Week 3: Isaac & Jacob

Progress After This Week

Reading & Summaries

READ: GENESIS 25:12-27:46

Isaac and Rebekah have twin boys: Esau and Jacob. Esau foolishly sells his birthright. God renews the covenant with Isaac. Isaac follows the example of his father and lies about his wife. Jacob deceived his father Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau.

Two Nations: Esau goes on to be the father of the nation of Edom. Jacob goes on to have twelve sons, who become the twelve tribes of Israel. One of the twelve sons, Judah, is the father of the Jews. Most of the Old Testament is about God’s special people, the nation of Israel.


Jacob is sent away to find a wife, but Esau marries two Canaanite women to spite his father. For the first time, God appears to Jacob and reaffirms the covenant with him. Jacob marries Leah and Rachel; they have children.


God causes Jacob to prosper. Jacob flees Laban.


On the night before he will confront his brother Esau, who he fears, Jacob wrestles with God. His name is changed to Israel. Jacob meets his brother in peace and makes an altar to God.

Wrestling With God: This mysterious event marks a significant change in Jacob’s life and relationship with God. Hosea explains, “He strove with the angel and prevailed; he wept and sought his favor” (Hosea 12:4). Today, we must still wrestle with God in prayer, weeping and seeking God’s favor. For God to use us, our will must be broken, and we must rise with a humble “limp.”


Jacob’s daughter Dinah is forcibly raped (a warning about intermingling with the wicked people of the land); her brothers Levi and Simeon take revenge. Jacob cleanses his household from idols and everything associated with the world and sin; God blesses Jacob and affirms that His name should be called Israel; Jacob worships God. Rachel and Isaac die and are buried. Esau’s descendants are listed (skim this portion).

Study Exercises

  1. What questions do you have about this week’s reading?
  2. The name “Jacob” means “deceiver.” What are two occasions in which Jacob lived up to his name?
  3. Isaac followed his father’s example of lying. Look up Ephesians 6:4 and Proverbs 22:6. How does it affect you to know that your children (if any) are likely to follow your example?
  4. Write a few paragraphs on what this week’s reading teaches us about the importance of choosing a Christian spouse. Consider the marriages of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau. What is the basis on which 2 Corinthians 6:14 forbids Christians to marry non-Christians? What does 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 teach us about someone who is already married to a non-Christian? How does Ephesians 5:22-33 help us to understand the sacredness of marriage?

Coming soon.