Alice C. Linsley
In Genesis, Esau is the victim of trickery and betrayal by his brother Jacob. When Jacob returns from Paddan-Aram, Esau greets him warmly and offers to help him settle his wives, children and flocks in the land.
In this action, Esau embodies forgiveness. It has been noted that the name Esau is also spelled Issa, which is a variant of the name Jesus.
There are two named Esau in Genesis and both represent respected leaders among their people. Esau the Elder married the daughter of Elon. Their son Eliphaz married a daughter of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36).
Esau the Younger, Jacob's brother, married a high ranking Horite woman named Oholibamah. Her name means Exalted Tent or Most High Tabernacle and she is a type of the Virgin Mary.
According to Yoruba tradition, Esau was a Ketu ruler. This connects him to the Jebusites and the royal house of Sheba. Abraham's second wife was Ketu-ra and she lived at Beer-Sheba (the Well of Sheba).
Is it possible that Euro-Christian thinking has presented a distorted idea of Esau? Has Esau "been unfairly slandered by overzealous Christians and their sympathizers?" That is what Remi Oyeyemi argues in this article in Sahara Reporters.
Related reading: Who Was Oholibamah?; Two Named Esau; Keturah: Wife or Concubine?; Biblical Sheba Linked to East African Settlements