Jacob and Esau

Main Points to Remember
  1. The decisions we make today affect our future in eternity.

    birthright: the first-born son's inheritance, which was greater than anyone else's

Prayer: Father, please help us value your gifts to us and not treat them as worthless

Lesson: Genesis 25:20-34

Activity: Make out slips of paper with the following items listed. (Make as many sets as needed for the size class). Pass out the slips to the students. Have them go around and try to trade with each other. Tell them to try to give away what is only temporarily valuable and try to get what is eternally valuable. Keep some of the eternally valuable ones with you so if their fellow students won't trade, they can get them from you. Then discuss what made some of them valuable and some not.

money Bible study entertainment church fame
family college education patience careers purity
house honesty power wisdom appearance
Object Lesson: (bring in something that looks kind of old or antique). You've heard stories about people selling old "junk" at yard sales that turn out to be very valuable. Why did they sell it? Most likely, they did not understand the value of the item. Or maybe they needed to get rid of it quickly. Either way, they often regret their decision when they realize what it could have done for them. In this lesson, Esau gives away his future for a bowl of stew. What kinds of things do people treat lightly today that have great effects on their future? (marriages, physical purity before marriage, family relationships, education, physical health, most important, their souls). A lot of people live for what they can have today. But our lives today are a preparation for a long, long future either in heaven or hell. Don't throw away that future for a fun time today!

Activity: Add Jacob and Esau to the family tree. Have the students use generic paper people (like Bible Friends) to illustrate the lesson. Name them and post them on a board, using yarn or dots to connect the family lines. A great source for OT family tree information is:

  1. Jacob and Esau shared the birthright since they were twins.   F
  2. Esau's birthright was something he had to wait for.    T
  3. Jacob valued the birthright more than Esau.     T
  4. Jacob tricked Esau.     F
  5. Esau was able to get his birthright back.    F
Memory Work
  • Genesis 25:27 "And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents."
Review Questions (can be used with gameboard)

 linguistic questions
  1. What is a birthright? (the inheritance of the first-born son. Includes leadership of the family)
  2. Unscramble this word_________  caboj
  3. Fill in the blanks:  Genesis 25:27 "And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning ____________, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in _________."
  activity questions
  1. Draw a quick picture of a bowl of stew.
  2. Act out Esau trading away his birthright.
  3. Sing a verse of Be careful little eyes.
  emotion questions
  1. What feelings did Esau use to excuse his trade? hunger to the point of death
  2. What feelings made Jacob demand the birthright? jealousy, greed
  3. How did Esau feel later about his trade? sorrowful and angry
application questions
  1. What things should we be careful not to give away? our purity, honesty, relationship with God, etc
  2. What things will Satan offer to trade us for our purity? fun, popularity, pleasure
  3. What is the most eternal possession we have? our soul
fact questions
  1. What did Jacob offer Esau? a bowl of lentil stew
  2. Did Esau value his birthright? no
  3. Did Esau ever get his birthright back? no
review questions
  1. Did Jacob love his brother? no
  2. Which son did Isaac favor? Esau
  3. Which son did Rebekah prefer? Jacob