Jacob and Esau

Reading from the Old Testament, Holy Gospels, Acts, Epistles and Revelation, our priests' and bishops' sermons, and commentary by the Church Fathers. All Forum Rules apply.

Moderators: Maria, phpBB2 - Administrators

Post Reply
User avatar
Lydia
Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu 20 December 2012 2:44 am
Faith: Russian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ex-HOCNA and searching

Jacob and Esau

Post by Lydia »

I was listening to a reading of Genesis on the radio, and as the person read the passages when Joseph brought his father, Jacob(Israel) to see Pharoah, how the most powerful man on earth was blessed by a poor, old hebrew shepherd. He then related a passage from Hebrews stating that there was no contradiction as the greater(Jacob) blessed the lesser(Pharoah.)
A thought came to me that, perhaps, Jacob and Esau prefigured the Christians and the Jews. How the firstborn ( Esau,The Hebrews) lost their Father's ( Isaac ,God's) blessing and that it passed to the younger
offspring (Jacob, the Christians.) Anyone want to discuss this?
User avatar
Cyprian
Sr Member
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat 12 November 2005 11:40 am
Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: GOC
Location: near Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Jacob and Esau

Post by Cyprian »

Greetings Lydia.

That is exactly what the Fathers teach.

And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. --Gen 25:23

There are many similar examples in the Old Testament like this. For example, the wives of Jacob (Israel). Leah is a type of the Synagogue, and Rachel the Church. Isaac, the son of promise, is a figure of the Church, and Ishmael, a figure of the Synagogue, which was cast out. (cf. Galatians 4)

The Treatises of St. Cyprian
Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews. Treatise XII

19. That two peoples were foretold, the elder and the younger; that is, the old people of the Jews, and the new one which should consist of us.

In Genesis: "And the Lord said unto Rebekah, Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy belly; and the one people shall overcome the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." Also in Hosea: "I will call them my people that are not my people, and her beloved that was not beloved. For it shall be, in that place in which it shall be called not my people, they shall be called the sons of the living God."

20. That the Church which before had been barren should have more children from among the Gentiles than what the synagogue had had before.

In Isaiah: "Rejoice, thou barren, that barest not; and break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: because many more are the children of the desolate one than of her who hath an husband. For the Lord hath said, Enlarge the place of thy tabernacle, and of thy curtains, and fasten them: spare not, make long thy measures, and strengthen thy stakes: stretch forth yet to thy right hand and to thy left hand; and thy seed shall possess the nations, and shall inhabit the deserted cities. Fear not; because thou shalt overcome: nor be afraid because thou art cursed; for thou shalt forget thy eternal confusion." Thus also to Abraham, when his former son was born of a bond-woman, Sarah remained long barren; and late in old age bare her son Isaac, of promise, who was the type of Christ. Thus also Jacob received two wives: the elder Leah, with weak eyes, a type of the synagogue; the younger the beautiful Rachel, a type of the Church, who also remained long barren, and afterwards brought forth Joseph, who also was himself a type of Christ. And in the first of Kings it is said that Elkanah had two wives: Peninnah, with her sons; and Hannah, barren, from whom is born Samuel, not according to the order of generation, but according to the mercy and promise of God, when she had prayed in the temple; and Samuel being born, was a type of Christ. Also in the first book of Kings: "The barren hath borne seven and she that had many children has grown weak." (1 Sam 2:5) But the seven children are the seven churches. Whence also Paul wrote to seven churches; and the Apocalypse sets forth seven churches, that the number seven may be preserved; as the seven days in which God made the world; as the seven angels who stand and go in and out before the face of God, as Raphael the angel says in Tobit; and the sevenfold lamp in the tabernacle of witness; and the seven eyes of God, which keep watch over the world; and the stone with seven eyes, as Zechariah says; and the seven spirits; and the seven candlesticks in the Apocalypse; and the seven pillars upon which Wisdom hath builded her house in Solomon.

St. Augustine - The City of God Book XVI. Chap. 35.
Only that saying, "The elder shall serve the younger," is understood by our writers, almost without exception, to mean that the elder people, the Jews, shall serve the younger people, the Christians.

St. Hippolytus:

Isaac conveys a figure of God the Father; Rebecca of the Holy Spirit; Esau of the first people and the devil; Jacob of the Church, or of Christ. That Isaac was old, points to the end of the world; that his eyes were dim, denotes that faith had perished from the world, and that the light of religion was neglected before him; that the elder son is called, expresses the Jews' possession of the law; that the father loves his meat and venison, denotes the saving of men from error, whom ever), righteous man seeks to gain (lit. hunt for) by doctrine.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons - Against Heresies, Book IV:

The history of Isaac, too, is not without a symbolical character. For in the Epistle to the Romans, the apostle declares: "Moreover, when Rebecca had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac," she received answer from the Word, "that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth, it was said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people are in thy body; and the one people shall overcome the other, and the eider shall serve the younger." From which it is evident, that not only [were there] prophecies of the patriarchs, but also that the children brought forth by Rebecca were a prediction of the two nations; and that the one should be indeed the greater, but the other the less; that the one also should be under bondage, but the other free; but [that both should be] of one and the same father. Our God, one and the same, is also their God, who knows hidden things, who knoweth all things before they can come to pass; and for this reason has He said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."

"And as from the multitude of his sons the prophets of the Lord [afterwards] arose, there was every necessity that Jacob should beget sons from the two sisters, even as Christ did from the two laws of one and the same Father; and in like manner also from the handmaids, indicating that Christ should raise up sons of God, both from freemen and from slaves after the flesh, bestowing upon all, in the same manner, the gift of the Spirit, who vivifies us. But he (Jacob) did all things for the sake of the younger, she who had the handsome eyes, Rachel, who prefigured the Church, for which Christ endured patiently; who at that time, indeed, by means of His patriarchs and prophets, was prefiguring and declaring beforehand future things, fulfilling His part by anticipation in the dispensations of God, and accustoming His inheritance to obey God, and to pass through the world as in a state of pilgrimage, to follow His word, and to indicate beforehand things to come. For with God there is nothing without purpose or due signification."

See also Tertullian: An Answer to the Jews Ch. 1
jgress
Moderator
Posts: 1382
Joined: Thu 4 March 2010 6:06 pm
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA

Re: Jacob and Esau

Post by jgress »

Interesting.
tradbulwark
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon 2 February 2015 1:39 am

Re: Jacob and Esau

Post by tradbulwark »

the elder Leah, with weak eyes, a type of the synagogue; the younger the beautiful Rachel, a type of the Church,
This quote serves the Jews. It is a ghastly comparison.

The following quote serves Truth: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."

God loved Leah, he heard her prayers and she gave birth to Jacob's first four sons. Judah, Leah's son, is the forefather of King David and St. Joseph. Simply because she was not physically pretty to Jacob does not make her relationship to Jacob comparable to God's relationship with the synagogue, which is Death and worse.

Esau is hated by God. Jews likewise are hated by God, even worse than Esau or any seed of Esau.
jgress
Moderator
Posts: 1382
Joined: Thu 4 March 2010 6:06 pm
Jurisdiction: GOC/HOTCA

Re: Jacob and Esau

Post by jgress »

God doesn't hate anyone.
Post Reply