|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:27,28 Esau hunted the beasts of the field with dexterity and success, till he became a conqueror, ruling over his neighbours. Jacob was a plain man, one that liked the true delights of retirement, better than all pretended pleasures. He was a stranger and a pilgrim in his spirit, and a shepherd all his days. Isaac and Rebekah had but these two children, one was the father's darling, and the other the mother's. And though godly parents must feel their affections most drawn over towards a godly child, yet they will not show partiality. Let their affections lead them to do what is just and equal to every child, or evils will arise.
Verse 27. - And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, - literally, skilled in hunting; εἰδὼς κυνηγεῖν (LXX.); gnarus venandi (Vulgate); a sportsman - a man of the field; - not a husbandman, homo agricola (Vulgate), who is differently denominated - ish haadhamah (Genesis 9:20); but one addicted to roaming through the fields in search of sport - ἀγροικὸς (LXX.); an indication of the rough, fiery nature and wild, adventurous life of the elder of the two brothers - and Jacob was a plain man, - תָּם = ἄπλαστος (LXX.); simplex (Vulgate); integer, i.e. mitis, of mild and gentle manners (Rosenmüller); blameless, as a shepherd (Knobel); pious (Luther); righteous (Kalisch); obviously intended to describe Jacob as, both in character and life, the antithesis of Esau - dwelling in tents - i.e. loving to stay at home, as opposed to Esau, who loved to wander afield; preferring a quiet, peaceable, domestic, and pious manner of existence to a life of "excitement, adventure, and danger," such as captivated Esau.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the boys grew,.... In stature, became strong and fit for business, and betook themselves to different employments:
and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field: whose business lay in tilling and sowing it, which his father Isaac followed sometimes; or rather he chose to range about the field and hunt after beasts and birds, in which he was very expert, and contrived traps and snares to catch them in; and this course of life was most agreeable to his temper and disposition, being active, fierce, and cruel; according to the Targum of Jonathan, he was also a hunter and slayer of men, Nimrod and Henoch his son:
and Jacob was a plain man; an honest plain hearted man, whose heart and tongue went together; a quiet man, that gave no disturbance to others; a godly man, sincere, upright, and perfect, that had the truth of grace and holiness in him, as well as the perfect righteousness of his Redeemer on him:
dwelling in tents; keeping at home and attending the business of the family, as we afterwards find him boiling pottage, Genesis 25:29; or rather this denotes his pastoral life, being a shepherd, he dwelt in tents, which could be removed from place to place for the convenience of pasturage: Jarchi's note is,"in the tent of Shem and in the tent of Eber;''agreeably to the Targum of Jonathan,"a minister in the school of Shem, seeking doctrine from the Lord;''a student there, where he resided awhile, in order to be instructed in the doctrines of truth and righteousness.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. the boys grew—from the first, opposite to each other in character, manners, and habits.
Genesis 25:27 Parallel Commentaries
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