ESV - 40 By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.
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There is no record that Esau as an individual ever served his brother Jacob or fought against him. Actually in Genesis 32,33 Jacob is the one that fears Esau and offers him gifts as well as bowing down before him. Therefore the verse you quoted is a prophecy which points to two nations Israel and Edom. Obadiah shows the conflicts between the two. See also Numbers 20 which took place long after Jacob and Esau died. 20:18 says And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword. There are passages that shows that the statements about Esau and Jacob were fulfilled in the nations that came out of their loins. This makes Romans 9 a lot easier to understand if we see that nations were in view and not individuals. This shows the error of using Romans 9 as a soteriological passage of individuals. It has nothing to do with proving predestination or election of individual salvation. Romans 9-11 Paul was writing to show the Gentile believers the plan purpose and manner in which God brought the Gentiles into the Abrahamic Covenant. Those who were like Esau will now become one with those that were like Jacob...Israel. God in His wonderful sovereignty working to bring salvation to all even those who were "hated" not part of the old covenant. I understand and feel like Paul when he penned these concluding words of Romans 9-11 in 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Blessed be His name now and for ever Amen!
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