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In my effort to take a survey on the character of Esau, I seem to be running into more difficulties in unveiling why the All-loving God declared hatred for Esau right from the womb when he had done no evil.

10 And not only so, but salso when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of thim who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”s it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:10-13 ESV)

Malachi used some extremely violent words to aggravate the "hate" in saying:

2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob's brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob 3 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” 4 If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’” (Malachi 1:2-4 ESV).

It seems strange to hear Malachi using extremely violent words to express this hate by widespread destruction of Esau in not expecting them to ever stand as a nation. The Lord does not even regard their capacity to rebuild as wishful thinking, but instead works out his hatred for Edom by promising to destroy whatever progress they make.

Why was the Lord so angry with Esau and tagged Edom "the people with whom the Lord is angry forever?"

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    @ Ernest Abinokhauno; Where does the Bible say that God hated Esau from the womb?, If so please quote the scriptures in your first paragraph. – Ozzie Nicolas Oct 21 at 10:21
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    The reference is at Romans 9:10-13. “And not only so, but salso when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of thim who calls— 12 she was told, u“The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, v“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 21 at 10:49
  • What I see about this question is something that revolves around the election of grace. – Oluwabunmi Ernest Oct 22 at 10:20
  • The Hebrew expression loved X, hated Y is idiomatic, referring to choosing or preferring one over another (see Luke 14:26). As to why, Genesis 25:29-34 might provide a clue, in light of divine foreknowledge, as mentioned by Paul elsewhere (see Romans 8:28-30). – Lucian Oct 24 at 1:05
  • @Lucian, “The Hebrew expression loved X, hated Y” being idiomatic resonates with my thoughts. But, could it also be metaphorical that God promised to destroy the progress he would make in Malachi 1:2-4? – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 24 at 16:09
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“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. Luke 14:26

God is love, and are we not supposed to love our enemies? Are husbands not supposed to love their wives? If so, how does Luke say we must hate our parents, wife, children and siblings? We either have a glaring contradiction or the word 'hate' may not be the opposite of love as we define them in English.

Given the contexts, I believe the word choose, or chose, better defines the words love and hate with Jacob and Esau. Jacob I have chosen, Esau I have not. From the outside looking in at the two, it will seem like God hated Esau because of His favor towards Jacob. There may be an emotional hatred but I think that's harder to make the case. Jacob was no saint.

As believers we are to prioritize our relationship with Jesus above all other relationships. This choosing Jesus over others can seem like hate to the offended.

Example: A Muslim woman raises a son in the ways of Islam. This son places his faith in Jesus. The Muslim woman/mother feels rejected and unloved and may disown her own son. He son may very much love His mother however she doesn't feel loved.

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Romans 10:10 And not only so, but salso when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of thim who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”s it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:10-13 ESV)

Genesis 29:31 ESV When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.

First of all, nations are being discussed, since Esau never served Jacob, but Edom did serve Israel. "Hate" is a hebraism for loved less, as when God saw Leah was loved less, He opened her womb. Jacob never hated Leah, he just loved her less. God never hates individuals when it comes to being fair in offering salvation: He loves the whole world. God loved Israel by flesh less than spiritual Israel, so He chose her to be the vessel of dishonor, the means by which, through transgression, Gentiles would be included. No one is trapped in Israel. Many in fact came out of her and became Christians, in order to be saved.

Entire nations, people groups, went the way of Sodom and Gomorrah, became extinct, because the wages of sin is death, and no nations were righteous, not even one.

Romans 9:29 ESV And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.”

Even Edom suffered the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah, became extinct, not because God hated her and loved Jacob, but because she was not righteous, even exceeding the other two nations in her depravity.

Jeremiah 49:17 ESV “Edom shall become a horror. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. 18As when Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities were overthrown, says the LORD, no man shall dwell there, no man shall sojourn in her.

Conclusion

God doesn't hate, love individuals less. He loved Israel more, in the sense He preserved her, in spite of her being as depraved as other nations, and His choice was based on grace, His promise to Abraham, not the Covenant she insisted on.

Romans 11:2 ESV God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

  • Romans clearly puts it clearly as “hate”. The Lord does not even regard their capacity to rebuild as wishful thinking, but instead works out his hatred for Edom by promising to destroy whatever progress they make. – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 22 at 7:18
  • Did Jacob hate Leah? Also see: Hebraism /ˈhiːbreɪɪz(ə)m/ noun 1. a Hebrew idiom or expression. – Seeker Oct 22 at 9:26
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A few observations can be made:

  • "love" and "hate" appear to be covenant terms.

A person "loved" is embraced in covenant while a person "hated" is outside the covenant.

[Rom 9:25 NASB] (25) As He says also in Hosea, "I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, 'MY PEOPLE,' AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, 'BELOVED.'"

  • Esau sold his birthright to his brother, which God considered an indication of his godless character:

[Gen 25:34 NASB] (34) Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

  • It was necessary that the elder serve the younger to serve as a type of Judah serving the resurrected northern tribes:

[Luk 15:11-32 NASB] (11) And He said, "A man had two sons. (12) "The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. (13) "And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. (14) "Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. (15) "So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) "And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. (17) "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! (18) 'I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; (19) I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."' (20) "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (21) "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' (22) "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; (23) and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; (24) for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate. (25) "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) "And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. (27) "And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.' (28) "But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. (29) "But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; (30) but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.' (31) "And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. (32) 'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"

  • it was necessary that the elder son persecute the younger in order to provide a type of the persecution of resurrected Israel by natural Israel:

[Gal 4:28-31 NASB] (28) And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. (29) But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. (30) But what does the Scripture say? "CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN." (31) So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

The above was accomplished by a temporary, partial, judicial hardening on natural Israel:

[Rom 11:7-26 NASB] (7) What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; (8) just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY." (9) And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM. (10) "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER." (11) I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. (12) Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! (13) But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, (14) if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. (15) For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (16) If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. (17) But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, (18) do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. (19) You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." (20) Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; (21) for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. (22) Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (23) And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (24) For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? (25) For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; (26) and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB."

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    I appreciate your post. What stands out in this argument is that Esau was hated from the womb when he had not done anything wrong. This wasn’t because he had sold his birthright and/or because of some of the issues you raised in your post. The hate from the womb was going to follow him through every stage of his generation: as the Lord also said that he would bring him down each time he made any effort to establish himself. – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 21 at 7:42
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[Rom 9:14-18] What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might shew in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth. So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Just as Esau was hated from the womb without doing any wrong, Jacob was also chosen from the womb without doing anything good. Neither of them did any action to deserve what God place unto them, the only thing that prevails in this situation is the Will of God.

If that's the case, the purpose of the hatred towards Esau and the love towards Jacob is to show the sovereignty of God. No matter how much we do, how much good Esau does or how much Jacob sinned, the Lord had already chosen them to show the riches of his glory. Just like the example of the vessel in Rom 9:21-24

[Rom 9: 21-24] Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?

God is sovereign, wich means that God can choose whom ever HE want to save or to keep his covenant in the case of Jacob. And also means that God can choose whom ever He want to condemn or hate in the case of Esau. But it is necessary to clarify that God use the condemnation or hate only as a mean to make His Grace and Power more remarkable.

  • It sounds a little bit tough to understand how you said “it is necessary to clarify that God use the condemnation or hate as a means . . . more remarkable.” Please could you pin this down to some sources or references? – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 22 at 7:15
  • The verse Rom 9:23 in the spanish translations LBLA, NBLH is translated like this "Lo hizo para dar a conocer las riquezas de su gloria... "(LBLA) which means "He did it to make known the riches of His Glory ..." making it easier to see that the purpose of the condemnation is to point out or make more remarkable the riches of His Glory (Grace and Power) – wildmangrove Oct 22 at 14:28
  • The spanish version is interesting. That ... "the purpose of the condemnation is to point out or make more remarkable the riches of His Glory...." Hmmm! Interesting! – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 22 at 15:43
  • Where does it say God saved Jacob and not Esau in that passage of Romans? It doesn’t. It has nothing to do with salvation. If you are not reading salvation into the text please show the verse/s that speak of salvation. Thank you – Nihil Sine Deo Oct 25 at 16:41
  • I'm not saying that Esau wasn't saved. My point is just as God has the power and authority to condemn or save a person (Rom 9:21-24), He also has the power and authority to keep his covenant or hate someone, which is the case of Jacob and Esau. – wildmangrove Oct 25 at 17:07
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Background to response

If you are to consider the possibility of Genesis 6 as being true and accurate, namely that the sons of God copulated with human women in order that they might corrupt the human seed (genome) and thereby destroy the possibility of a redeemer as prophecied that would restore humans back into right standing with God

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭

(Notice both the woman and the deceiver have seed)

And that the seed of the sons of God survived the flood through Ham’s wife and child Canaan cursed by Noah

And that God decided after the nations rebelled against The God of heaven, to put over them gods to rule over them as they were divided Deu 32:8 LLX and Psalm 82

But God made His own nation from Abraham by the son of promise Isaac Deu 32:9 and Deu 7:7 the youngest and therefore the fewest of all the nations

If you believe that God had a specific plan and therefore a particular bloodline lineage through which He would bring the Messiah into the world then it will make complete sense why Esau was hated.

Esau and his genome

The passage in Romans does not deal with Salvific predestination but with a linage choice through which the messiah would come. You have to read into the text salvation of the soul because it’s simply not there.

“To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:5‬ ‭

Obviously salvation in the New Covenant which makes the Old Covenant obsolete does not come by way of bloodlines John 1:13

Because not everyone born of blood is Israel (Part of the New Commonwealth of Israel or God’s Israel)

“But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son."” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:6-9‬ ‭

This child Isaac was promised, Ishmael was a shadow of the child of the flesh a mixture between Abraham the righteous and Hagar the Egyptian or a type for the world/carnal.

Context

But it’s in this context of bloodlines and promised children concerning a promised Messiah that hatred for Esau is illustrated.

“And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:10-13‬ ‭

This hatred occurred at the moment of conception. And God does not do thing arbitrarily. So there is something that distinguishes Esau from Jacob. We know Isaac was a child of promise from parents God had chosen and we might argue from the Hebrew word they were tamaiym. But Rebecca we have no reason to believe she was tamaiym. Especially since of the two children she has one (Esau) has corrupted 🧬 DNA.

Genetic phenotypes

We can know what Esau looked like because Jacob through his mother impersonates Esau’s appearance.

“And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭27:16‬ ‭

Firstly Esau was red

“The first came out red, ALL his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭25:25‬ ‭

Secondly he was completely covered in hair not from puberty but from birth.

This means based on other passages that Esau carried in his genome the seed of the deceiver or of his counterparts the sons of God that copulated with human women.

Humans are not born like animals with hair all over and humans on the smooth of the neck where there is no hair DON’T have hair that is the same as a young goats hair.

Conslusion

Esau was hated or not chosen by God from the moment of conception because he unfortunately inherited seed from the sons of God passed into by the Nephilim onto Ham’s wife, Canaan the child and transmitted to Rebecca who gave rise to a Nephilim child Esau and a non Nephilim human child Jacob. The choice was obvious at this point why Jacob was favored purely for his genetic purity tamaiym-ness.

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    This is a thoroughly researched piece, and I must appreciate your time and creativity. If not for any motivational outcome but for connecting this seemingly spiritual conversation with an obvious scientific phenomenon. However, it will be greatly appreciated if you could cite some sources that brought us to the conclusion of how “Esau was hated or not chosen by God . . . because he unfortunately inherited seed from the sons of God passed into by the Nephilim onto Ham’s wife, Canaan the child and transmitted Rebecca . . .” – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 25 at 20:04
  • I thought I made the connection in that God exterminated the earth with a world wide flood because of the Nephilim. “And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭Except for the family of Tamaiym Noah, his wife and three sons. “These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous תמים man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭there are plenty of responses on this verse in This stack concerning תמים tamaiym. I could share some links when I have some time to find them. – Nihil Sine Deo Oct 25 at 21:01
  • Yes, some links! – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 26 at 6:53
  • hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/34181/… AND hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/29057/… physical purity is included as an explanation though most prefer in light of the fallen angels not to include this definition yet it is used of sacrificial animals which are amoral. Let me know if this answers your question why God hates this seed contaminating the human race and why He instructed for the annihilation of only specific families descending from Canaan – Nihil Sine Deo Oct 26 at 11:28

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