"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « The New Temple | Main | Psalm Two: Today I Have Begotten You »

    “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”- Romans 9:13

    There is no doubt about it, God had a different measure of love for one of the twins of than he did for the other. The phrase "Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated" leads us to no other conclusion. But why? What is the basis for this distinction?

    "I am not at a loss to tell you that it could not be for any good thing in Jacob, that God loved him, because I am told that “the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth.” I can tell you the reason why God loved Jacob; It is sovereign grace. There was nothing in Jacob that could make God love him; there was everything about him, that might have made God hate him, as much as he did Esau, and a great deal more. But it was because God was infinitely gracious, that he loved Jacob, and because he was sovereign in his dispensation of this grace, that he chose Jacob as the object of that love. Now, I am not going to deal with Esau, until I have answered the question on the side of Jacob. I want just to notice this, that Jacob was loved of God, simply on the footing of free grace."

    C. H. Spugeon's sermon, preached on Sunday, January 16th, 1859, on the theme of "Jacob and Esau" is filled with great insight here. - JS

    Posted by John Samson on May 1, 2010 08:17 PM


    RC Sproul said the problem he had with this passage was not that God hated Esau, but how God could have loved Jacob.

    Of course he then gets around to a similar answer to Spurgeon's

    I have done some research concerning this passage in the past and found that there are two main perspectives on the usage of the word hate in verse 13. The first is that the verse should be interpreted as Hebrew idiom where the word hate would be understood as loved less. The second perspective was that that traditional understanding of the word hate is accurately apply in the verse but that God's hate is a hate free of sin or is a righteous hatred. For me neither perspective causes a theological problem and there are good arguments on both sides, so I'm not sure where I come down on this one. Do you side with either of these two perspectives on the meaning of the word hate in verse 13?

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