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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Genesis 25:19-34, 27, 28

Story Summary

Isaac and Rebekah had twins named Esau and Jacob.  Isaac was close to Esau, but Rebekah was closer to Jacob. Esau was the oldest and was supposed to inherit all the birthrights from his father. "The boys grew up. Esau became a skillful hunter. He was a man who liked the open country. But Jacob was a quiet man. He stayed at home among the tents." Genesis 25:27 

One day, Jacob was cooking a meal when Esau came home, hungry, from a long day of hunting. Jacob told his brother he'd give him food, on the condition that Esau give Jacob the rights of the firstborn (which meant Esau was due to get a larger plot of land than Isaac). Esau must have been really hungry, because he agreed.

Even though Esau gave up his larger plot of land, he was still due to receive his father's blessing as the firstborn, which meant he would get a larger inheritance. Later on in life, Isaac was old and could hardly see. Esau was a hairy guy, so Jacob put on some animal fur and tricked his dad into giving him the blessing meant for his brother. Rebekah gave him the idea since she loved Jacob more than Esau.

Jacob tricked both his older brother and his father and essentially became the firstborn son - by deception. Jacob fled to live with his Uncle Laban out of fear of Esau. He met Rachel and Leah (his future wives) there. God later called him to return to his homeland.

On the way back to meet Esau and ask for forgiveness, he had a dream, in which he struggled with God. During the dream, God changed his name to Israel.

His twelve sons became the twelve tribes of Israel. (We will learn more about them in the next couple weeks).

What You Will Need

Animal skin or fur to demonstrate Jacob's deception
Snack Suggestion

Resource Sheet

Jacob and Esau Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts Esau trading his birthrights for a bowl of stew


1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

What is your favorite food? Have you ever been so hungry that you would give up your favorite toy forever for that food?

In our Bible story today, Esau gave up something very important for a bowl of stew.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, ready story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Genesis 25:27-34

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Why was Esau so hungry? (He has been out hunting.)
  • What did he give up for the stew? (His birthright. This is his rights to the double portion of his father’s property. It also included his authority over the other members in the family.)
  • Why was Esau going to get his father’s blessing, but not Jacob? (He was the firstborn)
  • How did Jacob trick his father? (pretending he was hairy, like Esau)
  • Who helped Jacob trick Isaac? (Rebekah)
  • What happened when Esau found out? (He was angry, so Jacob had to leave)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • Do you ever have a hard time waiting for something? Sometimes we have to say no to ourselves when we want something really great right now so we don't do something silly to get it.

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray. Matthew 21:22

Reinforcement Activities

Clay Stew Bowl

Heads up! can make clay ahead of time, or with students

Scripture One day Jacob was cooking some stew. Esau came in from the open country. He was very hungry. Genesis 25:29

Supplies 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 3/4 cups water, food coloring, optional

  • Mix flour and 1 cup salt in a large bowl.
  • Add 1 and 3/4 cups of warm water to the flour/salt mixture.
  • Knead the clay dough for about 10 minutes.
  • Form into the shape of a bowl.
  • Allow to dry. Drying time will depend on thickness of the bowl.
  • Can be painted or colored with permanent markers.

Making Soup

Heads up! Can make most ahead of time and just add some veggies. This will allow it to be warm in time to eat.

Scripture One day Jacob was cooking some stew. Esau came in from the open country. He was very hungry. Genesis 25:29

Supplies canned carrots, potatoes, celery, green beans, etc, chicken broth

  • Students can use plastic knives to cut canned vegetables before adding to chicken broth
  • Add to soup in crockpot already heated. Provide containers for them to take home or enjoy a meal with parents after class!

Jacob and Esau Puppets

Supplies Paper Baps, Cotton wool, googly eyes, paper, scissors, glue, textas

  • Decorate the bottom of 2 paper bags to look like Jacob and Esau's faces.
  • For Esau use the cotton wool to make him hairy
Jacob and Esau Puppets Example

Twin Painting

Scripture The time came for Rebekah to have her babies. There were twin boys in her body Genesis 25:24

Supplies paper, white or light brown paint, paint brushes, person outline

  • Fold paper in half.
  • Trace an outline of a person on one half of the paper.
  • Paint inside of outline with white or light brown paint.
  • Apply paint fairly thick, so it does not dry before you can make the print.
  • Fold paper again and allow paint to make a "twin" print on other side of fold. Allow prints to dry.
Twin Painting Example

Paper plate faces

Scripture The boys grew up. Esau became a skillful hunter. He was a man who liked the open country. But Jacob was a quiet man. He stayed at home among the tents. Genesis 25:27

Supplies paper plates, one per student glue, dried coffee grounds

  • Make paper plates with a face on each side.
  • On one side, add glue and lightly sprinkle coffee grounds to look like hair, for Esau.
  • The other will be for Jacob.
  • Have students turn plate to show who the story is talking about as story is read.

Soup pictures

Scripture One day Jacob was cooking some stew. Esau came in from the open country. He was very hungry.30 He said to Jacob, "Quick! Let me have some of that red stew! I'm very hungry!" Genesis 25:29-30

Supplies vegetable pictures, paper bowls, one per child

  • Cut out pictures of vegetables from magazines or print online.
  • Glue to paper bowl.
  • Have students glue pictures to paper bowls to make soup.

Bow and Arrow

Scripture The boys grew up. Esau became a skillful hunter. He was a man who liked the open country. Genesis 25:27

Supplies string, sticks, rubber band

  • Esau was a hunter.
  • Make bow and arrows using sticks and string or rubber band.

Name Acrostic

Scripture "Your name will not be Jacob anymore. Instead, it will be Israel. You have struggled with God and with men. And you have won." Genesis 32:28

Supplies paper, pencils or pens

  • Have students make acrostics using their names.
  • What does the acrostic say about who you are?
  • Example: (Ruth) R-reliable, U-understanding, T-thankful, H-helpful
  • Names were important in the Bible. God changed people's names after a significant encounter with Him.
  • He changed Abram's name to Abraham. Abraham means "father of nations"
  • God changed Jacob's name to Israel. Israel means "One who struggles with God"