Why would God say:  "I Have Hated Esau..."?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ben W, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    From John Ankerbergs website, -

    Question: Several months ago, you answered a question on things that God "hates" based on Proverbs 6:16ff. That was most enlightening to me and helped me understand this passage more fully. Recently, I was reading in Malachi 1:2-3, and it has, in part, these words of God: "I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau…." I understood the passage in Proverbs regarding "hate," but now I am confused. How could God teach us in the New Testament to love our enemies, and in the Old Testament it says He hated Esau? Help!

    There are three interesting passages that parallel this question:

    1. Genesis 29:31, 33—"And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren…. And when she conceived again, and bore a son; and said, ‘Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated…’" (KJV).

    2. Malachi 1:2-3—The Lord speaking: "Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau…" (NASB).

    3. Luke 14:26—Jesus is speaking: "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple" (NASB).

    The Hebrew word used in the Genesis and Malachi passages is also the word we explored in Proverbs 6; it is the Hebrew word "sawnay" which is translated "hate." Our problem revolves around the cultural Hebrew meaning of the word "hate." If I say that I hate, for example, liver, it means that I intensely dislike it. But the word "hate" in the Hebrew can have more than one meaning.

    As per the NKJV and NASB translations of Genesis 29:31-33, the word "unloved" is used instead of "hate." That is to say, not that you hate someone, but that you love someone more than another. Jacob loved both Leah and Rachel, but he loved Rachel more. To be chosen for special honor was to be loved. To be given a place of less importance, or honor, no matter how desirable, was to be hated/loved less.

    The same can be said of the Malachi passage; God loved both Esau and Jacob, but He chose to give Jacob special status. All of this is confirmed in the New Testament: that this was the meaning of the Jewish term throughout history. In the Luke 14:26 passage, Jesus wasn’t telling us to dislike/hate our family and relatives. He wanted us to love one another with a sacrificial love—"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another" (John 13:34).

    The Greek word used in the Luke 14:26 passage is "miseho," which can be translated as "hate," "detest," or "to love less."

    Bottom line: It is important that we give Jesus first place and first love in our lives; He is to be Number 1. No spouse, child, parent, relative, or friend is to come before our relationship and love for Jesus.

    http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/bible-for-dummies/BD0800W2.htm
     
  2. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Here is a short study I did on Esau a year or so ago when the subject came up on the now defunct Calvinism forum regarding whether "Esau I have hated" actually had to do with predestination:

    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.gods-kingdom.org/Birthright/Chapter2/Chapter%202.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.
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,347
    Likes Received:
    12
    Its not defunct, it just moved over here. Where did the Baptist Theology & Bible Study move to? [​IMG]
     
  4. bjonson

    bjonson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2001
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
  5. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    LOL, I used to be one of Matt's moderators on CARM. He and I disagreed then, too...
     
  6. bjonson

    bjonson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2001
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen,
    That is funny, but his case on Jacob and Esau is airtight. I'm not sure how anyone could disagree with this particular issue.
     
  7. lindell dunning1

    lindell dunning1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Ben W.,
    You have probably chased this wallaby around the circuit many times,so I will give it a break and ask you a question. For an example,Our Lord ask His disciples,"Who do men say that I,the Son of Man am"? Then He ask them the harder question.
    "But who do you say that I am"?
    If after all these years of inquiries and soul searchings are considered,what do you think the Lord meant when He said what He did in Malachi?
     
  8. EdSutton

    EdSutton
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why would God say, Esau have I hated? Because it is true, undoubtedly, in the context spoken. I seem to recall reading something about 'God cannot lie...'! Regardless of what I may think or have thought, I'd love sit down with Helen in discussion, anytime, and we could have a 'Diet Coke(R) (I'm a diabetic, and gotta watch the sugar) and open up a can of worms. I dunno', maybe its just me, but I find the idea of comparing Scripture with Scripture, to find out what Scripture is actually saying, appealing.
    Ed
     
  9. EdSutton

    EdSutton
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    BenW- I see you got about 8000+ posts.
    Helen, I see you got 9500+.
    If they all are like the two at the top, on good Bible subjects, I can learn something, comment back, and cathc up with your numbers in about 80 years. 'Course by then I'll be 137, and I probably won't remember what I'm writing. Heh! Heh!,
    Ed
     
  10. shannonL

    shannonL
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    He hated him because he didn't like him. HA! HA!
     
  11. genesis12

    genesis12
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    1
    All the more reason why any Christian has to get serious about word study.
     
  12. Me4Him

    Me4Him
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would God still have "hated" Esau, if he had not been the "type of person" he was??

    Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

    We can "eat the "MEAT" of the word" and live, or
    we can "eat the "MEAT" of the world" and die.

    Esau sold the "Spiritual" for the "Physical", in the same way people today sell their "Soul" for gain of the Flesh.
     
  13. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: Romans 9:11 Me4Him.

    The type of person we are is determined by God anyway. PS 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

    MAL 1:4 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. 5 You will see it with your own eyes and say, `Great is the LORD--even beyond the borders of Israel!'

    "Great is the Lord even beyond the borders of Israel."

    Do you mean this lindell? Like father like son. God hated man and tribe. Love never fails.

    john.
     
  14. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,384
    Likes Received:
    235
    Because He hated him.

    HankD
     
  15. Me4Him

    Me4Him
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: Romans 9:11 Me4Him.

    The type of person we are is determined by God anyway. PS 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

    MAL 1:4 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. 5 You will see it with your own eyes and say, `Great is the LORD--even beyond the borders of Israel!'

    "Great is the Lord even beyond the borders of Israel."

    Do you mean this lindell? Like father like son. God hated man and tribe. Love never fails.

    john.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    Ac 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    35 But in every nation.....he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

    Ac 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

    Are you ACCUSING GOD of "DISCRIMINATING" between "SINNERS"???

    If you'll read "IN CONTEXT", you'll find these people "provoked God" to his actions,

    God is not "Proactive" with Sin/Judgment, but
    "Reactive" to sin with Judgment.
     
  16. lindell dunning1

    lindell dunning1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Johnp.,
    My desire was to hear what the fellow believes about the topic that he introduced. As you know from reading the Old Testament,the Lord discriminated greatly concerning His children Israel. If you never read any other book than Deuteronomy,you would discover precepts that are totally Earth shattering in light of today's silly notion that the Lord loves every person on Earth in the same way. Would you mind if I give you a few verses to consider? Discriminating verse number one is Deuteronomy 7:6. A special treasure above all peoples on the face of the Earth. Deuteronomy 10:15. Moses says it again. I suppose that Moses should dismount from his hobby horse,but for some reason he doesn't. He says the same thing again in Deuteronomy 14:2. There seems to be no hope for the old prophet for he says it again in Deuteronomy 26:18 and 19.
    So I ask you Johnp,don't you think that you and I and the rest of Christiandom would think that this is important since the Lord had Moses say it so many times? But if they or us strain at this,
    then we would choke to death on Deuteronomy 2:30
    and Deuteronomy 29:4.
    So friend,I hope that you receive this post in your heart as it is in mine,chiefly this,that every thought and expression be to honor the Lord. To esteem Him so high in our hearts and minds that our actions will clearly portray the Spirit of Christ that lives within His children.
    Thanks for your time. Those are a lot of post Johnp. 2,000.
     
  17. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0

    Very true words. SInce scripture as a whole tells us that God loves all, we must conclude that God also loved Esau, despite the fact that he had hatred for him as well. This becomes even more clear when we recognize that the Hebrew word "sane" (translated hate in most translations) does not have a context of withholding love.
     
  18. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Please, please, take a look at my post above where I traced what the hate was and who it was actually for, OK? Let Bible explain Bible...
     
  19. Me4Him

    Me4Him
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    In a "nutshell", "HATE" the sin, but "LOVE" the "Sinner".

    In that "Respect", God is no respecter of persons, [​IMG] all have sinned. [​IMG]
     
  20. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Helen.

    You say: It is imperative that we allow Bible to explain Bible.

    The first position is scriptural. Rom 9:11 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."

    It is imperative that we allow Bible to explain Bible. It is imperative that we allow words to have their meanings.

    john.
     

Share This Page

Loading...