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Esau in English , is Esav in Hebrew , the son of Isaac and the twin brother of Jacob in Genesis in the Bible . The root of the name in Hebrew is derived from the word asuy denoting "completion", made and complete , since Esau was born hairy and very strong , being "completed" and not infantile.

According to all midrash , ancient classical Jewish oral traditions and teachings, Esau is a very significant character in world history, in so much as Jacob is considered to be the creator of the Children of Israel , it is Esau who is regarded as the forefather of Rome and the Roman Empire. The struggle between the Roman Empire and the Jews stemming from the land of Judah has alternated beween co-operation and outright hate and warfare. The argument is proposed that Esau was born with red coloring in his hair and body, and the ancient rabbis have connected this with the red banner and standard favored by Rome's legions.

Esau was also associated with the colour red when he gained the nickname Edom, after the incident in which he gave his younger twin brother Jacob his birthright in exchange for some red stew (Gen 25:27-34). Jacob later confirms this by tricking their father Isaac into blessing him rather than Esau (Gen 27).

The Biblical narrative describes Jacob and Esau in the womb of their mother Rebekah as being locked in constant struggle and combat. The narrative continues that she could not bear the pain of her pregnancy, yet is told by God that she will give birth to two sons who will always be locked in symbiotic combat each one trying to overpower the other. Later Jacob is described as a dweller of tents and Esau is wild hunter. After Jacob deprives Esau of Isaac's blessings, Esau is nevertheless given a fitting blessing that he will "live by the sword". This is another sign of Rome, famous for her unique sword made of steel that smashed its way to world hegemony and on the way massacred the descendants of Jacob/Israel. The struggle remains unresolved through the ages.