Esau

Esau (Ee´saw)

The elder son of Isaac and Rebekah (Gen 25-36). As such, he was entitled to the primary blessing and birthright of his family. He forfeited both, because of either his own foolishness (Gen 25:27-34) or Jacob’s trickery (Gen 27:1-45). He was the rejected son displaced by the younger one, who became the bearer of the promise. Esau is portrayed as a gracious older brother (Gen 33:1-16), but in the ongoing Hebrew tradition, Esau was linked to the territory of Edom, Israel’s rival and threat for territory (Deut 2:4-29; Jer 49:8-10; Obad 1:6-21). Through this linkage Esau became the focus of great hostility, an attitude absent from the original Genesis narrative. Esau is also mentioned in two NT writings, once in a favorable context (Heb 11:20), twice in an unfavorable one (Rom 9:13; Rom 12:16).

Gen 25-36

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Gen 25:27-34

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Gen 27:1-45

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Gen 33:1-16

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Deut 2:4-29

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Jer 49:8-10

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Obad 1:6-21

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Heb 11:20

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Rom 9:13

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Rom 12:16

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