And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents, Genesis 25:27.
Our English word "cunning" comes from the word "cun". Whereas cun has become obsolete in literature and daily language, cunning remains with us. In the Oxford English Dictionary, Cun is defined as; To have experience of; to test, to try, make trial of. Cunning therefore is defined as: Showing skill or expertness; skilfully contrived or executed; skilful, ingenious.
So what kind of a hunter was Esau? He showed skill and expertness. His methods were skillfully contrived and executed. His hunting was skillful and ingenious. Notice how that the same word is used to describe work on the tabernacle. Speaking of Bezaleel the son of Uri, the word of God says; And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work, Exodus 36:35.
The level of skill, the expertise and the ingeniousness of being able to take fine twined linen and to weave blue and purple and scarlet throughout it to make a vail of beauty and to depict cherubims is beyond the average person. The word "cunning is used to depict something far above the ordinary. It is used to show that the person exercising this cunningness is far above and beyond the average craftsman.
Look how the ESV tries to say the same thing. He made the veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; with cherubim skillfully worked into it he made it. Notice that the making of the veil itself is not described as skillful. An 11th grade home economics class could have made that veil. Then skill is ascribed to Bezaleel in working the cherubim into it. These differences are subtil differences, but it is the cumulative effect of these lapses in exact wording that render the word of God from being the great work of art, literature and spiritual thought represented by the King James Bible down to a ho hum average peace of inaccurate literature championed by ho hum inaccurate preachers.
Establishing the effectiveness of cunning as a word becomes important in Ephesians 4:14; That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Here, the craftiness of men is described as cunning. The men using sleight of hand techniques to deceive the church are not normal run-of-the-mill liars.
Their craftiness is cunning. Their deceit is skillful and ingenious. These are not men who deceive the world. These are men who use skillfully contrived craftiness and execute it ingeniously from within the institutions of Christianity. How successful have they become? Like a stranger in a shopping mall who entices a child to sneak away from his parents, these men have separated millions from the word of God itself.
The key as to why nations like The United States of America are given over to such reprobate behavior is not found in communist sleeper cells or intolerant leftist educators. The key to the destruction is found when we realize that the salt has lost it saltness. The attack came from within the very institutions that had made the United States great. Our churches lost confidence in the word of God. There is simply no more effective attack that could have been made to undermine one of the great foundations of a free people.