Genesis 25:25
And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Red.—Heb., admoni, a secondary reason for the name Edom. (See Genesis 25:30,)

All over like an hairy garment.—Heb., all of him—that is, completely—like a garment of hair: words rendered “a rough garment” in Zechariah 13:4, where it is used of the jacket of sheepskin worn by the prophets. It appears, therefore, that Esau’s body was entirely covered with red down, which developed in time into hair as coarse as that of a kid (Genesis 27:16), and betokened a strong and vigorous, but sensual nature.

Esau.—The Jewish commentators form this name from the verb to make, and render it well-made; but the usual explanation is hairy, from a word now extant only in Arabic.

Genesis 25:25. Red, like a hairy garment — With red hair all over his body, as if he had been already a grown man, whence he had his name, Esau, made, reared already. This was an indication of a very strong constitution, and gave cause to expect that he would be a very robust, daring, active man. But Jacob was smooth and tender, as other children.25:19-26 Isaac seems not to have been much tried, but to have spent his days in quietness. Jacob and Esau were prayed for; their parents, after being long childless, obtained them by prayer. The fulfilment of God's promise is always sure, yet it is often slow. The faith of believers is tried, their patience exercised, and mercies long waited for are more welcome when they come. Isaac and Rebekah kept in view the promise of all nations being blessed in their posterity, therefore were not only desirous of children, but anxious concerning every thing which seemed to mark their future character. In all our doubts we should inquire of the Lord by prayer. In many of our conflicts with sin and temptation, we may adopt Rebekah's words, If it be so, why am I thus? If a child of God, why so careless or carnal? If not a child of God, why so afraid of, or so burdened with sin?The twins are born in due time. The difference is manifest in the outward appearance. The first is red and hairy. These qualities indicate a passionate and precocious nature. He is called "Esau the hairy," or "the made up," the prematurely developed. His brother is like other children. An act takes place in the very birth foreshadowing their future history. The second has a hold of his brother's heel, as if he would trip him up from his very birth. Hence, he is called "Jacob the wrestler," who takes hold by the heel.21. Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife—Though tried in a similar way to his father, he did not follow the same crooked policy. Twenty years he continued unblessed with offspring, whose seed was to be "as the stars" [Ge 26:4]. But in answer to their mutual prayers (1Pe 3:7), Rebekah was divinely informed that she was to be the mother of twins, who should be the progenitors of two independent nations; that the descendants of the younger should be the more powerful and subdue those of the other (Ro 9:12; 2Ch 21:8). Red; with red hair upon all the parts of his body. From him the Red Sea is supposed to receive its name, it being so called, as the heathen writers tell us, from one who reigned in those parts, and was called Erythras, or Erythrus, which signifies red, the same with Edom or Esau.

Esau, i.e. made or perfect; not properly a child, but rather a man as soon as he was born, having that hair upon him which in others was an evidence of manhood. And the first came out red,.... Either his body, or rather the hair it was covered with, red; which was a sign, as Jarchi observes, that he would be a shedder of blood, fierce and cruel as were he and his posterity:

all over like an hairy garment; his body was all over full of hair, which stood as thick as a garment made of hair, and was a sign of the roughness of his disposition, as well as of the strength of his body:

and they called his name Esau; his parents, and those present at his birth, all that saw him thus covered with hair; for he had his name not from the colour of his body or hair; for the word does not signify "red", but comes from a word which signifies "to make", he being a "maker": that made his way out before his brother, or an active man as afterwards, or because of his hair was "made" or born more like a man than a child; and so the Targum adds,"because he was wholly perfect, with the hair of his head and beard, and with his teeth and grinders:''but chiefly because of his hairiness, for Esau in the Arabic language signifies "covered" (f), as he was with hair: some say, a word in that language signifies a hairy garment made of camel's hair (g).

(f) "texit", "operuit", Castel. col. 2930. (g) Vid. Stockium. p. 923.

And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. red] R.V. marg. ruddy. The adjective refers to the skin rather than to the hair, as in the case of David (1 Samuel 16:12). The Heb. for “red,” admoni, is intended as a play on the word “Edom,” as if the Edomites were known as “the Reds,” or “Redskins,” on account of their warm complexion.

like an hairy garment] Cf. the description in Genesis 27:11-12; Genesis 27:16; Genesis 27:23. The word for “hairy” (sê‘ar) contains a play on the word “Seir,” the country of the Edomites.

Esau] The origin of the name is uncertain, but it may possibly be connected with an Arabic word meaning “thick-haired.” More doubtful is the suggested identification with Οὐσῶος, a hunter in Phoenician mythology. Esau appears as the poetical name for Edom. See Jeremiah 49:8-10; Obadiah 1:6; Obadiah 1:8 ff.; Malachi 1:2-3.Verse 25. - And the first came out red, - Adhoni, πυῥῤάκης (LXX.), rufus (Vulgate), red-haired (Gesenius), of a reddish color (Lange), containing an allusion to Adham, the red earth - all over like an hairy garment. Literally, all of him as a cloak of hair (not, as the LXX., Vulgate, et alii, all of him hairy, like a cloak); the fur cloak, or hair mantle, forming one notion (Gesenius). The appearance of the child's body, covered with an unusual quantity of red hair, was "a sign of excessive sensual vigor and wildness" (Keil), "a foreboding of the animal violence of his character" (Kalisch), "the indication of a passionate and precocious nature" (Murphy). And they called his name Esau - "the hairy one," from an unused root signifying to be covered with hair (Gesenius). According to the plan of Genesis, the history (tholedoth) of Isaac commences with the birth of his sons. But to give it the character of completeness in itself, Isaac's birth and marriage are mentioned again in Genesis 25:19, Genesis 25:20, as well as his age at the time of his marriage. The name given to the country of Rebekah (Genesis 25:20) and the abode of Laban in Genesis 28:2, Genesis 28:6-7; Genesis 31:18; Genesis 33:18; Genesis 35:9, Genesis 35:26; Genesis 46:15, viz., Padan-Aram, or more concisely Padan (Genesis 48:7), "the flat, or flat land of Aram," for which Hosea uses "the field of Aram" (Hosea 12:12), is not a peculiar expression employed by the Elohist, or in the so-called foundation-work, for Aram Naharaim, Mesopotamia (Genesis 24:10), but a more exact description of one particular district of Mesopotamia, viz., of the large plain, surrounded by mountains, in which the town of Haran was situated. The name was apparently transferred to the town itself afterwards. The history of Isaac consists of two stages: (1) the period of his active life, from his marriage and the birth of his sons till the departure of Jacob for Mesopotamia (Genesis 25:20-28:9); and (2) the time of his suffering endurance in the growing infirmity of age, when the events of Jacob's life form the leading feature of the still further expanded history of salvation (Genesis 28:10-35:29). This suffering condition, which lasted more than 40 years, reflected in a certain way the historical position which Isaac held in the patriarchal triad, as a passive rather than active link between Abraham and Jacob; and even in the active period of his life many of the events of Abraham's history were repeated in a modified form.

The name Jehovah prevails in the historical development of the tholedoth of Isaac, in the same manner as in that of Terah; although, on closer examination of the two, we find, first, that in this portion of Genesis the references to God are less frequent than in the earlier one; and secondly, that instead of the name Jehovah occurring more frequently than Elohim, the name Elohim predominates in this second stage of the history. The first difference arises from the fact, that the historical matter furnishes less occasion for the introduction of the name of God, just because the revelations of God are more rare, since the appearances of Jehovah to Isaac and Jacob together are not so numerous as those to Abraham alone. The second may be explained partly from the fact, that Isaac and Jacob did not perpetually stand in such close and living faith in Jehovah as Abraham, and partly also from the fact, that the previous revelations of God gave rise to other titles for the covenant God, such as "God of Abraham," "God of my father," etc., which could be used in the place of the name Jehovah (cf. Genesis 26:24; Genesis 31:5, Genesis 31:42; Genesis 35:1, Genesis 35:3, and the remarks on Genesis 35:9).

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