Ishmael and Esau: Family and Foe – Part 2

Esau (Edom) is also a shadowing of personal/family troubles but he is more complicated even than Ishmael.  When Jacob was sent off to find a wife Esau did something interesting, he went to Ishmael for a third wife.  At one time I thought that was to make Isaac and Rebekah mad but I now think it was just the opposite; in an attempt to please mom and dad he went back to “family” just like Jacob was doing (Genesis 28:6-9).  Esau married Mahalath, Ishmael’s daughter. So all of the types and shadows that may apply to Ishmael live on in Esau’s family. ( see Part 1 and Three Books)

Now the bad blood, remember it started in Rebekah’s womb (see Timeline), that had existed between Esau and Jacob (Genesis27: 41-45) seems to have been forgiven in the 20 years that they were separated (Genesis 33) but you have to wonder if Jacob’s mistrust was well-founded or did he create another offense when he did not travel back right away to the family area.

I am sure it was different then but he certainly had two interesting names, Esau means “hairy” and Edom means “red.”

Edom and Israel were always fighting in the Old Testament and all of the Major and Minor Prophets have sections that talk about the destruction and downfall of Edom. Since this area corresponds to modern-day Jordan you just know that this story is not over yet.

Please see the above link for more about Edom.

References: NIV footnotes,

Josephus is a Jewish historian, his writings may seem a little frightening but I only read the section that corresponds to what I am reading in the Bible.  My copy is a Nelson’s Super Value Series book and it does a good job of describing what each section covers and the parts in the “books” are very well labeled.  It adds an interesting perspective to the Bible passages that I am studying.

4 thoughts on “Ishmael and Esau: Family and Foe – Part 2

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