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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Esau

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The elder brother of Jacob, who despised the blessing, and was rejected. In the history of those two brothers, we have enough to answer and silence all cavils respecting distinguishing grace from God's own testimony. (See Genesis 25:21-23; Malachi 1:3; Romans 9:1-33 throughout.) But while this doctrine concerning distinguishing grace is fully displayed in the history of Jacob and Esau from those Scriptures, there is one point more relating to Esau which deserves to be particularly considered, and the more so, from the misapprehension of many respecting it. I mean what is said by the apostle of the rejection of Esau's repentance. (Hebrews 12:16-17) By a mistake both of the cause which gave birth to this man's repentance, and of the nature of that repentance itself, many erroneous opinions have been formed upon it. A short attention to the passage as given by the apostle, under the Holy Ghost's teaching, will put this subject in a clear light, and explain this seeming difficulty. The passage is as follows: "Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For 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." Now, if the reader will compare what is here said with the account given by the Holy Ghost, how he sold his birthright. (Genesis 25:29-34) he will discover the contempt which he put upon his birthright, and the consequent resentment of God. This is the first thing to be observed in this transaction. The covenant blessing he still despised. This he wholly disregarded, and never repented that he had so done. And if the reader looks attentively to what the Apostle hath said concerning his repentance, he will next discover, that Esau's repentance was not in respect to the promised blessing, in spiritual things conveyed to Jacob, but mere temporal possessions. Jacob was made Esau's lord, and Esau himself, by selling his birthright, had consented to it; of this he repented, and sought it carefully with tears, to prevail upon his father Isaac to call it back, hoping the known partiality of the father to him would prevail over his natural feelings. "And hence he cried with an exceeding bitter cry, and said, Hast thou but one blessing, my father, bless me, even me, also, O my father!" (Genesis 27:34-38) The reader will perceive, that in this whole account here nothing but the natural feelings at work. The repentance of Esau is wholly concerning earthly possessions, and not a word spoken about the covenant blessing given to Abraham concerning the rejection of Esau's repentance is the rejection of his earthly father Isaac, and hath nothing to do with the rejection of the Lord. Esau offered no repentance to God. The blessing in Christ he regarded no more then, than he did when he sold his birthright. This was not in Esau's concern. Esau was still the same profane person as ever. So that, if men who read their Bibles would read them attentively on this point, and beg the great Author of his written word, even God the Holy Ghost, to instruct them, they would learn to make a proper distinction between what Paul calls the sorrow of the world, which worketh death, and that godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of. (2 Corinthians 7:10) The former, like Esau's, is wholly from nature the latter, Paul describes, is from grace. The one is man's own creating, and wholly concerning, earthly things; the other is the Lord's creating, and wholly refers to heavenly things. The repentance that begins in a man's own heart from his own disappointments in worldly pursuits, ends as it began, and produceth death. The repentance which is from above and leads to true sorrow of soul, riseth to the source from whence it first came, and bringeth forth life. And this is confirmed by what the apostle declared; "Christ is exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:31)


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Esau'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/pmd/e/esau.html. London. 1828.

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