After Esau, the first twin of Isaac and the Father of the Edom- אֱדוֹם, was born, he was described with just few words, as written:
|Now the first came forth red all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau… Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field… Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game…”(Genesis 25:25-28)||
“וַיֵּצֵא הָרִאשׁוֹן אַדְמוֹנִי כֻּלּוֹ כְּאַדֶּרֶת שֵׂעָר; וַיִּקְרְאוּ שְׁמוֹ עֵשָׂו…. וַיְהִי עֵשָׂו אִישׁ יֹדֵעַ צַיִד, אִישׁ שָׂדֶה… וַיֶּאֱהַב יִצְחָק אֶת-עֵשָׂו כִּי-צַיִד בְּפִיו”
What can we learn about Isaac’s firstborn?
The meaning of his name is covered, probably with a lot of hair, as we know that he was hairy. In Genesis Rabbah it’s written that he was one of a kind, due to his respect for his father, Isaac, who loved him because he was a hunter (maybe Esau fulfilled his father’s wishes!). That’s it my friends; there’s no more information given to us in this story. We know that the relationship between the people of Edom and the people of Israel was really hostile, but this is another topic for another time (see for example Malachi 1:2-3)
In the book of Jubilees, which was written in the 2nd Century B.C., there’s more information about the character of Esau. Esau was in the field all his life as a result of the decision not to learn the way his younger brother Jacob did. Esau was interested only in wars, he was arrogant and aggressive (see Jubiless 19:13-14).
It seems to be that in order to prefer one character, you need, unfortunately, to negate the other. However, dear friends, don’t forget what happened at the end of the sotry for these twins – they hugged and kissed. This should be a suitable ending for every disagreement!
Have a blessed week, Eli
The first-hāri’šōn – הָרִאשׁוֹן
Field- śādeh – שָׂדֶה
Esau-’ēśāv – עֵשָׂו
Arrogant-ga’avtān – גַּאַוְתָן
Edom-’ĕdôm – אֱדוֹם