As we proceed in this study of Jacob and Esau, I would like to quickly review some of the main points from Part 1.
1. Jacob and Esau represent God's sovereign election and rejection. God prophesied it to be so.
2. They represent two nations,which represent all of mankind.
3. Jacob becomes Israel, the elect, the called and chosen. Esau becomes Edom, the gentile nations,i.e. the rest of mankind.
4. They are truly at odds with each other.
5. God's desire is to save a remnant from both nations.
To see how all of this is being enacted, we must first take a look at some of the events in the lives of these two brothers.
We have already looked (Genesis 25:21-34) at the birth of Esau and Jacob. Esau was born first but Jacob, the "heel grabber" was right behind. The fact that they constantly struggled in the womb, and Jacob emerged holding Esau's heel, taken together with God's declaration of His irresistible will that Jacob would rule as the first born, show the intensity of Jacob to enforce God's will, and Esau's equally intense effort to resist it. Their birth is a prophetic event. It foretells what will ensue in the not too distant future.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
We then saw this begin to manifest outside the womb, as Jacob "tricked" Esau out of his birthright. This was actually another prophetic action, which would come to final fruition later on.
Esau despised (sold) his birthright for bowl of lentils:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, "Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!" (Therefore his name was called Edom.)
31 Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright now."
32 Esau said, "I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?"
Compare this to,
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Interesting that, in both instances "eating" is the modus operandi.
Adam and Eve ate to become "like God" and to fill their stomachs. In doing so Adam gave away his birthright.
Esau ate to fill his stomach, as he stated he was about to die from hunger. That was more than an overstatement. He was not going to die from hunger. He simply wanted to satisfy a desire for that moment. Adam and his wife were seeking the same thing, fulfillment of a momentary desire, i.e. I can be like God and get a good meal to boot.
33 Jacob said, "Swear to me now." So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
It should be obvious why self control is the final fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-25. There is plainly no self control demonstrated here.
Esau, now Edom, simply walked away after having his fill, and more than likely never gave his deal with Jacob another thought. That would be his final undoing.
Both He and Adam gave up the right of the firstborn, which is simply the right to be called the first born son of their father and receive the blessings attached to that honor.
We see in several ways how Esau's nature caused him to err.
In Genesis 26:34-35. he married two Hittite women and the scriptures says that caused nothing but grief for Isaac and Rebekah. This marital mis-step would factor in to Jacob's later departure to Laban's home.
Glory to God! All events are foreknown and nothing is without purpose. We can truly say that ALL things work together for good to those who love God,because He has called them according to His purpose. Romans 8:28-29
Genesis 27 begins with Isaac in has final years. He had literally lost his eyesight.
He called Esau to himself, in order to give him the blessing of the first born. He requested that Esau go out and hunt for some wild game, and to cook it so that he may eat of it. (there's that eating issue again). Then the blessing would be bestowed upon Esau. This was going to be quite the event. A feast and a blessing. Verses 1-4
Rebekah overheard this conversation and conceived a plan of her own. She tells Jacob to get two young goats from the flock,kill them, and cook them in the way that Isaac loved his food to be prepared. She then takes the goat skin and puts them on Jacob's hands and neck in order to fool Isaac into thinking that Jacob was Esau. Evidently Esau must have been quite "hairy".
Jacob lies to his father about who he is. Isaac still wasn't sure, and touched him to be sure.
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not."
22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau."
23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands. So he blessed him.
Jacob received the blessing of the first born, and the usurpation was complete. Verses 5-29
As soon as Jacob left, Esau comes with the freshly killed and cooked game. It becomes apparent to Isaac that Jacob had duped him, and woefully apparent to Esau that he was duped yet again.
Esau pleads and weeps for a blessing. Isaac says that he cannot give Esau the blessing of the first born as he already gave it to Jacob, even though it was acquired by subterfuge. Never the less he does give Esau "a" blessing, just not the one he would have liked to have. This caused murderous hatred to stir in Esau against his brother. Verses 29-41
We must stop and ask why God would honor Rebekah's and Jacob's deception. We must remember that Rebekah overheard Isaac and Esau and she would have always remembered what God had said:
23 And the LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger."
Just like Abram and Sarai re: Ishmael, Rebekah devised a plan in the way that men would think. This takes us back to God's election and all things working together for good. The sins and plots of men cannot thwart the plan of God. Acts 4:24-31
Rebekah's deceitful plan was part of the fulfillment the prophecy given by the Almighty God.
Think about the fact that God became man, and entered into His creation in that way, as an unblemished lamb could not be found in the earth. If that is not a covert act, I don't know what is.
15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.
17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
The writer of Hebrews is extremely clear. Esau selling his birthright for stew, is the reason why God allowed and worked through the deceptive actions of Rebekah and Jacob. I wonder how many meals Esau ate in his lifetime, knowing that it was a single meal that cost him so dearly.
It must have really fueled the fire even more so.
20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau.
Thanks be to God.
Chapter 27 ends, and 28 begins, with Rebekah learning that Esau planned to murder Jacob,so she decides to send him to her brother Laban in Haran.
She then goes to Isaac with another plan. She brings up the painful fact of Esau's Hittite wives to her husband and the fear she has of Jacob marrying a woman like them.So Isaac also tells Jacob to go to Laban and take a wife from their own people, not one from Canaan. (I bet Isaac thought he came up with a good idea there) Gen:42-28:5
Esau overhearing Isaac instructing Jacob about not taking a wife from the Canaanites, something he had already done, and being eager to receive any kind of commendation from his father;he goes to Ishmael, Isaac's brother, and takes one of his daughters, Mahalath, as a wife. He did not go to Rebekah's brother as Jacob did. He chose for himself, a daughter of the son of the slave woman. Gen 28:6-9
Genesis 28 ends with God repeating the same covenant to Jacob that He gave to Abraham and Isaac. However instead of believing like his grandfather, Jacob says:
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear,
Gen 28:21 so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God,
He is attempting to strike the bargain of men with God instead of receiving the covenant God had already made. Jacob needed to be disciplined. Chapters 29-30-31 tell us how that came about. Let's say that Jacob's uncle Laban was was as much, if not more so, a conniver than Jacob.
Oswald Chambers once said (I paraphrase);"God will always surround you with people just like yourself." Lord have mercy.
Genesis 32 and 33 describe (the now much humbler) Jacob's journey back home.
Jacob still fearing Esau, and still acting like the old Jacob, comes up with a plan to evade, what he feels will be, certain death. He then hears the news that Esau is coming out to meet him and he goes into overdrive in his planning. Gen 32:1-23
At least this time he prays the right prayer born from covenant:
9 And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, 'Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,'
10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.
11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.
12 But you said, 'I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'"
He finally believes like his grandfather.
Chapter 32 ends with the great story of Jacob wrestling with the Lord and prevailing, i.e. he didn't defeat God, he hung in there for dear life and the blessing. he was now named Israel, father of the 12 tribes representing those who are called out to be God's people; the elect.
Genesis 33 ends the story of Jacob and Esau with their reconciling. It ends with Jacob/Israel's
act and declaration of true worship:
18 And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city.
Gen 33:19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent.
Gen 33:20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel. (God-the God-of Israel)
The reconciling of the brothers is a prophetic picture which was later spoken of by the prophet:
11 "In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old,
12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name," declares the LORD who does this.
This is currently being fulfilled.
12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13 After they finished speaking, James replied, "Brothers, listen to me.
14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
16 "'After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant of MANKIND may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things
18 known from of old.'
19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
After Esau and Jacob parted ways, and even though they reconciled, their descendants bore a very bitter enmity toward one another . This is the fruit of Esau. Remember that Hebrews 12 instructs us not to let a root of bitterness spring up and defile us, like Esau.
Edom became a great enemy of Israel ,so much so, that the Lord spoke many times through the prophets against Edom and foretold their destruction.
(Psalm 137:7; Isaiah 63:1-6: Jeremiah 49:7-22; Amos 9:1:11; All of Obadiah's prophecy: Ezekiel 26:12-14; Ezekiel 35 the whole chapter.) Also you may recall that the Lord speaking in Malachi 1:4, says that even if they try to rebuild the ruins of their destruction, and they were utterly destroyed, that He would bring that down also. They are the people He is angry with FOREVER!
Yet there is a remnant of Edom, that Israel will possess
For us today, so many years removed from these events. God is still speaking.
Romans 9 tells us that all who call themselves Israel are not Israel. Therefore not all who are in the nation of Israel past,present, and future, are of the elect. The elect are a remnant of those who call themselves Israel.
The elect are the true Israel, who will possess the remnant of Edom. According to James, speaking in Acts 15, the ingathering of the Gentiles into the church, is the fulfillment of that prophecy. The gentiles who believe by faith, like Abraham, are the remnant of the rest of mankind. They are Abraham's children also. They are the "grafted in" of Romans 11:17-24
It should be apparent I am saying that "we" today are part of the "they". The restoration of David's booth is yet to be finished. This is the fullness of the gentiles that Paul speaks of in Romans 11:25. By fullness he does not mean that every man will enter into salvation. The fullness of the gentiles are the remnant of mankind. So Israel is both the remnant of Israel, and the remnant of Edom.
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Rom 11:26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
Israel is both jew and gentile; always has been, and always will be. Israel is the remnant of mankind that believe by faith, and are accounted righteous.
This is why Abraham believed before he was circumcised.This is why Jacob and Esau come from the son of the promise, who comes from the father of faith.
One last thing: the "tent"
Remember Jacob dwelt in tents. Gen 25:27; After he and Esau reconciled, Jacob, now Israel, went to an area that became known as Succoth. The word succoth means booths. He had constructed booths for his animals there. Long after Jacob's time was over, God would lead Israel out of bondage and they would dwell in booths/tents/succoth. When God established the feasts, the final feast of the great ingathering of the harvest would be called Succoth.
Now the word used for tents in Gen 25:27 is 'ôhel, not succoth.
'ôhel is for Jacob the tent dweller. Succoth is for Israel those who would dwell in booths.
The word used for tent in Amos 9:11 is sukkah (succoth;plural) as this prophecy is referring to Israel possessing the remnant of Edom.
However the word that David used when referring to the tent in which he placed the ark is; 'ôhel. 1 Chronicles 15:1 and 16:1; 2 Chronicles 14:1;Psalm 15:1.
The word he uses in 1Chronicles 17:1 actually means curtain which in the context makes sense as he was making a comparison between his grand palace and the curtain that covered the ark, in that this should not be the case re: the Lord's ark.
Now we have this passage from Isaiah:
5 then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness."
The word here is also 'ôhel not sukkah. The verse here is a prophecy re: David's descendant,
So the the King of Kings, the Messiah sits in the restored tent of David, which is the remnant of Israel possessing the remnant of Edom/mankind.
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Israel, is the restored tent of David, both jew and gentile reconciled together in Christ. It is both succoth and 'ôhel. It is the dwelling place of God, and is the place of the King's throne.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
It is my belief that if we are the Bride of Christ and the new Jerusalem comes down as the Bride of the Lamb, then we the restored tent, the dwelling place of the King and His throne, are the New Jerusalem.
(Please, always study this out as the Bereans did.)
So through this lengthy two part teaching, I believe that we are able to see the incredible plan of God through His election of a remnant of the peoples of the earth, a tithe from mankind if you will. Christ is the firstfruits, i.e. a tithe 1 Cor 15:23, and we are in Christ as a type of firstfruits also. James 1:18
We teach tithe as just 10% of the whole. It is actually the best 10%. The tithe represents the entirety. So men are saved FROM every nation, tribe and tongue.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
By the Word alone!
For the glory of God alone!