14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
The first time I read this, I was a little surprised. After all, didn’t Esau forgive Jacob when Jacob returned from Padanaram? So, what does Esau have to do with a “root of bitterness”?
Well, Esau’s descendants were the Edomites, as “Edom” was another name for Esau (Ge 25:30). When Israel came out of Egypt, Edom refused to let them pass their borders to cross over. So much for brotherly love and forgiveness, right?
Well, you have to remember that Esau wanted to kill Jacob. Esau was just biding his time until his father’s death. I assume that at that point, he would have seized the inheritance that he was defrauded of. So, Jacob fled.
Jacob was gone for 20 years. A lot can happen in that amount of time. We follow Jacob’s story to gaining wives, children and flocks. We aren’t told about Esau. I can imagine that the first portion of it was spent with real bitterness towards Jacob. I can imagine it was verbally expressed, just as his desire to kill Jacob was overheard.
Yes, bitterness can be passed down to the next generation even.
Are you leaving a legacy of bitterness?