Genesis 25:31

And Jacob said, Sell me this day your birthright.
Read Chapter 25

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Reason would then curtail the attractions of gluttony and the other excessive desires and would check the passions and emotions of the body. Therefore temperance comes before correction and is the mistress of learning. Proceeding from it, holy Jacob received from his brother the primacy that he had not possessed; by his agreement to that preference, Esau taught for the future that those who do not govern their own selves are worthless in judgment. .

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
I have already put it to your holinesses yesterday that the reason why the elder son is called Esau is that no one becomes spiritual without first having been “of the flesh” or materialistic. But if they persist in “the mind of the flesh,” they will always be Esau. If, however, they become spiritual, they will then be the younger son. But then the junior will be the senior; the other takes precedence in time, this one in virtue. Before it ever came to this blessing, Esau had longed to have the lentils Jacob had cooked. And Jacob said to him, “Give me your birthright, and I will give you the lentils I have cooked.” He sold his right as firstborn to his younger brother. He went off with a temporary satisfaction; the other went off with a permanent honor. So those in the church who are slaves to temporary pleasures and satisfactions eat lentils—lentils that Jacob certainly cooked but that Jacob did not eat. Idols, you see, flourished more than anywhere else in Egypt; lentils are the food ...

Basil the Great

AD 379
This vice of gluttony delivered Adam up to death; by the pleasure of the appetite consummate evil was brought into the world. Through it Noah was mocked, Canaan was cursed, Esau was deprived of his birthright and married into a Canaanite family. Lot became his own soninlaw and fatherinlaw, by marrying his own daughter. .

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Sell me. He had been informed by his mother, that God had transferred the birth-right to him; and, therefore, he takes this opportunity to obtain the consent of Esau quietly. The latter, who knew nothing of God's decree, showed his little regard for that privilege. (Haydock) He perhaps intended to assert his claim by force, notwithstanding this agreement. (Menochius) It is not probable that he could plead in earnest, that he was famishing in the midst of his father's house. (Du Hamel) The birth-right was a temporal honour; though some assert, that the office of priesthood belonged also to it. This, however, does not seem to be certain; for we find Abel, Abraham, and other younger children offering sacrifice. The first-born were entitled to a double portion, (Deuteronomy xxi. 17; 1 Paralipomenon v. 2, 5) and to their father's peculiar blessing, Ecclesiasticus iii. 12. To despise such advantages betrayed a bad disposition, for which Esau is condemned, Hebrews xii. 16; Romans ix. (Calm...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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