New International Version
Jacob and Esau
19 This is the account(A) of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac.
21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless.(H) The Lord answered his prayer,(I) and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.(J)
23 The Lord said to her,
24 When the time came for her to give birth,(M) there were twin boys in her womb.(N) 25 The first to come out was red,(O) and his whole body was like a hairy garment;(P) so they named him Esau.[b](Q) 26 After this, his brother came out,(R) with his hand grasping Esau’s heel;(S) so he was named Jacob.[c](T) Isaac was sixty years old(U) when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter,(V) a man of the open country,(W) while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game,(X) loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.(Y)
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew,(Z) Esau came in from the open country,(AA) famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew!(AB) I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.[d])(AC)
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.(AD)”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew.(AG) He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.
Good News Translation
The Birth of Esau and Jacob
19 This is the story of Abraham's son Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebecca, the daughter of Bethuel (an Aramean from Mesopotamia) and sister of Laban. 21 Because Rebecca had no children, Isaac prayed to the Lord for her. The Lord answered his prayer, and Rebecca became pregnant. 22 She was going to have twins, and before they were born, they struggled against each other in her womb. She said, “Why should something like this happen to me?” So she went to ask the Lord for an answer.
23 (A)The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are within you;
You will give birth to two rival peoples.
One will be stronger than the other;
The older will serve the younger.”
24 The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons. 25 The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau.[a] 26 The second one was born holding on tightly to the heel of Esau, so he was named Jacob.[b] Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
Esau Sells His Rights as the First-Born Son
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who loved the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Isaac preferred Esau, because he enjoyed eating the animals Esau killed, but Rebecca preferred Jacob.
29 One day while Jacob was cooking some bean soup, Esau came in from hunting. He was hungry 30 and said to Jacob, “I'm starving; give me some of that red stuff.” (That is why he was named Edom.[c])
31 Jacob answered, “I will give it to you if you give me your rights as the first-born son.”
32 Esau said, “All right! I am about to die; what good will my rights do me?”
33 (B)Jacob answered, “First make a vow that you will give me your rights.”
Esau made the vow and gave his rights to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave him some bread and some of the soup. He ate and drank and then got up and left. That was all Esau cared about his rights as the first-born son.Read full chapter
Common English Bible
Jacob and Esau are born
19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham became the father of Isaac. 20 Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean and the sister of Laban the Aramean, from Paddan-aram. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, since she was unable to have children. The Lord was moved by his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 But the boys pushed against each other inside of her, and she said, “If this is what it’s like, why did it happen to me?”[a]
So she went to ask the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb;
two different peoples will emerge from your body.
One people will be stronger than the other;
the older will serve the younger.”
24 When she reached the end of her pregnancy, she discovered that she had twins. 25 The first came out red all over, clothed with hair, and she named him Esau. 26 Immediately afterward, his brother came out gripping Esau’s heel, and she named him Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when they were born.
Jacob acquires the oldest son’s rights
27 When the young men grew up, Esau became an outdoorsman who knew how to hunt, and Jacob became a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 Once when Jacob was boiling stew, Esau came in from the field hungry 30 and said to Jacob, “I’m starving! Let me devour some of this red stuff.” That’s why his name is Edom.[b]
31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright[c] today.”
32 Esau said, “Since I’m going to die anyway, what good is my birthright to me?”
33 Jacob said, “Give me your word today.” And he did. He sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 So Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew. He ate, drank, got up, and left, showing just how little he thought of his birthright.Read full chapter