December 30, 2014

Commentary on the Book of Genesis

By: Tom Lowe

 

PART III: HISTORY OF ISAAC AND JACOB. (Genesis 25:19-36:43)

Topic #A:ISAAC'S FAMILY AND SOME TROUBLES. (Genesis 25:19-26:35)                                                                                           

 


Lesson III.A.6: Trouble about Esau's Wives. (Gen. 26:34-35).                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

(Genesis 26:34-35) (KJV)

 

34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:

35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

 

 

Introduction

 

Esau was foolish for marrying two wives together, and still more foolish for marrying Canaanites, strangers to the blessing of Abraham, and subject to the curse of Noah.  It grieved his parents that he married without their advice and consent.  It grieved them that he married among those who had no religion.  Children have little reason to expect God’s blessing who do that which is a “grief of mind” to good parents.

 

 

Commentary

 

34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:

35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

 

Isaac was at peace with his neighbors, but all the while Isaac had an Esau growing to manhood at home.  It is a strange fact that many a man, whose life has made great impact on others, fails to make an impact on his own children.  Perhaps they are too familiar with sacred things and, therefore, all religion bores them.  (Men today do not consider God relevant in their lives; hence, they do not lift up Jesus and God at home.) Esau had never shown any interest in God’s Word.

 

And now, he was 40 years of age.  He decided to get married, and in his choice of wives he broke the hearts of his parents.  “And Esau…took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.” (Later,just to provoke his parents, he married a third heathen wife. See 29:8-9.) Esau’s marriage to two Hittite girls is not what offended Isaac and Rebekah; it was not that he married two women at the same time, but that they were Hittites.  Plural marriages were neither uncommon nor unacceptable to the standards of the time, but to marry outside the clan was to mix its blood and to break its solidarity.  That is why these Hittite daughters-in-law “were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.”  More will[t1]  be said about those two pagan charmers when we come to consider Esau in that full-length review God gives of his live in Genesis 36.  Suffice it to say here that Esau’s choice of wives showed how far down the highway to a lost eternity he had already gone.  In view of Esau’s sinful lifestyle, we wonder why Isaac wanted to give him the patriarchal blessing (chapter 27).

 

Isaac and Rebekah were not perfect.  They had made their mistakes, played at favorites, stumbled and fallen, and at times drifted from God.  But, beneath it all, they both had a sincere love for the Lord and, as we have seen, Isaac’s testimony in the world was impressive.  One of their sons grew up to become one of the greatest of all Old Testament saints; the other grew up to break their hearts.  For if Satan cannot attack a man any other way, he will attack him through his family.  We have often seen that. 

 

The implication that many have drawn from this passage is that Esau did not inherit the promise because he had taken foreign wives.  It was a foolish marriage; foolish, some think, in marrying two wives together, or, rather, in marrying Canaanites, who were strangers to the blessing of Abraham and subject to the curse of Noah. In so doing he intimated, that he neither desired the blessing, nor dreaded the curse of God, nor was he the least bit concerned about the grief and trouble he brought to his loving parents.  Moreover, Esau still retained his position as heir of the covenant promises in succession to Abraham and Isaac.

 

Notice, it grieved them that he married without asking, or at least, without seeking their advice and consent.  It grieved them that he married among those who had no religion at all; for Esau knew his father’s will in the matter and that his marriage to a Canaanite would not be respecting his wishes.  Those children who do that which is a “grief of mind” to their good parents, have little reason to expect the blessing of God.

 

If the pious feelings of Abraham recoiled from the idea of Isaac forming a matrimonial connection with a Canaanitish woman, that devout patriarch himself would be equally opposed to such a union on the part of his grandchildren; and we may easily imagine how much his pious heart was wounded, and the family peace destroyed, when his favorite but wayward grandson brought no less than two idolatrous wives into the family—an additional proof that Esau neither desired the blessing nor dreaded the curse of God.  These wives never gained the affections of his parents. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 [t1]Just to provoke his parents, he marrie a third heathen wife of

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