Saturday, December 3, 2016

Genesis 26:34, 35: a grief of mind

34 ¶  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: 35  Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

When Isaac was a hundred years old (See 25:26) Esau married two Hittite girls, which upset Isaac and Rebekah terribly. Notice that I said previously in the comments on the passage that began in 10:15 that a Hittite was a descendant of Heth.

Genesis 23:10  And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,

2Samuel 11:3  And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

Heth was a son of Canaan, who had been cursed by his grandfather, Noah, for Canaan’s father’s, Ham’s, behavior after their family departed the Ark. Canaanites, the descendants of Canaan, were steeped in the worship that permeated the ancient world. Esau will eventually take more wives of the daughters of Canaan (36:2). We have no record of how long his wives lived or if any of these wives were replacing deceased ones as Judith is not mentioned again. We also know he took a second daughter to wife of Elon and we do know he had two wives with the same name; Bashemath, here, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Bashemath, a daughter of Ishmael, later in 36:3. One would naturally assume that Elon’s Bashemath had died without leaving children as they are not mentioned but we cannot say with certainty. Just imagine, in a culture where multiple wives were not unusual, a man marrying during the course of his life two women with the same first name. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon cult in the United States, had many wives; with multiple wives named Sarah.

Esau, a carnal man, has married from the daughters of the heathen whose religious views and sympathies would not be in keeping with how he was raised. Many young Christian men and women in the last fifty years think nothing of marrying someone outside of their faith because their faith is so weak and their commitment to God is less than the allure of emotional impulse. But, we are told specifically;

2Corinthians 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

An unbelieving husband or wife will poison a Christian’s home and set a terrible example for children, who are your responsibility to raise with a knowledge of God.

Many a Christian parent has been much distressed by their child’s choice of an unbelieving spouse.

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