|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 29. - And Jacob sod pottage: - literally, cooked something cooked; ἔψησε δὲ Ἱακὼβ ἕψημα (LXX.); prepared boiled food, of lentils (vide on ver. 34) - and Esau came from the field, and he was faint - exhausted, the term being used of one who is both wearied and languishing (cf. Job 22:7; Psalm 63:2; Proverbs 25:25).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jacob sod pottage,.... Or boiled broth; this he did at a certain time, for this was not his usual employment; the Targum of Jonathan says, it was on the day in which Abraham died; and whereas this pottage was made of lentiles, as appears from Genesis 25:34; this the Jewish writers (i) say was the food of mourners; and so this circumstance furnishes out a reason for Jacob's boiling pottage of lentiles at this time: and hence also they (k) gather, that Jacob and Esau were now fifteen years of age; for Abraham was an hundred years old when Isaac was born, and Isaac was sixty at the birth of his sons; and Abraham lived to be one hundred and seventy five, and therefore Esau and Jacob must be fifteen years old when he died:
and Esau came from the field, and be was faint: for want of food, and weary with hunting, and perhaps more so, having toiled and got nothing.
(i) Pirke Eliezer, c. 35. (k) Seder Olam Rabba, p. 3. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. Jacob sod pottage—made of lentils or small beans, which are common in Egypt and Syria. It is probable that it was made of Egyptian beans, which Jacob had procured as a dainty; for Esau was a stranger to it. It is very palatable; and to the weary hunter, faint with hunger, its odor must have been irresistibly tempting.
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