January 31, 2007

Hot Springs Answer

I ran across this hot little gem this morning:
These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah --he is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness when he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon. (Genesis 36:24)
Seth Godin had a brief post a while back about the difference between being "a" something vs. being "the" something. His point was "it's worth an enormous amount of your time and your budget to focus on becoming the."

Here's the cool part: for Anah, this was not a matter of spending "an enormous amount of his budget" to become "the Anah." He was simply honoring his colorful father as we are all instructed by the 10 Commandments, and doing his everyday duties.

This is also the only time the Old Testament ever refers to yem, hot springs. Thus, these were probably rather rare and valuable for the people, especially in the winter.

Anah's name is a Hebrew word for "answer." It's helpful to remember that he was probably named that before he found the spring--like when he was born. Nonetheless, with this significant discovery, it was probably pretty easy for him to end up known as the answer!

Lastly, Genesis 36 isn't even about the nation of Israel. It's the lineage of Esau. This little verse is a lot like Deuteronomy 2 in that it shows God's provision for other nations in addition to Israel. Dt. 2 is even more specific about the land God gave to other nations.

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