A Daily Genesis

Genesis 25:26c-27b

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:26c . . Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.[/B]

Isaac married Rebecca at forty (Gen 25:20). If Becky was 18 at her wedding, she would have been 38. Imagine waiting twenty years to have your first child? Quite a few modern marriages end long before then.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:27a . .When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the outdoors;[/B]

Esau was the macho kind of boy dads are usually very proud of. He was a rugged, athletic man who preferred to sleep on the ground, under the stars, rather than between sheets. A real he-man; who, in our own day, would very likely own several guns; some of which would be brutal calibers like a[B] .[/B]44 magnum revolver or a 10 ga[B].[/B] shotgun.

But Esau was totally physical. The poor lad had no brain at all. He was brave, adventurous, and a natural at hunting, but that is about all you could say for him-- kind of like professional sports stars who only got into college because of their athletic ability, not especially for any academic accomplishments.

Esau pegged the mark in virility; but at the same time rated a big fat zero in sense and sensibility-- a Neanderthal knuckle-dragger kind of guy. There was really no need for Esau to kill wildlife for fresh meat: as if the family were desperate for food; after all, Isaac was very wealthy in livestock.

No. Esau hunted for sport, and his goal was not to help support the family, but to show-off his prowess, and to impress himself, and those around him.

Esau excelled in outdoor survival skills: he was very definitely one-up on Jacob in that sphere; plus it gained him a level of admiration from his dad that exceeded the esteem Isaac held for Jacob.

But for all his natural athletic ability, Esau placed no importance whatsoever upon things of eternal value. He was the classic man under the sun; viz: earthly, secular to the bone, and his so-called "needs" took the highest priority over everything. (cf. 1Cor 2:14)

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or impious person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal." (Heb 12:15-16)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:27b . . but Jacob was a mild man[/B]

What's Genesis saying? That Jacob was a wimp; some kind of a mommy's boy? No. Far from it. The word for "mild" is from [I]tam[/I] (tawm) which means: gentle; viz: temperate.

The Bible's God holds gentleness in very high regard.

"For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Ps 37:10-11)

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt 5:5)

The koiné Greek word for "meek" in the third beatitude is [I]praus[/I] (prah-ooce') which means essentially the very same thing as tam; viz: temperate; mild.

Moses was meek (Num 12:3) and the Lord was meek. (Matt 11:29, Matt 21:5)

Webster's defines mild as: gentle in nature or behavior; viz: temperate; in other words: agreeable, approachable, reasonable, calm, mellow, and self-controlled.

Non-temperate people could be characterized as moody, grudging, irritable, emotional, thin-skinned, unreasonable, irrational, reactive, defensive, confrontational, assertive; and around whom one has to walk on egg shells all the time.

A temperate person, though mellow in demeanor, should never be assumed lacking in strength, courage, conviction, or self confidence. Anybody who's studied the lives of Moses and Jesus can easily testify that neither of those men were either timid, wimpy, or vacillating; no, they walked softly and carried a big stick.

Jacob and his dad Isaac were temperate men; but could be assertive when the situation called for it. Temperate people like Jacob and Isaac pick their battles carefully, and avoid getting all riled up over trifles.

What that's all saying is that Jacob was mature and sensible; in contrast to his brother Esau who was carnal, immature, sensuous, and acted more like an adolescent than a grown man. Mature men take their responsibilities seriously, and their priorities are far different than a guy like Esau who just wants to have fun and adventure all the time.

So anyway, in the economy of God, a person with tam is to be admired way over and above a rugged athletic he-man. It's okay to be a rugged athletic he-man. There's nothing eo ipso wrong in that. After all, David was a rugged he-man himself. But it's not okay to be one without tam. Well, that was Esau-- the picture of health and male virility, but he lacked tam. Esau was a rude, lewd, crude bag of pre-chewed food dude.

Jacob was very different. It's true he was crafty, and maybe a bit dishonest at times; but he was no wimp I can assure you; and, on the whole, a very good man.

Jacob was mellow: he didn't need to show off and win the applause of the crowd to feel good about himself. He was the strong silent type who enjoyed home life and ranching. He was productive, and that's where he found the most contentment in life.

Jacob had the qualities that many good women look for in a husband. He was stable, enjoyed being at home with his family, worked an honest day's work, loved his mom, had no issues with women, and appreciated the value of religion.

Jacob wasn't a grand-stander; nor the kind of guy to run off on adventures all the time or constantly move to where the grass was greener. He didn't leave home till he was 75, and even then it was only because he was on the lamb. Jacob was the kind of man who buys a home and stays in the same neighborhood until his kids are out of school.

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