Mystery of History Volume 1, Week 5: Abraham, Jacob and Esau, Joseph

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Abraham Jacob and Esau Joseph

Lesson 13: Abraham

I began this lesson by pulling out the giant Adams Timeline of World History and showing the kids just how much history has already occurred in the first 11 chapters of Genesis. It’s an amazing picture when you look at it this way! Thousands of years take place in those chapters.

If you’ve been paying attention, I’m really focusing on apologetics through this course, and I keep hearing Ken Ham in my head saying, “If our children aren’t taught to believe that Genesis 1-11 is true, then we cannot expect them to believe the rest of the Bible. How can they trust in the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection if they aren’t taught to trust in a literal 6 day creation or a global flood? (Check out the Creation Apologetics Course from Answers in Genesis on the main page of this course.)

We followed this with a reading of Genesis 12 and 13, and then followed it up with the MOH lesson. Next, I read Genesis 15, 16, 17, and chapter 18 up to verse 15. Since the story of Sodom is a bit risque for the younger crowd, I simply let the MOH lesson tell the story. However, I will go over that story in Genesis 18:16 through Genesis 19:29 separately with the older kids. I feel like it’s important to address the sin of homosexuality in light of today’s culture.

Our video for this lesson was Drive Thru History: Holy Land, Episode 1: Introduction to the Series, Patriarchs, Exodus, Overview of Conquest, Lachish, Be’er Sheva (Beersheba). Not to brag or anything, but I met Dave Stott once at the homeschool convention. Our whole family loves Drive Thru History and I plan to incorporate as many episodes into this history course as possible.

Now is a great time to use the Student Bible Atlas recommended by Mystery of History or another one of your choice. I have a Collins Bible Atlas, and like it, too. It’s crazy because it has an old-earth timeline in the front (ugh) but once you flip past that, the maps are wonderfully detailed. Find a good one and really explore the maps of Egypt and the Promised Land.

Copywork for this lesson:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:1-8

More Activities:

  • Here is a pretty cute craft for the youngest kids at Sunday School Promises. Here’s another one for elementary kids at Sunday School Kids.
  • The MOH notebooking pages include a chart of the Patriarchs. I’m having my kids fill this in for their notebooks. And I’m pointing out that “the patriarchy” is not evil, since they will likely hear otherwise from the world around them today.


Reading from the Bible itself is my top recommendation. But you can choose to substitute or add a quality Children’s Bible to this study for your younger children. I highly recommend this one:

If you can get any fun books on life in Bible times, I recommend it. They are hard to find, but here are a couple of titles you can get used:

Homes and Families: Growing Up in Bible Times

If You Lived in Bible Times

Lesson 14: Jacob and Esau

As with the previous lesson, this one came straight from Genesis. I want the kids to understand that the Bible is, indeed, a history book. When our history lessons come straight from the Bible, it teaches them by example.

Read Genesis 25 – 33 (I skipped over chapter 34 with the younger kids because of the rape story) and chapter 35. Chapter 36 about Esau’s descendants is also important history.

Copywork for this lesson:

Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.  Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. Genesis 25: 21-26

Lesson 15: Joseph

The story of Joseph picks up in Genesis 37 and goes to the end of the book. It is one of my favorite stories in the Bible.

Copywork for this lesson:

 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt.  Genesis 41: 41-46

To finish up, we added these events to our timelines, did the mapwork in the Companion Guide, my 9 & 12 year olds added the appropriate sections to their labpooks (folder books), and we did the Week 5 quiz.

Be sure to check out all the great book suggestions and activity ideas in the Mystery of History Companion Guide! Follow the entire course with us at the main Mystery of History Volume 1 page here.

Do you have some fun ideas for these lessons? Comment below!


Nicki Truesdell

2nd-generation homeschooler, author of Anyone Can Homeschool, and mother of 5.

Texas born and raised, she is a homemaker at heart, and loves books, freedom, history and quilts. 

Nicki believes that homeschooling can be relaxed and that history is fun, and both can be done with minimal cost or stress, no matter your family’s circumstances. 

Nicki is also a member of the
Texas Home Educators Board of Directors.  

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