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ESAU AND JACOB: OR, THE TWIN BRO

THERS.

GEN. 25. 27. And the boys greu, and Esau

was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob wos a plain man, dwelling in tents.

You have already heard the history of Cain and Abel, the two first brethren that ever lived in the world. We have in the latter part of this Chapter a brief account of two brethren whose characters very much resemble that of Cain and Abel. There was this difference only between Cain and Esau ; that Esau only said in his heart, “the days of mourning of my father are at hand, then will I slay my brother Jacob." Whereas you

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have

have already heard that “ Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up a. gainst Abel his brother and slew him."

Let us now attend,

1. To the GENERAL CHARACTERS of ESAU and JACOB.

1. We will begin with Esau, because he is the eldest. His name, ESAU, means red; which was

given him

from his colour when he was born, having red hair on his body. Esau likewise signifies made or formed. By which it was intimated that he was a remarkable, strong, healthy child, even from his birth. It was intended to shew that he he had a

very strong constitution, and, as might be expected, he became a very strong, daring active man.

Esau was of a sanguine disposition, and his posterity, the Edomites, always cherished a most cruel and bloody hatred towards the Israelites.

It is also said, “and Esau was a cunning hun. ter, a man of the field.” He was a famous sportsman, like Nimrod; he was a mighty hunter, quite a man of the world. Hunting the beasts

of

of the forest with great skill and successo He was a gentleman and a soldier---for afterwards we find him meeting his brother with four hundred men. Recreation seems to have been his whole business; he studied the art of it; and spent all his time in it. He dit not like to be confined in the tent to sit down and read his book, but was a man of the field, who spent his time in pursuit of game.

2. Let us now hear what is said of Jacob." "And Jacob was a plain man dwelling in tents." His name, Jacob, means a supplanter, one that turns out and displaces another, one that trips up the heels of another either by force or fraud. Jacob supplanted his brother Esau when he obtained the birthright from him, by giving him a mess of pottage, and when he obtained his father's blessing by appearing to be Esau.

He also wrestled with the Angel, and pre vailed on him for a blessing,

He is said to be a plain man, a man that was honest and fair in his dealings. A man that preferred the pleasạres of solitude and retirement before the pleasures of the chace, or the sports of the field. He seeds chiefly

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to have resided at home in his early years. Jacob was a simple hearted man, who seems to have employed bimself in rearing and attending the flocks and herds of his father Isaac. He dwelt in tents, either as a shepherd or a student. Some think he frequented the tents of Melchizedek or Heber, to receive in. struction in divine things.

II. We cannot belp noticing the PARTIALITY of their PARENTS.

“ And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob."

There is a reason assigned why Isaac love ved Esau, but none why Rebekah loved Ją. cob. The reason why Isaac loved Esau, was because he did eat of his venison; Was this a sufficient reason why he should prefer Esau to Jacob? By no means. There ought to have been no difference made between these two boys, because they were twins, they were hob born at one time, and therefore Esau was not a firstborn son, nor Jacob a younger son.

It is usual for parents to love the youngest best. They had but these two children, and yet both the parents made a difference in their affection

towards

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