What Esau Really Looked Like According To The Bible

When picking names for baby boys who are hairy, the Hebrew name Esau is the commonly preferred designation. But why? Esau, pronounced "ee-saw," was the son of Issac and Rebekah. He was also a twin and the oldest of the pair. His twin brother was Jacob, and the two had a very long feud stemming from Jacob receiving the birthright blessing from their dying blind father, which was actually meant for Esau.

Though brothers — and twins at that — Esau and Jacob looked and acted very different from one another. Unlike identical twins who are created from the same egg and sperm and then split into two, fraternal twins are created through a different process. When two eggs are fertilized by two different sperms in one pregnancy, they are considered fraternal and do not share the same DNA. The result is often two very distinct children — just like Esau and Jacob.

How Esau looks in the Bible

Most people know that Esau was born with red hair and was very hairy, and the Bible gives a clear description of what Esau looked like in the Book of Genesis. Per the Vatican, chapter 25, verse 25 states: "The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau."

While Esau's hair was red and covered him all over, his brother did not share these physical characteristics. Interestingly, Esau's red attributes are key components to who he is and are likely what led to him giving up his birthright. At one point in the Bible, Jacob uses a red stew to coax a "famished" Esau into trading away his birthright.

Esau was also described as a "skillful hunter, a man of the field" in Genesis verse 27 and was known to hunt and kill animals for food. On the other hand, Jacob was a shepherd. This means that physically, Esau's outdoorsy tendencies likely made him bigger than Jacob.