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Jacob and Esau.

Jacob and Esau.

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Malachi i. 2, 3.
"Was not Esau Jacob's brother ! saith the Lord : yet 1 loved
Jacob, And I hated Esau."

Malachi i. 2, 3.
"Was not Esau Jacob's brother ! saith the Lord : yet 1 loved
Jacob, And I hated Esau."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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JACOB AD ESAU.BY THE REV. ISAAC WILLIAMS, B.D,Malachi i. 2, 3."Was not Esau Jacob's brother ! saith the Lord : yet 1 lovedJacob, And I hated Esau."It is said that " the Heavens are not clean in God'ssight;" and that "His Angels He chargeth withfolly," much more "them that dwell in houses of clay*." Among the Saints in the mirror of Grod'sWord there is not one that appears as it were " with-out spot or wrinkle." In some cases Scripture itself bears witness to this, as in the sin of Moses, of David,of Hezekiah, the denial of St. Peter, and the error of St. John in wishing to bring down fire from Heaven,and with his mother in asking for the chief place.But where the Word of God has expressed no censureit is better not to judge ; as in the apparent act of intemperance in oah, the conduct of Abraham to-wards Pharaoh, and that of Jacob in obtaining his» Job XV. 15; iv. 18, 19.JACOB AD ESATT. 61father's blessing. A good Bishop of our own hasstrongly condemned this last, and noticed the retri-bution that followed on Jacob and his mother : thathe became an exile in consequence, and she never sawhim again; that he was himself soon after deceivedin a very remarkable manner by Laban ; that he wasimposed upon by his own sons in his old age, and thatas he had deceived his aged father with a kid, so hisson Joseph's coat was brought to him dyed with theblood of a kid*.
Such are the reflections of one much revered amongus; but the ancient Fathers are very unwilling toattribute sin to Jacob in this matter, knowing howhigh he stands in the favour of Grod. "We know nothow much may be left unexplained to us in thattransaction ; for it is evidently the setting forth of agreat mystery, the sacrament of our redemption ; weknow not what interposition of God may have takenplace with respect to Eebekah, or how far she andher son may have been acting under the influence andhand of God. She had been told of God beforehandthat "the elder should serve the younger':" sheknew that Jacob valued in faith the covenant thatGod had made with Abraham respecting Christ, andthat Esau despised it, and had sold his birthright:she takes it all upon herself, saying, " Upon me be thycurse, my son :" as knowing that it was no curse buta blessing. either does Isaac express any blame onEebekah or on Jacob ; but on the contrary immedi-ately confirms and repeats the blessing. It is saidthat on finding what he had done he " trembled veryexceedingly," this is explained by the Church of old» Bp. Wilson. » Gen. xxv. 23.62 JACOB AKD ISAr.as signifying that by a sudden inspiration fromabove he perceived the Divine interposition and thehand of God ; and then he does willingly what he hadbefore done in ignorance. And not only does hethen at the time acquiesce in and establish the bless-ing he had given, but afterwards he carries out thesame, when he sends him to the East; when theaccount is, "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessedhim," " and said, Gk)d Almighty bless thee, . . . andgive thee the blessing of Abraham."
It is indeed in these two brothers God now showsthat the covenant of grace and salvation which Hehad made with Abraham is only to stand by faith ;and this transaction is the representation of thatgreat mystery. Hence in Jacob we have the Gentile,the younger son, coming and obtaining the blessing of the elder ; the Old Testament, the Law and the Pro-phets represented by Isaac, appeared as if they wouldconfer the blessing on the Jew, for they seemed toaddress the Jews, to give them the promises. Buttheir father's " eyes were dim " by reason of age, " sothat he could not see," i.e. the Law and the Pro-phets were not understood, they were veiled by acloud. But Eebekah, she that had been called andcome from afar, i.e. the Church of God from thebeginning, substitutes the younger son, in the rai-ment of the elder ; he stands in the place of theelder, having received the birthright ; but covered withthe skins of the slain kid, i. e. having put on Christ,the savour of life, " as the smell of the field whichthjB Lord hath blessed," fruitful in all good works.9|i the voice is still the voice of Jacob, it isthw of the Gentile who by subtlety as it werepresses into the kingdom, it is still our nature,JACOB AITD ESATJ. 68which inherits not by right, but through the merits of our elder brother, the First-born, which is Christ.Then he draws near and receives from his father thesacramental kiss of peace, which Esau did not ^. Butas the Jew persecuted the Grentile unto the death, soEsau, it is said, would have slain Jacob ; but Jacobfled, having " suffered the loss of all things," but havinghis father's blessing; like the early Christians, "asdeceivers and yet true," " having nothing and yetpossessing all things," " persecuted but not for-

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