about Esau

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    (I finished this a few moments ago after several days of research, so this is an original essay and not lifted from anywhere else)

    Some of the statements in the Bible have led a number of people to feel that Esau is a good example of what is referred to as predestination, or the idea that before men were ever created, God had already chosen who He would save and who He would not save.

    Let’s take a closer look at Esau and see if this is something that his story really does demonstrate.

    The first time we have any indication of anything about him is before he was born. His mother, Rebekah, was somewhat alarmed about the amount of activity going on inside her and inquired of God about it.

    The LORD said to her,
    “Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples from within you will be separated;
    one people will be stronger than the other,
    and the older will serve the younger.”

    (Genesis 25:23)

    There are a few things to note about this response from God:

    1. There is no indication of anything good or bad about either of the children.
    2. The nations arising from each will be separated, but the timing is not given.
    3. One of these nations will be stronger than the other, at least at some point.
    4. The nation arising from the older of the two children will either at some point, or eventually, end up serving the nation arising from the younger of the two children.
    5. We don’t even know that the children are boys for sure yet!

    The children are, as is well known, Jacob and Esau. Esau was born first. The boys were clearly not identical twins, as their difference in appearance is noted from the first. So there is certainly no confusion about who is who there.

    We then read, about the boys,

    The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
    (Genesis 25:27-28)

    The word for “loved” there is ‘ahab, which can mean “love or loved”, but also, “have affection for” or “be allied with.” It does not indicate in either case that the parent hated the other child. It does indicate favoritism, though.

    They are young men in the next passage. Verses 29-34 tell the famous story of Esau, very hungry, trading his birthright for some of the stew or soup that Jacob is cooking. Some comments must be made here to correct some misconceptions. First of all, the birthright was literally something that was Esau’s right by birth. It was the double possession of all his father’s material wealth, but also, along with it, the responsibility for the family as, when Isaac died, Esau would then become head of the family group. The fact that Esau was born first showed to the people that he was God’s choice to receive the double portion and take control of the family affairs in the future.

    But we are told that Esau sold this birthright to Jacob for stew! And the Bible then tells us that ‘thus, Esau despised his birthright.’

    The word used for ‘despised’ means ‘disdain’ as well. Thus we have the indication that Esau considered his birthright of no value! This, because he was hungry?

    Perhaps not.

    The following has nothing to do with Calvinism or any other doctrine, but with what might have happened historically. Keeping in mind that the first four generations after the Flood lived until about an average of 400 years, we can see there is quite an overlapping of generations here. There are a number of extra-biblical stories that have come down through the millennia in not only Hebrew culture, but other Middle Eastern cultures as well. We know from the Bible that Nimrod was a mighty hunter. We know that Esau was a hunter. The following website references the book of Jasher with these two facts:
    http://www.godskingdomministries.org/Birthright/Chapter2/Why%20Did%20Esau%20Despise%20the%20Birthright.htm

    Although the identity of Nimrod is disputable, which will be explained in a moment, there is a consistent theme in the stories about Esau and his sold birthright which are connected with both Abraham’s funeral and a murderous rampage by Esau afterwards. If, for some reason, something Esau did made him think he now had access to much wider power than Isaac’s birthright could give him, then we do have an understanding as to why he may have despised his birthright: he may have been thinking of it as a much lesser value than what he could get for himself. We should also note that Esau said to Jacob, “I am about to die!” Was this from hunger? Doubtful, or he would have been too weak to move. There is a strong indication there that he was being hunted down himself and was on the move.

    The reason the identity of Nimrod is disputable where the book of Jasher is concerned is because there is also a consistent mention in ALL the Middle Eastern stories dating back to the immediate post-flood years that Nimrod was killed and dismembered by either Shem or some of his cohorts. The only way these legends could be successfully combined is if Esau was actively engaged in the Semite struggle against the Hamites at that point. Even so, it is more probable, if the Jasher account is true in any way, that the man Esau killed was Nimrod’s widow’s son or, if Hislop’s analysis of the Nimrod story is correct in “Two Babylons”, then Esau may have killed the man who was claimed by his mother (Nimrod’s widow) to be Nimrod reincarnated. However it works, or even if the person identified by the book of Jasher is simply the one on Nimrod’s throne, we have a consistent connection that seems to hold throughout the ancient stories in this account.

    Because the Bible is not concerned with anything other than man’s relationship to God, we read only the briefest of accounts regarding this incident. There is also, however, an interesting Jewish analysis of Esau’s frame of mind concerning this incident here:
    http://www.torah.org/learning/drasha/5756/toldos.html

    And this brings us again to the biblical clues we have regarding Esau. In seeking to find out if the birthright and the blessing were inexorably tied together, I ran across the following, extremely interesting, essay from a Jewish scholar:
    http://www.qc.edu/ENGLISH/Staff/richter/esau.html

    The fact that, in the Hebrew, Esau’s blessing paralleled in form and language so closely to Jacob’s is very interesting. What we do know for sure is that Jacob received the blessing by deception, and yet God honored it! We can see there was animosity between the brothers quite early on, or Jacob would not have asked for the birthright in return for food. Had his mother told him he would be the more powerful one, according to prophecy? We don’t know.

    With Jacob a deceiver and Esau possibly a murderer, we have a couple of young men that probably none of us would want for neighbors! And yet, it is not these sins which determine their final destinies, but rather their responses to correction from God. If we go far ahead in the Bible to Hebrews 12, we will see the warning:

    See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.

    And we read in Malachi 1 that God hated Esau. Paul repeats this in Romans 9.

    The question then becomes, did Esau behave the way he did because God hated him from the beginning, or did God hate him because of the way Esau chose to behave? Essentially, the first position is Calvinist and the second non-Calvinist.

    It is imperative that we allow Bible to explain Bible.

    Esau was also known as Edom. Right before the book of Jonah in the Bible is a tiny little book of one chapter, Obadiah. The focus of Obadiah is on Edom/Esau. And the reason God hated Esau is stated clearly here:

    Pride of heart, v. 3
    Because of the violence against Jacob, v. 10
    For not intervening on behalf of Jacob when that people was under attack, v. 11
    For looking down on his brother in the day of his misfortune, v. 12
    For entering the destroyed city and participating in the ransacking, v. 13
    For ambushing their fugitives, v. 14

    But wait, this is no longer talking about two brothers, but about the two nations that came from them!

    And this is precisely what Malachi is also referring to: look at the first five verses of the book say:

    An oracle: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

    “I have loved you,” says the Lord.
    “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
    “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the Lord says, “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”

    Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.”

    But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the Lord – even beyond the borders of Israel!”


    “They….” The entire people that came from Esau are being spoken of as being hated. Whether or not Esau personally was is not even being discussed here, but the people as a group are.

    Thus, when Paul quotes Malachi in Romans 9, he is referring to what happened to the people, not to the individual sons. And in Obadiah the reasons for this hatred from God are clearly delineated. In other words, there is no evidence biblically for the Calvinist position where Esau is concerned. There is no evidence at all that he was somehow hated by God from before birth. We do not even know about the man personally, as even a surface examination of the Scriptures involved indicate that it is not the individuals God is indicating hate for, but one of the nations that came from the two of them.

    Going back into the old legends, there seems to be an incredible depth to the history of the two brothers that we are missing. However, all that aside, the Bible does give us everything we need to know about them as pictures of man’s relationship with God, which is what the Bible is about. We do know that Esau accepted a good part of the results of the patriarchal blessing from Jacob with the gift of the livestock. We know that he helped bury their father, which indicates that the two brothers worked together in at least some things in later life.

    Did God hate Esau personally? He very well may have, and the despising of the birthright is used in Hebrews as evidence of his godlessness. This godlessness, and his marriage to pagan wives, would have affected not only his children, but their children and the children after them as well, in agreement with what we read in Exodus 20:5”Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them [idols], nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me…”

    The quote from Malachi 1, “Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated” has nothing to do with the two brothers themselves but, as a reading will show and Obadiah explains quite clearly, has to do with the nations that came from the brothers. And since the reasons are given for God’s hate of Esau, we cannot then accept the use this man as an example of predestination in the Calvinist argument.
     
  2. Daniel David

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    Paul's interpretation of the Scripture, Helen, is that God hated Esau and loved Jacob before either had done anything wrong. God is the one with freewill, Helen.
     
  3. Helen

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    Preach, Paul is quoting Malachi. Malachi is speaking of a people, not a person. We cannot separate Paul's reference to Malachi without looking at what Malachi was talking about!
     
  4. neal4christ

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    Forgive me Helen, I did not read the entire essay, but just the first few lines. I am pondering the whole Calvinism issue myself and doing some research too. I have a quick question though maybe you could answer. If God already forknew what we would do and based His decision (election) on that, wouldn't it be predestination because He is able to change it if He wanted to? Just wondering. Sorry to stray off topic, I will read your essay when I have time.

    Neal
     
  5. Helen

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    Neal, that is the real point, isn't it? That is precisely why our pastor refers to this issue as the divine paradox. Yes, God foreknew. But yes, he also allowed us real freedom in choosing how to respond to Him.

    The closest I personally can come to understanding this is looking at something that happened with my own children when they were young -- one of the first decisions I ever allowed them was whether to forego nap time (when they were about 4) and go to bed at the regular time, or take the nap and stay up later with mommy and daddy. They were totally and perfectly free to make either decision they wanted and the results of both were known to them ahead of time. And I simply waited. I could handle either way and there was no loss of control or parental authority with either of their decisions.

    And yet, the funny thing is, that knowing each child as well as I did, I KNEW the decision each would make. And I KNEW who was going to have a total tantrum later on when the nap was abandon and the early bedtime kept! There were no surprises for me there, but nevertheless, they had had complete freedom to choose.

    It's a very limited picture, but it was enough of one to know it was possible, even in my understanding, for God to know and still give us freedom to choose and never have it disturb His sovereignty in the slightest.

    And so then my mind backed up to, "Well, if He had always known who would do what, why aren't more created who will respond positively to Him?" We are told only a few enter the narrow gate, and although many are called, only a few are chosen. Why?

    And that is where I have learned to trust God. I know the Judge of all the earth will do right. I know that there is more going on than we can now comprehend. And I know that later we will be able to see and to know and that when we do we will find that He had it all under control from the beginning and that we will rejoice.

    So that part is trust now. Now we see through a glass darkly...

    And yet the message in the Bible is so totally clear that man has been given the incredible option regarding choosing how he will respond to God.

    I can't go further. I'm sorry. But probably about the time I CAN go further it will be just about the time you no longer need to ask the question! [​IMG]
     
  6. hrhema

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    HELEN: Just a little correction. Nimrod was married to the most beautiful woman who had ever existed at that time: Semiramsis. They had a child together they named Tammuz. According to history Semiramsis claimed that Tammuz was virgin borned. That a God had impregnated her thus her child was a demi-god. When the child grew to manhood and Nimrod had been murdered she married her own child Tammuz. This was such an abomination in God's sight that Noah's grandson killed Tammuz. Semiramsis began the worship of Baal. Tammuz was Baal She was Ashteroth.
     
  7. Helen

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    I know about Semiramis but didn't want to get too detailed.

    Question, could you give me the source of the version of this you have there? It differs from a number of other versions and I would be curious to be able to compare them. Thank you!
     
  8. Daniel David

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    Helen, knowing Malachi quite well, and under the inspiration of God himself, Paul used the situation to prove individual election.

    You will believe what you want to believe though.
     
  9. Helen

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    Then what are you going to do about Obadiah, Preach?
     
  10. massdak

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    i see so badly how you long for man to have free choice to choose God, but tell me does God give man enough grace to decide on mans own conscious? you do admit that God draws all men and that means he shows all men their need for Christ, correct? that means man knowing the full meaning of his need for Christ will choose yea or nay, correct? i hope you can see the faulty thinking this entails, you know many never consider their need for Christ at all. do you believe that they received the same illumination to believe the gospel as the ones that receive Christ? if not then you must say that some people are so under the human spell as not being able to see their need for Christ.
    some where in your line of thinking you must decide how grace works or that some people have a harder shell to crack when grace comes to draw them. It is impossible to reconcile free will when the scriptures say man will not choose God.
    how do you reconcile those who never hear the gospel? they have not even been given a choice, correct?
     
  11. Helen

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    From Massdak: i see so badly how you long for man to have free choice to choose God, but tell me does God give man enough grace to decide on mans own conscious? you do admit that God draws all men and that means he shows all men their need for Christ, correct? that means man knowing the full meaning of his need for Christ will choose yea or nay, correct? i hope you can see the faulty thinking this entails, you know many never consider their need for Christ at all. do you believe that they received the same illumination to believe the gospel as the ones that receive Christ? if not then you must say that some people are so under the human spell as not being able to see their need for Christ.
    some where in your line of thinking you must decide how grace works or that some people have a harder shell to crack when grace comes to draw them. It is impossible to reconcile free will when the scriptures say man will not choose God.
    how do you reconcile those who never hear the gospel? they have not even been given a choice, correct?


    I'll try to go through that one point at a time and at least respond (whether it is satisfactorily or not is not my judgement... [​IMG] ).

    1. It is not a longing of mine one way or the other which is important, but what the Bible is actually saying. God's words are incredibly more important than mine!

    2. Does God give man enough grace to decide on man's own conscience? I think that there are a number of places where the indication is yes! In Isaiah 1, God says, "Come now, let us reason together," indicating that there is something in man's mentality (despite the fact that His thoughts are so much higher than ours) which can respond to God even though the man is unredeemed. In Matthew 7:7-12, right after we read the command to ask, seek and knock, we read the following: "If you, thn, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Would Jesus be calling redeemed folk evil? It seems He is appealing to their knowledge of good and evil from the beginning there, and telling THESE people to do the asking, seeking and knocking. In Romans 2 Paul states ever so clearly that there are those with the law written in their hearts who have never heard of the law of Israel! So yes, the indications are that man is capable, even in an unredeemed state, of making significant moral and ethical and life choices.

    3. No, I do not think God draws all men. We are never told that. We read in Romans 1 that there are those who suppress the truth (the implication is 'on a consistent basis' and not just occasionally -- which I think we all do!) by their wicked actions. These people then are NOT seeking truth, but are preferring the lie. This is their choice; their decision. And although God will present the truth in various ways and forms to them, their consistent refusal means that God will finally give them over to their own evil natures without hope of escape, as He did Pharaoh. These people will not be led to Christ. People who want the truth may not realize that it is Christ they are looking for, but God will lead them to Him and then they will know and rejoice in the Answer.

    4. I don't think any of us actually knows his or her full need for Christ. And I am speaking as a born-again Christian. The reason I say that is because the longer I live, the more I realize my need for Christ in depth at all levels of my life. I can look back on myself ten years ago and think "wow! Was I a baby Christian then! (and I have been born again for 30 years now!)", and be sure than in ten years I will look back on now and realize how much more depth of knowledge and faith the Lord has brought me into then as compared to now! It is imperative to understand that it is not our head knowledge of Christ that saves us, but our response to Him as a Person. As God. As the full and only real Truth. It is extraordinarily reassuring to me to know that God judges the heart first, before anything in the head!

    5. I make no judgments at all on how God approaches various individuals. That is HIS business, not mine.

    6. Peter tells us plainly that God is not willing that one should perish. He does not say one of the elect; instead, what he says is clearly in line with John 3:16 and so many other verses, that each man who has ever been created is initially loved by God and that God's perfect will is that each repent. However, in giving us the freedom to choose how to respond to Him, He knew from the start that many would reject Him and He also knew who they would be. As difficult as that seems to deal with, it still does not compromise His sovereignty or control while still allowing man the freedom to choose. Those two points are made simultaneously by the Bible and we cannot ignore one simply because it is difficult to deal with.

    7. I don't think ANY of us see our need for Christ initially. I think that what we are presented with first is the "God's eye view" of our own lives for flashes of moments, or maybe longer. How are we going to react to THAT? In my case, I was disgusted. But I think many are. Many, however, live their lives making up excuses for themselves and their behaviors. They are not interested in the truth. I was blessed with a father who valued the truth and taught me its importance (although I did not value it for many years when I was growing up). Thus, when the time came that I wanted the truth, I could not avoid the disgust I felt with myself. I knew I wanted to change. We generally try to do that with ourselves -- via meditation, money, education, rites, good works, etc. etc. etc. Some give up on that early or late and finally or early respond positively to the Call. Many ARE called. Few are chosen. They are the ones who respond positively. They are the only ones who will ever know, in reality, what a deep need they always had for Christ. Christ Himself indicated this when He said He came to heal the sick. If you don't acknowledge you are sick, you will never want a doctor, let alone see your need for Him.

    8. All men and women, at some time in their lives, have been given enough truth to follow that truth, to desire more of it. And when they ask, God answers. The knowledge of the fall of the first man and woman and the Promise from God that He would be the one to restore has been passed down in every ancient culture. They all inherited the stories of both creation and the Flood. No man alive has ever been left without enough of it to respond to, one way or the other. God truly is NOT willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance. The very fact that so many don't is clear evidence of His allowance of other wills to work during this creation, this time.
     
  12. tyndale1946

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    Among the Primitive Baptist brethren I would say that the following verses from the Roman letter is quoted more by our preachers than any other. There is no doubt about it that we are the true predestinarians among all Baptist. The other brethren among us can correct me if I am wrong but if we had an alma mater this verse would be it.

    Romans 8:[28] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    [29] For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    [30] Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    It is all of Gods grace without the intervention of man and that is all I will say and leave it at that. If my brethren of the Primitive Baptist want to tackle this question they are free to I will observe from the sidelines and may answer later... In our belief you don't have a vote in election... It is not of him that willeth or of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  13. Daniel David

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    Helen, I don't have to do anything with Obediah. I am not the one who has a problem with Paul's interpretation in Romans 9.

    God unconditionally loves those who are unconditionally depraved that he has unconditionally called and unconditionally atoned for that he unconditionally will draw to himself and will unconditionally glorify.

    If you note in Rom. 8:28-30, the same people God will glorify, God has called. Unless you believe in universalism, God will only seek an elect people. Hey, read it for yourself.
     
  14. massdak

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    what you say in your quote does not coincide with scripture, you are basing it on mans ability to finally to be able to seek God. what about the scripture that says none seek God? are you saying some people are just to evil to experience grace? :confused:
     
  15. Helen

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    Massdak, one does not have to be seeking God to appreciate the truth when one sees it. That is the major difference between what I think you think I am saying and what I am actually saying. I don't know how much more clearly I can say it, though. Plenty of unredeemed folk appreciate the truth. Those that seek the TRUTH in their own lives will be led by the Father to Christ. They are not seeking God. They are seeking to find the truth. Many reject God, initially, simply because of the way He is presented to them. And yet they continue seeking the truth. It is only later that they realize that the very truth they were seeking has always been in the God they thought they were rejecting. These people may be the laborers hired late in the day. With my dad, his life was almost over. But when he discovered the very Jesus that had been so misrepresented by so many was indeed the truth, he was as joyful as I had ever seen him -- ever. But he had ALWAYS wanted the truth! And he was not unique. There are many, many like him. "Seek and you will find" is a promise that has meant everything to these people.

    You asked, "are some people too evil to experience grace?" We ALL experience it. The rain falls on all the land. Jesus fed all the people there. What we do with that grace -- how we respond to it -- is what makes all the difference. Is it so hard for you people to understand that it is true that God has never wished one person to perish, but all to come to repentance?

    Preach, you wrote
    Helen, I don't have to do anything with Obediah. I am not the one who has a problem with Paul's interpretation in Romans 9.

    God unconditionally loves those who are unconditionally depraved that he has unconditionally called and unconditionally atoned for that he unconditionally will draw to himself and will unconditionally glorify.

    If you note in Rom. 8:28-30, the same people God will glorify, God has called. Unless you believe in universalism, God will only seek an elect people. Hey, read it for yourself.


    I don't understand your tone being what it is, but I will try to respond to what you have said.

    First of all, about Paul in Romans 9. He is referring to two different parts of Scripture. That is easily seen. The first part is Genesis 25, and the prophecy God made regarding the children Isaac's wife, Rebekkah, was carrying. As I mentioned in my opening post here, there was no indication of anything negative in that prophecy. In fact, Paul makes a point of that, mentioning that God's election decided the older would serve the younger. (Actually, the Greek says the greater will serve the lesser, but the Hebrew in both the Masoretic and Alexandrian LXX indicate the meaning is elder and younger. That's not part of this whole thing, but it is interesting anyway.)

    All the translations indicate a full break here, even though the Greek doesn't. But even if there is or isn't one intended, we know that Paul's reference in the next is directly to Malachi 1. "Jacob I loved...Esau I hated." Because Paul simply makes this reference with no further explanation about Jacob and Esau, this verse has often been used as you use it -- as evidence of predestination (you may be interested, however, that the word 'election' in verse 11 is not in the Greek -- the words 'choice' and 'purpose' are, in relation to God's way of doing things). And it seems to be that way if one does not look to the rest of the Bible. And this is what I wanted to find out -- was Paul saying what we think he is saying there. That is why I did the opening post. Paul is not saying what you claim he is saying.

    He is making reference, as we both admit, to Malachi 1. But Malachi 1 is not referring to an individual, but an entire group! Do you think the Jews in Rome did not know that? Of course they knew that! They knew their Scriptures!

    That is why I posted the entire quote above (or on page 1 if this is now starting page 2 of this thread...). First of all, the Lord does not say "Jacob I loved...Esau I hated." He says "Jacob I HAVE loved...Esau I HAVE hated." This indicates continuing action despite the fact that the men themselves are long dead. This is another indication that the entire line of descent is being referred to as a group.

    Immediately after, Malachi quotes God as saying, "and I HAVE turned his [Esau's] mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals." This also indicates action continuing, at least in the past. In other words, Esau did have a fine inheritance, but God turned it into a wasteland fit only for the desert jackals. The indication that this is the right meaning is found in the next verse, verse 4: "Edom may say, "Though WE have been crushed, WE will rebuild the ruins."

    Thus, in referencing Malachi 1 in his epistle to the Romans, Paul is clearly referencing a people descended from Esau and not Esau himself.

    I think that the misunderstanding becomes more clearly understood if we understand something else which is not only evident in today's Orient, but historically in the Oriental cultures as well -- where a man comes from says just about everything about him. Here in the west, we reference to the person individually, and we are not used to this. A person's own accomplishments and education etc. are considered, apart from where or who he came from. Not so in the Orient. Thus we see in John 1, when Nathaniel is being told of Jesus, he is told "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Who and where were of primary importance! And Nathaniel's response help us understand this: "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"

    This is distinctly Oriental and hard to understand here! But this is also what Paul is doing by referencing the entire group of Edomites descended from Esau to Esau himself in Romans 9, as evidenced by putting it back into the context of Malachi 1.

    Now, Preach, I know for an absolute certainty that you will reject everything I have said here, despite the fact that it is entirely according to Bible coming and going. So please understand that I am not actually talking to you, but to the others reading.

    I am pleading with all to first, allow Bible to explain Bible and, second, to keep things in context.

    The explanation of the Malachi passage is found in detail in Obadiah. That is why I asked Preach the Word what he would do with Obadiah, which he promptly avoided by telling me I was the one having a problem with Romans 9, not him. It's not a good answer to attack the person, but it does show me he cannot fit Obadiah into his understanding of what Romans 9 means.

    I would also remind Preach the Word and others of the Calvinistic pursuasion that the famous Romans 8:28-30 is saying first that these are the people who love God. It is only after that where we see that these people are predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son, which is entirely in line with many other passages, including Philippians 1:6, that God will continue the good work He began to completion.

    However, nowhere in the Romans 8:28-30 passage does it state that God predestines those who will love Him. It does say that what He does, He does according to His foreknowledge, however, and that is not the same thing.
     
  16. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Romans 8:28-30
    28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose .
    29For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    30Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

    1. Who are those that love God? Those who are THE called according to His purpose.
    2. We all know that the correct definition of foreknowledge is what is important. In context, it means "love before". In the same idea that Adam knew his wife and she conceived. There was love. Theologically speaking then, "foreknowledge" is God loving before. So, those who are ultimately glorified are those that God loved before.

    Helen, you are missing my point on my posts. The above corrected your misrepresentation of what I believe.

    Paul uses Romans 9 to prove individual election. Keep reading it.

    Verse 16 says, "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." That sounds pretty individual to me. If a person is saved, it is because God chose to save him. Non-elect people have no chance, because God is not a God of chance.
     
  17. Helen

    Helen
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    I'm not missing your point, Preach. You are missing the first part of the list: those who love the Lord.

    However, the point of this thread is not to thrash over that issue eternally with you, but to point out that Esau is not a good example of predestination according to Calvinism. Not when the entire (albeit short) book of Obadiah is dedicated to explaining why the Lord hated this people -- and that it was the people being referred to and not Esau in particular.
     
  18. Daniel David

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    Helen, I understand your point, you just disagree with Paul's interpretation.

    Also, in Romans 8:28, Paul said that those who love God are those that are the called. Do you think you loved God first? That would disagree with John also who said that we love God because God first loved us.
     
  19. Helen

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    Preach, Paul did not interpret anything. He simply reminded the Romans of Scriptures they already knew -- and so we must go back to those Scriptures to find out what was being referred to. It's as simple as that. To ignore the source of the references is to take them out of context and thus change the meaning of what was being said. I went back to the sources to show what Paul was referring to.

    You disagreed with me as I knew you would. That is possibly a good example of foreknowledge even on the part of a human without having anything to do with your choice to agree or disagree with me!

    Of course, to continue, I did not love God first! However I always have had the choice of how to respond to His love. He has so loved the world, Preach, not just a few. He has also called many, not just a few.

    The choice of response to our Lord is ours. He gave us something to respond to first, however.
     
  20. Daniel David

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    Originally, I was going to bow out. I have decided against that idea because there are many who read this and don't comment. It is for those who desire to see the glory of God displayed above the depravity of man that I will continue to post.

    [ December 30, 2002, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: PreachtheWord ]
     

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