Esau was the older twin brother of Jacob; they were the sons of Isaac and grandsons of Abraham. Being the first son, he was entitled to inherit the family but lost it to his brother (Jacob) when he sold it to him for a bowl of stew.
But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
GENESIS 33:4 ESV
Often just when you think you know someone, that person does something completely unexpected, and you’re left scratching your head trying to make sense of it all. Esau must have been someone like that.
Esau was the older twin brother of Jacob; they were the sons of Isaac and grandsons of Abraham. As the oldest sibling, Esau was entitled to the family birthright, which granted him leadership of the extended family and a double portion of his father’s inheritance. But Esau revealed his disregard for his birthright when he sold it to Jacob for a bowl of stew. Later Jacob made sure to seal the deal by tricking his father into blessing him as the one receiving the birthright (Genesis 25–27).
When Esau realized that his birthright was lost forever, he became furious with Jacob and wanted to kill him. So Jacob fled far away to Paddan Aram (Genesis 27:42 – 28:5).
After many years, Jacob returned to Canaan, and along the way he heard that Esau was coming to meet him. Jacob feared for his life, thinking that Esau was still looking to exact revenge on him for stealing the birthright. When Esau caught up with him, however, he ran to Jacob and kissed him! The two brothers were finally reconciled (Genesis 32–33).
Esau became the ancestor of the Edomites, who lived in the mountainous area to the southeast of Israel (Genesis 36:9). The rivalry between Jacob and Esau appears to have continued through their descendants, the Israelites and the Edomites. The Israelites fought several battles with the Edomites throughout their history (2 Samuel 8:13; 2 Kings 8:21; 14:1–7).