Esau & Job
by Patrick Henry Reardon
Although the descendants of Esau were regarded with scant respect—and less affection—in the pages of Holy Scripture (cf. Psalms 137:7; Ezek. 25:12–14; Amos 1:6,9,11–12; Obadiah, passim; 1 Esdras 4:45), it is not difficult to discern a "minority view" on the point. For example, there was the Lord's countervailing injunction: "You shall not despise the Edomite, for he is your brother" (Deut. 23:7).
For my part, I confess to a soft place in my heart for Esau and—with notable exceptions, like Herod—Esau's descendants. I should probably explain why.
We may begin by noticing that Isaac's belated blessing of Esau contained an unexpected agricultural component: "Behold, . . .
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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