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Genesis 25:23

    Genesis 25:23 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the LORD said to her, Two nations are in your womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from your bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Jehovah said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, And two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels. And the one people shall be stronger than the other people. And the elder shall serve the younger.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the Lord said to her, Two nations are in your body, and two peoples will come to birth from you: the one will be stronger than the other, and the older will be the servant of the younger.

    Webster's Revision

    And Jehovah said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, And two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels. And the one people shall be stronger than the other people. And the elder shall serve the younger.

    World English Bible

    Yahweh said to her, "Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, And two peoples shall be separated even from thy bowels: And the one people shall be stronger than the other people; And the elder shall serve the younger.

    Definitions for Genesis 25:23

    Bowels - Inward parts; affections.
    Elder - Older; greater in age.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 25:23

    Two nations are in thy womb - "We have," says Bishop Newton, "in the prophecies delivered respecting the sons of Isaac, ample proof that these prophecies were not meant so much of single persons as of whole nations descended from them; for what was predicted concerning Esau and Jacob was not verified in themselves, but in their posterity. The Edomites were the offspring of Esau, the Israelites were of Jacob; and who but the Author and Giver of life could foresee that two children in the womb would multiply into two nations? Jacob had twelve sons, and their descendants were all united and incorporated into one nation; and what an overruling providence was it that two nations should arise from the two sons only of Isaac! and that they should be two such different nations! The Edomites and Israelites have been from the beginning two such different people in their manners, customs, and religion, as to be at perpetual variance among themselves. The children struggled together in the womb, which was an omen of their future disagreement; and when they grew up to manhood, they manifested very different inclinations. Esau was a cunning hunter, and delighted in the sports of the field; Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents - minding his sheep and his cattle. The religion of the Jews is well known; but whatever the Edomites were at first, in process of time they became idolaters. When Amaziah king of Judah overthrew them, he brought their gods, and set them up to be his gods. The king of Edom having refused a passage to the Israelites through his territories on their return from Egypt, the history of the Edomites afterwards is little more than the history of their wars with the Jews."

    The one people shall be stronger than the other people - The same author continues to observe, that "for some time the family of Esau was the more powerful of the two, there having been dukes and kings in Edom before there was any king in Israel; but David and his captains made an entire conquest of the Edomites, slew several thousands of them, and compelled the rest to become tributaries, and planted garrisons among them to secure their obedience. In this state of servitude they continued about one hundred and fifty years, without a king of their own, being governed by deputies or viceroys appointed by the kings of Judah; but in the days of Jehoram they revolted, recovered their liberties, and set up a king of their own. Afterwards Amaziah, king of Judah, gave them a total overthrow in the valley of Salt; and Azariah took Elath, a commodious harbor on the Red Sea, from them. Judas Maccabeus also attacked and defeated them with a loss of more than twenty thousand at two different times, and took their chief city Hebron. At last Hyrcanus his nephew took other cities from them, and reduced them to the necessity of leaving their country or embracing the Jewish religion; on which they submitted to be circumcised, and become proselytes to the Jewish religion, and were ever afterwards incorporated into the Jewish Church and nation."

    The elder shall serve the younger - "This passage," says Dr. Dodd, "serves for a key to explain the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, where the words are quoted; for it proves to a demonstration that this cannot be meant of God's arbitrary predestination of particular persons to eternal happiness or misery, without any regard to their merit or demerit - a doctrine which some have most impiously fathered on God, who is the best of beings, and who cannot possibly hate, far less absolutely doom to misery, any creature that he has made: but that it means only his bestowing greater external favors, or, if you please, higher opportunities for knowing and doing their duty, upon some men, than he does upon others; and that merely according to his own wise purpose, without any regard to their merits or demerits, as having a right to confer greater or smaller degrees or perfection on whom he pleases."

    The doctrine of unconditional predestination to eternal life and eternal death cannot be supported by the example of God's dealings with Esau and Jacob, or with the Edomites and Israelites. After long reprobation the Edomites were incorporated among the Jews, and have ever since been undistinguishable members in the Jewish Church. The Jews, on the contrary, the elect of God, have been cut off and reprobated, and continue so to this day. If a time should ever come when the Jews shall all believe in Christ Jesus, which is a general opinion, then the Edomites, which are now absorbed among them, shall also become the elect. And even now Isaac finds both his children within the pale of the Jewish Church, equally entitled to the promises of salvation by Christ Jesus, of whom he was the most expressive and the most illustrious type. See the account of Abraham's offering, Genesis 22 (note).

    Wesley's Notes on Genesis 25:23

    25:23 Two nations are in thy womb - She was now big not only with two children, but two nations, which should not only in their manners greatly differ from each other, but in their interest contend with each other, and the issue of the contest should be that the elder should serve the younger, which was fulfilled in the subjection of the Edomites for many ages to the house of David.