ESV - 23 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.
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Isaac fathered more than one son; twins, in fact. The custom of the day was for the first born male to receive a double portion of the inheritance and to succeed his father as the patriarchal leader of the clan. In the case of Esau, he should have received the covenant blessing as the first born. Yet before the twins were born, the Lord told their mother, " the older shall serve the younger"(Gen.25:23). This was not a mere prediction. This was the sovereign choice of God that, contrary to the custom, the younger boy would carry the covenant of Abraham. In Rom. 9:13,Paul corrects two misconceptions about God's covenant with Abraham. First, one cannot claim its promises merely because he or she carries his DNA. Of the patriarch's many sons- no less than eight- only one could claim legitimate right to the blessing. Second, only one received the blessings by virtue of God's choice not on the basis of merit and not on the basis of right of custom (which is the choice of men). Eventually, Jacob received the blessings instead of his brother Esau. Why? Because that is the way God chose to be. Lord elected Jacob though he was shameless schemer and deceiver who left a number of angry enemies in his wake. Eventually, Lord gave him a new name Israel, "strives with God".
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