The Website for Book Lovers

Legands of the Jews > Volume 1 >

Prev | Next | Contents


The worthiest among the sons of Esau was his first-born Eliphaz. He had been raised under the eyes of his grandfather Isaac, from whom he had learnt the pious way of life.[318] The Lord had even found him worthy of being endowed with the spirit of prophecy, for Eliphaz the son of Esau is none other than the prophet Eliphaz, the friend of Job. It was from the life of the Patriarchs that he drew the admonitions which he gave unto Job in his disputes with him. Eliphaz spake: "Thou didst ween thyself the equal of Abraham, and thou didst marvel, therefore, that God should deal with thee as with the generation of the confusion of tongues. But Abraham stood the test of ten temptations, and thou faintest when but one toucheth thee. When any that was not whole came to thee, thou wouldst console him. To the blind thou wouldst say, If thou didst build thyself a house, thou wouldst surely put windows in it, and if God hath denied thee light, it is but that He may be glorified through thee in the day when 'the eyes of the blind shall be opened.' To the deaf thou wouldst say, If thou didst fashion a water pitcher, thou wouldst surely not forget to make ears for it, and if God created thee without hearing, it is but that He may be glorified through thee in the day when 'the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.' In such wise thou didst endeavor to console the feeble and the maimed. But now it is come unto thee, and thou art troubled. Thou sayest, I am an upright man, why doth He chastise me? But who, I pray thee, ever perished, being innocent? Noah was saved from the flood, Abraham from the fiery furnace, Isaac from the slaughtering knife, Jacob from angels, Moses from the sword of Pharaoh, and Israel from the Egyptians that were drowned in the Sea. Thus shall all the wicked fare."

Job answered Eliphaz, and said, "Look at thy father Esau!"

But Eliphaz returned: "I have nothing to do with him, the son should not bear the iniquity of the father. Esau will be destroyed, because he executed no good deeds, and likewise his dukes will perish. But as for me, I am a prophet, and my message is not unto Esau, but unto thee, to make thee render account of thyself." But God rebuked Eliphaz, and said: "Thou didst speak harsh words unto My servant Job. Therefore shall Obadiah, one of thy descendants, utter a prophecy of denunciation against thy father's house, the Edomites."[319]

The concubine of Eliphaz was Timna, a princess of royal blood, who had asked to be received into the faith of Abraham and his family, but they all, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had rejected her, and she said, "Rather will I be a maid servant unto the dregs of this nation, than mistress of another nation," and so she was willing to be concubine to Eliphaz. To punish the Patriarchs for the affront they had offered her, she was made the mother of Amalek, who inflicted great injury upon Israel.[320]

Another one of Esau's descendants, Anah, had a most unusual experience. Once when he was pasturing his father's asses in the wilderness, he led them to one of the deserts on the shores of the Red Sea, opposite the wilderness of the nations, and while he was feeding the beasts, a very heavy storm came from the other side of the sea, and the asses could not move. Then about one hundred and twenty great and terrible animals came out from the wilderness at the other side of the sea, and they all came to the place where the asses were, and they placed themselves there. From the middle down, these animals were in the shape of a man, and from the middle up some had the likeness of bears, some of apes, and they all had tails behind them like the tail of the dukipat, from between their shoulders reaching down to the earth. The animals mounted the asses, and they rode away with them, and unto this day no eye hath seen them. One of them approached Anah, and smote him with its tail, and then ran off.

When Anah saw all this, he was exceedingly afraid on account of his life, and he fled to the city, where he related all that had happened to him. Many sallied forth to seek the asses, but none could find them. Anah and his brothers went no more to the same place from that day forth, for they were greatly afraid on account of their lives.[321]

This Anah was the offspring of an incestuous marriage; his mother was at the same time the mother of his father Zibeon. And as he was born of an unnatural union, so he tried to bring about unnatural unions among animals. He was the first to mix the breed of the horse and the ass and produce the mule. As a punishment, God crossed the snake and the lizard, and they brought forth the habarbar, whose bite is certain death, like the bite of the white she-mule.[322]

The descendants of Esau had eight kings before there reigned any king over the descendants of Jacob. But a time came when the Jews had eight kings during whose reign the Edomites had none and were subject to the Jewish kings. This was the time that intervened between Saul, the first Israelitish king, who ruled over Edom, and Jehoshaphat, for Edom did not make itself independent of Jewish rule until the time of Joram, the son of Jehoshaphat. There was a difference between the kings of Esau's seed and the kings of Jacob's seed. The Jewish people always produced their kings from their own midst, while the Edomites had to go to alien peoples to secure theirs.[323] The first Edomite king was the Aramean Balaam,[324] called Bela in his capacity as ruler of Edom. His successor Job, called Jobab also, came from Bozrah, and for furnishing Edom with a king this city will be chastised in time to come. When God sits in judgment on Edom, Bozrah will be the first to suffer punishment.[325]

The rule of Edom was of short duration, while the rule of Israel will be unto all times, for the standard of the Messiah shall wave forever and ever.[326]

Prev | Next | Contents

The Heptameron: The Very Naughty Book By Margueritte de Navarre

Princess Belle Etoile
The Beautiful Illustrations of a Dark Fairy Tale

WW1 Poster
World War One Propaganda Posters

Charles Dickens Mistress
A Victorian Scandal: Charles Dickens and The Actress

Art of Albrecht Durer
The Art of Albrecht Durer