Genesis 25:28
Because Isaac had a taste for wild game, he loved Esau; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
RebekahE. Monro, M. A.Genesis 25:28
Divine Purposes UnfoldedR.A. Redford Genesis 25:19-34

I. THE TWO KINGDOMS, that of material force and that of moral power, are thus represented in contrast and rivalry.

II. GOD'S WAYS AND MAN'S WAYS CONTRASTED. The partialities of the parents foster the special faults of the children. Esau is more the man of fleshly impulse because Isaac loved him for his venison. Jacob is more the crafty supplanter because Rebekah by her favoritism encouraged him to take advantage of his brother.

III. THE IMPORTANCE OF HOME LIFE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHARACTER. The sins of parents are generally in some form transmitted to children. Esau's new name was Edom, memento of his selfish succumbing to appetite. Jacob's new name was Israel, memento of the victory which by the grace of God he obtained. "Esau despised his birthright." It was the natural working of a sensual nature. We begin by yielding to the lower impulses without thinking how they bind their cords round us. At last we lose the power of distinguishing a mere passing evil from an overwhelming danger, and when we ought to fight, cry, I am at the point to die; then in wretched collapse all goes. What is this birthright, what profit?

1. The loss of the sense of responsibility.

2. The absorbing hunger after present gratification.

3. The blindness to all proportion in life.

4. The dullness and stupidity of the animalism which does not even care for the very birthright itself, though it is an earthly advantage.

These are the fearful payments which they have to render who, like Esau, give themselves up to a mere life of the flesh. - R.

Rebekah loved Jacob.
1. While the account of Rebekah in Holy Scripture is so brief, that it would be difficult to draw many reflections from the study of her character, her position is suggestive, and her conduct by no means without important practical results. She first comes before our notice as the future wife of Isaac, and, in that capacity, at once attracts the interest of the student of the patriarchal age. She found Isaac walking, meditating at eventide, and he received her into his tent. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife — the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian, of Padanaram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and Isaac loved Esau because he did eat of his venison, but Rebekah loved Jacob. The next we hear of her was in Gerar, where her beauty attracting the notice of the inhabitants, Isaac called her his sister. Esau's marriage became a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah, for he married a Hittite. The next and hinging circumstance of Rebekah's life is the account of the deception passed upon his father by Jacob, at the suggestion of his mother.

2. The character which we have brought before us by the preceding acts is one, which to our eye, would wear the appearance of duplicity and self-seeking in a high degree; but placing aside for a moment the impression which is thus forced upon us, it will be well to study the many practical suggestions which are started by reading Rebekah's life. And first, this trait which I have just called duplicity, whatever if may be, belonged to the mother of Israel, and characterized each succeeding scion of her race. The Jew is essentially subtle. In whatever degree this may be traceable to Rebekah and her son, it nevertheless is very clear that a parent's fault is constantly transmitted to its child and onward to successive generations. More than this. If the parent yields to his natural disposition, he strengthens his own habit of evil and transmits to his descendants a nature more strongly inclined to the same evil; whereas if, on the other hand, he succeeds in checking his own disposition, the result becomes apparent in the healthier moral condition of his offspring. All this is very sad to contemplate, inasmuch as countless beings become responsible for the fault of one; but it is in accordance with the history of mankind, with the moral impressions of antiquity, and with distinct statements of Divine revelation. The sin of Adam has effected his remotest descendant; the oft told tales of the Atreidae and OEdipus remind us how strongly the heathen world was impressed with the belief that the sin of the parent predisposed the child for the committal of a similar fault, and became the cause of punishment to distant posterity; while the second commandment tells us in clear terms, that God visits the sins of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. But it is not only to punishment, but the physical tendency to a definite form of immorality to which I specially refer. It has been observed, with regard to the population of our own country, that in districts where certain crimes are prevalent children are born with bodily constitutions and mental conformations, such as strongly to predispose the will to yield the same faults of which the parents are guilty; and so remarkably is this the case, that in some places the brevity of life and the rapid increase of the committal of crime are appalling; and though perhaps in a less degree, the indulged fault of a parent is often seen to be the habitual condition of the child. This being the case, what a motive it offers to parents to cheek their own evil tendencies and to lead a godly and upright life. Rebekah's fault was perpetuated to onward centuries; and the wilfulness of overweening affection — mingled with a disregard to truthfulness — has marked the descendant of Israel down to the day we live in. So pride, vanity, extravagance, uncharitableness of judgment or opinion, though but perhaps a slight intentional offence in father or mother, may receive severe penalties inflicted on the descendants of the third and fourth generation. How striking to see the pride of aristocracy, though perhaps resulting from some acts of which a man may be proud, inherited by a child who has nothing on which to plume himself, except the fact of being descended from a parent who earned for himself his position and his titles. Yet we are frequently called upon to see this condition of childhood, the result of the indulged temper and feeling of the parent.

3. But the character of Rebekah is suggestive in other ways; she indulged favouritism, and, like a mother, loved her youngest son the best. Partiality of this kind is either selfishness or worse. If it simply flows from an actual preference, it is selfish to yield to it; if, as it often does, it springs from noticing a reflection of self in the child of our partiality, it becomes idolatry, or the worshipping of self in another shape.

4. But there is another lesson which Rebekah teaches us, which we cannot pass by; the way in which intense and partial affection blinds the eye to pure morality. Rebekah's love for Jacob was so great that she betrayed her husband for the sake of securing the birthright for her younger son; and she infringed God's law by indulging in deceitfulness. The forms of morality and religion are in themselves clear, keen, and definite, even as the statue carved from the hardest marble; but between our eye and those forms it is easy enough to let mists arise so blinding and deceiving as wholly to change the appearance of the form which we are gazing at. This is especially the case with regard to the forms of truthfulness.

(E. Monro, M. A.)

Abraham, Abida, Abidah, Adbeel, Aram, Asshurim, Asshurites, Bethuel, Dedan, Dumah, Eldaah, Enoch, Ephah, Epher, Ephron, Esau, Hadad, Hadar, Hagar, Hanoch, Havilah, Heth, Hittites, Isaac, Ishbak, Ishmael, Jacob, Jetur, Jokshan, Kedar, Kedemah, Keturah, Laban, Letushim, Letushites, Leummim, Leummites, Mamre, Massa, Medan, Mibsam, Mishma, Naphish, Nebaioth, Nebajoth, Rebekah, Sarah, Shuah, Tema, Zimran, Zoar, Zohar
Assyria, Beer-lahai-roi, Egypt, Machpelah, Mamre, Paddan-aram, Shur Desert
Ate, Eat, Esau, Esau's, Game, Greatly, Hunting, Isaac, Isaac's, Jacob, Love, Loved, Loveth, Loving, Meat, Mouth, Rebecca, Rebekah, Taste, Venison, Wild
1. The sons of Abraham by Keturah.
5. The division of his goods.
7. His age, death, and burial.
11. God blesses Isaac.
12. The generations of Ishmael.
17. His age and death.
19. Isaac prays for Rebekah, being barren.
22. The children strive in her womb.
24. The birth of Esau and Jacob.
27. Their different characters and pursuits.
29. Esau sells his birthright.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 25:28

     5187   taste
     5686   fathers, examples
     5765   attitudes, to people
     8753   favouritism
     8800   prejudice

Genesis 25:21-34

     7530   foreigners

Genesis 25:27-28

     5882   impartiality

Pottage Versus Birthright
Esau despised his birthright'--GENESIS xxv. 34. Broad lessons unmistakable, but points strange and difficult to throw oneself back to so different a set of ideas. So I. Deal with the narrative. Not to tell it over again, but bring out the following points:-- (a) Birthright.--What? None of them any notion of sacred, spiritual aspect of it. To all, merely material advantages: headship of the clan. All the loftier aspects gone from Isaac, who thought he could give it for venison, from Esau, and from
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Death of Abraham
'Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.'--GENESIS xxv. 8. 'Full of years' does not seem to me to be a mere synonym for longevity. That would be an intolerable tautology, for we should then have the same thing said three times over--'an old man,' 'in a good old age,' 'full of years.' There must be some other idea than that in the words. If you notice that the expression is by no means a usual one, that it is only
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jacob and Esau
(Second Sunday in Lent.) GENESIS xxv. 29-34. And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then
Charles Kingsley—The Gospel of the Pentateuch

Jesus Heals Multitudes Beside the Sea of Galilee.
^A Matt. XII. 15-21; ^B Mark III. 7-12. ^a 15 And Jesus perceiving it withdrew ^b with his disciples ^a from thence: ^b to the sea [This was the first withdrawal of Jesus for the avowed purpose of self-preservation. After this we find Jesus constantly retiring to avoid the plots of his enemies. The Sea of Galilee, with its boats and its shores touching different jurisdictions, formed a convenient and fairly safe retreat]: ^a and many followed him; ^b and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Every Believer's Birthright.
On every hand a lack of something is being felt and expressed by God's people. Their Christian experience is not what they expected it would be. Instead of expected victory, it is oft-recurring, dreaded defeat; instead of soul satisfaction, it is soul hunger; instead of deep, abiding heart rest, it is disquiet and discontent; instead of advancing, it is losing ground. Is this all Christ meant when He said, "Come unto Me"? Is this life of constant disappointment the normal life of the Bible Christian?
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Second Great Group of Parables.
(Probably in Peræa.) Subdivision D. Parable of the Lost Son. ^C Luke XV. 11-32. ^c 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons [These two sons represent the professedly religious (the elder) and the openly irreligious (the younger). They have special reference to the two parties found in the first two verses of this chapter --the Pharisees, the publicans and sinners]: 12 and the younger of them [the more childish and easily deceived] said to his father, Father, give me the portion of thy substance
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

"Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against themselves, that ye
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

John the Baptist's Person and Preaching.
(in the Wilderness of Judæa, and on the Banks of the Jordan, Occupying Several Months, Probably a.d. 25 or 26.) ^A Matt. III. 1-12; ^B Mark I. 1-8; ^C Luke III. 1-18. ^b 1 The beginning of the gospel [John begins his Gospel from eternity, where the Word is found coexistent with God. Matthew begins with Jesus, the humanly generated son of Abraham and David, born in the days of Herod the king. Luke begins with the birth of John the Baptist, the Messiah's herald; and Mark begins with the ministry
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

But if Moreover any not Having Charity, which Pertaineth to the Unity of Spirit...
23. But if moreover any not having charity, which pertaineth to the unity of spirit and the bond of peace whereby the Catholic Church is gathered and knit together, being involved in any schism, doth, that he may not deny Christ, suffer tribulations, straits, hunger, nakedness, persecution, perils, prisons, bonds, torments, swords, or flames, or wild beasts, or the very cross, through fear of hell and everlasting fire; in nowise is all this to be blamed, nay rather this also is a patience meet to
St. Augustine—On Patience

Of the Effects of those Prerogatives.
From these prerogatives there will arise to the elect in heaven, five notable effects:-- 1. They shall know God with a perfect knowledge (1 Cor. i. 10), so far as creatures can possibly comprehend the Creator. For there we shall see the Word, the Creator; and in the Word, all creatures that by the Word were created; so that we shall not need to learn (of the things which were made) the knowledge of him by whom all things were made. The most excellent creatures in this life, are but as a dark veil
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Travelling in Palestine --Roads, Inns, Hospitality, Custom-House Officers, Taxation, Publicans
It was the very busiest road in Palestine, on which the publican Levi Matthew sat at the receipt of "custom," when our Lord called him to the fellowship of the Gospel, and he then made that great feast to which he invited his fellow-publicans, that they also might see and hear Him in Whom he had found life and peace (Luke 5:29). For, it was the only truly international road of all those which passed through Palestine; indeed, it formed one of the great highways of the world's commerce. At the time
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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