What trait was common to both Esau and King David? And what dramatic event happened to both of them?
Esau and King David are the only two people in the entire Bible described as “admoni” - red haired. (Esau - "And the first came forth red [admoni], all over like a hairy garment. And they called his name Esau" Genesis, 25:25; King David –"Now he was ruddy [admoni], and withal of a beautiful countenance" 1 Samuel, 16: 12). But the similarity goes further than a physical trait. Interestingly, both Esau and King David set out with 400 men to wage a battle against their enemy but radically changed their plans and ended up reconciling with their enemy.
As we read in this week's parsha, Esau was marching with his 400-men army to attack Jacob, but, in a dramatic turn of events, reconciled with his brother Jacob in an emotional meeting in which they kissed and hugged each other. Similarly, King David set out with 400 men to wage a battle against Nabal the Carmelite, but radically changed his plan when Nabal's wife, Abigail, met him on his way and persuaded him to avoid “needless bloodshed.” As David responded to her, “May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.” (1 Samuel, 25:33).