The following is based on Genesis 21 – 25; Matthew 1:1-2; Luke 3:33-37 (Complete Jewish Bible and New International Version)
Keep remembering that the Bible was not meant to be a world history. It is a historical record of what happened in one family line. And though Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters after they were commanded to leave their perfect home in the Garden of Eden, the only “branch” on the family tree that is traced completely in the Bible is the lineage that runs from Seth to Jesus, son of Mary … Son of God.
So far we’ve seen this much of Adam and Eve’s family tree:
Adam and Eve ==> Seth ==> Noah ==> Shem ==> (Abram & Sarai) ==> Abraham and Sarah ==> Isaac
And this is where we left off:
Once again, as the descendants of Adam through the lineage of Noah’s three sons were spinning out of control and embracing EVIL, the Lord God STILL wanted RELATIONSHIP with GOOD people. He had promised Noah that the world would never again be destroyed by water, and God sealed that eternal promise with the sign of the rainbow. This time, He would approach the prospect in a slightly different way. He would adopt the family line of ONE CHOSEN PERSON as His own — the son whom He had miraculously created through the union of a man and woman who were assumed to be beyond the age of child bearing. Whoever favored this chosen son and his descendants
His name was Isaac.
I encourage you to read Genesis 21 and 22 to get a feel for the RELATIONSHIP between Abraham and the Lord God. And notice the promise to Abraham and to his only son, Isaac: “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this [was willing to sacrifice his son in obedience to God]and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:15-18, NIV)
“Descendants as numerous as the stars”? Abraham had to have wondered how this could possibly happen. But he trusted the God who made the promise. And that’s all that mattered.
Once again we’re going to avoid becoming sidetracked by details and stay focused on the lineage that brought us to the birth of Messiah, Jesus (Yeshua). Moving along through time, we find that Isaac eventually married an extended family member — Rebekah, granddaughter of Abraham’s brother, Nahor.
When Rebekah became pregnant with twins, “the Lord said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two people from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger’” (Genesis 25:23). If you read Genesis 25:27-34 and 27:1-41, you’ll be able to get a sense of the relationship between the two brothers. And just as Rebekah had been told, the older son Esau, ended up taking a back seat to his younger brother, Jacob — next in the direct line of ancestors to Jesus of Nazareth.
NOTE: Esau became the patriarch of a parcel of land called Edom. You can read more about him in Genesis 36. (Notice in verse 2 that Esau’s wives were descendants of Canaan. And remember that Noah placed a curse on Canaan, his grandson, because he was angry with his son, Ham — the father of Canaan. Find it in Genesis 9:18-27.)