The second father of the Arab states is Esau. The beginning of Esau’s hostility is found in Genesis 25:27‑34. Whereas with Ishmael and Isaac, the two men were half‑brothers; in the case of Esau and Jacob, they were not only full brothers, they were twin brothers. Nevertheless, Esau was born first. The firstborn received the birthright, which entitled him to inherit the double portion of his father’s inheritance. More importantly, whoever had the birthright would be the one God would use to fulfill His divine program of the Abrahamic Covenant.
An occasion occurred when the birthright changed hands. Esau’s complaints—that he would die if he did not eat of that particular bowl of soup prepared by Jacob—should not be taken too seriously here. It is known from parallel accounts in Genesis that the family of Isaac had become extremely wealthy. All that would have been necessary was for Esau to go to the very next tent where he would have gotten sufficient food to eat. But he does not want to eat just any old thing; he wants to eat one specific thing, and it happens to be the very thing that Jacob is cooking. So for a bowl of soup, he was more than willing to sell his birthright. Esau’s attitude toward his birthright is seen in the last phrase of verse 34: So Esau despised his birthright. Esau was the one who had the birthright, but he did not care to be the one God would use to carry out His program. Jacob is characterized as one who did not have the birthright, but wanted very much to be within the center of God’s program. And now the birthright had changed hands.
In Genesis 27, it is time for the patriarchal blessing. The nature of the patriarchal blessing is of that whoever receives the blessing, “so it will be done.” However, the one who rightfully receives the patriarchal blessing is the one who has the birthright – Jacob. In this chapter, Jacob has often been accused of stealing the patriarchal blessing from Esau, but that is not the case. Jacob now has the birthright and, therefore, he has the right to the patriarchal blessing. The problem in chapter 27 is not that Jacob steals the patriarchal blessing. The problem is again a lapse of faith. All Jacob and his mother had to do was to trust God to turn the events around so that Jacob would indeed receive the patriarchal blessing. But because of a lapse of faith, they resort to deceiving the father. The sin here does not lie in stealing the patriarchal blessing¾that was rightfully Jacob’s¾the sin lies in the work of deception. Through this work of deception, Jacob did receive the patriarchal blessing that cannot be changed. Esau might have had a change of mind because he began to realize that, not only were there spiritual blessings involved in the birthright, which he did not care for, there were physical blessings in the birthright, which he did care for. But now in the course of events, the patriarchal blessing has solidly gone to Jacob and not to Esau; Jacob is to receive both the spiritual and the physical benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant. The end product is found in Genesis 27:41:
So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” (NASB)
Not only is there Ishmael’s hatred toward Isaac, but now there is Esau’s hatred toward Jacob. The Arab states are all descendants of either Esau or Ishmael, but the root of the present‑day conflict begins right here with these two individuals.
 This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.