toward Asshur and lived apart from their relatives.

19This is the record of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham fathered Isaac, 20and when Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah the daughter of Bethuel and sister of Laban the Aramean from Mesopotamia.

21Isaac spoke to the Lord and asked him to heal his wife from infertility, as she was barren. The Lord granted Isaac’s request, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant with twins. 22The babies struggled against each other within her womb to such an extent that Rebekah asked the Lord, “Why is this happening and what does it mean?”

23The Lord said to her, “You have the fathers of two nations in your womb, who represent two types of people that will be divided and who will struggle against each other: one nation will be stronger than the other, and the children of the older will serve the younger.”

24When it came time to give birth, she delivered twin boys, just as the Lord had said. 25The first boy came out very red, with hair covering his body; so they named him Esau (which means ‘hairy’). 26His brother came out with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so they named him Jacob (which means ‘he deceives’). Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.

27The boys grew up, and Esau became a man of action – a skillful hunter, a restless man who loved to be on the move, out in the countryside and not burdened with mundane responsibilities. But Jacob was a patient man, who thought things through and planned before acting; he preferred to stay at the family residence where the decisions were made. 28Isaac showed favoritism to Esau, because he enjoyed eating deer meat, but Rebekah showed favoritism to Jacob.

29One day, Jacob was cooking some stew and Esau came in from the countryside, exhausted and terribly hungry. 30He implored Jacob, “Please, give me some of that red stew! I’m starving!” (That is why he is also called Edom, which means ‘red.’)

31Jacob, seeing an opportunity for himself, said, “First sell me your birthright.”

32Wishing to be free of the responsibility, Esau replied, “Since I am about to die, what good will the birthright do me?”

33But Jacob said, “Swear it to me first.” So Esau swore an oath, selling his birthright to Jacob.

34Then Jacob fed Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate and drank, and then got up and left. Esau valued immediate gratification over future blessings, and by despising his birthright, he revealed he was unfit to be the person through whom God’s plan to save humanity would be realized.