1. If you had to choose just one, which would you want: many friends, much money or many descendants?
2. Considering that the Bible does not say much about the descendants of Esau, why do you think so much space is devoted to his genealogy? Is this primarily meant for the original readers of Genesis, or also today’s reader? Why?
3. While Jacob will live almost to the end Genesis, this chapter marks the end of the narrative about Jacob and Esau and the beginning of the one about Joseph. Looking back, how have you seen Jacob grow in faith? What turning points were significant to that growth?
4. By the grace of God, “Jacob” became “Israel”. What bad traits of a Jacob and good traits of an Israel are reflected in your own growth in character?
5. Likewise with Esau, what one lesson from his life could you apply to your own walk with God?
6. Looking back on Jacob’s deceptive way of getting Esau’s blessing and birthright, was Esau’s life totally cursed? What does that tell you about God’s relationship with Esau?
1. How many times have you moved in your lifetime? From where to where?
2. In the context of Genesis, what is the significance of Rachel’s death (see chapter 31:32 – 35)? Of Benjamin’s birth (see chapter 30:24)? Of Reuben’s shocking sin (see chapter 49:3ff)? Of Isaac’s death (see chapter 25:8ff)?
3. Are your memories of your parents and grandparents negative or positive? What is one thing from each for which you are very thankful?
4. Isaac “was gathered to his people, old and full of years” (v 29). Describe how you would like to have your own life and death remembered.
5. Compared with Rachel’s and Isaac’s deaths, what reunion or transitions would happen with your parents’ death?
1. What place from your past is of spiritual importance to you? What makes this place so meaningful?
2. Review the promises made to Abraham (Genesis 12:1 – 3; 15:17 – 21; 17:1 – 8; 22:15 – 18). How do these compare to the promises God makes to Jacob (vv. 11, 12)? What would such continuity mean to Jacob? To God?
3. Is there someone you can thank for the impact they made on your faith and spiritual journey? If so, what can you do to thank this person?
4. Where is your favorite place to meet God?
5. If you were to bury something under the oak at Shechem, what would you bury?