PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART LVIII
A broken heart can make a person better or worse. It is up to each one of us how we face our broken heart when we are deceived? Let us learn from Esau, how he dealt with deception. The little space the Genesis historian allotted to Esau makes us want to be like him more so than like his brother Jacob.
As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared savory food, and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.”
His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your first-born, Esau.” Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him?—yes, and he shall be blessed.” When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” But he said, “Your brother came with guile, and he has taken away your blessing.” Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright; and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” Isaac answered Esau, “Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. Then Isaac his father answered him: “Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you break loose you shall break his yoke from your neck” (Genesis 27:30-40).
HOW DID ESAU DO WITHOUT THE BIRTHRIGHT AND BLESSINGS?
Esau did inherit his father’s earthly wealth and added much of his own by marrying a Hittite lady, a Hivite, and a daughter of Ishmael. And when Jacob returned, Esau did let him have Canaan. He was a peaceful man and had no intention of becoming a subject to his brother by kings:
These are the descendants of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. And Adah bore to Esau, Eliphaz, Basemath bore Reuel; and Oholibamah bor Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, his cattle, all his beasts, and all his property which he had acquired in the land of Canaan; and he went into a land away from his brother Jacob. For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together; the land of their sojournings could not support them because of their cattle. So Esau dwelt in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom (Genesis 36:1-8)
These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites. Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom, the name of his city being Dinhabah. Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead. Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his stead, the name of his city being Avith. Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates reigned in his stead. Shaul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. Baalahanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead, the name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezahab (Genesis 36:31-39).
DURING ISRAEL’S EXODUS EDOM WAS NOT TO BE DISTURBED, BUT DAVID DID MAKE EDOM HIS SERVANT, AND EDOM AVENGED ITSELF WHEN JERUSALEM FELL
Edom, too, was under Yahweh’s protection and so was their land and Israel’s passing was to be by permission and cordial. Edom’s servitude to Israel made David famous, and when the Babylonians conquered Judea, the Edomites were generous with themselves. The prophets Ezekiel, Obadiah, Jeremiah, and Malachi condemned Edom’s actions.
And command the people (Israel), you are about to pass through the territory of your brethren the sons of Esau, who live in Seir; Then the LORD said to me, ‘You have been going about this mountain country long enough; turn northward. And command the people, You are about to pass through the territory of your brethren the sons of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So take good heed; do not contend with the; for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. You shall purchase food from them for money, that you may eat; and you shall also buy water of them for money that you may drink. For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands; he knows our going through this great wilderness; these forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.’ So we went on, away from the brethren the sons of Esau who live in Seir, away from the Arabah road from Elath and Eziongeber (Deuteronomy 2:4-8).
When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to greet him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him; for Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi.
And Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold, and of bronze; these also King David dedicated to the LORD, together with the silver and gold which he dedicated from all the nations he subdued, from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek and from the spoils of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
And David won a name for himself. When he returned, he slew eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put arrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went (II Samuel 8:9-14).
And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the royal house of Edom. For when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army went up to buy the slain, he slew every male in Edom (for Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom); but Hadad fled to Egypt, together with certain Edomites of his father’s servants Hadad being yet a little child. They set out from Midian and came to Paran, and took en wit them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, and assigned him an allowance of food, and have him land. And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him in marriage the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen (I Kings 11:14-19).
In his days (king Jehoram), Edom revolted from the rule of Judah, and set up a king of their own. Then Jehoram passed over with his commanders and all his chariots, and he rose by night and smote the Edmites who had surrounded him and his chariot commanders. So Edom revolted from the rule of Judah to this day. At that time Libnah also revolted from his rule, because he had forsaken the LORD, the God of his fathers (II Chronicles 21:8-10).
Thus says the Lord God: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance upon them, therefore thus says the LORD GOD, I will stretch out my hand against Edom, and cut off from it man and beast; and I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword. And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel; and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath; and they shall know my vengeance says the LORD GOD (Ezekiel 25:12-14).
If thieves came to you, if plunderers by night—how you have been destroyed—would thou not steal only enough for themselves? If grape gatherers come to you, would they not leave gleanings? How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out! All your allies have deceived you, they have driven you to the border; your confederates have prevailed against you; your trusted friends have set a trap under you—there is no understanding of it. Will I not on that day, says the LORD, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of Mount Esau? And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman, so that every man from Mount Esau will be cus off by slaughter. For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off for ever. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth, and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, and you were like one of them. But you should not have gloated over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; you should not have rejoiced over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; you should not have boasted in the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of my people in the day of his calamity; you should not have gloated over his disaster in the day of his calamity; you should not have looted his goods in the day of his calamity. You should not have stood at the parting of the ways to cut off his fugitives; you should not have delivered up his survivors in the day of distress (Obadiah 1:5-14).
EDOM UNDER THE HASMONEAN DYNASTY
The Hasmonians were the grandchildren of the Maccabees who were murdered, except John Hyrcanus who escaped and who became a high priest and king over Judah, under Syria. Hyrcanus gained his independence and he sided with the Hasidim or Pharisees; and he enlarged his kingdom above the size of David and Solomon. Hyrcanus added Edom, or Idumea, to his domain and he forced the children of Esau to accept Judaism by circumcision. On his death-bed, Hyrcanus became a Sadducee or Hellenistic. Hyrcanus had two sons who survived incarceration and called themselves Aristobulus and Alexander Jannaeus. It was Aristobulus who starved and killed his brothers in prison. His tyranny lasted one year and then it was continued by his brother Alexander Jannaeus. Alexander, on the Feast of Tabernacles, defied the Pharisees by pouring the holy water on his feet. And then Alexander ended up crucifying eight hundred Pharisees. Alexander Jannaeus became the “Wicked Priest” who persecuted the “Teacher of Righteousness” in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Aristobulus and Alexander were married to Salome Alexandra and she also had two sons: Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II. The two brothers would also shape a new Judea with Edomite kings and a Roman Emperor deciding the destiny of Jerusalem and Judea (Charles F. Pfeiffer, Between The Testaments, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids 6, Michigan, pp. 91-102). God used and God still uses all kinds of people to keep His purpose running!