Genesis 25 is a transitional chapter which records the death of the man, Abraham, and the birth of the nation, Israel and it is the only chapter with all three of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in it.
It was while I was studying for my Sabbath class that I found something very interesting. Here is what I read:
And Yehovah said to her: “Two peoples (גיים, goyim) are in thy womb, two nations shall be separated from thy body; and a nation from a nation, one shall be stronger, and elder shall serve younger.” So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. So the boys grew. And Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field. And Jacob was a mild [תם, tam] man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Gen 25:23-28)
A “mild“ man? What kind of contrast is that to Esau who is described as a “skillful hunter, a man of the field?” With that question in mind I referred to all my other translations and saw that Jacob was called a “plain, mild, peaceful, quiet” man in them. Still not yet satisfied, I went to the Hebrew and found that there is a reason, in the last days, many will come to Yehovah and say “we have learned lies, worthless and unprofitable things.”
Here is what Jeff Benner says about the Hebrew word תם, or tam, which is the exact word in question here.
Someone or something that is whole, complete or full. One who is mature and upright as one who is whole.
Now look what WordStudy has to say.
tam: An adjective meaning integrity, completeness. This is a rare, almost exclusively poetic term often translated perfect but not carrying the sense of totally free from fault.
The Authorized King James Version, like my New King James, said Jacob was “plain” and “mild” in Genesis 25:27 but translated the same word as “perfect” or “upright” here in these verses and others.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect [תם, tam] and upright, and one who feared Elohim and shunned evil. (Job 1:1)
Mark the perfect [תם, tam] man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace. (Psa 37:37)
The bloodthirsty hate the upright [תם, tam]: but the just seek his soul. (Pro 29:10)
Men of Elohim, is it possible that the world wants you to be “plain, mild, peaceful, quiet” and not like Jacob who was a complete, mature, whole, upright and perfect man who shunned evil and feared Elohim? There is no other place in the scriptures that this word is translated as plain or mild. What is up with that? Is this deceitful or what?
Now let’s contrast this true understanding of Jacob with Esau, a man of the flesh, who lived his whole life in his lower nature.
And Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field (Gen 25:27 KJV)
The word translated “cunning” here is a Hebrew word that has to do with the knowledge gained through the senses, especially the eyes, and one’s life experiences. No different from how an animal learns and lives.
Esau was a good provider in a worldly sense for his family; that is why his father, Isaac, loved him. I think this was a major flaw in Isaac’s character and the major reason Rebekah had to get proactive to see that Jacob received Isaac’s blessing.
And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Gen 25:28)
Esau is no different from most of the men of the earth; men who are good providers for their families, who always have bread on the table but who never come to understand what the true bread in life is.
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you the manna [המן, ha-man] which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that the man [האדם, ha-adam] shall not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yehovah the man [האדם, ha-adam] lives. (Deu 8:3)
Jacob Was A Spiritual Man
As we saw above “The bloodthirsty hate the upright [תם, tam]: but the just seek his soul.” (Pro 29:10) Esau was a man of the flesh, the lower nature; while Jacob was a spiritual man who conformed his life to the image of the Creator and was whole and complete. While Torah does not help us understand fully the kind of man who Esau was, Yasher does a great job of it. In fact, it was not until I saw this strife between Jacob and Esau in Yasher that I began to see it in Torah as well.
Jasher 26:17 And the boys grew up to their fifteenth year, and they came among the society of men. Esau was a designing and deceitful man, and an expert hunter in the field, and Jacob was a man perfect and wise, dwelling in tents, feeding flocks and learning the instructions of THE Elohim and the commands of his father and mother.
Living in the flesh always comes before living in the spirit. To do the former all one must do is be born, but to do the latter one must repent and begin to learn and do all of Yehovah’s instructions which are for all men, past, present and future.
Is it any wonder why the older should serve the younger?
Jacob Is Called The Supplanter
The man of the flesh, the son of belial, MUST be supplanted by the man of the spirit, tam man, in order to live eternally.
Once I was given a new heart and a new spirit my flesh had to submit to my new man. My flesh is the older and my spirit is the younger; and the older now servers the younger.
This is only half of what I found in Genesis 24 27. The next part will confirm what I found here concerning Jacob being an upright man, but will also help us understand what made him different from his brother.
Here is my video teaching on Genesis 25 and two corresponding chapters in Yasher.
Jacob, A Perfect Man
2G31 Genesis 25.27-34 and Yasher 25-26 – Jacob, A Perfect Man
[Click here to download this audio mp3]
Go to: Jacob Dwelt in Tents – Under the BIG TOP
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