Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Genesis 27:39-40 More on Esau's 'Blessing'

I said that I would look into more information regarding Esau's 'blessing'.  Some commentators seem to see it as more of a curse, because the main aspects of the 'blessing' seem to be that Esau will live in an unproductive land and live by the sword and serve his brother.  As to that latter aspect, it is not that serving someone is an undesirable thing, or a sign of weakness.  However, the service that is being referred to here is not a willing one, but probably more like that Jacob's descendants will exercise control in some way over Esau's descendants.

Other commentators see it as more of a prophecy than an actual blessing.  It is as if Isaac is saying, "My son, I have no blessing for you.  This is what is in store for you."

I do not see any animosity in Isaac's attitude toward Esau.  I believe that Isaac just knew that the matter was out of his hands, both because of what Esau had done by choosing to despise his birthright, and because God had already told Rebekah (Genesis 25:23) about how the older brother would serve the younger.

I have not seen a great explanation for Genesis 27:40.  Most commentators seem to think it refers to the hostility between Esau's descendants (particularly the Edomites) and Jacob's descendants.  I would like to study more about these Edomites to get a better picture of their history.  I know that there are numerous citations about Edomites in the Bible.  Perhaps I can do a post on them sometime. 

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