After nearly twenty years of marriage to Isaac, Rebekah conceives twins. Jacob and Esau struggle in her womb. The Lord reveals their destiny to Rebekah. Although Esau is born first, Jacob shall be the birthright son.
19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:
20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21 And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord.
23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said:
“I think Rebekah is one of the greatest patterns in all the revelations of what a woman can do to influence a family in righteousness. Here, among other things, is what happened in her life:
“‘And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived’ (Genesis 25:21).
“The man and the woman have a great problem: they desire posterity; the united faith of both of them is involved.
“‘And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord’ (Genesis 25:22).
“Now note it well. She did not say, ‘Isaac, will you inquire of the Lord? You are the patriarch; you are the head of the house,’ which he was. She went to inquire of the Lord, and she gained the answer:
“‘And the Lord said unto her [the woman], Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger’ (Genesis 25:23).
“That is to say, ‘To you, Rebekah, I, the Lord, reveal the destiny of nations that are to be born which are yet in your womb.’”
(“Our Sisters from the Beginning,” Ensign, Jan. 1979, 62.)