Back to the Beginning a study of Genesis – Chapter 25

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Back to the Beginning


A Study of Genesis – Chapter 25
Death of Abraham and Ishmael; Birth of Jacob and Esau
Verses 1-4 – Abraham married Keturah and had more children.
Verses 5-6 – Abraham honored Isaac as his rightful heir. Abraham protected Isaac from competition and rivalry from within the family.
Verses 7-8 – A summary of Abraham’s life and death (the use of “and” reminds us that each one of these phrases is important. God is saying, “Slow down and consider these things.”) Notice the mention of “days.” Life is made up of days.


  • He “gave up the ghost” – the end of his life

  • He “died in a good old age” – the length of his life

  • He died as “an old man, and full of years” – the satisfaction of life

  • He “was gathered to his people” – reunion with friends and family


Verse 9Ishmael and Isaac came together to bury their father where Sarah had been buried (23:19-20). They had been separated for many years (see 21:8-21).
Verses 12-18 – Ishmael’s descendants became the Arab nations.

Verses 20-21 – Isaac married Rebekah when he was forty years old, and he pleaded with God to give them children. Isaac and Rebekah were married for 20 years before having children (see verse 26). Why the delay?

Why does God wait before answering our prayers?



Verses 22-26 – In answer to prayer God revealed the future of the twin boys, Jacob and Esau. This is the first mention of twins being born in the Bible. They were certainly not identical twins!


  • The boys would become two nations (Israel and Edom)

  • The boys would have very different personalities

  • The elder boy (Esau) would serve the younger boy (Jacob)

  • Esau means “hairy

  • Jacob means “heel-grabber


Verses 27-28 – Isaac and Rebekah showed favoritism toward their sons. Isaac’s love was conditional, but Rebekah’s love was unconditional.
Verses 29-34 – Esau made a terrible deal, selling his birthright for a bowl of stew. He didn’t stop to consider the real cost and the ultimate consequences. Notice in the story: what he saw and smelled; what he said; and what he sold.

The birthright included the right to be recognized as the family leader and a double portion of the family inheritance.



Hebrews 12:16 – Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Reasons Why Esau Made a Bad Trade:


  • He had no regard for his birthright.

  • He acted impulsively.

  • He exaggerated his hunger.

  • He focused only on the present instead of the future.

  • He relied on his birth order rather than on God’s plan.

  • He may have thought his father would bail him out of a poor decision.

  • He was influenced by his appetite, just like his father Isaac.


The tastes we cultivate will eventually control us. Some people cultivate a taste for pleasure, for physical things, and other people cultivate a taste for God’s Word, worship, and spiritual things. Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Bad Trade-Offs People Make:


  • When we trade future blessings for immediate satisfaction

  • When we trade spiritual riches for physical pleasures

  • When we trade God’s gifts for man’s rewards

  • When we trade eternal values for earthly values

What are we hungry for? What motivates us? Are we living for this world or the next?



Back to the Beginning

A Study of Genesis – Chapter 25
Death of Abraham and Ishmael; Birth of Jacob and Esau

Verses 1-4 – Abraham married____________________ and had more children.

Verses 5-6 – Abraham honored Isaac as his______________________________. Abraham protected Isaac from competition and rivalry inside the family.
Verses 7-8 – A summary of Abraham’s life and death (the use of “and” reminds us that each one of these phrases is important. God is saying, “Slow down and consider these things.”)


  • He “gave up the ghost” – the___________________ of his life




  • He “died in a good old age” – the____________________ of his life




  • He died as “an old man, and full of years” – the____________________________ of life




  • He “was gathered to his people” – ________________________ with friends and family



Verse 9Ishmael and Isaac__________________________________ to bury their father where Sarah had been buried (23:19-20). They had been separated for many years (see 21:8-21).
Verses 12-18 – Ishmael’s descendants became the____________________________________.
Verses 20-21 – Isaac married Rebekah when he was_______________________________, and he pleaded with God to give them children. Isaac and Rebekah were married for 20 years before having children (see verse 26). Why does God wait before answering our prayers?


  • To deepen______________________________________ into what we really need



  • To broaden____________________________________________ for His answers





  • To allow us____________________________ so we can use His gifts more wisely



Verses 22-26 – In answer to prayer God revealed_________________________ of the twin boys, Jacob and Esau.


  • The boys would become_______________________________




  • The boys would have very different____________________________________




  • The elder boy (Esau)_______________________________ the younger boy (Jacob)




  • Esau means___________________________




  • Jacob means_______________________________



Verses 27-28 – Isaac and Rebekah showed___________________________ toward their sons.
Verses 29-34 – Esau made____________________________________, trading his birthright for a bowl of stew. He didn’t stop to consider the real cost and the ultimate consequences. Notice in the story: what he saw and smelled; what he said; and what he sold.
Hebrews 12:16 – Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Reasons Why Esau Made a Bad Trade:



  • He had__________________________________ for his birthright.




  • He acted_________________________________.




  • He exaggerated________________________________.




  • He focused only on_________________________________ instead of the future.



  • He relied on his________________________________ rather than on God’s plan.





  • He may have thought________________________ would bail him out of a poor decision.




  • He was influenced by_____________________________, just like his father Isaac.

The tastes we cultivate will eventually control us. Some people cultivate a taste for pleasure, for physical things, and other people cultivate a taste for God’s Word, worship, and spiritual things.



Bad Trade-Offs People Make:



  • When we trade future blessings for________________________________________




  • When we trade spiritual riches for_________________________________________




  • When we trade God’s gifts for____________________________________________




  • When we trade eternal values for_________________________________________


What are we hungry for? What motivates us? Are we living for this world or the next?


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