Genesis 25:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

King James Bible
And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to her, Two nations are in thy womb, And two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; And one people shall be stronger than the other people, And the elder shall serve the younger.

World English Bible
Yahweh said to her, "Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger."

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith to her, 'Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples from thy bowels are parted; and the one people than the other people is stronger; and the elder doth serve the younger.'

Genesis 25:23 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Two nations are in thy womb - "We have," says Bishop Newton, "in the prophecies delivered respecting the sons of Isaac, ample proof that these prophecies were not meant so much of single persons as of whole nations descended from them; for what was predicted concerning Esau and Jacob was not verified in themselves, but in their posterity. The Edomites were the offspring of Esau, the Israelites were of Jacob; and who but the Author and Giver of life could foresee that two children in the womb would multiply into two nations? Jacob had twelve sons, and their descendants were all united and incorporated into one nation; and what an overruling providence was it that two nations should arise from the two sons only of Isaac! and that they should be two such different nations! The Edomites and Israelites have been from the beginning two such different people in their manners, customs, and religion, as to be at perpetual variance among themselves. The children struggled together in the womb, which was an omen of their future disagreement; and when they grew up to manhood, they manifested very different inclinations. Esau was a cunning hunter, and delighted in the sports of the field; Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents - minding his sheep and his cattle. The religion of the Jews is well known; but whatever the Edomites were at first, in process of time they became idolaters. When Amaziah king of Judah overthrew them, he brought their gods, and set them up to be his gods. The king of Edom having refused a passage to the Israelites through his territories on their return from Egypt, the history of the Edomites afterwards is little more than the history of their wars with the Jews."

The one people shall be stronger than the other people - The same author continues to observe, that "for some time the family of Esau was the more powerful of the two, there having been dukes and kings in Edom before there was any king in Israel; but David and his captains made an entire conquest of the Edomites, slew several thousands of them, and compelled the rest to become tributaries, and planted garrisons among them to secure their obedience. In this state of servitude they continued about one hundred and fifty years, without a king of their own, being governed by deputies or viceroys appointed by the kings of Judah; but in the days of Jehoram they revolted, recovered their liberties, and set up a king of their own. Afterwards Amaziah, king of Judah, gave them a total overthrow in the valley of Salt; and Azariah took Elath, a commodious harbor on the Red Sea, from them. Judas Maccabeus also attacked and defeated them with a loss of more than twenty thousand at two different times, and took their chief city Hebron. At last Hyrcanus his nephew took other cities from them, and reduced them to the necessity of leaving their country or embracing the Jewish religion; on which they submitted to be circumcised, and become proselytes to the Jewish religion, and were ever afterwards incorporated into the Jewish Church and nation."

The elder shall serve the younger - "This passage," says Dr. Dodd, "serves for a key to explain the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, where the words are quoted; for it proves to a demonstration that this cannot be meant of God's arbitrary predestination of particular persons to eternal happiness or misery, without any regard to their merit or demerit - a doctrine which some have most impiously fathered on God, who is the best of beings, and who cannot possibly hate, far less absolutely doom to misery, any creature that he has made: but that it means only his bestowing greater external favors, or, if you please, higher opportunities for knowing and doing their duty, upon some men, than he does upon others; and that merely according to his own wise purpose, without any regard to their merits or demerits, as having a right to confer greater or smaller degrees or perfection on whom he pleases."

The doctrine of unconditional predestination to eternal life and eternal death cannot be supported by the example of God's dealings with Esau and Jacob, or with the Edomites and Israelites. After long reprobation the Edomites were incorporated among the Jews, and have ever since been undistinguishable members in the Jewish Church. The Jews, on the contrary, the elect of God, have been cut off and reprobated, and continue so to this day. If a time should ever come when the Jews shall all believe in Christ Jesus, which is a general opinion, then the Edomites, which are now absorbed among them, shall also become the elect. And even now Isaac finds both his children within the pale of the Jewish Church, equally entitled to the promises of salvation by Christ Jesus, of whom he was the most expressive and the most illustrious type. See the account of Abraham's offering, Genesis 22 (note).

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Two nations.

Genesis 17:16 And I will bless her, and give you a son also of her: yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations...

Genesis 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, You are our sister, be you the mother of thousands of millions...

two manner.

Genesis 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

Genesis 32:6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to your brother Esau, and also he comes to meet you...

Genesis 33:3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

Genesis 36:31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

Numbers 20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, Thus said your brother Israel...

the elder.

Genesis 27:29,40 Let people serve you, and nations bow down to you: be lord over your brothers, and let your mother's sons bow down to you...

2 Samuel 8:14 And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants...

1 Kings 22:47 There was then no king in Edom: a deputy was king.

1 Chronicles 18:13 And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David's servants. Thus the LORD preserved David wherever he went.

2 Chronicles 25:11,12 And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt...

Psalm 60:8,9 Moab is my wash pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph you because of me...

Psalm 83:5-15 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against you...

Isaiah 34:1-17 Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, you people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein...

Isaiah 63:1-6 Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel...

Jeremiah 49:7-22 Concerning Edom, thus said the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent...

Ezekiel 25:12-14 Thus said the Lord GOD; Because that Edom has dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended...

Ezekiel 35:1-15 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying...

Amos 1:11,12 Thus said the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof...

Obadiah 1:1-16 The vision of Obadiah. Thus said the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the LORD...

Malachi 1:2-5 I have loved you, said the LORD. Yet you say, Wherein have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? said the LORD...

Romans 9:10-13 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac...

Pottage Versus Birthright
Esau despised his birthright'--GENESIS xxv. 34. Broad lessons unmistakable, but points strange and difficult to throw oneself back to so different a set of ideas. So I. Deal with the narrative. Not to tell it over again, but bring out the following points:-- (a) Birthright.--What? None of them any notion of sacred, spiritual aspect of it. To all, merely material advantages: headship of the clan. All the loftier aspects gone from Isaac, who thought he could give it for venison, from Esau, and from
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jesus Heals Multitudes Beside the Sea of Galilee.
^A Matt. XII. 15-21; ^B Mark III. 7-12. ^a 15 And Jesus perceiving it withdrew ^b with his disciples ^a from thence: ^b to the sea [This was the first withdrawal of Jesus for the avowed purpose of self-preservation. After this we find Jesus constantly retiring to avoid the plots of his enemies. The Sea of Galilee, with its boats and its shores touching different jurisdictions, formed a convenient and fairly safe retreat]: ^a and many followed him; ^b and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Romans 9:12
not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger."

Genesis 17:4
"As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

Genesis 17:16
I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."

Genesis 25:24
When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.

Genesis 27:29
May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."

Genesis 27:33
Isaac trembled violently and said, "Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him--and indeed he will be blessed!"

Genesis 27:40
You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck."

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