Genesis 25:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 25:25, NIV: "The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau."

Genesis 25:25, ESV: "The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau."

Genesis 25:25, KJV: "And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau."

Genesis 25:25, NASB: "Now the first came out red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau."

Genesis 25:25, NLT: "The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau."

Genesis 25:25, CSB: "The first one came out red-looking, covered with hair like a fur coat, and they named him Esau."

What does Genesis 25:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Rebekah sought out an answer from God, concerned about her unusually difficult pregnancy (Genesis 25:22). The "struggle" she felt was not normal, and she almost certainly did not know she was bearing twins. Her answer came in the form of a prophetic poem, indicating that there were two "nations" in her womb (Genesis 25:23). In verses 25 and 26, the meaning of this statement will become clearer to Isaac and Rebekah.

The first of Isaac's and Rebekah's twin boys emerges both red and hairy. It's unclear if the "redness" refers to a ruddy complexion or to his hair color, or possibly both. Red was often associated with "ruggedness," or manliness, and this child will grow into a stereotypically masculine figure (Genesis 25:27). His hairiness, at least at birth, is so remarkable as to establish the name given to him: Esau. The Hebrew root se'ar refers to hair or hairiness. The name E'sav, then, suggests a hairy fellow.

Esau's younger brother is born in the next verse. Jacob's unique birth also gives him his name and predicts his character. Jacob will be a quiet, indoor man, and also known for trickery: he's both literally and figuratively a "leg puller."