Abraham died after 175 years, and was buried in Machpelah in the same cave as Sarah. Then the story shifts to Isaac. While Isaac’s story seems the most brief in comparison to the other patriarchs, Abraham and Jacob, it does have some interesting twists and turns. Rebekah was barren, and Isaac prayed to God for a child. She conceived, and felt that something was not right. God revealed to her that she was carrying twins, that they were struggling within her, and that they would be two nations.
One of the nations, descended from Esau, the oldest twin, was the Edomites, which meant “Red.” The other nation, descended from Jacob, the younger twin, was the Israelites. Esau was red and hairy, and Jacob reached out of the womb and grabbed his heel. These traits and actions were that basis for their names. The oldest son was a hunter, and his father loved him. Jacob was a gentle man, and his mother loved him.
This craftiness and manliness of two brothers led to contention and hurt over the years. Esau’s nation would always be at odds with Jacob’s, but not to the degree as that of the Ishmaelites and the Midianites. We need to find a way to make family work. There are too many family feuds and divisions, and grudges, and water under the bridge. May God help us to move beyond our differences and frustrations to find true conciliation and love that transcends individual tastes and preferences. God can bridge those gaps!