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Genesis 25:24-26 New English Translation (NET Bible)

24 When the time came for Rebekah to give birth,[a] there were[b] twins in her womb. 25 The first came out reddish[c] all over,[d] like a hairy[e] garment, so they named him Esau.[f] 26 When his brother came out with[g] his hand clutching Esau’s heel, they named him Jacob.[h] Isaac was sixty years old[i] when they were born.


  1. Genesis 25:24 tn Heb “And her days were filled to give birth.”
  2. Genesis 25:24 tn Heb “look!” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to view the scene as if they were actually present at the birth.
  3. Genesis 25:25 sn Reddish. The Hebrew word translated “reddish” is אַדְמוֹנִי (ʾadmoni), which forms a wordplay on the Edomites, Esau’s descendants. The writer sees in Esau’s appearance at birth a sign of what was to come. After all, the reader has already been made aware of the “nations” that were being born.
  4. Genesis 25:25 tn Heb “all of him.”
  5. Genesis 25:25 sn Hairy. Here is another wordplay involving the descendants of Esau. The Hebrew word translated “hairy” is שֵׂעָר (seʿar); the Edomites will later live in Mount Seir, perhaps named for its wooded nature.
  6. Genesis 25:25 tn Heb “And they called his name Esau.” The name “Esau” (עֵשָׂו, ʿesav) is not etymologically related to שֵׂעָר (seʿar), but it draws on some of the sounds.
  7. Genesis 25:26 tn The disjunctive clause describes an important circumstance accompanying the birth. Whereas Esau was passive at birth, Jacob was active.
  8. Genesis 25:26 tn Heb “And he called his name Jacob.” Some ancient witnesses read “they called his name Jacob” (see v. 25). In either case the subject is indefinite.sn The name Jacob is a play on the Hebrew word for “heel” (עָקֵב, ʿaqev). The name (since it is a verb) probably means something like “may he protect,” that is, as a rearguard, dogging the heels. It did not have a negative connotation until Esau redefined it. This name was probably chosen because of the immediate association with the incident of grabbing the heel. After receiving such an oracle, the parents would have preserved in memory almost every detail of the unusual births.
  9. Genesis 25:26 tn Heb “the son of sixty years.”
New English Translation (NET)

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