Esau

Genesis 25:25; Genesis 25:29-34; Hebrews 12:16-17; Genesis 27:37-40; Genesis 36:8; 2 Samuel 8:14; 2 Kings 8:20-22; Genesis 33:4; Genesis 35:29; Malachi 1:2-3; Romans 9:13
A twin son with Jacob of Isaac and Rebekah, though Esau was actually the first-born. He is described as “red, all over like a hairy garment”; with this his name corresponds, which signifies “hairy” (Gen. 25:2525And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. (Genesis 25:25)). The first thing we read of him is the selling of his birthright to his over-reaching brother Jacob, for a mess of pottage. Concerning this he is called in the New Testament a profane person, because he valued not that which was the gift of God. He afterward sought the blessing carefully with tears, but found no place of repentance (Gen. 25:29-3429And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:29‑34); Heb. 12:16-1716Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Hebrews 12:16‑17)).
Jacob, through want of faith in God, surreptitiously obtained the blessing of his father (who, contrary to God’s election, intended it for Esau), in which Isaac said that he had made Jacob Esau’s lord, and given all his brethren to be his servants. The blessing of Esau was “Thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; and by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass, when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck” (Gen. 27:37-4037And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? 38And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; 40And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck. (Genesis 27:37‑40)). Esau hated his brother, and intended, when the days of mourning for his father were ended, to kill him. The words of Isaac were fulfilled. David put garrisons throughout all Edom (where the descendants of Esau dwelt, Genesis 36:88Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom. (Genesis 36:8)) and all they of Edom became his servants (2 Sam. 8:1414And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. (2 Samuel 8:14)); but later on in the days of Joram, Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah; and though Joram was able to punish them, yet Judah was growing weaker, and “Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, unto this day” (2 Kings 8:20-2220In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. 21So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents. 22Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. (2 Kings 8:20‑22)). Obadiah announces Edom’s final judgment: no remnant is restored. See EDOM.
Esau had three wives (see BASHEMATH) and a numerous posterity, which increased to a powerful tribe. When he went to meet Jacob he was accompanied by four hundred men. It may be God had warned Esau, as He did Laban, not to hurt Jacob; or possibly his anger may have abated; for when they approached, “Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” They were thus happily reconciled, and at the death of Isaac his two sons buried him (Gen. 33:44And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. (Genesis 33:4); Gen. 35:2929And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. (Genesis 35:29)).
In Malachi 1:2-32I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, 3And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (Malachi 1:2‑3) Esau is referred to as having been hated by Jehovah, whereas Jacob had been loved. This is quoted by Paul in Romans 9:1313As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Romans 9:13), where God’s sovereignty is being enforced. It was foretold that the elder should serve the younger before they were born, and before they could have done either good or bad: this was God’s sovereignty. But it was not foretold that God would hate Esau; it is not mentioned till the close of the Old Testament, after Esau in his descendants had displayed his unrelenting enmity to Israel, and Esau personally had long before that despised the gift of God in his birthright. The passage in Malachi is thought by some to refer to the nations which descended from the two brothers.