Hendrick Terbrugghen “Esau Selling His Birthright” c. 1625
Oil on canvas, 95 x 116 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin – Visit the Web Gallery of Art http://www.wga.hu
Within the womb of Rebecca, the twins Jacob and Esau struggle in strife—sign of the same evils that will beset future generations of the human family. Within the flow of God’s gracious covenant and the responses on the part of our patriarchs, there are the shadows of selfishness and greed. Witness the tension between instant gratification, and patient waiting to fuller revelation, as described in Esau’s selling his future destiny so that he could have his stomach filled in the present. Find the points of identification with these figures portrayed as so very frail and human, though at the same time touched by God with wondrous plans for the future.
Are there future possibilities you are compromising by being obsessed with some immediate desire that presses on you for satisfaction?
Free us, Lord, from fam’ly strife.
Born again in Your kingdom 25:33
Content with what You offer 26:2
Obeying the voice of God 26:5
Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.