Jacob’s Blessing – Esau’s Curse

 I got a question today that… well, when I went to answer it, the answer was too much for the comment box.  I was pressed upon to post it out here.  Which is just as well, because it might be interesting to other people, too.

THE CONTEXT:  Jacob and Esau were twins.  Esau as the manly-man, Jacob was the wussy-man.  Isaac (their father) favored Esau, and Rachel (their mother) favored Jacob… and so did Yahweh – Yah promised before their births that the elder twin (Esau) would serve the younger, and that the blessings normally given to the eldest son would go to Jacob.  This was Yah’s promise, but apparently Rachel was worried that Isaac wouldn’t obey the Lord, because instead of just letting Yah’s promise come to fruition, she took matters into her own hands.  She disguised Jacob as Esau to fool her now old-n-blind husband, and sent Jacob in to recieve Esau’s blessing under false pretenses.  When Esau came in later, and asked for his blessing, everything was already given to Jacob, and all Isaac could do is curse Esau.  ((NoTe:  Jacob became the forefather of the Jews, and Esau the forefather of the Palestinians.  So now you know how far back the discord between the two goes.))

THE QUESTION:  “I’m doing the Torah study can give me your take on Genesis 27:39 NIV  – … “Your dwelling will be “away from” the earth’s richness, “away from” the dew of heaven above.  KJV/ most other versions – “… Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;  It’s refering to what Torah Class says are the oldest manuscripts actually containing “away from”.  Genesis Lesson 27.”

THE PROBLEM:  TorahClass lessons say that Esau’s curse is to be AWAY FROM the earth’s richness and the dew of heaven.  The KJV and other versions say the ‘blessing’ Esau was given was to HAVE the fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven, but then it goes on to say he’ll have a hard time of it, and end up living “by the sword”.  In other words, if you go with the “christian” view of things, Isaac was trying to give Esau something blessing-like in order to make up for the bad news that he wasn’t getting THE blessing.  But according to TorahClass and the NIV, Isaac never tried to candy-coat anything, and just slammed down brutal curses on his firstborn.  So… which is it?

I went to Strong’s.  I go to Strong’s a lot.  Strongs analyzes each verse Hebrew word by Hebrew word (using numbers to log the Hebraic root words).  Which is very useful in a case like this.  So what do the two verses say?  Here’s what they look like, coming out of Strong’s (courtesy of e-Sword):

JACOB’S BLESSING:  Gen 27:28 Therefore God430 give5414 thee of the dew4480, 2919 of heaven,8064 and the fatness4924 of the earth,776 and plenty7230 of corn1715 and wine:8492

ESAU’S CURSE:  Gen 27:39 And Isaac3327 his father1 answered6030 and said559 unto413 him, Behold,2009 thy dwelling4186 shall be1961 the fatness4480, 4924 of the earth,776 and of the dew4480, 2919 of heaven8064 from above;4480, 5920

Then I cut out the words that weren’t relevant, to make it easier on me.  And I made the matching numbers blue, so I had less to consider.  Here’s what it looked like:

JACOB’S BLESSING:  …thee of the dew4480, 2919 of heaven,8064 and the fatness4924 of the earth,776

ESAU’S CURSE:  …thy dwelling4186 shall be1961 the fatness4480, 4924 of the earth,776 and of the dew4480, 2919 of heaven8064

Note that all but three words matched (turned blue).  4186 and 1961 are exactly what they’re translated to be:  “Dwelling” and “be”.  But why is there an extra 4480 in front of the ‘fatness’ in Esau’s curse that ISN’T there in Jacob’s blessing?  What is 4480?  I looked it up (of course!), and check THIS out:

מנּי מנּי  – minnêy –  from or out of in many senses: – X neither, X nor, (out) of, over, since, X then, through, X whether, with.

OUT OF is very much like AWAY FROM, now, isn’t it?  So I read that to be that while Jacob is given the fatness (4924) of the Earth (776), Esau is kept OUT OF (4480) the fatness (4924) of the Earth (776).

But Anna, then why is there an OUT OF (4480) in Jacob’s blessing?  Ah, you caught that, too?  So did I.  Here’s how I read the verses if you use JUST the Hebrew roots:

JACOB’S BLESSING:  ELOHIM GIVE thee OUT OF the DEW of HEAVEN, and the RICH, FERTILITY of the EARTH…

ESAU’S CURSE:  BEHOLD thy DWELLING shall BE AWAY FROM (OUT OF) the RICH, FERTILITY of the EARTH, and OUT OF the DEW of HEAVEN, AWAY FROM (OUT OF) the MOST HIGH.

Do you read that the way I do?  To Jacob, Elohim gave out of the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth.  To Esau was given a dwelling away from the richness of earth, away from the dew of heaven, and away from the most high.

Now why would the translators try to be a little benevolent to Esau?  Well, pro’lly cause that’s pretty harsh.  But it’s not true, according to Strongs and Torah Class.  ((Although NIV was right on this one, I have SEVERE Westcott & Hort issues and do NOT endorse NIV in any way, shape or form.))

While I found this to be interesting, we have to talk about faith a second here.  I didn’t look this up when I read it in TorahClass, because I had faith in the teacher to be leading me in the right direction, to have done his homework and know his stuff.  In looking it up in Strong’s, I prove TorahDude for myself… but there again, I’m trusting Strong’s to have done their homework and know their stuff.  Because I don’t have access to the ancient Hebrew texts, and even if I did, I couldn’t read them as I don’t know Hebrew.  So… it’s still a matter of trust, y’know?  Faith.  So while I think it’s very good to look things up and ‘test the spirits’ and prove scripture with scripture and Truth… there’s still an element of trust that HAS to be there.  OTOH, if you’re confused, it’s best to check it out to the best of your ability.  It just wasn’t something I personally had a problem with… BUT  I’m totally willing to help you figure it out if you DO have a problem with it.  As far as I can, anyhooo.  ((wink!))  Hope that helps!

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