Genesis 25:22

Hebrew Bible

20 When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 But the children struggled inside her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she asked the Lord, 23 and the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples will be separated from within you. One people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” 24 When the time came for Rebekah to give birth, there were twins in her womb.

Hosea 12:3

Hebrew Bible

1 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind; he chases the east wind all day; he multiplies lies and violence. They make treaties with Assyria and send olive oil as tribute to Egypt. 2 The Lord also has a covenant lawsuit against Judah; he will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds. 3 In the womb he attacked his brother; in his manly vigor he struggled with God. 4 He struggled with an angel and prevailed; he wept and begged for his favor. He found God at Bethel, and there he spoke with him! 5 As for the Lord God Almighty, the Lord is the name by which he is remembered!

 Notes and References

"... In Genesis 25:22 the expression is 'inside her.' That account uses a different verb for the intrauterine struggle. Perhaps a different stream of tradition flowed to Hosea. Little of Genesis 25 is attributed to E, generally supposed to be the northern recension. It does occur in Genesis 25:23, the oracle, where the parallelism suggests that it may mean '(they will be separated) from your belly.' If Hosea 12 uses the same idiom, then it means 'from the belly,' that is, after birth; compare Job 3:11. According to Genesis 25:26, Jacob was born after Esau, with 'his hand seizing Esau's heel.' While this seizing could describe his first observed action after birth, which those present would watch as a significant omen, the impression is given that he came out that way; having clutched Esau's heel in the womb before birth, he would not let go. His tenacity was manifested from the beginning, and his refusal to let go of the person at Penuel so long afterward was entirely in character ..."

Andersen, Francis I., and David Noel Freedman Hosea: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (p. 607) Doubleday, 1980

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