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Thursday, August 11 2011

Pottage

The Hebrew word, pronounced naw-zeed, means something boiled, as in soup or stew. The word is found in the Holy Scriptures in only two places - once with the famous incident involving Jacob and Esau, the other involving the prophet Elisha in a miraculous incident of healing "death in the pot."

First, consider the circumstances of the births of the fraternal twins (non-identical in appearance - and in their case, very different in personality as well) Jacob and Esau.

"25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son:

Abraham [see also What Made Abraham Righteous?] begat Isaac: 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian [see Israel's Iraqi Roots and Who Chose Rebekah?].

25:21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'; also The LORD And The Two Angels].

25:23 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.

25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them." (Genesis 25:19-26 KJV)

"Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom"

When they grew up, Esau became a "man of the field," thereby becoming a favorite of his father ("Isaac loved Esau"), whereas Jacob remained in the childhood enclosure, helping his mother with the cooking - so "Rebekah loved Jacob." One day, Esau returned, weak from hunger, and sold his birthright for that very famous bowl of red pottage. Some people regard the incident as a strange bargain. Why did Esau have to buy food from where, even if he wasn't living there any more, he, as stated, supplied the household with venison that he hunted? Was Esau selling venison to them? Why did Jacob sell food to his starving brother? At any rate, by coincidence or not, red-headed Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of red pottage, thereafter also becoming known as Edom, which means red.

Jacob and Esau

"25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

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

25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25:27-34 KJV)

The other use of the Hebrew word naw-zeed, that is translated by the KJV as "pottage," involved Elisha's miraculous healing of a pot of bitter or poisonous "gourds."

"4:38 And Elisha [see The Prophets: Elisha] came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.

4:39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. 4:40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.

4:41 But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot." (2 Kings 4:38-41 KJV)

Not long after, Elisha was empowered by the Holy Spirit to miraculously multiply the supply of barley loaves for a hundred people, just as the Messiah later did for thousands of people (Matthew 14:15-21, 15:32-39).

"4:42 And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.

4:43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men?

He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. 4:44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD." (2 Kings 4:42-44 KJV)

Fact Finder: Jacob purchased Esau's birthright with pottage. How did Jacob obtain Esau's blessing?
See Blessing The Favorites; also The First Meeting Of Israel And Esau


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Bible Study: Aramaic: The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus


This Day In History, August 11

117: The accession of Hadrian, the 14th Roman emperor, reigned 117-138.

355: Claudius Silvanus proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Emperor Constantius II.

991: The Danes under Olaf Tryggvason defeated the Saxons at Maldon.

1712: The Treaty of Aargau was signed which ended the Swiss War and guaranteed Protestant superiority over Catholic Cantons.

1786: Francis Light established the British colony of Penang, Malaysia.

1718: The English fleet under Admiral George Byng destroyed or captured 15 out of 22 Spanish ships at the Battle of Cape Passaro off Sicily.

1804: Francis II became the first Emperor of Austria.

1858: The Eiger of the Bernese Alps was climbed for the first time.

1863: Cambodia became a French protectorate.

1906: In France, Eugene Lauste received the first patent for a "talking film."

1908: Britain's King Edward VII met with Germany's Kaiser (Kaiser is the German form of Caesar) Wilhelm II to protest the growth of the German navy.

1919: After the First World War, the constitution of the Weimar Republic was adopted in Germany.

1933: "The Assyrian Incident" - a massacre of Assyrian villagers (315 men, 4 women, 6 children) by Iraqi government forces.

1942: A German submarine sank the British Navy's HMS Eagle, one of the world's first aircraft carriers.

1952: King Hussein of Jordan succeeded to the throne after his father, King Ala, was deposed. He reigned for 47 years, until his death in 1999.

1972: The last U.S. military forces withdrew from Vietnam. Soon thereafter, North Vietnam over-ran South Vietnam, ending the Vietnam civil war between north and south, thereby creating a single country free of foreign interference for the first time since colonial France divided Vietnam into North and South in the 1950s.

1990: West German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher's Free Democrats (FDP) merged with their liberal East German allies to become the first revived all-Germany political party.


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