A Daily Genesis

Genesis 27:39-43a

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:39-40 . . And his father Isaac answered, saying to him: See, your abode shall be [away from] the fat of the earth and [from] the dew of heaven above. Yet by your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restive, you shall break his yoke from your neck.[/B]

The words in the brackets don't actually appear in the Hebrew text. But according to a foot note in the 1985 JPS Tanakh; the meaning of the Hebrew is just what you see. Jacob's side of the family was granted the best water, fertile soils, and abundant yields. In contrast, Esau's side of the family would live in regions plagued with geological shortages of water, arable land, and natural pastures.

Isaac's prediction was fulfilled by the very nature of the rugged region that came to be known as the land of Edom. The Edomites, in general, lived in violence and subjection to Israel; remaining essentially independent until David's time, but then were subjugated permanently after that in spite of frequent rebellions and temporary partial freedom. Finally, Edom disappeared as a nation by that name: the little prophecy of Obadiah explains why.

Esau's life of indifference to spiritual matters-- in spite of being born to one of the most privileged heritages possible --had finally caught up with him and it was too late even for regrets.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:41 . . Now Esau harbored a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing which his father had given him, and Esau said to himself: Let but the mourning period of my father come, and I will kill my brother Jacob.[/B]

Well, he had a long wait ahead of him. Isaac lived another 45 years.

But isn't it odd how the human spirit desires to kill-- not just desire for harm and misfortune; but to the gravest extreme?

A few years ago, out here on a highway in Oregon, traffic was slowed. So a man tried to get ahead of it by driving on the shoulder to pass everyone up. As he went by a pick-up truck with some men in it, one of them threw a paper cup at him. He dropped back and fired a gun into the pick-up, killing one of the passengers.

That is so typical of the feelings that overwhelm human beings when they're angry. They want blood, and no other form of revenge will satisfy. Is it possible that there is anybody out there who has never wished that somebody would die?

Esau's personality changed dramatically. He went from an indifferent, carefree outdoor sportsman to a bitter, vindictive neurotic. The thought of his sissy brother ruling over him-- the superior son who was always admired and idolized for his strength and prowess --was just too much for Esau to bear.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:42a . . When the words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebecca,[/B]

You know, if criminals would just keep their mouths shut they might get away with a whole lot more crimes. But no, they just have to tell somebody about it. Esau must have vented his bitterness to some of the servants who, in turn, leaked it to Rebecca.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 27:42b-43a . . she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him: Your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. Now, my son, listen to me.[/B]

Again showing herself to be a woman of quick decision, Rebecca called Jacob and told him exactly what to do. Not wishing for a war between her sons, she thought it best to send Jacob away for a while.

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