Jacob and Esau Children's Sunday School Lessons


Abraham , Isaac , and now Jacob.

Greetings! Here are a couple of lessons for the least likable of the patriarchs. Thank God for grace and the difference He makes in our lives, right? Sometimes, we need a "Jacob's Ladder" and a "Wrestling with God" moment to open our eyes and get us back on track.

Jacob and Esau

In these two lessons, your students will learn about the dangers of treating others badly and how they both forgive and ask for forgiveness from others. There are games, craft activities, and prayer exercises to help reinforce their learning. I've also included my list of additional resources you might want to use to go along with or extend the lessons.

Enjoy your prep time!

Recommended Extras

Spend another week or two solidifying kids' understanding of Jacob and Esau or encourage them to spend time with the stories at home with these other inexpensive or free resources.

Paid Resources

The Animated Kid's Bible – If your class enjoys watching videos, try this series. It's computer animation that covers every major story in Genesis, including Jacob's deception and his encounters with God. It's fast-paced, entertaining, and true to the Biblical narrative.

Superbook: Jacob and Esau – Here's another episode from the new Superbook series. I like The Animated Kid's Bible for its treatment of Genesis, but Superbook has the advantage of going beyond the first book of the Bible with its key episodes. It also has the kids, the professor, and Gizmo the robot that will keep your students' interest. If they like the Superbook series, you can also direct your class and families to the head Superbook video games, Bible devotions , and apps that they can spend time learning with the characters and stories outside of class.

I've used both of these videos to introduce or wrap up my teaching on Jacob and Esau. In my opinion, it works best when you use The Animated Kid's Bible on week one of the series, teach both (or more) lessons the following weeks, and then show the Superbook episode and do some review the last week. You can show the episode and then ask review questions, followed by replaying some of the kids' favorite games from the lessons.

Bible Fun Factory: Volume 2 – Mary Kate Warner's second volume of the Bible Fun Factory series features 3 lessons on Jacob. I love how she pulls different lessons out of these stories. She also includes original games, activities, and crafts in each of her lessons. This is a great resource if you want to give Jacob and Esau the full treatment.

Jacob Stole Esau's Blessing – An illustrated book always holds kids' attention better than simply telling the Bible story and this is the best option I've found for these stories. If your class is small enough, have them gather 'round while you read the story. Then, discuss it before moving on to the games and other activities for that week.

The Comic Book Bible: Volume 2 – Want to get boys (and girls) something to read in your downtime? Volume 2 of The Comic Bible starts with the story of Jacob and Esau. It make a great addition to your class, church, or home library. The art is realistic, the writing true to the story, and the action engaging enough to keep kids reading through the Bible stories.

Extreme Adventures with God (Discover 4 Yourself Series) – Looking for a resource to motivate your kids to do their own devotions and Bible study? How about a comprehensive Bible study guide for family devotions? This is the best workbook series I've found. It has all the context, questions, fun reading, and activities you'll need to do some extreme learning on Isaac and Jacob and Esau.

Free Resources

I again have to recommend Free Sunday School Curriculum's coloring and activity pages included in their lessons Jacob Trick Esau , Jacob Has a Dream , and Jacob Goes Home . They also have a fun game in their lesson Jacob Tricks Isaac in which one blindfolded student (blind Isaac) sits in a chair while others take turns disguising their voice and saying, "I am Esau." If the blindfolded student guesses correctly, they trade places with the "Esau" and that student becomes the new guessing "Isaac."

Sermons 4 Kids has some great activity pages under their lessons on Jacob's Ladder , Jacob's Wives , and Jacob Wrestling with God .

You can use these pages to make a packet you'll send home with the kids. If they bring them back completed, reward them with a special prize like getting to pick one of your activities or giving them a special treat.

Jacob Tricks Esau Children's Sunday School Lesson

Purpose: Use this Jacob and Esau children's Sunday School lesson to teach children not to be greedy or deceptive.

Needed: plastic cups and dice or small balls, coins or paper markers, various objects to set in front of you

Intro Game: Cups – Give each student five coins or paper markers. Set three cups upside down in front of you. As students watch, place a die or small ball under one of the cups. Explain that you're going to move the cups around to try to confuse them about where the object is.

Quickly slide the cups around. After a few seconds, stop. Tell the students to place a coin or marker in front of the cup that they think the object is under.

Then, reveal what cup the object is under. If the students guessed right, they take back their markers. You take the markers in front of the wrong cups. Keep playing until all the students are out of markers.

Afterward, explain that the game is meant to trick students. It's not a fair game because it's too difficult to keep track of which cup the object is under.

If you have a large group, you can set up multiple stations with different leaders all playing the same game.

Lesson: Ask students, Has anyone ever done something wrong to you? What did they do?

Has anyone ever lied to you or tricked you, besides when I tricked you with this game?

How did that make you feel?

(Tell about an appropriate time when someone hurt you this way.)

Well, we've been learning about Abraham and his family. You remember that God told Abraham to leave his country and his friends and his family and go live in the country of Canaan. Does anyone remember what promise God made to Abraham about the country of Canaan?

God promised that He would give the whole country to Abraham's children and grandchildren forever.

Then, when Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were very old, God let them have a son named Isaac. When Isaac grew up, he married a young woman named Rebekah. Today, we're going to learn about the time when Isaac and Rebekah had children.

Summarize Genesis 25 and 27 with the following Bible story, asking the included questions as you read.

Rebekah couldn't have children for a few years after she married Isaac. But Isaac prayed that she would have children, and God eventually let Rebekah have twin boys. The first boy was named Esau and he grew up to be a big, strong hunter. He was also very hairy. The second boy was named Jacob and he liked to stay at home. Isaac liked to eat the food Esau hunted, so Esau was Isaac's favorite. But Jacob was Rebekah's favorite.

Once, when Esau went out hunting for a long time, he didn't catch anything. He finally gave up and came back home because he was so hungry. Jacob was cooking some stew and Esau said, "Jacob, give me some of that red stew you're cooking! I'm so hungry, I'm about to die."

Jacob said, "Okay, but first you have to give me your birthright."

What do you think a birthright is?

The birthright is the privilege that the oldest child in a family got back then. When the parents in a family died, the oldest child inherited most of the money and became the leader of the family.

Do you think Jacob should have asked for Esau's birthright? Should he have asked for Esau to give him most of the family money and make him the leader of the family instead of Esau when their parents died?

What should Jacob have done instead?

He should have let Esau have some food if he was hungry. God wants us to help each other without being greedy for something in return.

But Esau said, "You can have the birthright. Just give me some food. I'm about to die." So, Esau gave Jacob his birthright, and Jacob gave him some stew.

A few years later, Isaac was very old and he was blind. "Esau!" he called.

Esau came and said, "Here I am, father."

"Esau," Isaac said, "go hunt me some food and I will bless you before I die."

So Esau went hunting, but Rebekah called Jacob to her and said, "Put some of Esau's clothes on and cook some food for your father and go in and act like you're Esau so your father will bless you instead of Esau. Your father won't know that you're not Esau because he is blind and can't see who you really are."

"But what if my father touches me?" Jacob asked. "Esau is hairy and I'm not. If my father touches me and feels that I'm not hairy, he'll know that I'm trying to trick him and he will curse me instead of blessing me."

So Rebekah put goat hair on Jacob's hands and on his neck so that he would feel hairy and would trick Isaac.

Do you think Jacob should try to trick Isaac?

Do you think the trick will work?

Jacob went in and gave Isaac the food he had made. "I hunted this food for you, father," Jacob lied. "Now please give me your blessing."

"How did you hunt the food so quickly?" Isaac asked.

"God helped me find it," Jacob answered.

"Come here and let me touch you," Isaac said. Jacob let his father touch his hands and Isaac said, "You sound like Jacob, but you feel hairy like Esau. I guess you really are Esau." Then, Isaac said, "Here is my blessing for you: God will give you lots of food and you will be the ruler of your brother."

Then Jacob left and Esau came in. "I'm back, father," Esau said. "I hunted you some food and now you can give me your blessing."

Then, Isaac realized what had happened. "Your brother came," Isaac said, "and tricked me. I already gave him the blessing. I gave him lots of food and made him ruler over you."

"What about me?" Esau cried. "Bless me too!"

Then Isaac said, "Jacob will be your ruler, but eventually, you will break free from him."

Esau went back out and said, "Jacob has done two things wrong to me. He took my birthright when I was so hungry and now he's stolen my blessing, too. When my father, Isaac, dies, I will kill my brother, Jacob, for what he has done to me."

Rebekah heard Esau say that he was going to kill Jacob, so Rebekah went and told Jacob, "You have to run away from here because Esau is going to kill you." So Jacob ran away from home.

Why did Jacob have to run away?

He was afraid. He did some mean things to his brother, Esau, so Esau wanted to kill him.

What do you think will happen with Esau and Jacob? (The next lesson will tell the rest of the story.)

Game: Tag the Bear or Poke the Bear – Both of these games are a fun way to teach kids about arousing people's anger.

Tag the Bear – Like a normal game of team Tag, you'll divide your group into two groups and choose one side to be It. The difference is that you'll also secretly choose one leader or student on the other side to be the Bear. When the It tags anyone on the other team, they're out. But when someone tags the Bear, the Bear roars and starts chasing them! The whole second team joins in for a role reversal of who's chasing who. The last person left on the original It team wins.

Poke the Bear – Similar to the "No!" game from the Isaac Gets a Wife! Lesson, you'll set a series of random objects in front of a leader or student at one end of your play area. The chosen person (the Bear) secretly decides which object will be their trigger. One by one, students from the other side of the play area run up and take one of the objects in front of the Bear. If it's not the Bear chosen object, the Bear does nothing and the student stays in the play area. If the person takes the Bear's chosen object, the Bear roars and chases after everyone, including those who haven't taken their turn yet. Anyone the Bear tags is out. The last one left is the winner.

After either of these games, remind students that Jacob did some very mean things to Esau that made him very angry. It was fun to make the Bear bad in our game, but we should be careful not to treat people badly in real life so that they don't get upset as Esau did.

Closing Prayer: Jesus, we pray that You'll help us not to cheat or lie to anyone. Help us not to treat anyone badly so that we don't make them upset. Instead, help us to show Your truth and love to everyone. Amen.

Esau Forgives Jacob Children's Sunday School Lesson

Purpose: Use this Jacob and Esau children's Sunday School lesson to teach kids the story of how Esau forgave Jacob, and how they can both forgive and ask for forgiveness from others.

Needed: Craft paper and crayons or colored pencils for the craft, various small objects for the Poke the Bear game

Intro Game: Play Poke the Bear or Tag the Bear from the Jacob Tricks Esau lesson.

Lesson: Ask students, What does it mean to forgive someone?

If you do something wrong to someone, what do you have to do to make that person forgive you?

If someone does something wrong to you and hurts your feelings, what do they have to do to make you forgive them?

Well, last time we learned about two twin brothers, named Jacob and Esau. Esau was the oldest and he grew up to be a big, strong hunter. Jacob was the younger one and he liked to stay at home. Does anyone remember what bad things Jacob did to his brother, Esau?

When Esau came in from hunting one time and was very hungry, Jacob wouldn't give Esau any food until Esau agreed to give him his birthright. Then, when their father, Isaac, was very old and blind, Jacob dressed up like Esau and tricked Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau.

Does anyone remember what Esau wanted to do to Jacob when he found out that Jacob had tricked Isaac and stolen his blessing? (Esau wanted to kill Jacob.)

So what did Jacob have to do so that Esau couldn't kill him? (He had to run away.)

Today, we're going to find out what happened to Jacob when he ran away from Esau and had to go live somewhere else.

Summarize Genesis 28-33 with the following Bible story, asking the included questions as you read.

Jacob left home and headed toward the country where his grandfather, Abraham, had grown up. One night, while he was still on his way to the old country, Jacob put a rock under his head for a pillow. How would you like to use a rock for a pillow?

He put a rock under his head and went to sleep. While he was sleeping there, he had a dream of a giant ladder, stretching all the way up into Heaven. Angels were climbing up and down on the ladder from Heaven to earth and God was standing at the top of the ladder. "I am the Lord," God said, "the God of your grandfather, Abraham, and your father, Isaac. I will give you many children and I will give this country of Canaan to you and to your children and to your grandchildren forever. I will be with you and will not leave you."

Then Jacob woke up and said, "If God will keep me safe on this journey and take care of me and bring me back to the country of Canaan, then I will serve Him as my God and will give Him a tenth of everything I get."

Jacob went on a little farther and finally came to the town where his grandfather, Abraham, was from. There was a well outside the town and when Jacob came up to the well, he found a group of shepherds with their sheep, all gathered around the well with a large rock on top of it. "Why don't you move the rock and give your animals a drink from the well?" Jacob asked the shepherds.

"The rock is very heavy," the shepherds answered. "We have to wait until everyone gets here so everyone can help move the rock."

While Jacob was still talking with the shepherds, his cousin, Rachel, came up to the well with her sheep. Jacob thought that Rachel was very beautiful. So when he saw her, he rolled the heavy stone off the well all by himself and gave her sheep some water. Then, when Rachel found out that Jacob was her cousin, she invited him to come to spend the night at her family's house.

After Jacob had stayed with his cousins, Rachel and Leah, and his uncle, Laban, for a whole month, Jacob told his uncle that he loved Rachel and wanted to marry her. "I will work for you for seven years," Jacob told his uncle, "if you will let me marry Rachel."

Laban agreed and when those seven years were over, Laban gave a great wedding banquet, and Jacob thought he was marrying Rachel. But it was so dark outside during the wedding and since the woman he was marrying was wearing a veil over her face, Jacob couldn't see that it wasn't really Rachel he was marrying. In fact, he didn't notice who it was he had married until the sun came up the next morning!

Who do you think the woman was that Jacob married?

When Jacob woke up the next morning, he saw that it was his cousin, Leah, who he had married. Then, Jacob was very angry. "Why did you trick me?" Jacob yelled at his uncle, Laban. "I told you I would work for you if you would let me marry Rachel, not Leah."

Then Laban said, "I will let you marry Rachel, but you had to marry Leah first since she is the oldest. Work for me for another seven years and I'll let you marry Rachel."

So Jacob kept working for his uncle and was married to both of the sisters. He was also married to two of Rachel and Leah's servants, Bilhah and Zilpah. With four wives, Jacob soon had a very large family. He had twelve sons and some daughters too.

Finally, after working for his uncle for twenty years, Jacob decided that it was time for him to take his new family and go home.

Why had Jacob run away from home? (Because Esau was going to kill him for tricking Isaac and taking Esau's blessing.)

Well, Jacob didn't know if Esau still wanted to kill him, but he thought that he had stayed away long enough and that he might as well take the chance of going home.

Do you think Esau will try to kill Jacob when he goes home?

While Jacob and his family were on their way home, Jacob sent a messenger to tell Esau that he was coming. The messenger returned a few days later and said, "I told Esau you were coming home and now he is coming to meet you with four hundred armed men!"

Jacob was very afraid of his brother, Esau, and he divided his family into two groups, sending one that way and the other this way. "If Esau attacks one group of my family," Jacob thought, "the other group might get away." When the two groups of his family left, Jacob was all by himself. He prayed, "Oh, God, when I ran away from home, I didn't have anything. But You said You would be with me and would protect me and take care of me and now, You have given me such a large family. But I am afraid that Esau will come and kill me and my family for what I did to him."

When Jacob was finished praying, he took all of the hundreds of goats, sheep, cows, donkey, and camels that he had and sent his messengers ahead of him to give the animals to Esau as a gift. Jacob thought that maybe if he gave Esau such a large gift of so many animals that Esau would accept the gift and not hurt him.

Do you think it will work? Will Esau take the animals and not hurt Jacob?

Then a man, who was really God, came and wrestled with Jacob all night. When the sun was coming up, the man who was really God twisted Jacob's hip and hurt him. But Jacob said that he wouldn't let the man who was really God go until He blessed him. So God blessed Jacob and changed Jacob's name from Jacob to Israel.

Then the man left and Jacob, limping from his hurt hip, walked on to meet his brother, Esau. When he saw Esau and his four hundred men coming, Jacob bowed down to the ground seven times to apologize. But Esau ran up to his brother, Jacob,…

What do you think Esau's going to do?

Esau ran up to his brother, Jacob,… and hugged him and kissed him. Then Esau gave Jacob back all the animals Jacob had sent to Esau as a gift because Esau was just glad to see Jacob coming home and had forgiven him for all the wrong things Jacob had done to him.

Do you think it was nice for Esau to forgive Jacob?

It was nice. Even though Jacob did so many bad things to his brother, Esau was able to forgive him. And God wants us to forgive people when they do bad things to us, too. God always wants us to forgive, just like God forgives us when we do something wrong.

Game: Poke the Bear or Tag the Bear (with a Twist!) – Play either of the two games from the previous lesson. But this time, when the Bear starts to chase after the kids, start counting. The Bear can tag can tag as many students as possible, but when you reach the number 3 on your count, they have to stop and either go back to their place or take a normal place in the game. If you're playing Tag the Bear, choose a new Bear.

After the game, explain that when people feel mad or hurt, it can take them some time before they can forgive the person that hurt them. But God does want us to forgive others and make peace with them as soon as possible, just like the Bear was angry for a little while but then calmed back down.

Prayer Exercise: Ask the students to think of one person who has done something wrong to them. Tell them to pray for God's help to forgive that person. Next, have them think of a second person and repeat the prayer to God. Have them think of a third person and do the same thing.

Craft: Apology Letter – Have the students think of one person they've done something wrong to. Ask them to write a letter apologizing for what they did. The letter could be to a parent, sibling, or other family member or to a friend. Direct them to include what they did wrong. At the end, they should ask the person to forgive them. Remind them that it makes God happy when we apologize for the wrong things we do and ask other people to forgive us. When we do wrong things, we should also apologize to God.

Closing Prayer: Jesus, we thank You for the example of Esau forgiving his brother. And we thank You for always forgiving us when we do wrong things. We pray that You'll help us forgive other people who do the wrong things to us. Amen.

Find the printer versions of these Jacob and Esau children's Sunday School lessons on my Patreon page! You can also pick them up for Kindle or in a print book in Father Abraham: Children Sunday School Lessons on Genesis 12-50 .

I have children's sermons you can use for the story of Jacob and Esau on the Genesis children's sermons page.

The last patriarch we talk about will be Joseph , so look for that post coming next!

Hopefully, your time spent studying the Word and teaching children has been a blessing to you. Now, take a break before it's time to do it again!

May God's Spirit continue to be with your spirit! - Steve

About the Author

Steve and Mindy

Steve has a Master's of Divinity and has served as an associate pastor for about 7 years. Steve is passionate about passing on his devotion and does so in a variety of ways. Check out his Patreon or the About page to find out how you can help support his efforts.


  • Ministry to Children
    Sunday School Lessons

    How to build your children’s ministry with free resources for your children’s ministry or family time. Includes children’s Sunday School lessons and children’s sermons on the entire Bible!

Recent Articles


  • Ministry to Children
    Sunday School Lessons

    How to build your children’s ministry with free resources for your children’s ministry or family time. Includes children’s Sunday School lessons and children’s sermons on the entire Bible!

Recent Posts