Genesis 25:34 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 25:34, NIV: "Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright."

Genesis 25:34, ESV: "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright."

Genesis 25:34, KJV: "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright."

Genesis 25:34, NASB: "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and got up and went on his way. So Esau despised his birthright."

Genesis 25:34, NLT: "Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn."

Genesis 25:34, CSB: "Then Jacob gave bread and lentil stew to Esau; he ate, drank, got up, and went away. So Esau despised his birthright."

What does Genesis 25:34 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

With Esau's sworn oath that his birthright was now his brother's, Jacob delivers his part of this crazy deal (Genesis 25:29–31). He gives his brother bread and a bowl of what turns out to be lentil stew. We may have been picturing "red stew" as a meaty soup instead of a bowl of beans. Esau has sold his birthright for a bowl of bean soup, and Jacob has taken that birthright as his own. Through a combination of Esau's recklessness and Jacob's trickery, this has become an outrageously expensive arrangement for Esau.

If two children made such a lopsided deal these days, it's likely a parent would step in and reverse the trade, giving each child a stern talking to. But the deal made between these two full-grown men will stand, as we'll see in the following chapters. The swearing of an oath, in that era, was as binding as the signing of a modern written contract.

The chapter ends with what appears to be an obvious statement. Esau "despised" his birthright. He didn't hold it with the value it was worth, and did not take care to protect it. This choice will carry consequences for the rest of his life, and even into history (Hebrews 12:16).