Old Testament

The Pentateuch

Did Isaac and Rebekah have children?

Yes, but not at first. Rebekah was barren. Isaac prayed to God to help Rebekah. God listened to Isaac, and Rebekah conceived twins. The twins struggled within her so much that she cried, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” (NRSV, Genesis 25:22) God explained to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” (NRSV, Genesis 25:23) When the twins were born, the first one came out red and hairy. He was named Esau, which is a playful term for “red.” The second one came out with his hand gripping Esau’s heel. This twin was named Jacob, which means “heel grabber.”


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