Jacob has been the main character in learning about God’s plan to save all people. Rachel, Jacob’s favored wife, bears a second son. Before dying in childbirth, she says to name him, “son of my sorrow”. But Jacob elevates this favored son by naming him Benjamin, “son of my right hand”. The sons of Rachel continue to be Jacob’s favored sons…and this favoritism ends up having bad consequences….next time….
The end of chapter 35 gives a list of Jacob’s sons. They become the 12 tribes of Israel. God works through them to establish His nation. Later, we learn that Yeshua/Jesus, the promised Savior, comes through the line of Judah (who is the fourth son of Leah). In Genesis 36, the whole chapter covers the descendants of Esau.
What I want to point out is that God does not only love and work through the primary character in His plan. God cares for all who will turn towards Him. Remember His care for Hagar and Ishmael? Notice at the end of chapter 25 that both Isaac and Ishmael have come to peace with one another and bury Abraham together. God has been working in Ishmael’s life. We also see this with Jacob and Esau…they come to peace, live next to each other and bury their father Isaac together. God has been working in Esau’s life…he is not the same hateful, greedy person as when Jacob fled from home.
This same message comes through in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son!
God honors Esau and his descendants by listing them in His Word, His book. God’s plan of salvation through His only begotten Son, Yeshua/Jesus, is for all people, all nations. He has another book, His book of life. All who choose His Son, to believe in and align with by committed faith in covenant with Him and follow Him, have their name written in that book. Be sure your name is in His Book of Life! Belong to Him!