Genesis 25: 9-26….The story selects a route.

These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

Comment: Before this in Genesis we have seen a route from Adam to Abraham – from Creation to the promise of a Messiah. After this we will follow a line through Isaac (the other children are not major in the OT) through Jacob (Israel) into the Patriarchs. Isaac, Abraham’s son and his wife are slow to, not by choice, to start a family. Isaac prays, a good thing to do, and continuing normal life Rebekah becomes pregnant. Presumably with the excessive movement of the twins inside her, she was concerned enough so that Rebekah prayed. And somehow or other she received a pretty detailed answer which gave an explanation of the excessive movement, and a predication that, against normal custom, the younger would be more powerful.

Medically the phrase ‘with his hand holding Esau’s heel’ raises questions for obstetricians. Babies normally come head first; breeches are a bit more difficult but relatively common; all other presentations, such as an extended arm coming first, are very complex and without considerable help lead to death of at least the baby or possibly mum as well. Is it a colloquialism or was there a gifted helper available? Both the mother and the two babies, Esau and Jacob, survived.

Prayer: Teach us to pray much, as we journey our way through life, please.

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