Friday, November 13, 2009

Brothers Jacob and Esau, Isaac and Ishmael

By Mary Vee

Genesis 25:7-11 and 27-28

Isaac and Rebekah's sons grew to be healthy, young men. Even though they grew up together in the same home they liked to do different things.

Esau grabbed his bow one morning. "Mom, I'm going hunting."

"OK, Son. Can you bring something back for supper?"

"Sure, no problem."

Jacob watched his brother head out to the fields. "I'm glad he likes to hunt. I'd rather tend sheep and fix things around the tents. There's so much to do!"

Then again, Esau and Jacob were boys!

"Dad! I can't find my bow anywhere. Make Jacob give it back."

While Jacob snickered, Esau grabbed Jacob's shepherd staff, climbed the tree and hooked it to a high branch. "That will show him."

"Give me back my staff, Esau."

"Not until you give me my bow."

As the years passed, Esau noticed how much his dad liked eating the meat he hunted. This made him want to hunt for the best no matter how long it took.

Jacob noticed how much his mom appreciated the way he took care of the sheep and how he fixed things around the tents right away.

Still, they were brothers.

In the early evenings Rebekah complained to Isaac. "Those boys are driving me crazy. Do you know what Esau did? He tied branches to the tails of the sheep with vines. It took Jacob all morning to untangle them. And Jacob. He took the skin Esau left hanging to dry, draped it over himself and jumped out from behind that tree. Esau nearly shot him with an arrow."

"There, there, Dear. Their fifteen."

"They may not live to be sixteen."

A few days later one of Abraham's servants arrived with a message. "Master, your father, Abraham, became ill. He died in his sleep last night."

Isaac lowered his head and wiped a tear. "Does my brother Ishmael know?"

"Another servant took him the message last night."

Isaac and his family left immediately for his father's home. Ishmael arrived a few hours later.

Isaac walked out to greet him. "How are you, my brother?"

"As well as could be expected. And you?"


Together they visited their father. They held his hand and said "Good bye."

Isaac turned to Ishmael. "Father would want to be buried next to Sarah."

"Yes, I agree. Let's leave first thing in the morning."

Esau and Jacob helped prepare the wagon. They sat by the fire after dinner and listened to Isaac and Ishmael. They mourned and laughed at family stories late into the evening.

Early the next morning, Isaac, Ishmael and several servants ate breakfast and gathered a few last things for the journey to bury their father.

Esau and Jacob ran after them. "Dad, can we go?"

Isaac looked at Ishmael. "Well?"

Ishmael nodded. "Up to you."

"OK, but, I want to spend time talking with my brother, Ishmael."

Sometimes family members grow up and move to different places. They still care about each other even though they're apart. God blessed both Isaac and Ishmael since they were Abraham's sons, but God chose Isaac to continue the job and receive the blessings He gave to Abraham.

Jacob and Esau liked different things. In the stories to come, we'll see God's plan for both Jacob and Esau. How are you different from your brother, sister, cousin, or friend?

I live far from my brother and sisters. God asked me to tell Bible stories. What do you think God wants you to do?


  1. God wants me to be a worker.Austin

  2. I am diffrent from my older brother because he likes WAR!!!I love PEACE!!!AndI think God wants me to teach Gods word too.from Jade


We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!