Esau Burdened His Family

Genesis 26:34-35 – When Esau was forty years old, he took Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.

 In Genesis 25, just a chapter ago, we saw the birth of Isaac’s two sons – Jacob and Esau – who quarreled from the time they were in the womb. (Side note: this is one of many instances throughout the Bible that prove children are human people starting inside the womb). We also read that Esau did not love God and gave away his birthright, a huge honor especially in that culture, for a simple bowl of soup.

Here, after a lengthy story about God blessing Isaac before Isaac fails a test similar to one his dad failed, the chapter ends with a seemingly brief statement added about Isaac’s oldest son, Esau.

Like his dad, Isaac, Esau married at the age of 40. But, unlike Isaac, he married two godless women rather than one godly woman. Esau’s impetuous and foolish decision-making that began with him foregoing his birthright apparently continued and was a “source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah”.

The text leaves us to wonder why Isaac didn’t devise a wise plan to choose a wife for his son as Isaac’s father Abraham had for him, but ultimately shows that an adult child makes their own decisions, which can impact families, generations, and legacies. Even though both Jacob and Esau were born into the same God-loving household to God-fearing parents, they went two separate directions on the spectrum of following in their parents’ footsteps.

We will learn more about how this plays out in the coming chapters of Genesis.

 Who do you know that is a burden rather than a blessing? Think of ways you can bless others, not burden them.

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