It might be thought that there was a natural reason for preferring the child of Sarah, as being Abraham's true and first wife, both to the child of Hagar, Sarah's maid, and to the children of Keturah, his second wife. We next see him deliberately resolving to murder his brother. John Trapp Complete Commentary. shall we say then? When you are studying scripture, keep the light right on your feet and take one step at a time. ), I. 328.) ), They say the head of the great river Nilus could never yet be found. ἐμίσησα, moreover, is not to have a merely privative sense ascribed to it: not to love, or to love less (as Fessel, Glass, Grotius, Estius, and many, including Nösselt, Koppe, Tholuck, Flatt, Beck, Maier, Beyschlag), which is not admissible even in Matthew 6:24, Luke 14:26; Luke 16:13, John 12:25 (see, against this and similar attempts to weaken its force, Lamping); but it expresses the opposite of the positive ἠγάπ., viz. I have loved and I have hated do not signify merely: I have preferred the one to the other; but: I have taken Jacob to be mine, while I have set aside Esau. But they do many, many inconsistent and very bad things. For one thing, "the elder shall serve the younger", refers to the status of their descendants (the nations that would issue from Jacob and Esau- 1 Chronicles 18:12-13). His assertion of the freedom of God might be used to impeach His moral character. And yet, men are found who, with these facts staring them in the face, rise up and say, “God is too good to punish men!” Why, there never was an assertion so flung in the face of facts. 3. Yes, what we know of Esau’s character clearly proves it. And evident it is that the apostle’s intent is to declare the Jews to be excluded from that grace and mercy, as in telling them that the children of the flesh are not the children of God, but the children of the promise (Romans 2:8), that “the elder should serve the younger,” and that the “purpose of God stands not of works,” etc. Compare what is said of the wise men of Teman (Jeremiah 49:7), and the very respectable personage Eliphaz (notwithstanding his error) in the book of Job. One all-seeing, all-embracing, infinite thought is His. Have I loved - I have shown affection for that people; I have bestowed on them great privileges and blessings, as proofs of attachment. Others are really religious. 1. Notwithstanding all the advantages of instruction and example with which, beyond all others of the human race (with the exception of the rest of his family), he was distinguished, Esau despised his birthright, fraught with so many blessings, the natural right to which had been conferred on him in preference to his brother Jacob, and lived an ungodly life. "Commentary on Romans 9:13". 1896. II. Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Therefore the emphatical import of the apostle’s expression, “I will have mercy on whom I have” (now or at present) “mercy,” respects the same species, not the same persons of men; being as if He had said, To that sort or kind of men to whom at this day I show mercy (viz., in pardoning their sin and justifying their persons, meaning believers), I will show the like mercy at all times hereafter to the world’s end. 47. Respecting God’s hatred of sin, and the punishment of transgressors, the late Dr. Thomson refers in his sermons to the following passages: — ’Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. Esau seems to have never cared for God at all. Our beloved is unto us a bundle of myrrh, a cluster of camphor. Meaning that inasmuch as all men having sinned are become obnoxious unto Me, I am resolved to use my prerogative, and to show mercy unto whom I please, not upon such who shall be obtruded upon Me by men, or who shall judge themselves worthy. You shall think you have but one mercy; but you shall find it to be a whole flock of mercies. 1840-57. II. It has been said as a paradox that ‘there is nothing so disappointing as failure, except success.’ The study of the character of Jacob illustrates the truth of the paradox, for we find that at the outset of his career he was eminently successful in accomplishing what he desired, whereas, when he was an old man, we see him overwhelmed with grief, saying, in anguish of spirit, ‘I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning.’ The sad thought in his history is that we can trace a direct connection between his sorrows in later life and the successes of his early youth. 1. All that takes place, though God, who is God of love and benevolence sees it; all this takes place though nature is ordained to promote happiness; all this takes place, though the structure of society and the structure of individual men are designed to promote happiness; all this takes place, though God’s government is for the promotion of happiness; all this takes: place, though the interior nature of God and His everlasting decree aim: at happiness. If the Apostle’s argument thus far had not plainly set forth that freedom, the objection of Romans 9:14 could not have been raised. We are making a grave mistake if we take this section of Scripture as teaching that God predestined Esau to be a God-hated, eternally dammed man, without any choice of his own. We may therefore safely conclude that the Apostle does not so much speak of the posterity, as of the persons of Jacob and Esau; and that he knew the prophecies he quotes in support of his argument not to refer alone to that posterity; and consequently that it is certain he does speak of the eternal state of Jacob and Esau.’. The very purpose of 30-33 (besides hundreds of other texts) is to declare that it is on account of faith the Christian is accepted, and of unfaith that the unbelieving Jew is rejected. Because opposed to all our notions of Divine perfection, whether derived from revelation, conscience, or reason. Explanation and Commentary of Romans 9:13 A serious conundrum for those that deny the sovereignty of God in choosing who will be saved, this verse must be approached with great care. The words of the prophet are quoted to show that the actual course of history bore out the statement made to Rebecca. But Paul intimates, that as there was a difference between the sons of Abraham and Isaac, so there was a difference among the posterity of Israel. Compare also Edom in Malachi 1:4, synonymous with Esau in Malachi 1:3; and Israel, Malachi 1:5, synonymous with Jacob, Malachi 1:2. In Romans 9:6-13 Paul established that Israel was the object of God"s choice for special blessing because of His own gracious will. The occurrence of the word in that expression, ‘hate father and mother,’ Luke 14:26, has been alleged in vindication of this explanation; but the word in this last phrase is used figuratively, and in a manner that cannot be mistaken. (H. W. Even while they were in the womb. Romans 9:13. It follows that whatever these prophecies may refer to besides, if we admit that the Apostle understood them, they do refer most certainly to Jacob and Esau personally; nay more, are quoted by the Apostle with this reference alone. God does choose us, both because we believe and that we may believe. And, besides, while the whole tenor of his discourse makes it obvious that he is treating of their spiritual and eternal condition, this is conclusively evident from what he says in the 22nd and 23rd verses above referred to, where he speaks, on the one hand, of the vessels of wrath, fitted to destruction, and, on the other, of the vessels of mercy, prepared unto glory. As we look at Romans chapter 9, remember one thing—observation, interpretation, application. ‘Once when teaching a class of boys at a reformatory school I asked them, “When did you feel worse, on the day when you knew that you had stolen, or on the day when the policeman caught you?” They answered in a chorus, “The day I was caught, sir.” The crime was nothing. (John Goodwin. Are you willing to be saved? The first thing, therefore, is to brush away the clouds of false opinions with which theological polemics have enveloped it. And it lies entirely with God’s sovereignty to determine who shall be the recipients of His bounty. That this is Paul’s meaning is evident from what immediately follows. "God had made a distinction between children of the same father and different mothers. (J. Morison, D.D. Esau’s picture is well drawn. Jacob and his descendants had proved to be objects of GOD’S love, Esau and his descendants, the Edomites, objects of GOD’S hate. Bob, a middle-aged salesman, was on a business trip in another state. Because that man deserves it; no reply but that can ever be true. Malachi 1:2, now though an Edomite may be said to be brother to an Israelite, yet Esau is never said, nor can he with any propriety be said to be the brother of Jacob's posterity: it remains, that these words regard their persons, and express the true spring and source of the choice of the one, and the rejection of the other; and which holds true of all the instances of either kind: everlasting and unchangeable love is the true cause and spring of the choice of particular persons to eternal salvation; and hatred is the cause of rejection, by which is meant not positive hatred, which can only have for its object sin and sinners, or persons so considered; but negative hatred, which is God's will, not to give eternal life to some persons; and shows itself by a neglect of them, taking no notice of them, passing them by, when he chose others; so the word "hate" is used for neglect, taking no notice, where positive hatred cannot be thought to take place, in Luke 14:26. "Commentary on Romans 9:13". The Apostle is speaking of heads of nations; and in God’s dealings towards them is found the reason of the difference of the treatment of their posterities. His sons had repented of their sin against their brother and of their lies to himself. He has mercy on the penitent, withdraws His Spirit from the impenitent (verse 18). The doctrine of the preceding verses is, that God is perfectly sovereign in the distribution of his favors, that the ground of his selecting one and rejecting another is not their work, but his own good pleasure. He had some fine traits. This typical import is fully recognized in various places in the New Testament, showing, as the Apostle declares in the 15th chapter of this Epistle, that ‘whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning,’ and also when he speaks of what took place respecting Israel in their journey from Egypt, which is equally applicable to so many other events. to whom I at this day show this grace or mercy, and these are such who believe. He “was a clever hunter, a man of the field”--what we should call “a man of the world.” He loved pleasure, and had a clear eye for any present advantage. Grace does not run in the ‘But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. He does not give that to many of you. This omnipotent principle is not my Saviour; I need as my Saviour the living God who loves me, and whom I may love in return--the God who looked on me when I was lost, and loved me when I was worthless--who saved me from hell and made me His child. These words are explanative of the former; they are of like import, and the one interpret the other; and show, that the former are to be understood in a spiritual, and not in a temporal sense, and of the persons, and not the posterity of Jacob and Esau; for though Malachi prophesied long after Jacob and Esau were personally dead, yet the Lord in that prophecy manifestly directs the murmuring Jews to the personal regard he had had to Jacob and Esau, and which had continued in numberless instances to their respective posterities, in order to stop their mouths, and reprove their ingratitude; and though he speaks of the nation of the Edomites, and to the posterity of Israel, yet it is evident, that he has a respect to the persons of Jacob and Esau, from whence they sprung, when he says, "was not Esau Jacob's brother?" We could then have no confidence in Him. According to this and many other texts it is clear that men are not saved by compulsion. We have seen how a sin committed years before, and bitterly repented of, was visited upon Jacob again and again till quite the end of his life. He deceives his master and father-in-law, Laban, and runs away and outrages his feelings. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Malachi, as Genesis, refers to the nations. We see him also taking women of Canaan as his wives, although he had the example before him of Abraham’s concern that Isaac should not marry any of the daughters of that country. 1870. That willing and running, or human efforts, are not essential to salvation. 3. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. “As has been written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” This is the language of Malachi 1:2-3, five hundred years after the time of these men. Which would be the one you loved? 4. {a} Quicquid dehinc scripturarum est, huius est commentarius. 1887. Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. It might as well be said that the phrase, ‘Jacob have I loved,’ does not signify that God really loved Jacob, but that to love here signifies only to hate less, and that all that is meant by the expression, is that God hated Jacob less than he hated Esau. And the correct, moral people of the world see the sins of the religious people, and suspect and despise them. See also, "The strong contrast is a Semitic idiom that heightens the comparison by stating it in absolute terms. Both he and his mother were undoubtedly to blame, much to blame, as to the way in which he obtained his father’s blessing, to the prejudice of Esau, while the revealed purpose of God formed no apology for their conduct. "Commentary on Romans 9:13". Now what has human “willing or running” to do with this plan of salvation? (J. Lyth, D.D. Although this degrading opinion is so much countenanced by such writers as Tholuck and Stuart, and by many others, I am not aware that it has hitherto attracted all that attention, and been marked with that abhorrence, which it so justly merits. The maxim of Augustine, “God does not choose us because we believe, but that we may believe,” is but half the truth. The apostle sustains from beginning to end the doctrine that, even in patriarchal times, faith was the underlying condition of acceptance with God, and that, therefore, the promise of God in its true import, amid its various forms, has been completely fulfilled in the Christian Church notwithstanding the rejection of unbelieving Judaism. 2. Jacob during his life was the object of many special blessings. It may be asked why God hated him before he sinned personally; and human wisdom has proved its folly, by endeavoring to soften the word hated into something less than hatred: but the man who submits like a little child to the word of God, will find no difficulty in seeing in what sense Esau was worthy of the hatred of God before he was born. Their local habitation had many advantages; they were blessed in “the fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven,” and were sheltered within the munition of rocks; and, had they been willing to be good, they might have had a constant flow of prosperity. Having cautioned Christian practitioners to be transformed and renewed in their minds, attitudes, … Continue reading "Commentary on Romans 12:9 … Towards the conclusion of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the sale of his birthright is referred to, and where Jacob is numbered among those who both lived and died in faith, Esau is characterized as ‘a profane person,’ Hebrews 12:16. And upon this account the gospel, which asserteth this purpose of God, is termed the everlasting gospel (Revelation 14:6), i.e., one the tenor and contents whereof shall never be altered. When the Savior was first announced, Genesis 3:15, mankind were divided into two classes, the one to be saved, the other to be lost. But there are limits to His pardoning grace. The word ‘hated’ seems harsh, and hence some explain it as ‘love less,’ making the whole passage to mean, ‘I preferred Jacob to Esau.’ But, despite such instances as Luke 14:24, compared with Matthew 10:37, this explanation is not allowable. Like many other unfounded dogmas, it stands in direct opposition to the whole tenor of the Scriptures, which represent God as angry with the wicked every day, and hating all workers of iniquity, Psalm 5:5. Be used to impeach his moral character for health and strength, and hate not his father mother. 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