What is bitterness of spirit?

And they became bitter of spirit to Isaac and Rebekah.

Genesis 26:35

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At forty years of age, Esau took two Hittite wives, Basemath, the daughter of Elon, and Judith, the daughter of Beeri. In contrast, Esau’s brother Jacob married Rachel, from the relatives of Laban, the father of Rachel. 

1. God said: “Jacob I have loved, and Esau I hated” (Romans 9:13). 

2. By marrying Gentile wives, Esau disobeyed his parents and Yahweh. Thus, Esau’s wives became bitterness of spirit to his parents. 1The Hebrew text describes the bitterness (מֹ֣רַת) of spirit (ר֑וּחַ). Using a Hebrew construct form  “bitterness” (“מֹ֣רַת”) means that word is joined to “spirit” (“ר֑וּחַ”). Therefore, we understand that God described the bitterness of spirit. Notice the bitterness resided in the spirit, not necessarily in the heart, mind, soul, etc. Compare Proverbs 14:10 describing the “heart” (לֵ֗ב) knowing “bitterness” (מָרַּ֣ת–construct) of “its soul” (“נַפְשׁ֑וֹ”) and in “its joy” (“וּ֝בְשִׂמְחָת֗וֹ”). Therefore, both spirit and soul may experience bitterness.