Jacob I loved and Esau I hated = individual election?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Skandelon

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    Calvinists have interpreted this reference in Romans 9 to support their views of individual and unconditional election. This would mean Jacob was individually chosen to be effectually saved, while Esau was passed over to remain in his state of total depravity and certain condemnation.

    Non-Calvinists often refer to the passage where Christ calls us to hate our mother and father in order to be his disciple. Clearly that doesn't mean we literally "hate" them, otherwise that would be contradicting the command to "honor our father and mother." Instead, this is about choosing to honor God even over our parents. Likewise, the passage in Romans 9 is God's expression of choosing one nation (Israel) over another (Edom) to be used for "nobel purposes."

    The question I have for everyone to consider is this: If indeed these passage is interpreted Calvinistically then why does scripture seem to indicate that God helped the Edomites:


    • Deuteronomy 2:22 NIV: The LORD had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day.
    And that Esau and Jacob were close friends who honored God for their successes? (Reference Genesis 33)

    If indeed, God individually "hated" Esau in that he was an un-elect reprobate and enemy of God, then why would Jacob and God respond to him in this way?
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    It is a terrible doctrine. It is very similar to the Jews of Jesus day who thought they were eternally secure just because they were Jews. And it leads to the same arrogance.
     
  3. Johnv

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    The OP is a bad appliaction.

    There are a few translational issues here. The most important is that the Hebrew word translated "hated" actually referrs not to dislike as we understand it, but to a lesser degree of affection. Literally translated, it would be "love less", but such a construct is absent in the English. So if someone is thinking that God loved one but did not love the other, that's an inaccurate understanding of the passage.
     
  4. The Archangel

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    I don't think we'd say that God "hated" Esau. To say that he was hated is, most likely, to say that he was not the one chosen.

    Paul's point in Romans 9 is tracing the "promise" through certain individuals (and that would eventually become the nation of Israel). But that whole line of argument is to bolster his argument about God's purpose of election. Now, I'll freely admit that there is a corporate element to this, but it is not the only element. Paul later will emphasize the individual aspect, but even in his corporate discussion he emphasizes individuals too. The saved individuals are the fulfillment of "the promise" and God's purpose of election--so the promise extends to every Christian. And every saved Christian makes up the corporate entity of the people of God.

    So, more specifically, to answer your questions:
    You are suggesting that God doesn't help the non-elect? Of course He does--he makes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust.

    The point of the Romans passage is not to say that Esau himself was reprobate, that is taking Paul too far. Paul's intent is to suggest that God has the right to choose whom He will choose. But, just because someone is not chosen doesn't mean they fall into the pit of hell. Those persons live long and productive lives (at least from a human standpoint).

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Good to see that you at least acknowledge the corporate element, likewise I too acknowledge the individual aspect. Paul, for example, was an individual who was chosen for "noble purposes" while his fellow countrymen were being judicially blinded.

    Arminians (at least those of us who actually deal with these passages) acknowledge that God did individually pick out the "remnant of Israel" to be his messengers to the rest of the world.

    What part of this passages teaches individual and unconditional election as promoted by Calvinism?

    So, you would agree that it is unfair for Calvinists to use this as a support passage for their view of unconditional election of individuals? After all, that is the conclusions they are inferring by using this passage as a proof text, is it not?

    We agree. But I take that to mean God has the right to choose to graft Gentiles into the vine. He has the right to show mercy to the Gentiles, who have been in darkness for years, while hardening the Jews, who have been shown the light but have continued in rebellion.

    Out of curiosity, what do you think is meant by Paul when he speaks of the "vine" in Romans 11? Is the vine "salvation?" Is the vine "the gospel?" "the church?" What is your view?

    So are you saying Esau might have been saved and could be in heaven?

    Considering that you just said, "Romans passage is not to say that Esau himself was reprobate." I assume that you would answer this question, "yes, it is possible."

    If its possible that Esau, the un-chosen brother was saved, isn't it possible that the un-chosen Israelites Paul refers to as being "hardened" might also be saved?

    Isn't that Paul's argument in Romans 11 when he says that his hardened countrymen might be provoked to envy and saved (vs 14) or that they might be grafted back into the vine if they leave their unbelief? And that the blinding is "temporary?"

    Why do Calvinists interpret passages in Romans 9 which say "God shows mercy to whom he shows mercy and hardened whom he wants to harden" as meaning "God will effectually saved some individuals and certainly condemn other individuals" when even you see that is "taking Paul too far?" Especially considering that those being hardened might be saved, right?
     
  6. asterisktom

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    Frankly speaking, you have a flawed logic here. Well, that is if you want someone to respond "Calvinistically". Here is why: You say (rightly) that we see an individual application to this passage (the persons, not nations, of Jacob and Esau) - then you challenge us to answer as if we didn't believe in the personal application. Do you see what I mean? Your rebuttal to the Calvinistic position of "God helping the Edomites" would mean nothing to a Cal. or DoG. IOW you are refuting what they are not denying.

    Now, all of the above was just a heads up, assuming you want to actually interact with the topic - and i think you do. However if you merely wanted to whip up another frenzy of "Lets beat up on Calvinists" - and I can see you are already well under way with that - then disregard this.
     
  7. Skandelon

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    No, I don't see what you mean. I challenged you (as a Calvinist) to answer as to why God would treat Esau individually in the way that he does if Esau was individually rejected by God as "reprobate?"

    Additionally, most Calvinists (as representative of Archangel's response) at least acknowledge the corporate element of Esau's headship over the Edomite nation, which is why I ALSO referred to how God treats the Edomite nation.

    I most certainly do want to interact with the topic as I believe is evidenced by the civility and detailed nature of my responses to Archangel above. If I have come across as wanting to "beat up on Calvinists," I apologize. That's really not my intent, though I see how it may appear as such in written debate format where misrepresentations, quick one-liners and arrogance abounds.
     
  8. asterisktom

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    I am afraid that this application is as bad as the OP, sad to say. While it is true that the word in question "hated" in Mal. 1:3 can mean a limited range of meaning, from outright hatred and disdain up to merely a lesser love we need only need go to the original passage in question to discern what God did mean in this instance. Here is Mal. 1:2-4:

    2 “ I have loved you,” says the LORD.

    “ Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’
    Wasnot Esau Jacob’s brother?”
    Says the LORD.

    “ Yet Jacob I have loved;
    3 But Esau I have hated,
    And laid waste his mountains and his heritage
    For the jackals of the wilderness.”
    4 Even though Edom has said,

    “ We have been impoverished,
    But we will return and build the desolate places,”

    Thus says the LORD of hosts:

    “ They may build, but I will throw down;
    They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness,
    And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.


    Notice this "lesser love" in action: Laying waste, impoverishment, desolation, indignation. From such "love" save us. Now, it is true that this passage - unlike Paul's passage in Rom. 9 - clearly goes from the person Esau to the nation of Edom (Esau's nation) yet the context still draws from the initial "hated" of verse 2, helping us to define it.
     
  9. asterisktom

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    He is not representative of me, I can say that. I agree that, yes, Esau was the head of the Edomite nation. Genesis and Malachi establish that well enough. But I do not see Romans 9 as saying anything about nations, just two individuals. I see no "corporate application" here. Also I strongly disagree with the notion of Esau not going to hell. I think the Bible is clear.

    Please don't misunderstand me. This is not one of those things I rejoice to believe. It is one of those teachings, however, that I am convinced that is in God's Word. So I don't want to mince words in order to sound less offensive.
     
  10. asterisktom

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    Let me say here at the onset that I wasn't thinking of you when I wrote about beating up on Cals. I was referring to some of your responders.
     
  11. asterisktom

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    First of all, where do you find in Genesis 33 that Esau honored God at all?
    As far as Esau's earthly blessings are concerned I would say that this falls into the "rain on the just and unjust" category. When Esau managed to get the second blessing from Isaac, though it was not a spiritual blessing like Jacob's, yet it was a real one as far as it went. These are things that Esau's heart was set on, though he didn't see it that way at the time. When the two brothers finally met in Gen. 33 they both met as rich men.

    But Jacob's blessings were in the way of obedience and indicators of better to come. But Esau's was all he was to get. He reminds me of the rich man who was told by Abraham that he already had his "good things".

    But the fact that God blessed him that way didn't require him to bless him with the true riches.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    1 I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit-- 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. 6 It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son." 10 Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," 26 and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' " 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."

    30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." 33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

    If indeed you are correct that this chapter is all about individuals please explain all these underlined references to nations. Again, if you read my full response to Archangel, you will see I don't reject the element of individual election with regard to the "remnant," but I've yet to find someone who denies any element of nations being discussed in these passages. Reading on into chapter 10 and 11 only supports this...
     
  13. asterisktom

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    I did not mean to say that this chapter is all about individuals. When I said "Romans 9" I assumed you would know I was talking about the original passage you brought up - the verses about Esau and Jacob.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Remember, I'm not arguing that God did save Esau, we don't know. It never says anything about his being saved or not, which is really the point I'm attempting to make.

    Instead, the focus is on God's choice to use Jacob for noble purposes...to be the nation that ushers in the Messiah and carries God's revelation to man. One is chosen for "noble purposes" while the other for "common use" as Paul explains later. Does this certainly mean that Esau didn't have the ability to have faith in God? I argue that it doesn't because there are those in Israel who are blinded (common use) who later are provoked by envy and saved (rm 11:14).
     
  15. zrs6v4

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    Skan- i kno this is asking a lot but can you give us a breakdown, in your eyes, what Paul is saying from verses 14-24?
     
  16. asterisktom

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    We learn know about Esau elsewhere in the NT. According to Heb. 12 I would say that Esau was definitely not saved.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    really? You weren't "godless" at some point in your life? Weren't we all godless at one time? Does selling one's birthright in the jewish religion secure ones damnation to hell? Were all younger brothers damned to hell since they didn't have the firstborn's birthright? I guess I'm not following your logic. Please explain.
     
  18. Winman

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    Actually, I tend to believe that Esau was saved. Yes, it does say he was profane in selling his birthright in the NT, but I believe we see God working with Esau in the OT. At first Esau was hateful and vowed to kill Jacob.

    Gen 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

    Jacob fled because he was afraid of Esau and did not return for many years. But God told Jacob to return.

    Gen 31:3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.

    Even after God commanded Jacob to return, he was still afraid of Esau and divided his family into companies. But when he met Esau, look how loving Esau was to him.

    Gen 33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
    2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
    3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
    4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
    5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
    6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
    7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
    8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
    9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.


    Notice that it says Esau ran to Jacob. He was full of love and forgiveness for his brother. I think this shows that God was working in Esau's heart. And Esau who had been hateful because he lost his birthright wanted nothing material from Jacob.

    So, there is no way to say for certain, but Esau seems like a very good and loving man here, I am tempted to believe he was saved.
     
    #18 Winman, Jan 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2010
  19. Skandelon

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    Sure, if you promise to read it objectively. :)
    14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!

    What diatribe argument is Paul anticipating with this question? Well, looking at verse 13 its clear that the objection a reader might have would be, "Is it just for God to choose one descendant of Abraham for noble purposes (Jacob) while passing by the other to be used for common purposes (Esau)?" After all they are both Jews, shouldn't they both be chosen equally? Is that "just" for God to choose for one brother over the other?

    15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

    The answer is clear. Yes, it is just. God can be merciful to whomever he pleases. Even those who are not "natural decedents" of Abraham, for if he can choose to "hate" Esau, who was clearly a natural decedent, then he can harden you, a pharisee of the law. And if he wants to show mercy even to "unclean" Gentiles, that is his prerogative. He is God! (see verses 6-8)

    16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

    Israel is known for their desire and effort...they have been keepers of the Law for generations, but it is not dependent on that. For the righteousness that Israel has pursued through the law it has not obtained, but those who are not pursing it and did not even desire it have obtained it, yes, the Gentiles have obtained it by faith (see verses 30-31)

    17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

    Pharaoh is a great example of what is happening to Israel at this time. Pharaoh, like Israel, was already rebellious. God didn't have to make him rebellious. That isn't what is meant by "hardening." But God DID blind him in his already rebellious state at times so that he would not see the OBVIOUS truth that the plagues and signs of God though Moses revealed. Why did God do this? To prevent Pharaoh from changing his mind before the right time...after the Passover. In this God's glory was made known and his story told throughout the ages.

    Same is true of Israel now. They are being blinded by God (see Romans 11:1-10). They might be convinced otherwise (Acts 28; John 12 etc), but God has a purpose to fulfill in their rebellion...the real Passover and the ingrafting of the Gentiles.

    18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    God can show mercy to the Gentiles and harden Israel if that is what he wants to do. He also can show mercy to me, Paul, who is a Jew while he hardens the rest of you Jews in your rebellion. What is important to note here is that those being "hardened" are not necessarily going to be condemned. See Romans 11. Why is that important to note? Because if those being hardened are the non-elect reprobates as presumed by Calvinists, then how would it be possible for them to be saved later? If Paul was "Calvinistic" he would never have referred to these Hardened people as being potentially saved.

    19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" Again, Paul uses diatribe to anticipate the question of those reading. Is Paul anticipating the objection of an "Arminian" thinker wondering why God has blinded all men from birth and only opened the eyes of an elect few leaving the rest to certain condemnation? NO! Because that is NOT what is happening.

    Clearly, the objection Paul is anticipating is from a Jew who is being temporarily blinded by God. A hardened Jew would ask, "Why does God blame me? He blinded me in my rebellious state and who can overcome God?" THAT IS THE OBJECTION PAUL IS ANSWERING HERE. As you keep that in mind read his reply:

    20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "

    God has held out his hands to this rebellious and obstinate people all day (Rm 10:21); he has been patient with them for decades, so now for him to blind them in that already rebellious state from the obvious truth so as to accomplish redemption for the whole world is perfectly just. You made your bed, now lie in it!

    21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

    Who is the lump of clay Paul is talking about here? ISRAEL. Out of that lump he is using some for noble purposes. Who would that be? The Remnant. Paul is a Jew and he is being used for a noble purpose. The Remnant of Israel are those chosen from Israel to take the message of redemption to the whole world. Paul is one of those people. The rest of the lump are being blinded in their rebellion -- "common use." Does this mean these hardened Jews will be certainly condemned to hell? Paul anticipates that exact question in his diatribe over in Romans 11:11 and following. Read it and tell me what you think.

    22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction?

    What group of people has God "bore with great patience" over all these years? Same answer as above. ISRAEL! They are fitted for destruction because of their continued rebellion. In other words, WHAT IF GOD PUT UP WITH THE JEWS, DESPITE THEIR CONTINUED REBELLION AND DESPITE THE FACT THEY WERE FIT FOR WRATH AND DESTRUCTION. WHY?

    23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?


    What if he put up with Israel this long to make his glory and mercy known to those now being saved. Who would that be? The Gentiles, who he has been preparing for salvation all along. They are the people being grafted into the vine. This has always been God's plan to save the Gentiles too. But, not just Gentiles are being saved, "even us"... some of us Jews, the remnant who were reserved from the Hardening process, so as to be called to the "noble purpose" of bringing the gospel to the Gentiles.

    Keep in mind that, the remnant, like Paul, were uniquely called as apostles. The Gentiles believed through their message. Paul's Apostolic authority was based upon the uniqueness of his effectual call. And even non-Calvinists affirm the effectualness of the messenger's calling. But, understand, that proof that Jonah was effectually called to preach to Ninevah is not proof that those who believed his message were effectually/irresistibly draw to faith.

    Please understand that even non-Calvinists affirm that God works effectually in the lives of his prophets, messengers, apostles, to ensure his Words are correctly delivered so that all men are "without excuse."

    It is my contention that Calvinist make the mistake of applying the uniqueness of this effectual selection of the apostles and apply it to their view of soteriology. Thus, they undermine their apostolic authority and confuse the biblical revelation which causes division in the church.
     
    #19 Skandelon, Jan 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2010
  20. asterisktom

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    No. Please read. The explaining is all there. I'm tired of this fruitless discussion.
     

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