Jacob and Esau

Esau sells his inheritance for a bowl of red bean soup Genesis 25:30

Scripture: Genesis 25: 21 – 34 ; Genesis 27: 1 – 45 

Target Age Group:  1st through 6th grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.

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Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Genesis 25 or pages 48 – 52 in The Golden Children’s Bible.

(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)

Discussion:

  • What did God tell Rebekah about the baby she was going to have? There would be twins!  The older would serve the younger
  • What was the first baby’s name? Esau
  • How would you describe Esau?  He was hairy.  He liked to hunt.
  • What was the second baby’s name?  Jacob.
  • Can you describe Jacob? His skin was smooth.  He liked to stay home.
  • Which son was Abraham’s favorite?  And why? Esau.  Because he brought him meat.
  • Which son was Rebekah’s favorite?  Jacob
  • What did Jacob and Esau trade?  Esau gave his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
  • What is a birthright?  The inheritance of the first born son, including leadership of the family.
  • Do you think this was an even trade?  No.
  • How long would a birthright last?  The birthright would last for eternity.  It would affect them and their families forever. 
  • How long would a bowl of stew last?  The stew would only satisfy hunger for a few hours.
  • Do you think that the Lord was pleased with Esau for selling his birthright?  No.  He didn’t appreciate God’s blessings.
  • What did Isaac ask Esau to do?  To hunt some wild game and make him a meal so that he could give him the blessing.
  • What did Rebekah and Jacob do to get Isaac to give him the blessing? They tricked him by having Jacob pretend to be Esau.
  • Why didn’t Isaac recognize Jacob?  He was blind in his old age. Jacob had animal skins on his arms to make them hairy and  Esau’s clothes on to make him smell like Esau.
  • God had promised the blessing to Jacob before he was born.  Does this justify what Rebekah and Jacob did?  No.  They should have trusted God to work that out in his own way.
  • What did Esau say he would do to Jacob?  He would kill him.
  • Do you ever fight with your brothers and sisters?  Do you think that that pleases God? No
  • Do you think that Jacob deserved the blessing? No.  But, neither do we. We’re sinners, too.  But, God loves us anyway, and sent his Son to save us anyway, didn’t He.
  • What did Rebekah tell Jacob to do to avoid Esau’s anger? She said he should go to her brother Laban’s house until he stopped being angry.
  • Do you think that Rebekah was sad to send her favorite son away? Yes.  (She died before he came back, so she never saw him again.)
  • Do you think Jacob missed his family when he left?  Yes. He loved to be at home, so this would have been very hard for him.
  • What things should we be very careful never to give away? faith, purity, honesty, relationship with God, relationships with family, etc.
  • What do you think is the very most important thing that we have?  Our salvation and relationship with God.
  • What we do when we are young does often have everlasting consequences. Let’s pray and ask God to help us to make wise choices…

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During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

Matthew 16:26a “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” 

or

Romans 5:8  “But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

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Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story.  An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.

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Show a video of this story:

Video #1  from Crossroads Kids’ Club

Video #2

Video #3  (first part)

Video #4  This is a great idea for telling the story

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This is a great idea from Teaching Help.

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Bible Fun for Kids has some good ideas for acting out the story with the children.

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Here is another great lesson from Mission Bible Class.

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Have the children make the booklet “Jacob Makes Esau a Bowl of Soup” from Lambsongs.  (Scroll down.)

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Read the story “Jacob and Esau and the Very Expensive Bowl of Soup” and “Jacob Steals the Blessing” from Paul Dallgas Frey.

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Share this children’s sermon from sermons4kids.  Don’t forget the activities at the bottom of the page!

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Have the children fill out one of these worksheets from DLTK.

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Here is a page of activities from Bible Wise.

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This lesson from Ministry to Children has a creative way to tell the story.

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This lesson has a picture of Jacob and Esau that you might find useful.

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This is a great lesson from Crossroads Kids’ Club.

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Here is a game idea .

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Younger children would enjoy this Jacob and Esau paper doll craft idea.

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This lesson from Sunday School Sources has a wonderful object lesson.

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This lesson has several game ideas and activities.

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Sing: 

“I Saw Esau” by Mary Rice Hopkins from her “In the Beginning” album.  Get it at itunes.

“I’m Yours”  song from Crossroads Kids’ Club

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Evaluate what the children have learned.  While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.

Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.

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