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.

Onkelos Genesis 25:27


25 And the first came forth red, all of him as a garment (covering) of hair; and they called his name Esau. 26 And afterwards came forth his brother, and his hand grasped the heel of Esau, and they called his name Jakob. And Izhak was sixty years old when he begat them. 27 And the youths grew; and Esau was a man of idleness, a man going out into the field; and Jakob was a man of peace, a minister of the schoolhouse. 28 And Izhak loved Esau, because he ate of his hunting, and Rivekah loved Jakob.

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.

 Notes and References

"... what did the Bible mean by describing Jacob as 'dwelling in tents'? Interpreters were struck by the plural tents here—does a person need more than one tent to dwell in? If the word appears in the plural, it must have been intended as a subtle hint that, in addition to staying in his own tent, Jacob also regularly spent time, 'dwelt,' in another tent. And what sort of tent might that be, if not that of a schoolteacher who could instruct the boy in reading and writing? Perhaps, indeed, the other tent was a full-blown schoolhouse of Jewish learning. (Such apparent anachronisms were, curiously, not a problem for ancient interpreters.) ..."

Kugel, James L. The Bible as it Was (p. 201) Harvard University Press, 1998

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.