Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Esau was an hairy man, Jacob was a big girl's blouse?

That is our suspicion. And Alan Bennet nails this firmly then to Anglican clergymen. 
Well, leaving aside the issue of clergy and gender, perhaps we at least need to reassess our view of Jacob.
Why did Rebekah love Jacob?

It is commonly assumed that we can finish the sentence something like this, “Rebekah loved Jacob because he was a home-loving momma’s boy.” Esau was a real man — wild at heart; Jacob was a sally. But the Bible resists our childish notions of masculinity. Esau was hairy not because he was a Sean Connery action hero, but because his appearance revealed his bestial nature; he was a half-man, and he was driven by animalistic desires. Hunting is not bad, but perhaps the description of Esau as “a skillful hunter,” is intended to recall Nimrod, “a mighty hunter before Yahweh,” son of Ham and founder of a false religion at Babel (Genesis 10:8-10). And, in any case, the Scriptures tell us why Rebekah loved Jacob. She loved him because God loved him.

In contrast, why did Isaac love Esau?

Isaac loved Esau because he loved his own belly: “Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game.” (Genesis 25:28) In chapter 27, this will be his condition for bestowing the blessing Esau (Genesis 27:3-4). By this stage in his life, Isaac was a fleshly man, driven by his appetites. As such, he was a pattern for his foolish unbelieving son (Genesis 25:29-34). There was a kinship between Isaac and Esau that went beyond shared blood; both despised God’s promise for the sake of filling their gut. The apple doesn’t fall far from the bough, and when it did Esau and Isaac were on hand to gobble it up before Jacob could say “birthright”.
This from Matthew Mason's Fourth Post on Jacob as he builds the case that we should believe that Jacob was a blameless man (Genesis 25:27).

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