Genesis 25:30 MEANING

Genesis 25:30
Verse 30. - And Esau said unto Jacob, Feed me (literally, let me swallow, an expression for eating greedily), I pray thee, with that same red pottage; - literally, of that red, red (sc. pottage), or thing, in his excitement forgetting the name of the dish (Knobel), or indicative of the haste produced by his voracious appetite (Wordsworth, Luther), though the duplication of the term red has been explained as a witty play upon the resemblance of the lentil broth to his own red skin, as thus: "Feed with that red me the red one" (Lange) - for I am faint (vide supra, ver. 29): therefore was his name called Edom - i.e. red. "There is no discrepancy in ascribing his name both to his complexion and the color of the lentil broth. The propriety of a name may surely be marked by different circumstances" (A. G. in Lunge). The Arabians are fond of giving surnames of that kind to famous persons. Cf. Akil-al Murat, which was given to Hodjr, king of the Kendites, owing to his wife saying in a passion, "He is like a camel that devours bushes" (vide Havernick, 'Introduction,' § 18).

25:29-34 We have here the bargain made between Jacob and Esau about the right, which was Esau's by birth, but Jacob's by promise. It was for a spiritual privilege; and we see Jacob's desire of the birth-right, but he sought to obtain it by crooked courses, not like his character as a plain man. He was right, that he coveted earnestly the best gifts; he was wrong, that he took advantage of his brother's need. The inheritance of their father's worldly goods did not descend to Jacob, and was not meant in this proposal. But it includeth the future possession of the land of Canaan by his children's children, and the covenant made with Abraham as to Christ the promised Seed. Believing Jacob valued these above all things; unbelieving Esau despised them. Yet although we must be of Jacob's judgment in seeking the birth-right, we ought carefully to avoid all guile, in seeking to obtain even the greatest advantages. Jacob's pottage pleased Esau's eye. Give me some of that red; for this he was called Edom, or Red. Gratifying the sensual appetite ruins thousands of precious souls. When men's hearts walk after their own eyes, Job 31:7, and when they serve their own bellies, they are sure to be punished. If we use ourselves to deny ourselves, we break the force of most temptations. It cannot be supposed that Esau was dying of hunger in Isaac's house. The words signify, I am going towards death; he seems to mean, I shall never live to inherit Canaan, or any of those future supposed blessings; and what signifies it who has them when I am dead and gone. This would be the language of profaneness, with which the apostle brands him, Heb 12:16; and this contempt of the birth-right is blamed, ver. 34. It is the greatest folly to part with our interest in God, and Christ, and heaven, for the riches, honours, and pleasures of this world; it is as bad a bargain as his who sold a birth-right for a dish of pottage. Esau ate and drank, pleased his palate, satisfied his appetite, and then carelessly rose up and went his way, without any serious thought, or any regret, about the bad bargain he had made. Thus Esau despised his birth-right. By his neglect and contempt afterwards, and by justifying himself in what he had done, he put the bargain past recall. People are ruined, not so much by doing what is amiss, as by doing it and not repenting of it.And Esau said to Jacob, feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage,.... Or, "with that same red (l), red"; not knowing what it was, or what it was made of, and therefore only calls it by its colour; and the word being doubled, may denote that it was very red; or he, being in haste and greedy of it through hunger, repeats it in a quick and short way: this pottage was made of lentiles, as we learn from Genesis 25:34; which sort of food was much in use with the Egyptians, Egypt abounding with lentiles; and particularly Alexandria was famous for them, from whence they were carried into other countries, as Austin (m) relates. The lentiles of Pelusium, a city in Egypt, are made mention of by Virgil (n) and Martial (o), for which that place was famous; where, as Servius says (p), lentiles were first found, or where they grew the best; and, in the Misnah (q), an Egyptian lentil is spoken of, as neither large nor small, but middling. Pliny (r) speaks of two sorts of it in Egypt, and says he found it in some authors, that eating of these makes men even tempered, good humoured, and patient; and observes (s), that they delight in red earth, or where there is much ruddle, or red ochre, from whence they may receive a red tincture; and the pottage made of them is of such a colour. And Dr. Shaw (t) says, that lentiles dissolve easily into a mass, and make a pottage or soup of a chocolate colour, much used in the eastern countries: and, as Scheuchzer observes (u), coffee is of the bean kind, and not unlike a lentil, and makes a red decoction. The colour of it took with Esau, as well as it was sweet and savoury, as Athenaeus (w) reports; and especially, he being faint and hungry, desires his brother to give him some of it, and even to feed him with it:

for I am faint; so faint that he could not feed himself, or however wanted immediate sustenance, and could not wait till other food he had used to live upon was dressed:

therefore was his name called Edom; not from his red hair, but from this red pottage; for Edom signifies "red", and is the same with the names Pyrrhus and Rufus.

(l) "de rufo, rufo isto", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; so Piscator, Schmidt. (m) Comment. in Psal. xlvi. tom. 8. p. 174. (n) Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. ver. 228. (o) Martial. l. 13. epigr. 9. (p) In Virgil. ut supra. (Georgic. l. 1. ver. 228) (q) Misn. Celim. c. 17. sect. 8. (r) Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 12. (s) lbid. c. 17. (t) Travels, p. 140. Ed. 2.((u) Physica Sacra, vol. 1. p. 78. (w) Deipno Sophist. l. 4. c. 14, 15.

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