Hebrews 12 (KJV) ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¹⁶ Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. ¹⁷ For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Does this passage warn us that grace has an end if we keep sinning? Esau found no place of repentance even though he sought it carefully while full of tears. Was Esau's sin similar to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

  • 1
    Rather it shows that, in this case, repentance had no beginning.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 19:42
  • The repentance (change of mind) that Esau sought was his father's not his own. Esau was not trying to repent before God, he was trying to get his dad to change his mind, as Faith Mendel's and Ozzie Ozzie's answers below indicate. As long as you draw breath God's grace is available to you. Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 22:09
  • The original idea with the right of the firstborn had to do with taking over the farmstead after the departure of the father. But obviously there are other occupations needed in the world. Carpenters like Jesus. Tentmakers like Paul. Fishermen like John and James. Etc. // Jacob and Esau was a special case because they were twins and it was not clear cut who of them was the older of the two. Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 23:07

4 Answers 4


Does Hebrews 12:17 mean that GRACE has an end?

Hebrews 12:17 NASB

17 For you know that even afterward when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

Genesis 27:38

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, me as well, my father.” So Esau raised his voice and wept.

The "change of mind" that Esau earnestly sought with tears, however, was only an unsuccessful attempt to change his father Isaac’s decision that the firstborn’s special blessing should remain entirely with Jacob. Hence, this indicated no repentance before God on Esau’s part as to his materialistic attitude.​

Grace a gift from God.“The word [khaʹris] contains the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved.

Ephesians 3:7 NASB

Of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power

Humans are inclined to sin but it would be a mistake to think that God's grace: even if I do something wrong-sin I do not have to worry about it, God will forgive me. Sadly, some Christians felt that way even while some of the apostles were still alive. Jude 1:4

Jude 1:4 NASB

4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into indecent behavior and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Paul stressed that we must strongly reject the view:

Romans 6:1-2 NASB

6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 [a]Far from it! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Because of God’s grace, we have our sins forgiven, provided we repent and continue to put up a hard fight against our sinful inclinations. Esau showed no repentance, he simply tried to change his father's decision that the firstborn blessings should remain with him.


Question : Does Heb 12:7 means that Grace has an End?

Short Answer. NO

What the scriptures is saying instead is

Heb 12:17 BLB For you know that even afterward, wishing to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, although having earnestly sought it with tears.

Esau could not change the Mind of his Father to grant him THE blessing. Even though he Pleaded to the Point of Crying. He still Got Rejection

Although his Father explained to him the Situation.

Gen 27:37 BSB But Isaac answered Esau: “Look, I have made him your master and given him all his relatives as servants; I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?”


Esau did reconcile with Jacob, but he never regained his FIRST BORN birth rights. Could this be the root of the problem? Why is being first born so special in scriptures? Look for example what happened to Reuben the first born of Jacob, his birth rights were taken away because of sin:

Genesis 48 (KJV) ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

¹⁷ And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.

¹⁸ And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

¹⁹ And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

²⁰ And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

²¹ And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.

²² Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.


You asked about Grace, and interpret that that’s what Esau was seeking. It, Grace is something that God provides, and he does so through his son. And therefore in this incident, we could argue that Jesus had not yet come - so ‘Grace’ could not be expected.

JOHN 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ

There was no room for Grace under the Law. BUT Jacob and Esau were not under the Law, so yes, it can be very easily argued that them, being under the Abrahamic covenant, did and were ‘under grace’.

However - Grace is something that God provides - but in the incident you highlighted God is not part of it. Esau was seeking a change of mind (repentance, metanoia) from his father. So you cannot ask, nor expect something from someone who can not in any way provide it. Only God is the source of [true] grace. (And, the only source).

You could, or might argue that ‘man’ can be ‘gracious’. No. ‘Man’ can forgive, and ‘man’ can change his mind - which Esau was looking for, but you can not equate that [forgiveness] to ‘grace’. If you can, then you can only do so using an incorrect (e.g. dictionary) definition of ‘grace’ - but that won’t be the biblical (exegetical) definition.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.