Genesis 25:27

Hebrew Bible

25 The first came out reddish all over, like a hairy garment, so they named him Esau. 26 When his brother came out with his hand clutching Esau’s heel, they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born. 27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled hunter, a man of the open fields, but Jacob was an even-tempered man, living in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for fresh game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Jubilees 19:14


13 and [2046 A.M.] Jacob was a smooth and upright man, and Esau was fierce, a man of the field, and hairy, and Jacob dwelt in tents. 14 And the youths grew, and Jacob learned to write; but Esau did not learn, for he was a man of the field and a hunter, and he learnt war, and all his deeds were fierce. 15 And Abraham loved Jacob, but Isaac loved Esau.

Genesis Rabbah 63:11


..."...And the youths grew up" (Bereishit 25:27). Rabbi Levi made an analogy to a myrtle and wild rosebush which grew next to each other; when they had grown, one gave forth scent and the other thorns. So too with these, for thirteen years they both went to school (beit hasefer) and came back from school, but after thirteen years this one went to study-houses (batei midrashot) and this one went to idolatrous temples (batei avodat kochavim). Rabbi Elazar said, until thirteen years a person needs to take care of their children - from this age onwards, they need to say "Blessed is the one who has exempted me from the punishment of this one." "And Eisav was a man who knew how to hunt..." (ibid.) - he trapped people with his mouth; "you didn't steal?! Who stole with you? You didn't kill?! Who killed with you?" Rabbi Abahu said, robber [is the same as] hunter. He hunted in the house and in the field; in the house he said "How do you tithe salt?" and in the field "how do you tithe straw?" Rabbi Chiya said, he made himself ownerless like a field. Yisrael said before the Holy Blessed One, "Master of all universes: is it not enough for us that we are subjugated by the seventy nations - must we also be subjugated by this one, who is penetrated like women?" The Holy Blessed One said to them, "Even I will come in language [?], I will be revenged upon them." Behold it is written, "And the heart of the heroes of Edom was on that day like the heart of a woman in labour" (Yirmiyahu 49:22). "But Ya'akov was a simple man, a dweller in tents..." (Bereishit 25:27) - two tents, the study-house of Shem and the study-house of Ever. "And Yitzchak loved Eisav, for game was in his mouth..." (Bereishit 25:28) a good piece of meat for his mouth, a good cup of wine for his mouth. "And Rivka loved Ya'akov..." (ibid.) - every time she heard his voice she would add love to her love.

 Notes and References

"... Esau is not only “a man of the field” but also a “hunter” (Jubilees 19:14; compare Genesis 25:27) and one who “learned (the art of) warfare” (Jubilees 19:14). The mention that he was “harsh” is repeated (Jubilees 19:14), and in contrast to Jacob it is said that Esau did not learn the art of writing (Jubilees 19:14). Jacob “learned (the art of) writing” (Jubilees 19:14), which might be an elaboration of the remark that “Jacob dwelt in tents” (Jubilees 19:13d; Genesis 25:27d) ... Compare Genesis Rabbah 63:11: “Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents: in two tents, namely in the academy of Shem and the academy of Eber.” Targum Onqelos Genesis 25:27: “Jakob was a man peaceful in his works, a minister in the house of instruction.” ..."

van Ruiten, J. Abraham in the Book of Jubilees: The Rewriting of Genesis 11:26-25:10 in the Book of Jubilees 11:14-23:8 (p. 242) Brill, 2012

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