Genesis 25:34
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

King James Bible
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jacob gave Esau bread and the dish of lentils; and he ate and drank, and rose up and went away. Thus Esau despised the birthright.

World English Bible
Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright.

Young's Literal Translation
and Jacob hath given to Esau bread and pottage of lentiles, and he eateth, and drinketh, and riseth, and goeth; and Esau despiseth the birthright.

Genesis 25:34 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Pottage of lentils - See note Genesis 25:29.

Thus Esau despised his birthright - On this account the apostle, Hebrews 12:16, calls Esau a profane person, because he had, by this act, alienated from himself and family those spiritual offices connected with the rights of primogeniture. While we condemn Esau for this bad action, (for he should rather have perished than have alienated this right), and while we consider it as a proof that his mind was little affected with Divine or spiritual things, what shall we say of his most unnatural brother Jacob, who refused to let him have a morsel of food to preserve him from death, unless he gave him up his birthright? Surely he who bought it, in such circumstances, was as bad as he who sold it. Thus Jacob verified his right to the name of supplanter, a name which in its first imposition appears to have had no other object in view than the circumstance of his catching his brother by the heel; but all his subsequent conduct proved that it was truly descriptive of the qualities of his mind, as his whole life, till the time his name was changed, (and then he had a change of nature), was a tissue of cunning and deception, the principles of which had been very early instilled into him by a mother whose regard for truth and righteousness appears to have been very superficial. See on Genesis 27 (note).

The death of Abraham, recorded in this chapter, naturally calls to mind the virtues and excellences of this extraordinary man. His obedience to the call of God, and faith in his promises, stand supereminent. No wonders, signs, or miraculous displays of the great and terrible God, as Israel required in Egypt, were used or were necessary to cause Abraham to believe and obey. He left his own land, not knowing where he was going, or for what purpose God had called him to remove. Exposed to various hardships, in danger of losing his life, and of witnessing the violation of his wife, he still obeyed and went on; courageous, humane, and disinterested, he cheerfully risked his life for the welfare of others; and, contented with having rescued the captives and avenged the oppressed, he refused to accept even the spoils he had taken from the enemy whom his skill and valor had vanquished. At the same time he considers the excellency of the power to be of God, and acknowledges this by giving to him the tenth of those spoils of which he would reserve nothing for his private use. His obedience to God, in offering up his son Isaac, we have already seen and admired; together with the generosity of his temper, and that respectful decency of conduct towards superiors and inferiors for which he was so peculiarly remarkable; see on Genesis 23 (note). Without disputing with his Maker, or doubting in his heart, he credited every thing that God had spoken; hence he always walked in a plain way. The authority of God was always sufficient for Abraham; he did not weary himself to find reasons for any line of conduct which he knew God had prescribed; it was his duty to obey; the success and the event he left with God. His obedience was as prompt as it was complete. As soon as he hears the voice of God, he girds himself to his work! Not a moment is lost! How rare is such conduct! But should not we do likewise? The present moment and its duties are ours; every past moment was once present; every future will be present; and, while we are thinking on the subject, the present is past, for life is made up of the past and the present. Are our past moments the cause of deep regret and humiliation? Then let us use the present so as not to increase this lamentable cause of our distresses. In other words, let us now believe-love-obey. Regardless of all consequences, let us, like Abraham, follow the directions of God's word, and the openings of his providence, and leave all events to Him who doth all things well.

See to what a state of moral excellence the grace of God can exalt a character, when there is simple, implicit faith, and prompt obedience! Abraham walked before God, and Abraham was perfect. Perhaps no human being ever exhibited a fairer, fuller portrait of the perfect man than Abraham. The more I consider the character of this most amiable patriarch, the more I think the saying of Calmet justifiable: "In the life of Abraham," says he, "we find an epitome of the whole law of nature, of the written law, and of the Gospel of Christ. He has manifested in his own person those virtues, for which reason and philosophy could scarcely find out names, when striving to sketch the character of their sophist - wise or perfect man. St. Ambrose very properly observes that 'philosophy itself could not equal, in its descriptions and wishes, what was exemplified by this great man in the whole of his conduct.' Magnus plane vir, quem votis suis philosophia non potuit aequare; denique minus est quod illa finxit quam quod ille gessit. The Law which God gave to Moses, and in which he has proposed the great duties of the law of nature, seems to be a copy of the life of Abraham. This patriarch, without being under the law, has performed the most essential duties it requires; and as to the Gospel, its grand object was that on which he had fixed his eye - that Jesus Whose day he rejoiced to see; and as to its spirit and design, they were wondrously exemplified in that faith which was imputed to him for righteousness, receiving that grace which conformed his whole heart and life to the will of his Maker, and enabled him to persevere unto death. 'Abraham,' says the writer of Ecclesiasticus, 44:20, etc., 'was a great father of many people: in glory was there none like unto him, who kept the law of the Most high, and was in covenant with him. He established the covenant in his flesh, and when he was tried he was found faithful.'" See Calmet.

As a son, as a husband, as a father, as a neighbor, as a sovereign, and above all as a man of God, he stands unrivalled; so that under the most exalted and perfect of all dispensations, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he is proposed and recommended as the model and pattern according to which the faith, obedience, and perseverance of the followers of the Messiah are to be formed. Reader, while you admire the man, do not forget the God that made him so great, so good, and so useful. Even Abraham had nothing but what he had received; from the free unmerited mercy of God proceeded all his excellences; but he was a worker together with God, and therefore did not receive the grace of God in vain. Go thou, believe, love, obey, and persevere in like manner.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry...

Isaiah 22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink...

1 Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantages it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink...

thus Esau.

Psalm 106:24 Yes, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:

Zechariah 11:13 And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver...

Matthew 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

Matthew 26:15 And said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

Luke 14:18-20 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground...

Acts 13:41 Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe...

Philippians 3:18,19 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ...

Hebrews 12:16,17 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright...

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

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

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

Cross References
Genesis 25:29
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.

Genesis 25:33
But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

Genesis 26:1
Now there was a famine in the land--besides the previous famine in Abraham's time--and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar.

Genesis 27:32
His father Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "I am your son," he answered, "your firstborn, Esau."

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