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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 9 - Verse 13

Verse 13. As it is written. Mal 1:2,3. That is, the distribution of favours is on the principle advanced by the prophet, and is in accordance with the declaration that God had, in fact, loved the one and hated the other.

Jacob. This refers, doubtless, to the posterity of Jacob.

Have I loved. I have shown affection for that people; I have bestowed on them great privileges and blessings, as proofs of attachment. I have preferred Jacob to Esau.

Esau. The descendants of Esau, the Edomites. See Mal 1:4.

Have I hated. This does not mean any positive hatred; but that he had preferred Jacob, and had withheld from Esau those privileges and blessings which he had conferred on the posterity of Jacob. This is explained in Mal 1:3, "And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness," Comp. Jer 49:17,18; Eze 35:3.

It was common among the Hebrews to use the terms love and hatred in this comparative sense, where the former implied strong positive attachment, and the latter, not positive hatred, but merely as a less love, or the withholding of the expressions of affection. Comp. Ge 29:30,31; Pr 13:24.

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Mt 6:24. "No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other," etc. Lu 14:26, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother," etc.

{n} "Jacob" Mal 1:2,3

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