maandag 8 augustus 2016
Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated (Part 2)
In the Letter to the Hebrews, in chapter 12, the author earnestly warns the Jewish End-times community to avoid the bad example set by the brother of their ancestor Jacob (Israel):
Watch carefully that no one is coming behind of Elohim’s loving grace; that no root of bitterness sprouting and cause trouble and through it the many should be defiled; no fornicator or desecrated one like Esau, who in exchange for one meal gave away his rights as firstborn. For it is known to you that afterwards also, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind, though he sought it earnestly with tears.
The inspired author quotes De 29:18 from the LXX, in a context where Israel seriously is being warned not to serve the idols of the Goyim. Or, according to the M-version:
You have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them; lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from YHWH our Elohim, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood.
Apparently, the apostle warns his Jewish brothers for a religious development that will be a horrible, fake parody of what Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah:
A shoot will come out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots will bear fruit. The spirit of YHWH will rest on him:
The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YHWH… It will happen in that day that the nations will seek the root of Jesse, who stands as a banner of the peoples; and his resting place will be glorious.
(Is 10:1-2, 10)
So, a process of imitation, the usual Satanic parody. In this case, depicting the (anti) messianic might to the Jewish people as YHWH’s true Messiah whom the Jews are so long expecting.
Before, but in somewhat veiled terms, quoting Haggai’s prophecy, the author had indicated the appearance of that most dangerous character, the rise of a fake messiah:
For you need endurance so that, having done Elohim’s will, you may receive the promise. For yet a very short period of time: He who comes will come and not delay. But my righteous by faith he will live;
and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.
However, we are not of those who shrink back, to destruction; but of those who have faith, to the preserving of the soul.
However, here, that fake Mashiach is pictured as a poisonous root that will harm and deprave the majority of the Jewish End-times community. Being misguided, they will welcome him as their long awaited Mashiach, but being infected by that poisonous root a Jew then yields to the pressure of his supposed brothers and yet denies his main brother, Yeshua, as Israel's Messiah.
That is why the apostle appeals to the solidarity of his readers. Let them nevertheless aim to ensure that no one falls short of Elohim’s loving grace towards his people, and indeed towards all humanity. Nowhere that grace is more expressed than in the gift to the world of his only begotten Son:Whosoever believes in him will not be destroyed but will have everlasting life (John 3:16-17).
But given the pressure from the ranks of their own race they run the real risk to lose the salvation which has become available in the Messiah. No wonder therefore that the apostle, in this most important learning point, urges his brothers to exhibit community to each other and support each other in fully receiving Elohim's loving grace [Greek χαρις usually appears with grace in the English versions; sometimes with favour].
No fornicator or desecrated one like Esau…
The threat of a potential apostasy by the appearance of the Anti-messiah is for the author reason to portray the figure Esau; for the Hebrews a well-known character, the twin brother of their father Jacob, but who only arouses disgust with them because of his bad example. And that is clearly the intention of our author. Why? Because there are certain similarities between him and the Anti-messiah in the End times.
Philo saw Esau as an unruly, to passions surrendered man. The Talmud also presents him as a morally degraded person.
In Genesis 26:34-35 about Esau is stated that he self-willed - against the wishes of his parents - took pagan women. This is reminiscent of the Nephilim, the fallen angels who materialized to masculine figures and took wives, all whom they chose, during the 120-year period that preceded the Flood (Ge 6:1-4).
According to Jude 1: 6-7 they thus committed gross lewdness. They went after flesh for unnatural use: Angels who didn’t keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place… Even as Sodom and Gomorrah… which similarly as these committed gross immorality and went after different kind of flesh.
Previously Esau had already shown himself the by-and-by carnal man, grabbing the moment and living for the moment:
Jacob boiled stew. Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am famished.” Therefore, his name was called Edom. Jacob said, “First, sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” He swore to him. He sold his birthright to Jacob. Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright.
The descendants of Esau became known as the Edomites, the people of Edom. In the book of Malachi we find a remarkable prophetic statement about that people in the context of Elohim's love for Jacob and his hatred of Esau:
1 An oracle: the word of YHWH to Israel by Malachi.
2 “I have loved you,” says YHWH.
Yet you say, “How have you loved us?”
“Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” says YHWH, “Yet I loved Jacob;
3 but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and gave his heritage to the jackals of the wilderness.”
4 Whereas Edom says, “We are beaten down, but we will return and build the waste places;” thus says YHWH of Armies, “They shall build, but I will throw down; and men will call them ‘The Wicked Land,’ even the people against whom YHWH shows wrath forever.”
In Part 1 we have written that behind this Edom the unclean spirits are hidden, Elohim's fallen sons, those who made themselves into demons.
For it is known to you that afterwards also, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind, though he sought it earnestly with tears.
The author refers to Genesis, chapter 27. The old Isaac who could no longer discern and felt that there was little opportunity to convey the blessing of Abraham to the bearer of the promise, called his eldest son Esau to him with the intent to bless him. In reality Esau then was not at all entitled because of his despising his rights as firstborn by transferring them to his younger twin brother Jacob in exchange for a single meal.
Apparently he regretted that transaction, but not in a godly way. He only complained himself just out of self-interest.
Earlier, in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, the author wrote that godly sorrow works repentance. But there is another sorrow of the world, which only mourns about opportunities that have been lost, and the latter was undoubtedly the case with Esau:
For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world works death.
If he still could elicit a blessing from his father he could feel confirmed in his career which, in his case, turned out typically for the earthly, carnal man who is constantly hunting in further development, however, not according to Elohim's way but according to the way of worldly development, which just leads away from God.
This development had already its start in the Garden of Eden when the first human couple ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, in reality the fruit of development.
That act, claiming the own independence, caused a rift between humanity and their God. They broke free from God and henceforth developed independently of his perfect guidance.
Since man was created in God's image, he possessed potentially great possibilities, and it has turned out that man - almost instinctively – is bent to exploit these opportunities to the fullest by ever coming to greater (own) achievements.
However, considered from God's point of view that was (and still is) a disastrous way. Consequently, he was obliged to intervene vigorously several times to curb man in his insane acting; in Pr 9:3 thus rendered by the Qoheleth:
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that, because there is one eventuality to all, yes one outcome, the heart of the sons of men is full of bad, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that: to the dead ones.
That disastrous way of living had its start immediately after the Fall and Elohim put man outside Gan Eden, in a dying state, shielding the way to the Tree of life.
In his Letter to the Romans, the author has explained that YHWH Elohim then subjected creation to vanity:
For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together until now.
The Greek word used there, ματαιοτης, indicates futility, vanity, fruitlessness.
In the book of Ecclesiastes that theme is broadly developed: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity (Ec 1:2; in the LXX ματαιοτης). A recent bible translation in the Netherlands has attempted to give substance to that term by translating: Air and emptiness, everything is air and emptiness.
The second major intervention of God came in the days of Noah, when He brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people (2Pe 2:5) and restricted drastically the life of the world's population - the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
It was like Elohim saying to Satan and his demons, the Nephilim, who had materialized to male persons: They shall build, but I will throw down; as in Malachi.
If God had not done that, then the Devil would have established a monstrous world domination at an early stage. Why?
Because many of Elohim's spiritual sons then materialized themselves to human bodies, at the same time possessing superior, superhuman powers. Andin that state they begot offspring by the beautiful daughters of men. The natural consequence was that these sons were abnormal, bastards, yeah, actually were monsters. The Bible calls them Gibborim (strong men, powerful) that greatly contributed that the earth was filled with violence and wickedness (Ge 6:1-7; 2Pe 2:11).
But soon, some 170 years after that catastrophe, God intervened again by confusing the language of the ambitious builders of the Tower of Babel.Mark Elohim's motivation. Those rebellious people under the leadership of Nimrod as a hunter - as later also Esau - had said: Come on! Let us build a city for us and also a tower with its top reaching to heaven, and let us make a celebrated name, lest we be scattered over the entire surface of the earth.
But God discerned immediately that this was not a harmless project:
YHWH came down to see the city and the tower, that the sons of men had built. YHWH said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do. Now there is nothing that they might have in mind to do that is unattainable for them. Come, let’s go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So YHWH scattered them abroad from there on the surface of all the earth, and they gradually stopped building the city. Therefore, the name of it was called Babel, because YHWH there confused the language of all the earth.
See also the Study: Confusion of Tongues and the Seven Times
The ethnic groups that came into existence by this action, were allowed freedom of action to a great extent. YHWH Elohim refrained from being any longer their Sovereign Ruler (Lu 4:5-6; Da 4:13-17).
He gave them the opportunity to start their own independent political path, so that around the year 46 AD the author could say to a crowd of Goyim:In the past generations he permitted all nations to walk in their own ways, although he still has not left himself without testimony (Acts 14:6-17).
Answering her instinctive call, humanity has not sat down in idleness; on the contrary! She has given full rein to her need to performance. Andeveryone can see that this has resulted in the present time to a phenomenal development. In his development away from Elohim man has never before come such a long way, and we can safely fix that Jewish top people had not an insignificant share in it. Many of them themselves are very happy about that, as becomes clear from the boasting by the 'Laodicean' members of the Jewish End-time community: I am rich and I have enriched myself and I lack nothing.
However, their true Messiah has a completely different opinion about their situation, telling them something that amounts to the following:
"You, his chosen people, have incorrectly used your favoured status. Among all just you are the wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked."
It has always been Elohim's purpose allowing the development that leads away from him to come to an extreme point and then bend it so much that the path back to Him is followed.
Within his people Israel He has implemented that purpose already in typological sense by carrying away his people out of the world power Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs and the Pyramids and therefore in that period the area of development.
Yes, not only to carry away his people out of that situation, but also with the intention to lead them to Himself. The ultimate aim was to bring the chosen nation in a state of rest (Ex 19:4; De 12:4-10).
Canaan, the Promised Land of Rest, however, was also typological; not yet the real Rest (He 4:8-10). The bending and consequently the way back to YHWH Elohim, could only start really with the appearance of the Messiah.
When the 70th Annual Week dawns and YHWH Elohim again exclusively deals with his name people, time breaks that the disastrous path of Israel and the nations of the world finally will be turned into the path back to God (Re 1:10).
More than ever before, for the entire cosmos it will become clear that king Solomon, in the style of the Koheleth, launched profound truths when he wrote in Psalm 127:
Unless YHWH builds the house, they labour in vain who build it.
Unless YHWH watches over the city, the watchman guards it in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to stay up late, eating the bread of toil. For he gives sleep to his loved ones.
For it is known to you that afterwards also, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind, though he sought it earnestly with tears.
Above we concluded that man is naturally inclined to make use of the world to the full, even if that world is developing further and further away from God. In fact man is born with the potential to broaden his horizons and to fill the world with a multitude of appearances. Therefore, for Isaac it was actually not strange wanting to bless him who represented the powers of the (negative) development: his son Esau, who also was his firstborn.
Like almost everyone in the world Isaac, as also being an Adamitic person, did not distinguish well; he only saw the outward appearance. The essence, the core of the case, that this son of him represented the wrong direction of development, escaped his notice, focused as he was on the 'game' of the worldly development.
Compare 1Co 7:31.
In 1Jo 2:15-17 the remnant of the End-times is thus admonished:
Don’t love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s. The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God’s will remains forever.
Fortunately, by divine intervention, the female part of Isaac's being, Rivqah, timely responded. YHWH Elohim saw to it that the blessing of Abraham reached the right person: the one who would become the progenitor of the people that, under the rule of the Messiah, will be used by YHWH as the earthly part of the Israel of God to finally call a halt to the way of harmful development and returning the world from its furthest point of development to its Creator.
That Elohim’s sons who compose the heavenly congregation of the Israel of God will have a very important role in the elaboration of the divine plan, may be evidenced by Ro 8:19-22
For the creation waits with eager expectation for Elohim’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together until now.
It is certainly remarkable that the divine blessing reached Jacob in his disguised situation of Esau, as it were wrapped in man’s body of (negative) development.
That, however, is simply world’s situation in which even those who seek God find themselves. They cannot go marching out of this world, no matter how negative it develops and is getting constantly farther removed from God (1Co 5:9-10).
But that does not mean that they are obliged "to hunt", together with the world. That aspect too is being offered to us in this story: Isaac showed himself surprised that his son had so quickly found the game:
Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?”
He said, “Because YHWH your Elohim brought it unto me.”
The wildlife that YHWH ‘brought’ in Jacob's way, were meaningful two kids of the goats (verse 9). Significant because later, on Israel's annual Day of Atonement, on the tenth day of the seventh month, in addition to the young bull as the sin offering for Aaron and for his house, also two kids of the goats had to be brought for the people's sin offering:
And from the congregation of the sons of Israel he shall take two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.
Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before YHWH at the door of the Tent of Meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats; one lot for Yahweh, and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the lot fell for YHWH, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot came up for Azazel, shall be presented alive before YHWH, to make atonement for it, so as to send it away for the Azazel into the wilderness.
Significant again is the fact that Israel would experience the annual reconciliation through the sacrifice of two kids of the goats; in Hebrew indicated with a same term about which Esau and his descendants have come to be known: Seir. The same spelling but in Hebrew vocalized otherwise, referring to the mountainous region that first was inhabited by the Horites, but where later Esau settled (Ge 14:4-6; 36:6-9; De 2:1, 8).
Therefore, when the High Priest on Yom Kippur, according to Le 16:21-22, laid both hands on the head of the live goat, the one for Azazel, and confessed over it all the errors of the sons of Israel and all their revolts in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, with the intention to carry all those errors away into the wilderness, in type those sins were placed on Esau's head. Thus considered - according to the Midrash – the responsibility for Jacob's (Israel's) sins would actually be worn by Esau(!)
In Leviticus 16, the goat that had to carry away sin, error and trespasses into the wilderness, was called the goat for Azazel; by some translators also the scapegoat. About the meaning of Azazel Bible expositors are divided, but according to his original derivation the word would signify either strength of God or strong against God. The latter meaning seems most likely, as the term has to be associated with a spirit creature that has no good intentions. In Lv 16:9-10 the goat for Azazel is indeed across the goat for YHWH.
Moreover, in that vision the goat for Azazel gets sense that is even more meaningful. While the goat for YHWH was literally sacrificed and the blood had (typological) atoning value for the people, as the blood of the bull had for Aaron and his house, the goat for Azazel was led into the wilderness (traditionally seen as an abode of the demons) in order to give back as it were to Satan everything for which he, as the first rebel and instigator of evil, became responsible: Here you are, Satan! Everything back!
The case still being assessed from the above argument, Rivqah's order to her son Jacob - the two kids of the goats had to be good ones – is also getting a deeper sense. For that would not only be good for Jacob's purpose but for his descendants too, because the reconciliation with YHWH their Elohim that Israel would be granted annually, would be based on the presentation of just such goats. Thus considered, also in that case a shadow would already thrown forward to the manner how Yom Kippur would pass off; the ceremony regarding the two goats differed after all significantly.
At the occasion of the antitypical Day of Atonement Messiah Yeshua fulfilled that type by the sacrifice of his own soul (Mt 20:28). On that basis, the worldly 'hunting' – developing oneself always further in one’s own human strength – has become completely superseded. True life in all its Elohim's pleasing forms will be enjoyed in close association with the Messiah. And YHWH has brought his Son already on both Israel’s way as on that of the whole world (Ga 4:4-5; 1John 2:1-2).
In the meantime, however, the members of the true Israel of God are continually challenged to conquer the world with its sorry development, as did the Messiah.
Based on all the above, however, it can be said that those who have started to put their faith in him, also themselves are overcoming the world:
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God?
When Isaac noticed that his intentions were overruled by YHWH Elohim, with a jolt he came up to his senses. Horrified, he concluded that his opinionwas based on a wrong perception. Consequently, he refused to be mollified by the tears of his oldest son, who urged him vehemently yet to bless him too.
Isaac made only known Esau’s prophetic 'picture'. The man of worldly development failed to change his father’s mind: He found no place for a change of mind, though he sought it earnestly with tears.