Genesis 25:31–33—Did Jacob purchase the birthright or get it by deception?

Problem: This text says Esau was asked by Jacob to “sell” him the birthright. But Genesis 29:1ff tells how he got it by deception.

Solution: Jacob purchased the “birthright,” but he got the “blessing” by deception. These are distinct things. So there is no real discrepancy.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.