sell (one's) birthright for a mess of pottage

(redirected from sold our birthright for a mess of pottage)

sell (one's) birthright for a mess of pottage

To exchange something of great, important, or fundamental value for some financial gain that proves to be of little, trivial, or no value but which appears to be attractive or valuable on first reckoning. An allusion to Esau in Genesis 25:29–32, who sells to Jacob his birthright to his family's estate for a bowl of lentil stew (pottage). If we allow our obsession with job creation to undermine the health of the environment, humanity will ultimately end up selling its birthright for a mess of pottage.
See also: birthright, mess, of, pottage, sell
References in periodicals archive ?
I also have a question: Though that era's standards cannot be transposed to our own, have we not sold our birthright for a mess of pottage? This question is not for our colleges alone, but for the whole church.