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Malachi 1:2-3 declares, "'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...
Jacob and Esau Jacob was the son of Isaac and Rebekah, and younger twin brother of Esau. Jacob’s parents had been married for 20 years before the birth of these twins, they're only children, in 1858 B.C.E. Isaac at the time was 60 years old. The faithful patriarch Jacob's life was marked by strife and calamity. Though he was blessed with material wealth and 12 sons, Jacob’s life was not without difficulties. His daughter is raped, his sons then massacre those responsible, and he weeps over the tragic loss of his favorite son and wife. He doesn't get the girl he loves, thin is tricked into marrying someone else first, and ends up with four wives resulting in many problems. He works as a hired laborer for 20 years for a man who exploits him. He has a wrestling match with an angel and suffers permanent damage. In order to escape the famine that has raged his homeland he is forced to emigrate in his old age to a distant land, he even admits that his days have been few and distressing. Jacob is still regarded as a spiritual man who trusts in God. He has a twin brother that harbors deep hostility toward him which causes him to flee for his life. Jacob was highly favored by God because he demonstrated deep appreciation for sacred things. The land of promise made to Abraham was reassured to Jacob that his offspring would inherit it, further God told Jacob: “By means of your seed all the families of the ground will certainly bless themselves.”—Ge 28:4, 10-15. Esau was given that name because of his unusual hairy appearance at birth also he got the name Edom meaning red from the red lentil stew for which he sold his birthright. Esau was the firstborn of Isaac and Rebekah; the twin brother of Jacob and the forerunner of the Edomites. Contempt for Spiritual Matters: Jacob and Esau Esau was a skilled and adventurous Hunter a “wild man” as it were, in contrast to his brother Jacob who was blameless valued spiritual things. Esau was fleshly minded and materialistic, they're farther Isaac loved Esau “because it meant game in his mouth”. Esau also was an impetuous individual who sold his birthright by sworn oath to Jacob for one meal lentil stew and bread. This event happened one day when Esau was tired and hungry he came along from the field while Jacob was blowing up some stew. Esau asked “quickly please give me a swallow of the red the red there”, Jacob then asks him to sell his birthright. Having no appreciation for sacred things namely the promise of Jehovah to Abraham respecting the seed through whom all nations of the earth will bless themselves Esau immediately gave that up. This demonstrated that he despised his birthright viewing it as of little value; Esau's showed a complete lack of faith. He may have had in mind the suffering that Abraham's seed was to experience; Reasons enough why Jehovah said, “I loved Jacob, but Esau I hated.”—Ro 9:13 this statement by God is evidence of his favor between Jacob and Esau. “Your seed will become an alien resident in a land not theirs and they will have to serve them, and these will certainly afflict them for four hundred years.” At the age of 40, Esau made his own arrangements for marriage. By choice he became a polygamist, and unlike his father Isaac, who had let his father Abraham arrange for a wife from the worshipers of Jehovah, Esau took two pagan Hittite women, Judith (Oholibamah?) and Basemath (Adah?), as wives. These women proved to be a source of bitterness of spirit to both Isaac and Rebekah.—Ge 26:34, 35; 36:2 Jacob impersonates Esau It is easy to draw the wrong conclusion as to why Jacob misrepresented himself to his father, however so we properly conclude that the outcome of the matter was what Jehovah purposed, the Bible states clearly in the lesson that we should draw from this account, warning that we should be careful “that there may be no fornicator nor anyone not appreciating sacred things, like Esau, who in exchange for one meal gave away his right as firstborn”. Let's now look at what happened between Jacob and Esau and his father Isaac, and let’s not forget Rebekah, she had a hand in it as well. Isaac was well along in age and knew he was soon to die so he sent out Esau to hunt for venison, saying to him “Let me eat, in order that my soul may bless you before I die, Rebecca was nearby and overheard the conversation it immediately sent Jacob to get to kids of the goat so she can prepare a tasty dish for Isaac and she said to take Jacob “You must bring it to your father and he must eat it, in order that he may bless you before his death.” Remember Esau was very hairy so how would Isaac not be aware that he was speaking to Jacob instead of Esau? Rebecca put the skins of the kids on Jacob's hands and neck to cause Isaac went feeling Jacob to conclude that he was Esau. Jacob now brought the food to his father Isaac and Isaac asked him “Who are you, my son?” And Jacob answered: “I am Esau your firstborn.” Legally, as Jacob well knew, he was entitled to act in the role of Esau, the firstborn of Isaac. Isaac felt Jacob to see if this was really Esau or not, and he said: “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Nevertheless, matters worked out successfully, and as the account says, “He blessed him.” (Ge 27:1-29) Had Rebekah and Jacob done the right thing? Jehovah God had foreseen the outcome of these events when he stated “The older will serve the younger” Jacob was definitely entitled to the blessing, as this was spoken before their birth. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for just a bowl of stew. As sacred as the birthright was he showed great disdain for it Jacob and Rebekah knew that the blessing belongs to Jacob, Jacob did not maliciously misrepresent himself in order to get something that did not rightfully belong to him, more importantly the Bible does not condemn what Rebekah and Jacob did. The outcome was that Jacob received the rightful blessing. Isaac himself evidently saw that Jehovah’s will had been accomplished. Shortly after this, when sending Jacob off to Haran to get a wife, Isaac further blessed Jacob and specifically said: “God Almighty. . . will give to you the blessing of Abraham.” Jacob and Esau, twins with opposite appreciation for spiritual values.
In my opinion, God did not love Esau because he followed his father's blessing and lived by the sword (Gen 27:40). This continued consistently with all the Edomites over the centuries, and in particular Amalek (a grandson of Esau) whom God vowed to destroy (Ex 17:14). As Christ said, those who live by the sword will die by the sword, and this is the final fate of Esau, as pronounced by Obadiah. In distinction, Jacob, later Israel, obeyed and lived by the word of the LORD, although the biblical narrative shows us how complex the situation was between Jacob and Esau.
The case of Jacob and Esau, which is much stronger, to show that the carnal seed of Abraham were not, as such, interested in the promise, but only such of them as God in sovereignty had appointed. They were both the sons of Isaac by one mother; they were conceived by one conception. The difference was made between them by the divine counsel before they were born, or had done any good or evil. Both lay struggling alike in their mother's womb, when it was said, The elder shall serve the younger, without respect to good or bad works done or foreseen, that the purpose of God according to election might stand - that this great truth may be established, that God chooses some and refuses others as a free agent, by his own absolute and sovereign will, dispensing his favours or withholding them as he pleases. The apostle quotes this, and compares it with what the oracle said to Rebecca concerning her twins, The elder shall serve the younger, to illustrate the doctrine of God's sovereignty in dispensing his favours; for may he not do what he will with his own? Esau was justly hated, but Jacob freely loved; even so, Father, because it seemed good in thy eyes, and it is not for us to ask why or wherefore. Let them see what a difference God had made between Jacob and Esau. Esau was Jacob's brother, his twin-brother: “Yet I loved Jacob and I hated Esau, that is, took Jacob into covenant, and entailed the blessing on him and his, but refused and rejected Esau.” Those that are taken into covenant with God, that have the lively oracles and the means of grace committed to them, have reason to look upon these as tokens of his love. Jacob is loved, for he has these, Esau hated, for he has not. The apostle speaks of Jacob and Esau, not in their own persons, but as ancestors - Jacob the people, and Esau the people; nor does God condemn any, or decree so to do, merely because he will do it, without any reason taken from their own deserts. The apostle's reasoning for the explication and proof of this is, however, very applicable to, and, no doubt (as is usual in scripture) was intended for the clearing of the methods of God's grace towards particular person, for the communication of saving benefits bears some analogy to the communication of church-privileges. The choosing of Jacob the younger, and preferring him before Esau the elder (so crossing hands), were to intimate that the Jews, though the natural seed of Abraham, and the first-born of the church, should be laid aside; and the Gentiles, who were as the younger brother, should be taken in in their stead, and have the birthright and blessing. The Jews, considered as a body politic, a nation and people, knit together by the bond and cement of the ceremonial law, the temple and priesthood, the centre of their unity, had for many ages been the darlings and favourites of heaven, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, dignified and distinguished by God's miraculous appearances among them and for them. Now that the gospel was preached, and Christian churches were planted, this national body was thereby abandoned, their church-polity dissolved; and Christian churches (and in process of time Christian nations), embodied in like manner, become their successors in the divine favour, and those special privileges and protections which were the products of that favour. To clear up the justice of God in this great dispensation is the scope of the apostle here.
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