Genesis 26:34
When Esau was forty years old, he took as his wives Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.
Sermons
Esau Supplants HimselfJ. Parker, D. D.Genesis 26:34-35
Esau's MarriageT. H. Leale.Genesis 26:34-35
Esau's WivesJ. Parker, D. D.Genesis 26:34-35
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 26:34-35
Line Upon Line, in God's TeachingR.A. Redford Genesis 26
And he removed from thence, and digged another well. Historically, an instance of a meek and quiet spirit in contact with the world. Wells precious. Often formed with much labor. Herdsmen of Gerar took what Isaac had digged. Twice he yielded for the sake of peace. Then he digged another, and for it they strove not. His example (cf. Matthew 5:39; 1 Corinthians 6:7). But we may also observe a typical significance. Wells, fountains, sources of "living water" (Isaiah 12:3; Zechariah 13:1) connected with spiritual blessings (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4 with John 4:14, and John 7:39).

I. ISAAC DIGGED, to find "the gift of God" (common. Eastern name for water). The gift is from God alone (Isaiah 44:3; Zechariah 12:10). His will to bless appears through the whole Bible - in the first formation of man, and in care for the salvation of sinners (Luke 19:10). But many, though thirsty, do not seek living water. They have not peace. Separation from God brings unrest (Isaiah 57:20). But the cause is not believed, and the way of comfort not loved. Many try all ways to find peace except the right one. They will follow preachers, or take up systems, or join associations. But Christ's word is "Come unto me." Again, many will not dig; content merely to wish. God who bestows the gift has appointed means (Matthew 11:12). These do not really desire a work of grace in their souls. Want to be made safe, not to be renewed; to be delivered from fear, but not disturbed just now. Hence do not search their Bibles (Psalm 119:130), or pray for the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 37:9), or care for the salvation of others (1 John 3:17). It is God's will we should dig. He may send a blessing unsought. But usually he works through means. The Bible, prayer, the Lord's table, Christian converse, Christian work (Proverbs 11:25), all are as wells, means for getting the water of life; nothing in themselves, yet made effectual where the blessing is desired.

II. HINDRANCES. Let none expect to possess wells of salvation without. They form the trial of faith (1 Peter 1:7). From those who love not God. A Christian member of a worldly family, or cast among careless associates, meets many hindrances. They may be open or veiled; in opposition or in mistaken kindness. And time for prayer is intruded on, and work for God is hindered, and a constant opposing influence is felt to chill the love of God. Or the hindrance may be from within. In prayer the mind overpowered by intrusive thoughts; besetting sins constantly gaining the victory; our spirits not in harmony with the "still small voice." Remember it is God's will through trial to give victory (1 Corinthians 10:13). Amalek fought against Israel (Exodus 17.) as the herdsmen strove against Isaac, but the way of victory was the same in both instances - trust and perseverance.

III. DIGGED ANOTHER WELL (Galatians 6:9). Will the Lord fail his people though surrounded by hindrances? Is some means of grace debarred? Is some line of Christian work, some way of Christian progress, closed against thee? Dig another well. Seek and pray for other channels in which to consecrate thy life. Perhaps the real foe hindering thee was self-will, and God has helped thee to put down self. Jesus cried, "Come unto me and drink." Whatever be the well, he is the source of its spring. Make it clear to your own heart that you are pressing to him. Tell God that it is indeed so. Then in some form or other the prayer, "Spring up, O well," shall have an abundant answer. - M.







And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
I. Esau was forty years old when he married. A sin is aggravated sometimes by the age of the sinner. Some men learn nothing by age: they are forty years old on the books of the registrar; they are no age at all in the books of wisdom.

II. Esau's wives were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah. Sin has consequences. Actions are not solitary and uninfluential; they have relations to other actions and to influences simply innumerable and incalculable.

III. A sin does not confine itself to one line of punishment. Esau went against the law of his country and his people in marrying Canaanitish women. What was the punishment? Endless, ubiquitous, complete —(1) Esau was alienated from his family;(2) he was a rebel against the laws of organised society;(3) he forfeited his hereditary rights. The law of the land was: To marry a Canaanitish woman is to lose your primogeniture. Esau supplanted himself. Find out the roots and beginnings of things, and you will always discover that a man is his own supplanter, his own enemy.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. IT WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS CHARACTER. Prodigal, and careless of consequences.

II. IT WAS IRRELIGIOUS.

1. Against the interests of the Church of God.

2. A transgression of duty towards his parents.

(T. H. Leale.)

1. Wicked children usually increase sin with their age.

2. Reprobate spirits take all the wage of sin, to put away blessing and bring on the curse.

3. Idolatrous wives and multiplicity of them hasten ruin to them who take them. Lust loves idolatrous yoke-fellows.

4. Bigamy and unholy matches prove greatest griefs to gracious parents.

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

To marry thus was to drop out of the entail, to forfeit position, and to commit hereditary suicide. It was then that Esau sold his birthright. How we have felt for him as an injured man I How often we have sentimentally said we prefer Esau to Jacob, the child of the mountains to the plain man dwelling in tents, the rough shaggy hunter to the hairless man who stayed at home! It was too bad of Jacob to treat his brother so. Find out the roots and beginnings of things, and you will always discover that a man is his own supplanter: his own enemy. You will find far back — ten years ago, twenty, and more, yea, a quarter of a century — that a man did something which has been following him all the time. When the crises come that the public can look at, they pity him within the four corners of the visible crisis itself: they do not know how judgment has been tracking the man, watching him with pitiless, critical eye, waiting for its turn to come. We read over such little verses as these as though they were related to an ancient anecdote, and have really no immediate concern to the public of our own century. We come upon a second line, and say, "Poor Esau! that was too bad!" Let us be just! No man can injure you so much as you can injure yourself. If you have not injured yourself you may defy the world; the world will come round you in due time. Keep substantially right — that is, right in purpose, right in motive, right in the centre of the mind; and slips and misadventures notwithstanding, God will have regard to the uppermost meaning of your life, and if you have been true to Him in the intent of your heart, the world cannot take your birthright, cannot break your spiritual primogeniture. An awful thing is this searching into the past. Long ago, in some unsuspected way, we sold our birthright. When we omitted, in the first instance, our religious duty, the whole battle was lost; when we shortened the prayer by two minutes, the birthright was gone; when we haggled with the enemy, instead of smiting him in the face with the lightning of God, our birthright passed from us; when we first lost standing in our mother's heart we slipped away from the hand of God. Verily, in such instances, the mother and the God are very close to one another. When the mother lets us go for moral reasons, I do not see how God can help us.

(J. Parker, D. D.).

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