A Daily Genesis

Genesis 25:27c-28

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:27c . . who stayed in camp.[/B]

Does that mean Jacob never ventured outdoors? No. After all, his family was pastoral; they lived in tents and spent their whole lives working outdoors. Staying in camp only means Jacob would rather come on home when the day was over, take a hot shower, eat dinner with his family, brush his teeth, and sleep between clean sheets rather than needing a bath out under the stars on the ground with creepy-crawlies.

Esau wasn't dependable; and probably off away from home on one safari after another. But Jacob was always nearby, ready to lend a hand with the chores, shear the sheep, mend the fences, and help his mom get in a load of wood and water. He was like the ranchers in the movie Shane-- hard working and dependable --very unlike his wild and wooly brother who very likely scorned animal husbandry and thought of it as a life for losers.

Jacob was a lot like his mom Rebecca. Although she too came from a family with servants, it wasn't below her to bring in the evening water when it was time. Jacob could have kicked back and lived the life of a spoiled rich kid and never lifted a finger to help out around the ranch, leaving it all up to the servants. But he didn't do that. No. Jacob was a working rancher: he pitched in wherever he could because it was his nature to make himself useful and productive.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:28a . . Isaac favored Esau because he had a taste for game;[/B]

The Hebrew word for "favored" is from [I]'ahab[/I] (aw-hab') or possibly[I] 'aheb[/I] (aw-habe') which mean: to have affection for.

Family counselors will tell you that favoritism is harmful: and who from a large family doesn't already know that. But nevertheless it's just about near impossible to prevent favoritism. People are only human after all.

Up to this point, Esau seems an okay kind of guy. No really serious faults are readily apparent. And he seems affable enough. On the pages of Old Testament Scripture, he isn't said to be a friendless loner, or an angry sociopath; nor into bad habits like drinking, gambling, murder, robbery, lies, laziness, fighting, disrespect for his parents, blasphemy, selfishness, foul language, or anything else like that.

The only apparent difference between Esau and Jacob-- up to this point --is Esau's preference for roaming the great outdoors instead of putting in a day's work around the ranch. Jewish folklore lays some pretty heavy sins upon Esau. but none of them are listed here in chapter 25.

For now, neither Isaac nor Rebecca have voiced any gripes against either one of their boys. Isaac does favor Esau more, but only because of the venison that he prepared for his dad on occasion-- which of course would appeal to Isaac because it was wild game rather than the meat of domestic animals. Guys sometimes feel more manly when they eat meat taken in hunting rather than from a local super market. Isaac is one of those men for whom this proverb rings true: The way to a man's heart is through this stomach.
[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:28b . . but Rebecca favored Jacob.[/B]

Well, that's understandable. Jacob was religious, temperate, conscientious, and helpful: attributes Rebecca would certainly value; whereas Esau was secular, out hunting, and saw no value in his dad's religion whatsoever (Heb 12:15-17). And Jacob was very likely home a whole lot more than Esau; and made good company too.

Guys like Esau tend to be center-of-attention addicts; and eclipse everyone else in the room to the point where you get the feeling they believe themselves the only ones in the whole wide world that count and the only justification for your existence is to be their audience.

Rebecca was a no-nonsense kind of girl. I think she was very impressed by Abraham's chief steward because he was serious about his business and got right to it with no fooling around; plus he was a man of prayer too. I think all of that had a great deal of influence on Rebecca's decision to leave home with him.

I suspect Rebecca saw that very same kind of character in Jacob; and it had more appeal to her than the swash buckling, great white hunter attitude that compelled Esau to go off on safari so often. Not that an adventurer's nature is bad or anything like that. But Rebecca preferred the company of disciplined, level headed, temperate men who take care of their families and put them first. The kind who take their responsibilities seriously and don't shirk.

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