At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.
When I read and reread chapter 26, I couldn’t understand why the last two verses talked about Esau and his wives. The entire chapter was about Isaac and Abimelech until verses 34-35, and I found it confusing. But, it dawned on me, Isaac was persecuted outside his home all this while. Now, Esau brings trouble directly into the camp and his wives were causing havoc.
Judith and Basemath
Let’s take a look at the names of Esau’s wives. First there’s Judith, which means ‘praise the lord’ (1). She was a Hittite, and did not praise the Lord of Isaac and Rebekah. She was a worshiper of false gods and was probably converting others in the camp. The other wife was named Basemath, which means ‘spice’ (2). Spice in this context symbolized a spicy or titillating love life. Being a Hittite, she would have lived a lifestyle of perverted sex, and may have prostituted herself.
The wives relationship with the parents
These women made Isaac and Rebekah’s lives miserable. Esau’s parents should have been the honored and revered leaders of this massive caravan, but they were disrespected and tormented by Judith and Basemath. It appeared that up to that point, Isaac and Rebekah remained silent about their mistreatment. Sadly, the wives of Esau poisoned the once peaceful atmosphere their camp once enjoyed.
Esau! Esau! Esau!
We can also conclude that Esau actively worshiped idols and participated in perverted sexual practices along with his wives. Furthermore, there would have been no chance for any of Esau’s children to be brought up in the godly manner that he was raised. As parents, they would not have modeled a righteous lifestyle or taught them about the one true God. Even though he was the firstborn son, he did not value the covenant God made with Abraham or Isaac. Esau did not keep the attitude of a foreigner as God had instructed Isaac, but assimilated into the hedonistic culture of idolatry and perversion.
No joy in life
Esau’s choices caused Isaac and Rebekah great heartache and drove them into deep depression. It was so bad that in the next chapter we find Isaac bedridden and ready to die and Rebekah frantic with worry and anxiety. The joy of life was gone and they were no longer living a full life, just existing.
The devil’s tactics
Consider how the devil operates. Persistence is his forte. He wants to wear you out so he can finish you off. If he can’t destroy you with outside sources (Kill Them With Kindness), he will plant people inside your camp to drain the life out of you. They will brainstorm together and plan your destruction. But, because of the grace of God, everything the enemy tries will come to nothing.
Isaiah 8:10 NLT
Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!
This concludes our series on 'Passing Through'. We pray that is was a blessing to you. Please join us on Friday when we begin our new series on Genesis 27.
Father, thank You for exposing another of the devil’s tactics. He will use anyone who will allow him. He is persistent in his quest and he intends to drain away any joy in my life. No matter what demonic inspired strategies weak people may use, they will not succeed. You are with me and the joy of the Lord is my strength. In Jesus Name, Amen.