A Daily Genesis

Genesis 26:31-35

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 26:31-32 . . Early in the morning, they exchanged oaths. Isaac then bade them farewell, and they departed from him in peace. That same day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had dug, and said to him: We have found water![/B]

Ah, yes. It is always so pleasant to cap a victory with a good ending. Isaac had a perfect day.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 26:33 . . He named it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba to this day.[/B]

The word for Shibah is from [I]Shib' ah[/I] (shib-aw') which means: seven(th)

The new well is sister to a well Abraham dug many years previously in an unspecified region of Gerar. He, and the then Abimelech, settled ownership of that one with those seven ewes in chapter 21. So this is puzzling-- shib' ah is not the same word as sheba'. Sheba' means oath. Shib' ah means seven. Seven what? I don't know; Genesis doesn't say.

But the number 7 is often used in the Bible like we use the number 10 today. If we want to say something is perfect, we give it a ten. Isaac gave it a seven; so I think it's safe to assume that the water in the new well was really exceptional. (compare Rev 13:17-18 where the number of a man is given as 666, which is imperfection three times over. In other words: man is not only imperfect; but he's really imperfect.)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 26:34 . .When Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite;[/B]

There seems to be some confusion concerning the names, and the number, of Esau's wives. Here are their names according to Gen 36:2-3.

"Esau took his wives from among the Canaanite women-- Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah daughter of Zibeon the Hivite --and also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth."

There were two girls named Basemath-- Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, was also known as Basemath. Adah may have been surnamed to avoid confusing her with the other Basemath: Ishmael's daughter. The Oholibamah of 36:2 is the Judith of 26:34. She was the offspring of a mixed marriage between Beeri and Anah. She too may have been surnamed to avoid confusion.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 26:35 . .And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebecca.[/B]

In other words, those two girls made life miserable for Isaac and Rebecca and caused them a great deal of mental, and emotional anguish. Some feel that they were also a source of spiritual friction because they were infidels who worshipped the gods of the Canaanites. No doubt they did. But how would that come into play? Well; their religions permitted the practice of some vile social customs.

Canaanite religions didn't forbid such things as wife swapping, promiscuity, adultery, sex with women in their period, burning children to death in sacrificial ceremonies, sleeping with close blood relatives, gay and lesbian love, bestiality, nudity, astrology, divination, voodoo, magic, communication with the spirit world, witchcraft, drunkenness, and wild parties; including cult prostitution where women devotees sold themselves to support their "church" (cf. Gen 38:13-23)

So you can easily see just how vexing that women like that would be. How could Esau even trust them while he was away on safari? Lacking his companionship, they would either turn to each other for sensual comforts or seek out lovers among the servants. They might even hit on Rebecca and Isaac; and maybe even hit on their co-husband's third wife; Ishmael's Basemath. And the girls would have no qualms about walking around the house scantily clad or even in the nude; so you never knew what to expect when they invited you over.

Those two women were very definitely not the PowerPuff Girls-- the wholesome little kindergartners who make the world safe before bedtime. No; they were the PantyHose Girls who seanced, Tarot carded, and Ouija boarded their way to new excitements.

As bad as all that stuff was, it doesn't hold a candle to the danger of those women influencing Isaac's grandchildren. And that is a very real threat in mixed marriages. Men especially are susceptible to letting their wives guide the home's religious training. I've seen it often enough to know what I'm saying.

And with a man like Esau, a secular man who had no interest in religion to begin with, the kids had no hope at all of turning out right. They will grow up to scorn and ridicule Abraham's religion; and his god too. They will pick up the most abominable habits, and see nothing wrong in them.

There is one thing our kids can do for us that is unquestionably the most important thing they will ever do-- pass on our religious beliefs on to our progeny. No one else is going to do that for us. And we can't stay behind and make sure it happens. So if we leave our kids without a solid religious heritage; then their own kids-- our grandchildren --are doomed to return to secular concepts. And maybe worse.

Esau's side of the family went bad, that's for sure, just like Cain's did. And I believe it started on it's downhill slide right with his union to those two impious women. At Esau's age, and in that kind of home and upbringing; he should have known better. But in spite of his parents' protests; in spite of his parents' fears regarding their grandchildren; in spite of his parents' feelings about those women coming into their home; in spite of God's feelings regarding His religion; and in spite of his birthright; Esau forged ahead and married those two filthy women.

You know why? Because it was his life; and nobody was going to tell him how to live it. Some people, like the pharaoh that resisted Moses; are just defiant to the bone and they'll do things wrong just to stand up to you and assert their independence.

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