Now therefore take, I pray you, your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
Read Chapter 27
Hippolytus of Rome
The fact that the prophet asks Esau for food by giving him an order signifies the call that the Word addresses to the first people when he asks them for the fruit of the works of justice, that justice which was considered to be a nourishment for the Father. In fact, the words “go out to the field, and hunt game for me” signify worldly life. On the other hand, the fact that he says, “Take your quiver and your bow” shows that the people, inflated with their personal glory, would not be justified by their faith but by being proud of their wars would ask for a tyrant as their king, just as Moses had said to them: “And the sword is your boast.”
Notice in this, dearly beloved, God’s ineffable wisdom: Whereas the father gave evidence of natural affection by giving these directions to Esau, the wise and resourceful Lord caused his own prediction to be brought to pass by means of Rebekah, thus teaching us the power of virtue and mildness of manner. I mean, one son considered himself to hold pride of place by birthright and by his father’s preference for him, and yet he was suddenly found to be bereft of all this. The other son, on the contrary, being endowed with homely virtues and enjoying the help of favor from above, won his father’s blessing against his will. Nothing is more powerful than the person helped by that mighty right hand. In any case, look carefully at all this so as to learn the extraordinary nature of God’s designs: One man enjoyed favor from that source and was accorded great cooperation in everything so that the father’s blessing was transferred to him. The other lost everything, forfeiting what was his because...