27 When the boys grew up, Esau was an able and skilled hunter, a man of the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet and peaceful man, living in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved [and favored] Esau, because [a]he enjoyed eating his game, but Rebekah loved [and favored] Jacob. 29 Jacob had cooked [reddish-brown lentil] stew [one day], when Esau came from the field and was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please, let me have a quick swallow of that red stuff there, because I am exhausted and famished.” For that reason Esau was [also] called Edom (Red). 31 Jacob answered, “First sell me your [b]birthright (the rights of a firstborn).” 32 Esau said, “Look, I am about to die [if I do not eat soon]; so of what use is this birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear [an oath] to me today [that you are selling it to me for this food]”; so he swore [an oath] to him, and sold him his birthright. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and got up and went on his way. In this way Esau scorned his birthright.
Genesis 25:31In later times, this was the right of the firstborn to take over as head of the family and to receive a double share of the inheritance (cf Deut 21:17). The rewards given to Jacob appear to have been even greater (Gen 27:37). Furthermore, in Jewish tradition it was reported that before the tabernacle was set up, sacrifices were offered by the firstborn of a family.
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