SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1 (EGW)


Chapter 25

29-34 (Hebrews 12:16, 17). Birthright Lost Value and Sacredness—Esau had a special, strong desire for a particular article of food, and he had gratified self so long that he did not feel the necessity of turning from the tempting, coveted dish. He thought upon it, and made no special effort to restrain his appetite, until its power bore down every other consideration, and controlled him, and he imagined he would suffer great inconvenience, and even death, if he could not have that particular dish. The more he thought upon it, the more his desire strengthened, until his birthright, which was sacred, lost its value and its sacredness. He thought, Well, if I now sell it, I can easily buy it back again.... When he sought to purchase it back, even at a great sacrifice on his part, he was not able to do so.... He sought for repentance carefully and with tears. It was all in vain. He had despised the blessing, and the Lord removed it from him forever (The Review and Herald, April 27, 1886). 1BC 1094.6

Esau a Type—Esau passed the crisis of his life without knowing it. What he regarded as a matter worthy of scarcely a thought was the act which revealed the prevailing traits of his character. It showed his choice, showed his true estimate of that which was sacred and which should have been sacredly cherished. He sold his birthright for a small indulgence to meet his present wants, and this determined the after course of his life. To Esau a morsel of meat was more than the service of his Master (Letter 5, 1877). 1BC 1094.7

Esau represents those who have not tasted of the privileges which are theirs, purchased for them at infinite cost, but have sold their birthright for some gratification of appetite, or for the love of gain (Letter 4, 1898). 1BC 1095.1