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Bowl or Birthright

Shane Willard

Page 2 of 8
Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

You've got this basically honest, hardworking guy - a skilful hunter, a man of the open country. He has one brother, and the other brother is basically a mama's boy, a homebody - and you get a clue as to why. Jacob loved the older brother more; and Rebekah loved the younger brother more.

So you have this family dynamic, where the dad loves one son more. How many of you know that it's messed up already? The dad loves one son more; so the mother compensates, by loving the other one more.

Jacob's name meant: deceiver, or liar. The Hebrew idea of Satan was ‘arch-deceiver’, so the Hebrew idea of Satan is actually: arch-Jacob; or King Jacob.

So Jacob's name meant liar, deceiver. Imagine that; go to bed liar, get up liar, do your chores liar, come to dinner liar, like all his whole life.

So this boy grew up with a dad who he knew loved his brother more; and with a mum who loved him more; and his whole life he was called liar. Over the course of time, it messed him up, as you can imagine.

It says: once when Jacob was cooking some stew... and that’s homebody, mama's-boy stuff. I mean look - there are men today who can't cook stew!

Jacob was cooking some stew; and Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob: quick, let me have some of that red stew, because I'm famished. That is why today he is called Edom - that's a slam. That's a joke that they're making at him.

Jacob replied: first sell me your birthright. Look, I'm about to die, Esau said. What good is my birthright to me? That's the key phrase in the whole passage: what good is my birthright to me?

But Jacob said: swear to me first; so he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave him some bread, and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, then he got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.

There’s all of this imagery, and this isn't just a story about two brothers in the ancient Near East; it’s a story about me and you. Where do you find yourself in this story? Who are you in this story?

He's just hungry, and he says: quick, give me some of that red stew. Now in Hebrew he just says: “Edom, Edom”. They didn't have any adverbs, so if they wanted to say something with exclamation, they would just say it twice (or three times). So if they wanted to say ‘peace’, they would say ‘shalom’; but if they wanted to say ‘really serious peace’ they'd say ‘shalom shalom’. If they wanted to say: ‘a peace that surpasses all understanding’ they'd say ‘shalom shalom shalom’.

So when he goes in he says: 'edom, 'edom; which just means: the red, the red.

King James version says: give me some of that red, give me some of the red. They add stew in the NIB, because it doesn't make sense otherwise. Let me just say it this way: give me some of that red stuff, that red stuff. I really, really, really, want the red stuff - 'edom, 'edom.

The Hebrew word for red is 'edom; and the Hebrew word for blood is dam. Blood was a mysterious substance to the Hebrew people, because if you ran out of it, you died - but you couldn't see it. It was a life source (the life is in the blood).

So he comes in and he goes 'edom, 'edom, give me some of that red stuff, that red stuff. Give me some of that life source, that life source; and you see the imagery played out in his dialogue. He says: I'll die if I don't get the red stuff, I'll die.

Jacob sees that his eye has hooked to the red stuff, and it started multiplying, to the point where he convinced himself he would die if he didn't have it. Has that ever happened to us, where we thought wanted something so bad that we would die without it? It is the 'edom, 'edom.