The sixth reading from Bible-in-a-year from the book of Genesis to Revelation is so named because the bible study begins with the words “Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac” (Genesis 25:19) [Toldot (תולדות) which means “generations”] . A record of your generations today we call, “family history”. This week’s study tells us the story of the birth of Jacob and Esau and their struggle for the birthright and blessing of their father, Isaac. We also learn about Isaac’s trials and difficulties in the land of Canaan. The study includes Jacob’s deception of Isaac in order to procure the family blessing as well as what Jacob’s family looks like through the gospels and Revelation. This may very well be the most powerful Bible study you have EVER seen. It just may blow your mind!
You will also find study guides by chapter and advanced study of the original languages following the Bible study outline. While it is our belief that many of the letters of the New Testament were originally written in Aramaic and/ or Hebrew, the Greek texts are used for study even when there are known Hebrew manuscripts (eg. Mathew and Hebrews).
Bible Audio & Text:
Listen to all the Bible study below or click the link to read them at biblegateway.com in your favorite translation:
- Penteteuch: Genesis 25:19-28:9
- Writings: 1 Chronicles 16
- Prophets: Malachi 1:1-2:7
- Gospels: Mark 3
- Letters: Romans 10
- Letters: James (Jacob) 1
- Revelation: Revelation 7,14
Bible Outlines & Chapter Study Guides
- Genesis 25:19 | The Birth and Youth of Esau and Jacob
- Genesis 25:29 | Esau Sells His Birthright
- Genesis 26:1 | Isaac and Abimelech
- Genesis 26:34 | Esau’s Hittite Wives
- Genesis 27:1 | Isaac Blesses Jacob
- Genesis 27:30 | Esau’s Lost Blessing
- Genesis 27:41 | Jacob Escapes Esau’s Fury
- Genesis 28:6 | Esau Marries Ishmael’s Daughter
- 1Ch 16:1 | Ark of God
- 1Ch 16:7 | The praise of Asaph and his kinsmen
- 1Ch 16:37 | David still ruler over Israel and over Judah.
- Mal 1:1 | Introduction
- Mal 1:2 | Israel Preferred to Edom
- Mal 1:6 | Corruption of the Priesthood
- Mark 3:1 | Jesus/Yeshua entered the synagogue on Sabbath (as was His practice).
- Mark 3:5 | Jesus/Yeshua heals a hand, it was restored .
- Mark 3:13 | Appointing the Twelve Apostles who will judge the 12 Tribes (Mt 19)
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- James (Jacob) 1 | Letter to the 12 tribes
- James (Jacob) 1:1 | To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion
- James (Jacob) 1:2-27 |Rejoice in Trials, Quick to Listen, Slow to Anger
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- Romans 10 | The Misdirected Zeal of Israel, Judah and “gentiles”
- Romans 10:1 | Paul is sorrowful for the house of Israel’s condition.
- Romans 10:11 | Yehovah is Lord of all
- Romans 10:7 | So faith comes from hearing
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- Hebrews 11 | Jacob blesses sons of Joseph- Ephraim & Menasse through faith (the foundation)
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- Revelation 7:1 | An angel seals the servants of God in their foreheads.
- Revelation 7:4 | The number of those who were sealed of the tribes of Israel: 144,000.
- Revelation 7:9 | Of all the other nations an innumerable multitude, which stand before the throne.
- Revelation 14:1 | The Lamb standing on Mount Zion with his company of 144,000 sealed.
- Revelation 14:8 | The fall of Babylon.
- Revelation 14:15 | The harvest of the world.
Bible Study Commentary
We see this week the full spectrum, from Genesis to Revelation, the continual and repetitive picture of 2 becoming 1 yet again just as Adam became “Adam & Eve” and was commanded to “become one flesh”. Last week we saw Isaac and Ismael. Ishmael was promised 12 princes as offspring just as we are seeing the birth of Jacob who will be given 12 sons that will become 12 tribes. And just like it was Eve, not Adam, who received the prophecy concerning her seed. It was Miriam (Mary), not Joseph who received the prophetic words of the virgin birth. And it was Rebecca, not Isaac who received the word of God’s choice to prefer Jacob over Esau. He was going to prefer Esau.
Jacob and Esau are “Two nations in the womb, and two peoples from her body who will be separated” (Gen 25:23) just like Israel’s sons will become 2 nations/ kingdoms/peoples/houses after king David dies. But this early in the Bible-in-a-year, the split has not happened yet on the “historical” timeline of Israel’s history in the OT.
We do see, however, that when we get into the parts of the NT scriptures, the houses had already split and Jesus/ Yeshua has come to restore the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt 15:24).
Just as Jacob was given 12 sons, Jesus was given 12 men (Jn 17:12) who will sit on 12 thrones with Him and judge the 12 tribes (Mt 19) of Israel in New Jerusalem going in and out through its 12 gates; there is no “gentile” gate. As Malachi prophesies the corrupted priests and Levites, we see also Jesus/ Yeshua has perfected the priesthood already (Hb 7) and has chosen 12 men who will take the good news of the kingdom to the entire world.
I believe it was in their flesh that the Apostles chose a replacement for Judas/ Judah by casting lots and choosing Mathias, because obviously Jesus/ Yeshua already had plans to call Paul into ministry.
James (Jacob) is one of the earliest letters we have in the NT. We see how quite “coincidentally” the letter from Jacob (Gr Ἰάκωβοs) is written to the 12 tribes. Why we have ended up calling it “James” is anyone’s guess, just as much as why every instance of almost 7 thousand occurrences of the sacred name of God is changed to “the LORD” is anyone’s guess. But we do see evidence that people are seeing this error.
Believing that Paul is the writer of both Romans and Hebrews (it is debatable), we read Paul clarifying that Jesus/ Yeshua is the physical manifestation in the flesh of the Word of God; the Torah. In verse 6 he quotes Dt 30:12 saying that the Messiah IS the Torah in the flesh! And just just as the Pentateuch/ Torah was given to Israel to teach all humanity, so was the Messiah given for all humanity! DT 30:14 says:
the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
Like so many other words of the “New Testament”, this is simply repeated words from the Hebrew Bible (OT) with a little clarification or explanation. Faith was always the key factor, which brings us to the famous “faith” chapter in the Bible. By faith, Jacob blessed the sons of Joseph; which means, Jacob obeyed the Holy Spirit that told him to bless Ephraim over Mennasseh (Gen 48:14). This is yet another picture of 1 splitting into 2 as Joseph begins to be represented in the adopting of his 2 sons into Israel.
We end off with reviewing the bride of the last days from last week, the 144 thousand, the 12 tribes of Israel restored. But as the result of sin as well ass the adoption of Joseph’s 2 sons we see the 12 tribes of Revelation look a little different than the 12 tribes of Genesis, Exodus or Numbers. To put it very simply, the last days’ list of tribes doesn’t have Dan or Ephraim listed. Could it be that one of those tribes is a source of anti-Messiah and the other is the one doing the restoring of all-Israel while waiting on the return of the Messiah so God can fulfill the Ezekiel 37 dry bones prophesy once-for-all?
Jacob & Esau & Edom
Jacob made a stew. Esau returns from hunting, exhausted and famished. When he sees the stew he exclaims, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished: therefore was his name called Edom.” The Hebrew is even more comical. He uses a verb more appropriate to describe “slopping the pigs.” In his desperation, he cannot quite formulate the word for soup, so he stammers around calling it, “red, red stuff.” “Quick, slop me some of that red, red stuff!” he begs.
Jacob, on the other hand, replies calmly and deliberately and in clear legal terms, “Sell me as this day (from this day on) your birthright.” There are no hidden terms, no fine print, and no deceitful bait-and-switch. It is a straightforward and honest offer.
Esau should have refused. He should have been insulted that Jacob would suggest such a sacrilege. Jacob asked him to forfeit everything that Abraham and Isaac had cherished—the entire covenant, the land of Canaan, the blessings and the promises, the future destiny of the nation, all for the price of a bowl of soup.
Instead of refusing the offer, Esau briefly considered it and accepted the terms. He said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” This was hyperbole. His life was not in danger; he was not about to die. He let his appetite dictate his will. His desire for red, red stuff, at the moment, outweighed the value of being Isaac’s firstborn. This is a picture of what mainstream christianity is becoming today! It is an example of what the Bible prophesied would happen in the last days!
Whenever we allow our appetites to rule us, we follow in the footsteps of Esau. A disciple of Jesus/ Yeshua should not let his desire for “red, red stuff” dictate his decisions. Opportunities to honor or despise his birthright in the kingdom pass before him on a daily basis. He is constantly placed in positions where he must decide between what he craves and what is right. A man controlled by his appetites is a godless man. All forms of materialism and greed fall into the same category. Some people desire power, control, and prestige. Others will find that physical addictions and substance abuse dictate their decisions in life. For many men and women, sexual temptation is the “red, red stuff” for which they are willing to compromise their spiritual birthright. All of these are signs of the spirit of Esau. The writer of the book of Hebrews warns us:
Let there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears. (Hebrews 12:16-17)
Disciples of Jesus/ Yeshua are supposed to be children of Jacob/ Israel, not children of Esau. Our animal nature should not rule us. We belong, not to our appetites, but to the Master. Our heads must rule our hearts: “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).
Esau accepted Jacob’s offer. The Hebrew of the Penteteuch/ Torah artfully describes Esau’s cavalier exit with a succinct series of one-word verbs: “He ate; he drank; he rose; he left, and he despised his birthright.”
EDOM = ADAM
We saw already how Esau was called ‘Edom‘ אדום because of his sin in selling his birthright in order to eat. This is the epitome of all sin, a momentary gratification that causes great damage to the sinner and those around him.
“Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord, looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it; lest there be any sexually immoral person, or profane person, like Esau, who sold his birthright for one meal. For you know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind though he sought it diligently with tears.”
Interestingly, Adam, whose name shares the shoresh (root) with Edom, also forfeited his inheritance through “eating” thus losing access to the Tree of Life,
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.”
EDOM = ROME = CHRISTIANITY
The Biblical patterns in the Bible of God hiding things is rampant (Proverbs 25:2)! Just like Joseph, Moses and Jesus were hidden in Egypt; Just like Jacob was hidden in Esau, the Jewish Messiah is hidden in christianity! Just like Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him dressed like an Egyptian, so too our brothers of Judah (the Jews) don’t recognize the Messiah because we have dressed Him up like a Roman.
In Jewish thought, Rome is synonymous with Christianity, that is, a system that conceals the Jewishness of Yeshua (Jesus). This is where Mashiach’s Name is hidden and is a prisoner. The idea of the imprisoned Messiah may be alluded to in Ecclesiastes:
“Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who doesn’t know how to receive admonition any more. For out of prison he came forth to be king, yes, even in his kingdom he was born poor.”Ecclesiastes 4:13-14
Edom links to Rome, based on a prophecy in Psalms that speaks of the children of Edom destroying the Temple as Rome did in 70 C.E.,
“Remember, O LORD, against the children of Edom, the day of Jerusalem; who said, ‘Raze it! Raze it even to its foundation!” Psalms 137:7
It could be argued that most of the burners of the 2nd temple weren’t actually Roman, but I digress. Even the Jewish sages of old say this themselves. Sefer Zerubbabel says the Jewish Messiah is imprisoned in Rome,
“He said to me, ‘Go to the “house of filth” near the market-district,’ and I went just as he had commanded me. He said to me, ‘Turn this way,’ and so I turned. He touched me, and then I saw a man (who was) despicable, broken down and in pain. That despicable man said to me: ‘Zerubbabel!? What business do you have here? Who has brought you here?’ I responded and said: ‘A wind from the Lord lifted me up and carried me to this place.’ He said to me: ‘Do not be afraid, for you have been brought here in order that He might show you (and then you in turn might inform the people of Israel about everything which you see).’ When I heard his words, I was consoled and regained my self-composure. I asked him, ‘Sir, what is the name of this place?’ He said to me, ‘This is mighty Rome, wherein I am imprisoned.’ I said to him, ‘Who then are you? What is your name? What do you seek here? What are you doing in this place?’ He said to me, ‘I am the Messiah of the L-rd, the son of Hezekiah confined in prison until the time of the End.’ Sefer Zerubbabel, translated by John C. Reeves 
As Jacob was cloaked in Esau, and Joseph and Moses were cloaked in Egypt, Messiah is hidden in christianity, but He is not part of the system. From a distance, he appears to be part of Rome, but he is actually on the outside of its gates, waiting for Israel and Judah to be ready to reunite (Ez 37). Isaiah speaks of this day,
“Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This who is glorious in his clothing, marching in the greatness of his strength? It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Isaiah 63:1
The Hebrew passage ends with what could ALMOST be translated as “Master Jesus, or Rabbi Jesus”. The Jewish sage Ramchal, R’ Moshe Chaim Luzzato, comments on this passage,
…ועתה הנני מפרש לך סוד אחד חתום מאד והוא מה שכתוב מי זה בא מאדום וגוי [ישעיה סג, א] וכל זה הוא הצדיק, והוא משיח בן יוסף
“I will explain to you a certain sod (mystery) which is completely sealed, and it concerns what is written, “Who is this who comes from Edom…’ . This is the [Righteous one], and he is [Messiah Son of Joseph].” Ramchal, Ma’amar HaGeulah, Secrets of the Redemption, Translated by R’ Mordecai Nissim, Feldheim Press, pg 118
Messiah Son of Joseph is what we call Jesus/ Yeshua because He was the suffering Messiah. Messiah Son of David is what we call Him when He returns because He will reign as king. And the Rabbi’s of old agree, in a way. The Midrash Rabbah says,
“SANCTIFY UNTO ME ALL THE FIRSTBORN (XIII, 1). R. Nathan said: The Holy One, blessed be He, told Moses: ‘ Just as I have made Jacob a firstborn, for it says: Israel is My son, My firstborn (Ex. 4:22) so will I make the King Messiah a firstborn, as it says: I also will appoint him firstborn (Ps. 89:28).” Exodus Rabbah 14:7, Soncino Press Edition
This agrees completely with the New Testament writings. Exodus Rabbah continues,
“God is in a way called ‘first’, as it says: ‘I am the first, and I am the last (Isa. 44:6).’ Zion is called ‘first’, as it says: ‘You throne of glory, on high from the first, you place of our sanctuary (Jer. 17:12). Esau was called ‘first’, for it says: ‘And the first came forth ruddy (Gen. 25:25)’, and Messiah is called ‘first’, for it says: ‘The first unto Zion will I give: Behold, behold them (Isa. 41:27).’ God who is called ‘the first’ will come and build the Temple which is also called ‘first’, and will exact retribution from Esau, also called ‘first’. Then will Messiah who is called ‘first’ will come in the first month, as it is said: THIS MONTH SHALL BE UNTO YOU THE BEGINNING OF MONTHS.” Exodus Rabbah 15:1, Soncino Press Edition
INDEED, Passover being in the first Biblical month (Lv 23:5), Jesus/ Yeshua became our Passover Lamb on the 14th day of the first month (Nissan 14), just as the Bible says. And just like the comments of the Rabbi’s suggest.
We hope you have enjoyed this week’s Bible study!
In the Hebrew Scriptures there are hidden aleph-tav’s [את] that aren’t usually translated into English. But they are very enlightening when we read them in the Hebrew. These are the ones we find in this week’s study:
Concerning the life of Jacob and Esau, in Gen 25:28, both Jacob and Esau have את symbols in front of their names in the beginning of their life together but the LAST time we see the את symbol used in front of Esau’s name in the Torah is in Gen 27:1, on the day Isaac calls to Esau to ask him to hunt him some savory meat so that he (Isaac) may bless Esau as the first born.
Once Jacob deceives Isaac and receives the first born blessing in Esau’s place, we NEVER see the את symbol in front of Esau’s name again in the Torah, even though it is used another 78 times but continues to be only in front of Jacobs name thereafter. The reasoning why Esau has no את symbols after Gen 27:1 is explained by Moses in Gen 25:34 so despised Esau his את birthright! Consequently, not only is it important to notice where the את is placed but also where the את is NOT placed.
Bible Study for Kids
It’s sometimes hard to make the Old Testament fun for kids. Try these Children’s activities:
For Deeper Language Learning
Hebrew “Word of the Week” by Hebrew4Christians.com
Greek “Greek of the Week”