The following is based on Genesis 25:19 – 36:43; 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 ==> Jacob
And this is where we left off:
At age 100, Abraham and his wife Sarah were surprised with a baby boy. They named him Isaac (a.k.a. “the promised son”). When Isaac grew up, he and his wife Rebekah were surprised with TWO infant boys — Esau and Jacob. When they grew into men, the younger twin outwitted the older and was given the birthright and blessing that should have gone to the first born. And just as God foretold before their birth, Jacob became the stronger brother. His descendants (Israel) became a stronger nation than that of Esau (Edom, in modern-day southern Jordan), and Esau’s descendants have collectively held a deadly grudge!
The RELATIONSHIP between the Lord God and Jacob grew stronger. But the RELATIONSHIP between Esau and Jacob was seriously damaged and remains shaky between their descendants to this day.
I encourage you to read about Jacob’s life from Genesis 25:19 through 32:32, and get a sense of how very blurred the lines were becoming between right and wrong, GOOD and EVIL.
Also notice TWO VERY IMPORTANT EVENTS:
1. Jacob became the father of 12 sons. (Genesis 29:31 – 30:24 and 35:16-18)
2. Jacob’s name was changed to ISRAEL! (Genesis 32:28)
From that moment on, the descendants of Jacob’s 12 sons would be collectively called the nation of ISRAEL.
Links to the rest of the series: