The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
  • Included in Naves: No
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: No
  • Included in Strongs: No
  • Included in Thayers: No
  • Included in BDB: No
Easton's Bible Dictionary

Hairy, Rebekah's first-born twin son (Genesis 25:25). The name of Edom, "red", was also given to him from his conduct in connection with the red lentil "pottage" for which he sold his birthright (30, 31). The circumstances connected with his birth foreshadowed the enmity which afterwards subsisted between the twin brothers and the nations they founded (25:22, 23, 26). In process of time Jacob, following his natural bent, became a shepherd; while Esau, a "son of the desert," devoted himself to the perilous and toilsome life of a huntsman. On a certain occasion, on returning from the chase, urged by the cravings of hunger, Esau sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob, who thereby obtained the covenant blessing (Genesis 27:28, 29, 36; Hebrews 12:16, 17). He afterwards tried to regain what he had so recklessly parted with, but was defeated in his attempts through the stealth of his brother (Genesis 27:4, 34, 38).

At the age of forty years, to the great grief of his parents, he married (Genesis 26:34, 35) two Canaanitish maidens, Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Bashemath, the daughter of Elon. When Jacob was sent away to Padan-aram, Esau tried to conciliate his parents (Genesis 28:8, 9) by marrying his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. This led him to cast in his lot with the Ishmaelite tribes; and driving the Horites out of Mount Seir, he settled in that region. After some thirty years' sojourn in Padan-aram Jacob returned to Canaan, and was reconciled to Esau, who went forth to meet him (33:4). Twenty years after this, Isaac their father died, when the two brothers met, probably for the last time, beside his grave (35:29). Esau now permanently left Canaan, and established himself as a powerful and wealthy chief in the land of Edom (q.v.).

Long after this, when the descendants of Jacob came out of Egypt, the Edomites remembered the old quarrel between the brothers, and with fierce hatred they warred against Israel.

Hitchcock's Names Dictionary

he that acts or finishes

Naves Topical Index

Eldest of twin sons born to Isaac and Rebekah.

Birth of
Genesis 25:19-26; 1 Chronicles 1:34

Called Edom
Genesis 36:1; Genesis 36:8

A hunter
Genesis 25:27-28

Beloved by Isaac
Genesis 25:27-28

Sells his birthright for a mess of pottage
Genesis 25:29-34; Malachi 1:2; Romans 9:13; Hebrews 12:16

Marries a Hittite
Genesis 26:34

His marriage to, a grief to Isaac and Rebekah
Genesis 26:35

Polygamy of
Genesis 26:34; Genesis 28:9; Genesis 36:2-3

Is defrauded of his father's blessing by Jacob
Genesis 1:27; Hebrews 11:20

Meets Jacob on the return of the latter from Haran
Genesis 33:1

With Jacob, buries his father
Genesis 35:29

Descendants of
Genesis 1:36; 1 Chronicles 1:35-54

Enmity of descendants of, toward descendants of Jacob
Obadiah 1:10-14

Ancestor of Edomites
Jeremiah 49:8

Mount of Edom, called Mount of Esau
Obadiah 1:8-9; Obadiah 1:18-19; Obadiah 1:21

His name used to denote his descendants and their country
Deuteronomy 2:5; Jeremiah 49:8; Jeremiah 49:10; Obadiah 1:6

Prophecies concerning
Obadiah 1:18

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(hairy), the eldest son of Isaac, and twin-brother of Jacob. The singular appearance of the child at his birth originated the name. (Genesis 25:25) Esau's robust frame and "rough" aspect were the types of a wild and daring nature. He was a thorough Bedouin, a "son of the desert." He was much loved by his father, and was of course his heir, but was induced to sell his birthright to Jacob. Mention of his unhappy marriages may be found in (Genesis 26:34) The next episode in the life of Esau is the loss of his father's covenant blessing, which Jacob secured through the craft of his mother, and the anger of Esau, who vows vengeance. (Genesis 27:1) ... Later he marries a daughter of Ishm'l, (Genesis 28:8,9) and soon after establishes himself in Mount Seir, where he was living when Jacob returned from Padan-aram rich and powerful, and the two brothers were reconciled. (Genesis 33:4) Twenty years thereafter they united in burying Isaac's body in the cave of Machpelah. Of Esau's subsequent history nothing is known; for that of his descendants see EDOM, IDUM'A OR IDUMEA.