And Esau said, behold, I [am] at the point to die
Or, "going to die" F25, going the way of all flesh; which he might say on account of the common frailty and mortality of man, and the brevity of life at most, or by reason of the danger of life he was always exposed to in hunting of wild beasts, as Aben Ezra suggests; or rather, because of his present hunger and faintness, which, unless immediately relieved, must issue in death. Dr. Lightfoot F26 thinks it was now the time of the famine spoken of in the following chapter, ( Genesis 26:1 ) : and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
a dying man, or when dead? In such a case, all the privileges of it in course would devolve on Jacob; and as for the promises of the Messiah, and of the land of Canaan, made to Abraham and his seed, these seemed to be at a great distance, and if he lived ever so long might never enjoy them; and therefore judged it most advisable to consult his present interest, and have something in hand, than to trust to futurity; and, by thus saying, he signified an entire willingness to part with his birthright on the terms proposed.
F25 (twml Klwh) "vadens ad moriendum", Montanus.
F26 Works, vol. 1. p. 15, 696.