Why did God hate Esau even before he was born?

Q. Why did God hate Esau even before he was born?

In response to your question, please see this post:

When did Esau “break off the yoke” of Jacob?

In that post I note specifically that while in Romans “Paul quotes the statement from Malachi, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated,’ we need to appreciate that the Hebrew language uses the term ‘hated’ in contexts like this to refer to a son or wife who is not favored, by contrast with one who is favored. The meaning is, ‘I favored Jacob, but I did not favor Esau.'” Malachi’s statement, and Paul’s quotation of it, reflect this usage. So God did not actually “hate” Esau. Rather, he chose Jacob instead to continue the covenant line.

Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the New International Version (NIV) that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He was also a consultant to Tyndale House for the Immerse Bible, an edition of the New Living Translation (NLT) that similarly presents the Scriptures in their natural literary forms, without chapters and verses or section headings. He has a B.A. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.

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