He’s such a tall, dark, strong, and handsome brute.
—Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
Once in a while we mishear the words of a song. “Olive, the other reindeer” and “José, can you see?” come to mind. Sylvia Wright calls these mistakes “mondegreens” from a mistake of her own. Writing for Harper’s Magazine (1954), she said, “When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy’s Reliques, and one of my favorite poems began, as I remember:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl O’ Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.”

The words in the last line were actually “and laid him on the green.”

An odd mondegreen seems to pop up in the opening song of Disney’s classic, Beauty and the Beast (1991). The three town beauties are singing about the manly Gaston. The lyrics on the sheet music have them say he’s a strong and handsome “brute.” But if you listen closely to the film’s soundtrack, the word sounds like “prince.” Certainly, “brute” rhymes with “cute” from the preceding line, but “prince” carries out the irony of the whole film with a keener touch. These superficial young women—the credits call them “bimbettes”—think that Gaston is a prince; in reality, he’s a brute, a beast. While the Beast in the film’s title is a prince by right and eventually becomes one in character, Gaston never changes. He’s bestial to the end—to his final fall into the abyss.

When we meet Gaston, he is standing in shadows, a deliberate hint from the gang in animation. He has just shot a passing duck out of the sky. Gaston is obviously a hunter, a pretty good one. But he knows little else. He is violent by nature and when force of personality fails him, he resorts quickly to his fists or weapons. He is shallow, vain, arrogant, and treacherous. He abhors thinking and can’t understand a book without pictures. He is sensual, ruled by his eyes and his appetite. He’s burly and brawny, for what that’s worth, but every last inch of him is “covered with hair”—like a beast. For those familiar with the Bible, all of this should sound oddly familiar.

A Tale of Two Brothers
Genesis tells us that Isaac and Rebekah had twin boys. The firstborn came out of his mother’s womb “red all over like a like a hairy garment.” (Gen. 25:25) His parents named him Esau meaning… hairy. Esau grew up to be a cunning hunter. He spent his time far away from his family’s herds and flocks, looking for game. The second twin was Jacob. Like his father and grandfather, he “dwelt in tents,” and basically took up the family business and followed the livestock.

The first account of these twins “come-to-manhood” is telling. Esau had been out hunting. He came in from the fields physically spent. It had been a long day, and he had apparently caught nothing. He came into the kitchen tent where Jacob was cooking up a tasty red lentil stew. Esau asked for some of “that red… red… whatever-it-is.” (In the Hebrew text, the adjective is repeated without a noun.) Jacob and Esau an outrageous deal: “Sell me your birthright first.”

The birthright, as the word suggests, normally went to the firstborn son. It included the right to succeed one’s father as chieftain, the privilege of acting as priest for the family, the duty of caring for one’s parents in their old age, and an extra share in the family inheritance to provide the necessary funds for all of these responsibilities. In the line of the patriarchs, the birthright was also wrapped up with the promise of the Messiah. The son with the birthright would be the ancestor of the Savior of the world. Pretty important stuff.

Jacob’s offer was obviously ridiculous. And yet Esau accepted it:

And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? (Gen. 25:32)

We don’t know whether or not Jacob saw this coming. But whether his offer was made in sarcastic jest or as a serious business proposal, Jacob jumped on Esau’s response. He immediately asked for an oath. Esau said “no big deal.” Jacob gave him the stew and threw in some bread to boot. Once Esau gulped it all down, he got up and went his way. Obviously, he was nowhere near death’s door. Scripture says, “Thus Esau despised his birthright.”

What’s Really Going On In This Story
This story and the ones that follow have suffered horribly at the hands of commentators and Bible storybooks. Esau comes off as the manly outdoors type who fell into a trap set by his scheming, cruel hearted, kitchen-bound brother. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

To set the character of each these two men in proper perspective, we must remember that their grandfather, Abraham, who had 318 “trained servants” at his command, had ruled a sheikdom of some three thousand people. Isaac had inherited all of this and added to it. Jacob ran the family business as Esau spent the days hunting.

Esau’s hunting expeditions couldn’t have contributed much to the family business. He wasn’t bringing home stacks of caribou or heaps of wild bore. Game was scarce after all. Remember, Esau was a cunning hunter. Game was hard to find and even harder to catch. Esau had to sneak up on his prey or snare it with carefully set traps. Some days he came up empty. So what was Esau really doing out in the fields? He was playing. All the real responsibilities in the family business fell on Jacob.

The Profane Man
The New Testament’s attitude toward Esau is wholly negative; it calls him a fornicator and a profane person, “who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (Heb. 12:16) A closer look at Genesis makes this point as well.

• Esau was irresponsible. There was work to be done, and he ran away from it. No doubt his hunting was demanding, even exhausting, but his contribution to his family’s welfare was minimal. He was great at disciplined sport, poor at disciplined work.

• Esau was present-oriented. He lived for the pleasures and passions of the moment. He knew nothing of delayed self-gratification. He wanted everything now. He bargained away the promise of Messiah for a bowl of fast red food.

• Esau was profane and a stranger to the sacred. He had no interest in the things of God. He had no concept of spiritual reality, no concern for matters eternal. His god was his belly (Phil. 3:19). He only gave a nod to religion when it seemed there might be something in it for him.

• Esau was ruled by his passions. His tears came easily. So did his threats. And though he could be moved to deep regret, he never discovered repentance (Heb. 12:17).

• Esau was a poor husband. He married two women, Hittites, and then, in what was apparently a misguided attempt to gain parental approval, married a cousin as well (Gen. 26:34-35; 28:8-9). Whether this polygamy exhausted his lusts, the text does not say.

• Esau could not face life with manly integrity. He pushed his way through life with posturing, exaggerations, emotional tantrums, and violence. He wallowed in self-pity, self-righteousness, and self-approval.

• Esau’s mind and mouth were undisciplined. When he thought it, his lips moved. Scripture says that he spoke in his heart, and yet those around him heard him mutter his murderous intentions (Gen. 27:41-42). He couldn’t keep his own counsel or control his own tongue.

Just A “Plain” Man
Jacob was a “plain” man the text says (Gen. 25:27). Yet the Hebrew word means “morally upright,” and it is translated “perfect,” “upright,” or “undefiled” everywhere else in the Old Testament. It is the word God used to describe Job when He wanted to highlight his godly integrity (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). And while Jacob had his faults, we will badly misunderstand his motives and actions if we don’t begin with God’s description of his character. (A point my daughter Tracy makes often.)

Jacob dwelt in tents we’re told. For the writer of Hebrews, this means that Jacob shared the faith and vision of his fathers (Heb. 11:9). He refused city life and by faith he looked down the road for the New Jerusalem. As an economic consequence, he followed the cattle, sheep and remained a pilgrim in a land that was his by promise.

Jacob worked long, hard hours—many of them outside in all kinds of weather. He was a shepherd and cattleman, after all. This is how he sums up the demands of his job: “Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.” (Gen. 31:40) This is not whining. Jacob wasn’t soft. When he first came to Haran (Gen. 29), he found some shepherds waiting for others to uncap a well so they could all water their sheep. But when Jacob saw his cousin Rachel appear with her flock, he went to the well and single-handedly rolled away the huge stone. This, when he was in his 70s.

Jacob could also use a sword and a bow (Gen. 48:22), but he preferred peaceful negotiation and evangelism in his dealing with the surrounding people (Gen. 34). When he was returning from Haran and about to face Esau, he resorted to prayer and strategic precautions rather than violence.

Jacob loved one woman and worked seven years to win her. When he was tricked into marrying her sister instead, he stood his ground and accepted seven more years of indentured service for the sake of his true love (Gen. 29). His love endured. (Bigamy was forced on Jacob: he was an alien in a strange land with no legal recourse. His later acceptance of the two maidservants as concubines is another matter.)

It is hard to say how well Jacob fared as a father. He seems to have done well with Joseph, Rachel’s firstborn and not so well with his other sons (Gen. 37). He certainly played favorites. On the other hand, most of his sons turned out to be fairly responsible men in the end. They loved their father and mourned his passing. They went on to become the patriarchs of God’s new nation, Israel.

Israel. That was the name that Jacob received after a night of wrestling, literally, with God. But Jacob had been wrestling with God all his life, and in giving him a new name, God pronounced Jacob not only a player, but a winner. He had become a real man, a prince with God (Gen. 32:24-32).

Vanishing Manhood in America
Today most American males, like Esau, are fixated on the sensual and immediate, on gadgets, speed, and things that explode. Very few seem interested in disciplined living, self-sacrifice, or practical godliness. Responsibility and commitment are dull, stale, and maybe even scary for most. Hooking up is in. Romance and marriage are out. We have a nation of Esaus and Gastons. We need a nation of Jacobs – a nation of “plain” men. But as Belle discovered, it takes resurrection power to turn a beast into a prince. It takes the power of the gospel. It takes a Christ event.

For Further Reading:

James Jordan, Primeval Saints, Studies in the Patriarchs of Genesis (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2001).
Weldon M. Hardenbrook, Missing from Action, Vanishing Manhood in America (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987).
Gary North, The Dominion Covenant: Genesis (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1982).
Rousas J. Rushdoony, Revolt Against Maturity, A Biblical Psychology of Man (Fairfax, VA: Thoburn Press, 1977).


  • Avatar
    Carol Posted January 30, 2011 9:26 am

    My first visit to Off The Grid. The interpretation of the Genesis story made it more understandable and very enjoyable.

  • Avatar
    Avery Posted January 30, 2011 10:51 am

    Outstanding article! Unfortunately, for me, pondering the question of which type of man I am revels more of Esau than Jacob.

    • Avatar
      Kendall Posted February 5, 2011 4:29 pm

      Very honest, I feel the same in my self-assessment. Yet consider this. How does GOD see you. If you are a believer in His Son, as your Savior, then He sees you as Jacob.

      Perhaps you and I both should reconsider this. Once we agree with the way God sees us, or the way that I know that He sees me-then we may be able to see ourselves as He does.

      One other thing. Remember we are reading a PAST assessment, not a living assessment. Jacob and Esau are in eternity now, and their stories are fixed and unchangeable. Ours are subject to the choice we make today.

      • Avatar
        Marija Posted October 4, 2012 5:12 pm

        Wow. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this. I have tears in my eyes. About 6 monhts ago, I felt God laying some very specific promises out for me and I have really felt faithful in taking them to heart and believing Him for them even though I couldn’t see how they could realistically come to pass given some of my outward circumstances, but still I have believed. All along the way God has shown me where my faith gets stuck at points and doubts would creep in. He would always guide me out of those ruts even to the point of affectionately calling me His Timid Little Mule ! Wednesday evening I stumbled across seeing something that made me think what God had promised me was being taken by someone else. It really got me down. It completely confused me. I had to run back to the Lord and ask some blunt questions on whether or not He misled me. Of course I know He would never do that and yet I saw what my eyes saw and how was I supposed to reconcile the two? I only felt the Lord extend comfort to me and He just simply told me to keep believing Him. I wanted something more tangible than that. So yesterday was quite a day of searching, listening and just hoping against hope as Abraham did. I felt like I was hanging on to the end of a rope determined to stay on, but still harboring a fair amount of despair in my heart wondering if everything God had told me was really true or did I just make it all up (which wouldn’t explain all the things He’s done to confirm my direction over and over again) but still, I couldn’t shake what I saw. This is a strong word to me today. It is a compassionate one for me that truly pierces my heart with gratitude. I know what I heard Him say 6 monhts ago and the enemy has been trying to get me to give up the entire time. The battle has been daily at times. Thank you, Edye. Thank you for letting God teach you and sharing what you do. Even if this doesn’t hit anyone else today, it’s hit me and it’s been HUGE. I really needed this. Thank you and thank you, Lord!

  • Avatar
    Deacon Rick Posted January 30, 2011 1:15 pm

    Great article, and a fine example of why I enjoy reading and listening to what you produce. You delve into important issues outside of the usual preparedness topics, which are also important to how we live our lives, today and in the future.

  • Avatar
    InThePotter’sHands Posted February 10, 2011 1:38 pm

    I too was impressed by this article. I never would have noticed the story of Esau & Jacob in the Beauty and the Beast. Yet, there it is. But, I can see God at work in my life. Through child abuse, there was an abiding anger in me. Now, through the understanding that God, thru Jesus Christ, loves me personally, just the way I am, i am learning to not abide in anger but in love. I find it takes practice, but the Holy Spirit living in me, helps me. I rely on scripture too: I am a new creature, God is the author and finisher of my faith, and God is able.
    Love to all, In The Potter’s Hands.

  • Avatar
    The Col Posted February 21, 2011 9:25 am

    Unsure of the message here. A fighter all my life, and due to go back again, and I am finally at home and comfortable with it at age 50. I am puzzled by the depiction of Essau vice Jacob, always have been. It also makes Jacob out to be somewhat of a weasel. Not sure either is really true or more appropriately accurate. I think about David and Saul, and even Moses/Joshua these were men of war. I think about being in the presence of David, so capable and accomplished a warrior who is in direct contact with God. I do not think I would like to share lunch with him, as God, knowing my weak heart might give him the signal to whack me and there would be instant obedience. What is it to “Be a man of God?” I dont think we fully understand the intent. Even Jesus was no wuss, you would not walk into a Jewish Market, even today, and drive out people with a rod and knotted plow line and survive unless you were pretty tough. I think a lot of floks think that the Man of God, is a pasty milk-toast, who endeavors to lead the church through the progression of preschool teaching, youth pastor, and finally the head man at the church. Frankly, like a professor who never left academia, I find that lack of experience troubling, and difficult to follow knowing what I know to be true about the world.
    I myself have had 3 wives, the nicer more understanding “Christian” forgiving, loving, sweet-heart of a guy I was, the more I was walked on and my first two wives left me for men they thought more worthy. American women bear, I beleive, a greater portion of responsiblity for the emascualtion of their men than they choose to accept. Having a “man as a leader” in your family demands some solidarity and relinquishing of autonomy that I have found lacking in a lot of women. They take their vows with their fingers crossed and like a buffet pick and choose which Vows before God actually apply to them and whether or not they will follow them. Dating in your 40s is an education indeed. The tables turn on young women somewhwere in the 30s and the advantage goes to the single man. Its shocking discover how many women are clueless to their contribution to the fall of their marriages. The first clue that women can be bums is when they open their mouths and confess “All, I seem to attract is bums….” Indeed you do dear, if that is how you are, opposites DO NOT ATTRACT! Foolishly when young, I thought that as a strong male, I could rescue a damsel. Later in life I discover through my study of religion and faith that each person is responsible to “rescue” themselves and bring their best selves to the marriage. If the church is a marriage between us and Jesus, then we all have a lot of soul searching and hard hard work to do. And…, Male or female, if they do not choose to do that difficult introspective work, then they are lazy and mostly worthless, and will take some escape route, usually marriage, to put the weight on their spouse, family, drug, or drink of choice, and live a life of excuses and dogdging responsibility. But make no mistake, that is their choice, nobody just falls into it by mistake. Church and religion is about you, and that is who you think about and work on while there, not your spouse, not your folks, not your neighbors. Sometimes I think, Essau and Jacob are just merely stories that you may see yourself in the parable. The work is hard indeed, and mostly confined to yourself.
    In america, men are made out as fools, objects to be derided and chided. It is difficult to be the man and father. Especially when nobody wants it, but the direction of god does not allow a man to shirk his responsibility without dire consequences that jump generations.

    • Avatar
      mississippigirl Posted February 21, 2011 10:41 am


      I agree with you in everything you’ve said! In fact, this is a post I made to another blog called Connecting Now… it was talking about political correctness in all areas, including the church, but you’ll see the relevant parts… 🙂

      Tired in Texas touched my heart with his coNUNdrum. It’s amazing that more of our men aren’t Loony Toons characters when you consider all the conflicting messages they receive from society at large, the church closer in, and woman in general. Let me put it this way… I’m glad I’m not a man in today’s world. (Actually, I’m glad I’m not a man at all… I’m quite content with the gender and role that God has assigned me!)

      Texan needs to know that he’s not the only one out there facing this. However, we live in a strange new world where up is down, left is right, and illogic and irrationality trump sound reasoning. We have lost this generation entirely. I don’t think he will ever see sanity in his lifetime. However, we can influence the next generation, and by due diligence in teaching them godly principles, there may be hope of a return and revival of decent character and actions in the future.

      I believe that we are where we are in part because of a feminist movement that has attacked and chipped away at the God-given desire of men to care for and protect their women and families. By placing women in the same category as men, feminism has stripped the natural protections that we once had against predators of any kind. Feminism has stolen from us men that would protect us at all costs. In the absence of this, in the emasculation of men in general, we see growing perversions that put all women and children at risk.

      It’s in this context of rising perversions that the church must operate. (People may laugh because of my use of such a quaint word as “perversions”, but the fact is we live more in Sodom and Gomorrah than we do in the world that gave us the Greatest Generation.) Because we are called to be not just witnesses but God’s representatives, everything we do, whether real or perceived, is a reflection on our Heavenly Father. In this context it is only prudent that no hint of scandal or ill behavior, if at all possible, be attributed to Christ’s disciples. I don’t see this so much as the church giving in to political correctness, but as a means of protecting itself and the name of God against slander.

      If Texan wants to move back toward sanity, then he needs to encourage the women in his life to disciple the next generation of women, to teach them that men are not bad and that we need to encourage and celebrate their masculinity. We need to teach the next generation of woman that their femininity is a special gift and grace from God, one to be relished and cherished. We need more men that will step up and disciple men to be protectors and providers, and not wimps. Women and mothers need their men to be men and fathers. We need leaders in the church that will step up and call sin what it is, an abomination and rebellion against God’s order. We need to quit making excuses for sinful behaviors and return to the authority of God’s law.

      Please understand that not for one moment do I feel woman is less of a creation than man. I mean, after all, I am a woman! But there is a hierarchy in God’s Kingdom, and when we submit ourselves to that hierarchy, then society and civilization work. Unfortunately it took us years and years to get to where we are now, and it’s going to take at least that long to return to our foundations, if we can.

      Just sign me a Sympathetic Female…

  • Avatar
    The Col Posted February 21, 2011 4:52 pm

    Mississipi, agreed and coming clearer on the meaning of this article. I find it insulting and arrogant, and an attitude I see mostly in the left wing activists, socialists, and green-eye shade politicians in DC. And I cannot applaud or agree with the sentiment nor comparison. Nor follow Mr Heid as he pats himself on the back. It is a problem that I see in many people elected to power. Self importance, and an imability to see from tactical to strategic to global. In otherwords, they see only their little world and cannot see the relation to the overall picture. A perfect example, Donald Rumsfeld, and of course Obama, now Bill Heid.

    It is interesting to me, as I have been a farmer at one time in my life, and actually worked as a businessman for several years. I did not pursue my degree in chemistry but instead entered the Marine Corps. Now 28 years later and after a great deal of war, I find it interesting that the protected in America, think their warriors are lazy, And… that the great peace and prosperity we enjoy and have enjoyed is somehow the product of their “Hard work” alone. Funny, in all that time in the cockpit, in my Tanks, and many a foxhole, not once did I hear a young warrior deride the farmer, the businessman, or the college professor, as cowardly. Lazy indeed, “brother Bill” ……. intellectually lazy.
    There will be wars and rumors of wars until Christ comes again. If America Loses its military might, then you yourself will experience the dirty, brutal, hot and unforgiving world that we lazy folk keep at bay, while you raised 5 kids and 20-30 grandkids at home businesses. Who did you think was out there keeping the evil of the world at bay? I wonder how many soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines you truly know? Because it was me and my men and women. That allowed you that peace in your life at the cost of some of ours.
    It is a phenomemnon I have observed of the psuedointelletual, the elite pastoral (so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good), and those sooooo “intelligent” that they never get out of school, that they beleive themselves to be the center of all that is noble and important. I think a trip out of the states into Afghanistan/Iraq or elsewhere might open your eyes some. I have never experienced that attitude in a warrior.
    The warrior is not lazy, and the one who sits at home who does business not more noble. Like the men vs women question, both need each other. This I do know as I have seen it and lived in other lands wehre they forgot it, without a warrior class to clear threats, and keep predators at bay there would be no peaceful, pastoral farm or flock. On the contrary, I am beginning to beleive that our warriors do their jobs too well so that the majority of people back here believe that there is NO THREAT. But it is a cruel dichotomy of our so called “Civilization” and perhaps our downfall, that the young warrior, of all our sons and daughters, who sacrifices the most fighting to return to a world that he/she is unwelcome back into, in fact once upon a time those Bill’s Age spat at my father returning from a war he did not start nor was he allowed to finish. Bet you wont spit on me! I wouldn’t, but it is a free country.
    Bill, you should test your theory! I think you should vote democratic, slash military funding to zero, and fight your own damned war on your own damned doorstep, with your children taking fire, screaming, and your house burning before you so cavalierly throw the lazy moniker around. Surely the taliban would be impressed out how peaceful and hardworking you have been to create the uptopia your lazy military attempted to destroy. Cut off funding to Me and those young men and women fighting now in places they hardly knew existed and let us wither and die over there, where our laziness and listfulness led us to lolligag about and while away our days basking in the pleasuring of our senses with the smell of gunpowder, IED explosions, death and blood, for a people who think we are lazy fools and went there of our own accord. See how much time you have to pontificate then when you really have to go to work merely to breath another day……..
    If that is not what you meant then you need to retract. If you believe war is easy and fun, I leave again in 6 months, come with me! PS: Better get in the best shape of your entire life, get your affairs in order, and better make sure your peace is made with God. Where we will be going, you will talk to him and the evil in the world face to face, with no pastor, no politicians, and no police or lawyers as intermediaries.
    Still game? Come on and take a year long vacation with me in the playground of the idle rich…… Afghanistan. It should be filled with all sorts of diversions, entertainment, and fixations on the sensual and immediate, on gadgets, speed, and things that explode. Come see what truly disciplined living, self-sacrifice, or practical godliness, is truly about on the tip of the spear. Where the dull and stale concepts of Responsibility and commitment are hardly used or even encountered. Spend the night in a firefight, being mortared, or even shot at by your own artillery, and then tell me about being scared…..
    When I leave, I leave my wife and three kids, 2 grandkids, my small farm, my church, my businesses, homes and holdings that I do in addition to waging war on your behalf, so that not everyone has to go. But for those who do not go, rest assured I do not think you to be cowards, lazy, or undeserving. Be kind to your soliders sailors, airmen, and Marines. And hope that they never fail, and that war never makes it to the American Shore. They do their jobs TOO WELL……..
    Should be a laugh a minute! Saving you a seat. If not remember one more old saying: “There is no fool like and old fool……”

    • Avatar
      mississippigirl Posted February 21, 2011 5:25 pm


      I don’t see where you’re coming from with your assessment of this article. I don’t see any hint of lazy warriors in reference to our soldiers in this piece. Esau wasn’t a soldier. He was a bum. He was a hotheaded bully, who went on to become the patriarch of a civilization (the Edomites) that were enemies of Israel. There is a difference in being a soldier (as I feel our soldiers are) and being a warmonger. We don’t go looking for a fight, but we’re willing to end one. Esau, on the other hand, was a warmonger. I don’t see any hint of the author despising or putting down our military in this piece.

      Esau was a man of passions, and he let those passions rule him. His appetites had sway over any moral compunction he might have had. He was not a disciplined man, (and you cannot think of our military as undisciplined in any way!). I think that is the point the author was trying to contrast here – passions versus morality being our compass.

      As the daughter of an Army veteran, let me say that I appreciate all you, and the men and women like you, do for us. I have many friends who have sons and daughters in the middle east theater, and they are both proud and terribly frightened for their children at the same time. I pray God’s blessing, grace, and protection over you as you return there.

      • Avatar
        The Col Posted February 21, 2011 10:51 pm

        Let me see if I can explain my take on the fallacy that the article purveys in a different way. So I will have to speak very frankly, so much so that many will not like it and fear what I have to say. But it is what I see in this article that I do not like and what scares me for Americas future, in relation to the real world I have seen beyond our borders. Having been at war in the middle east and observing the concepts of “First Born” and “sheikdoms” in action and practical day to day living, Essau would have been a prince. And a prince would have been a “hunter” and would most assuredly have been a warrior (Its what warrior do when not fighting wars). Essau was good at it too or he would not have assended to any level of leadership after Issacs death. I doubt that “Lazy Bum” could have described Essau accurately. Drunken, debauched, maybe, good in a fight…. Definitely. The description of a man given to passions:(?) is not what you observe in men who successfully lead others in war, hunting, and/or running a sheikdom, it doesnt fit. Abraham likewise had Issac and Ishmael, (as well the heads of the two factions now trying to kill each other in the middle east.) At the time of Essau and Jacob there were no Jews, and no Muslims. They were all related, therefore they would all act and think very similarly albeit not exactly alike. Abraham was a great warrior, he had to be to defeat the kings he fought. In that land, as it is now, war is passed down from generation to generation. So it would be with Issac, Ishmael, Jacob and Essau, or they would not have survived. I beleive the above version is a simplified version that we are fed in vacation bible school, akin to religious ritalin for our boys. It is a very naive way to perceive the world and as I get older and more educated and more studied in the bible and other contributing texts including Islam/the Koran I begin to fairly resent that naive version as dangerous and I will explain why. Look at David as I mentioned earlier, a true man of God, but responsible for the deaths of thousands and hundred by his own hands. Vain, an adulterer, a murderer, yet still a king, a good one. Not a great father but with lots of wives and sons and families you see the same intrigue and angst arising. Nothing special.

        Now back to today: Whether it is politically correct or not (and we are wallowing in concern that we are the NIce guys of the world, a condition that nobody else suffers from), whatever we call what we are doing in the middle east we can rest assured that Islam considers itself at war with us. They are training the brutes spoken of to fight and kill me, you, and everyone else here in this country. However those brutes are no match for men/women who train as warriors, think as warriors, and fight to win. I am not impressed by the Warrior of Islam, but make no mistake, unless you fight him he will terrorize and attempt to kill you. Sorry that is just the way it is, I myself, did not make that up.
        The Govt and media are lying to us, and trying to get us to buy the line similar to what the article above tries to pander. For instance, WMD’s by definition were most assuredly found in Iraq. The american press and govt hid it for the political push to get rid of George Bush. WMDs consist of Nukes, bio, and chem, and the means to deliver them. Although Nukes were not found the other two were as were the means to deliver them.
        Now, if you have a son, and you train him to be a political type praying and trying to wheedle his way into negotiations with Islamic extremists, you will cause him/her to hesitate when the other side will not. We can no longer send our sons and daughters off to war and tell them to win, but be nice about it and don’t offend anyone! Be a Jacob! Or we will prosecute you for war crimes! This war is coming to us, and I read in the article, the same wishy washy unsurety that got us into the current predicament with Islam. Because the more I understand about Islam the more I see the weaknesses they see in us. Thinking like my enemy has kept me alive for 28 years in the war business. It is not an unthinking bunch of brutes who only like books with pictures, war is a profession today, that requires not only advacne degrees, but most basically the will to fight and the knowledge and wisdom to know when to kill and when not to. That responsibility is somthing that the author of the article has never had to consider, who gets to live and who must die. It isnt a whim or a function of my passions that has made me just one milisecond faster or better than everyone I have fought. Make no mistake Islam will try to kill us, again, and again. Sorry if that isn’t popular, cause no matter what we call what we are doing, Islam calls it war and prosecutes it as such. There will be no treaties, there will be no reformation. By softening our young men and berating the brutishness that we will need to conquer the brutes we are facing we cripple them in the fight to come and will thereby unecessarily prolong it both in terms of time and the cost of lives. We need to fight, we need to throw off the handcuffs and really go at it and get it done. It is not an unheard of tactic in america either, we did it to the indians, and when lincoln thought he might be losing the civil war he authorize Sherman to attack the civilian populace of the south. Noble cause? Hmm? in no situations have I found it necessary to prey on women and children to bring their husbands back to defend them.
        So, though you appreciate me and my service. I do not think you intellectually appreciate my first hand experience and observations in the other sense of the word. Being the end of “Diplomacy” I find littel that I admire or respect in the politician regardless of whose side he/she claims to be on. America needs to wake up, we are in a fight for our very lives, it will not be negotiated away, there will be no political answer to this threat, it must either be killed or it will continue to kill us. We cannot be soft any longer, we cannot wring our hands and think that people who fight are always “Gastons” who “are obviously a hunter, a pretty good one. But he knows little else. He is violent by nature and when force of personality fails him, he resorts quickly to his fists or weapons. He is shallow, vain, arrogant, and treacherous. He abhors thinking and can’t understand a book without pictures.” If I had to choose an army to fight Islam, I would choose Essaus and Gastons, not politicians and schemers. This is going to be tough, dirty, brutish work killing brutes. But look how they treat their women and children and consider whether you now allow your school to expell boys who even draw a gun on paper. We are getting weaker, and weaker, and predators around the world smell the blood in the water of a people who no longer have what it takes to stand up and defend themselves against evil. As we gouge defense spending and comtemplate things of monumental Un-importance like gays in serivce, who were never really persecuted because I have known them for over 25 years, the other side is plotting and planning and advancing daily. We need to no longer look down our noses at those traits that make a man a tough man. The trick is to not create abusive men. The other side is abusive. What will stop them and has stopped them is Rough, tough Americans not afraid or even willing to do violence. Our negotiations are for naught, we are changing no hearts and minds, except for those who hate us more and more. It is the “Milk” version of christianity and we are supposed to graduate to “meat.” Islam eats the meat of their religion. And like it or not we are now at war with Islam, no matter what MR Obama calls it.

        No, Essau was also a fighting man and warrior, (he would have had no choice in the middle east) so much so that Jacob was terrified of him when he returned because he obviously thought that he had wronged him, otherwise what would he have to fear? The “formations” that Jacob used if you reread them were not supplication they were miltaristic vanguards and political attempts to purchase Essaus favor. Fortunately Essau was not what he was described in the article he refused the “gifts” (not the actions of a vane and greedy neer do well. It was Essau who forgave Jacob, and welcomed him back. And Jacob seems to have been less than honest concerning Essau and the birthright as well, that wasn’t a square deal. I think Mr. Heids rendition is too simplistic, kind of like the version you get in vacation bible school, especially when you liken it to beauty and the beast. Fighting and hunting were not sports then, they were a necessary and valuable occupations. Doubtful that one son would screw around all day while the other toiled his fingers to the bone. Sure Essau went on to be the father of the edomites. And Ishmael, the son of Abrham, the Arabs and eventually the muslims. From being over there and fighting muslims, you would think I hated them, but I don’t. I see a lot more in common with the Non-radical muslim than I do with our activitst leftists and some of our churches, who refuse to hold abusers accountable, or the Ted Haggards of the world, who live secret lives while preaching down to others. There is a lot of work to be done in our churches, but it will not be done if we do not start with the abject truth and not spin yarns designed to mold people into a controllable group.
        When Jesus returns it will be as a terrifying warrior, and it will turn even hardened warriors hearts to water merely at the sight of the “Lamb” in battle. (Scares me just thinking about it) He will be fearsome and unrelenting and devastating. If Jesus can be both, and he is, what are we to be? How does one fight the good fight, maintain our salvation and soul, yet not shirk our responsibility, to be fathers, farmers, warriors, husbands, daddies, and grandpas?

        • Avatar
          mississippigirl Posted February 21, 2011 11:42 pm

          Well, believe it or not, I do understand what you’re saying. And I agree that politicians and diplomats will not win a war of aggression the likes of what we’re seeing now. Didn’t that idiot Chamberlain prove that in WWII? Wasn’t it Edmund Burke who said the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing?

          But see, you only give yourself two choices here, and I believe there is yet a third. I’m not fond of Jacob, because I consider him a manipulator and a user. He cheats when he gets the birthright and the blessing. His treatment of Leah is unpardonable. He sends her and her children at the front of the line to confront Esau, so if Esau strikes out, he’ll kill them and leave him alone! Nope, don’t really like him and really don’t want to rely on him to stand in the gap for me.

          I don’t like Esau because he is ruled by his passions. He sates his appetites first. I’ll give you that he may be a warrior, but he’s not a warrior in the sense of having honor. He is a warrior along the likes of the Islamic fascists you now face, the ones that will throw women and children to the forefront of the fight and hide behind their skirts. The rabbis have a lot to say about Esau, that as long as Abraham lived, Esau pretty much behaved. But on the day of Abraham’s death, Esau gave in to his physical nature – to war, rape, pillaging, unwarranted bloodshed – and that he never turned away from his sin. Esau was in disfavor with God because of his heart and attitude, not because he sold his birthright for a meal.

          The third option to me is a warrior like David. David is fierce, he is willing to defend, he stands his ground, he protects his people, and yet he has a spiritual dimension that allows him to stand with God. Is David perfect? No. He sends Uriah to the front lines because Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, is pregnant with David’s child. What makes David’s lapse so much different than Esau’s is that he recognizes his sin and repents. He has a conscience that allows God to work to change behavior. Esau didn’t have that.

          You are right in the sense that we have feminized Jesus to the point that we don’t realize the Warrior God that we supposedly worship. Jesus was by no means a sissy, and he sure didn’t dance on rainbows or tiptoe through tulips. However, our God is not capricious, even when standing before us as the Defender of the Faith and His people. His honor, His attributes, His character all dictate His actions, not whim. And that’s why Esau, who has no character, who has no ability to control his appetites, cannot be considered in the same vein as Christ as warrior, or any other honorable warrior.

          Me personally, I’d rather you had a ton of Davids than a bunch of Esaus!

          And thanks for the wonderful discussion! 🙂

          • Avatar
            The Col Posted February 22, 2011 7:37 am

            I was wrong then, I think you do get it, and that is indeed refreshing. Men need our women, and people have lost touch with what “tough women” are like. I recall my Mom and grandmothers, and my Great Grandmother who came to Colorado in a covered wagon. She was so sweet, and a wonderful Christian, but when she Barked, the men in my life who would fight at the drop of a hat, jumped and did not argue like they do now. I watched our families disintegrate when we lost the Matriarch. Her husband was helpless and pitiful without her and he died soon after. I was only 5 or 6 but I could perceive the power she had and how sweetly she administered it. It was amazing to watch, cause nobody argued, they simply respected her and knew she was right and just. That was the last central power in the family and it disintegrated from there, because no one person commanded or was worthy of the respect of the others and they all knew it. But surprisingly nobody wanted to take that place for all the flak it would draw.
            I see the things we elect to “Lead” and represent us….. the Clintons, the Bush’s, the Pelosi’s, the Reeds, liars thieves and charletons, and I see the effects overseas of the lack of character that we as a country export.
            I spent the rest of my life trying to emulate those who were great people in my life. I had a friend who coined a term about our churches, “Seeker friendly” meaning it was very good at marketing and drawing in people, but little was done to progress from there. It worries me greatly when christians talk about the coming battle, I’ve seen the battle and most are not ready for it, but it is coming regardless.
            Still I think we do a disservice when we do not preach the abject truth, I understand that though, it is not fun to delve into the reality of our situation, it is depressing. But from my military career I have learned that there is only one way out of it, and that is to start moving and start doing.
            I am not immune to fear, it scares me too, the only difference is I have been trained what to do, and have had many opportunities to practice. It is do-able, but it is not going to be fun, but by ignoring it, it only gets worse.

  • Avatar
    The Col Posted February 23, 2011 11:38 am

    It is difficult to read the scriptures and “Know” what really happened, so much of the stroy is left out. So many times they do not seem to be congruent with what we would consider “Chrisitan virtues” today. The trips abroad, and first hand interaction with Bedouins, Arab, Muslims, and even Arab Christians is an eduation indeed. The world changes and sometimes does not seem to make sense, one consolation however, after it gets written down and reviewed it seems that we as a species learn very little from history.
    I do beleive that scripture is correct and accurate, I just wonder about our interpretation and application. Something that as a combatant I spend a lot of thinking time on. Probably why Christ had to come back in the first place, because we (the people at that time) were royally screwing up the old testaments word, direction, and intent. It seems to be our habit.

  • Avatar
    CzwhkApostle Posted June 27, 2011 7:25 pm

    I agree Col, too many Christian Theologians gloss over events, such as the destruction of the World (Genesis Chs. 6-10, the destruction of Sodom and Genesis Chs. 18-19, the destruction of Egypt (Exodus), the destruction of the Canaanites, and the forcible settling of the land of Old Israel. They claim that God never changes, but cast Jesus as conciliatory, peaceful, forgiving, and neglect the forcible removal of the money changers from the Temple entrance. They confuse the mission of Jesus with the nature of God. God does indeed kill, but He also has mercy, He is strict, but also compassionate, He can be hard, and knows when to be tender. God demands justice, but also offers forgiveness. God is complex, and multifaceted. Those who try to oversimplify Him make a serious mistake. As God said to Moses when Moses wanted to know His name (His nature) “I will be what I will be.” To me that means the only way to truly know who God is is to walk and talk with Him and learn of Him over a lifetime, Like Enoch did.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *