The Berean Expositor
Volume 11 - Page 72 of 161
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thou perfect" (Gen. 17: 1). It is used of the Passover lamb, "your lamb shall be without
blemish" (Exod. 12: 5). Every occurrence of the feminine form is translated "integrity".
The last thing we should say of Jacob (as taught by our traditions) is that he was sincere,
upright, simple or perfect. Who would think of Jacob and Job together? Nevertheless
God who trieth the heart and knows what is in man definitely describes Jacob as a perfect
or sincere man, whilst generous-hearted, easily-appeased, hale-fellow-well-met Esau is
termed a profane person. God seeth not as man seeth, man looketh upon the outward
appearance, but God looketh upon the heart.
The second description of Jacob is "dwelling in tents". This fact is referred to in
Heb. 11: 8, and is there used as a sign of faithful patience in view of the promise:--
"By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise."
The epistle to the Hebrews uses both the words which describe Jacob with special
purpose, perfect and dwelling in tents. The same epistle describes Esau as a profane
person who sold his birthright. Esau thus becomes the exact opposite of Jacob. Esau is
held up as a warning to these Hebrews who were beginning to draw back, whose
endurance was waning. Such could not be renewed again unto repentance, and are
pointed to Esau:--
"Who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright, for ye know how that afterwards,
when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of
repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears" (12: 16, 17).
The chapter goes on to speak of those who were the church of the firstborn ones, who
are here warned against selling their birthright for a little respite.
Esau's second name (Edom) is taken from this selling of his birthright for a mess of
pottage, "that red" as he called it. Esau' second name links him with his profanity, and
Jacob's second name with his loss of self and his royalty, Esau is named after a mess of
lentils, Jacob is named Prince of God. Esau comes in from the field saying, "I am
faint.......I am at the point of death; and what profit shall this birthright do to me?"
Jacob after an all-night wrestle with the angel, touched at the breaking of the day upon
his thigh so that the sinew withered, still clings tight saying, "I will not let thee go except
thou bless me". Esau after selling his birthright "did eat and drink and rose up and went
his way; thus Esau despised his birthright". How many more have done the same! Jacob
on the other hand, though he works with base tools and crooked means, pursues his
end--THE blessing. We make no excuse for the method nor the means, but we do ask
the reader, whether God Who judges the motive may not after all amid all that is false
and fleshly see earnest desire, not for ease, comfort, or worldly greatness, but the heart's
cry, "Oh that I may receive the blessing of Abraham, and take my place in the line of
God's purpose". For this frail flesh will lie and deceive, for this suffer exile and the heat
by day and the frost by night, but nevertheless Jacob the perfect man shall by one path or
another come at last to see the face of God, repent, believe, and inherit the blessing.