The children struggled together within Rebekah’s womb.
Rebekah: If all is well, why am I like this? (NKJV)
Rebekah asked the Lord.
The Lord (to Rebekah): Two nations are in your womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from your bowels. The one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all over like an hairy garment? They called his name Esau. Esau means hairy or rough.
Then his brother came out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel. His name was called Jacob.
Isaac was 60 years old when Rebekah gave birth to Esau and Jacob. Isaac and Rebekah had been married 20 years when the twins were born.
The boys grew. Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
Isaac loved Esau, because he ate of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
One day Jacob made pottage (soup). Esau came from the field, and he was faint.
Esau (to Jacob): Feed me, I pray, with that red pottage; for I am faint; therefore was his name called Edom. (Edom means red.)
Jacob: Sell me your birthright this day.
Esau: I am at the point of dying? What will I profit from this birthright if I die now?
Jacob: Swear to me this day.
Esau swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles (bean or pea family); and Esau ate and drank, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
I have heard many say that Jacob stole Esau’s blessing. I disagree. Jacob purchased Esau’s birthright.
What comes with a birthright? In Bible times the older brother inherited a double portion. In Jacob’s and Esau’s case, the inheritance would be split into three portions, and the oldest would get two parts, a double portion. Even though Esau and Jacob were twins, the one born first possessed the birthright. But Esau sold that right to Jacob.