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- Looks like a happy family now. But there was a problem - both parents played favorites. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob. As their family story unfolded, we can see problems of sibling rivalry. First, they struggled over the issue of birthright (Genesis 25: 29-34). Esau ended up selling his birthright to Jacob in exchange for some bread and lentil stew. Then, when old, blind Isaac called for Esau to pass on to him his blessings before he dies, Jacob, through the prodding of Rebekah, beats Esau to the blessing by pretending to be Esau and tricking his father, Isaac (Genesis 27:1-40). How remorseful and bitter Esau was for having lost to Jacob his birthright and his father's blessings, too.
Esau was so angry at Jacob that he promised to kill his brother after his father dies. Rebekah knew about it and told Jacob to flee with Isaac's consent causing them (mother and son and brothers) to be separated from each other for a long, long time. It was only after 20 years that both brothers reconciled. How sad to have spent 20 years away from family because of sibling rivalry!
- Genesis 25