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Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by earl40, Nov 1, 2012.
Would I be in error to state dogmatically that Esau is in hell?
There are scriptural references (Malachi 1:3, Romans 9:13) that specifically says that God hated Esau. (These scriptures were written long after Esau's death). I don't see any reason to doubt it especially when the scriptures speaks of God's hatred towards Esau is in reference to making distinction between election and reprobation.
It is interesting that God continued to say that he hated Esau after he was dead. I think that answers this question, but it also answers the question to the thread concerning whether God hates ppl in Hell or not. Looks like we have our Scripture saying he does.
Why would you want to? What is the context?
I can't answer for Earl, but I think it's an important question bc the Scriptures which answers it answer many of our questions concerning ppl who go to hell. It's very unlikely that God who hated Esau and destined his children generation after generation to perpetual destruction would suddenly decide he loved Esau and spare him from hell. I was reading Calvin's commentary on Malachi 1 which was a very interesting piece. Here it is.
"Then follows a proof of hatred as to Esau, the Lord made his mountain a desolation, and his inheritance a desert where serpents dwelt. Esau, we know, when driven away by his own shame, or by his father’s displeasure, came to Mount Seir; and the whole region where his posterity dwelt was rough and enclosed by many mountains. But were any to object and say, that this was no remarkable token of hatred, as it might on the other hand be said, that the love of God towards Jacob was not much shown, because he dwelt in the land of Canaan, since the Chaldeans inhabited a country more pleasant and more fruitful, and the Egyptians also were very wealthy; to this the answer is — that the land of Canaan was a symbol of God’s love, not only on account of its fruitfulness, but because the Lord had consecrated it to himself and to his chosen people. So Jerusalem was not superior to other cities of the land, either to Samaria or Bethlehem, or other towns, on account of its situation, for it stood, as it is well known, in a hilly country, and it had only the spring of Siloam, fiom which flowed a small stream; and the view was not so beautiful, nor its fertility great; at the same time it excelled in other things. for God had chosen it as his sanctuary; and the same must be said of the whole land. As then the land of Canaan was, as it were, a pledge of an eternal inheritance to the children of Abraham, the scripture on this account greatly extols it, and speaks of it in magnificent terms. If Mount Seir was very wealthy and replenished with everything delightful, it must have been still a sad exile to the Idumeans, because it was a token of their reprobation; for Esau, when he left his father’s house, went there; and he became as it were an alien, having deprived himself of the celestial inheritance, as he had sold his birthright to his brother Jacob. This is the reason why God declares here that Esau was dismissed as it were to the mountains, and deprived of the Holy Land which God had destined to his chosen people.
But the Prophet also adds another thing, — that God’s hatred as manifested when the posterity of Esau became extinct. For though the Assyrians and Chaldeans had no less cruelly raged against the Jews than against the Edomites, yet the issue was very different; for after seventy years the Jews returned to their own country, as Jeremiah had promised: yet Idumea was not to be restored, but the tokens of God’s dreadful wrath had ever appeared there in its sad desolations. Since then there had been no restoration as to Idumea, the Prophet shows that by this fact the love of God towards Jacob and his hatred towards Esau had been proved; for it had not been through the contrivance of men that the Jews had liberty given them, and that they were allowed to build the temple; but because God had chosen them in the person of Jacob, and designed them to be a peculiar and holy people to himself.
But as to the Edomites, it became then only more evident that they had been rejected in the person of Esau, since being once laid waste they saw that they were doomed to perpetual destruction. This is then the import of the Prophet’s words when he says, that the possession of Esau had been given to serpents. For, as I have already said, though for a time the condition of Judea and of Idumea had not been unlike, yet when Jerusalem began to rise and to be repaired, then God clearly showed that that land had not been in vain given to his chosen people. But when the neighboring country was not restored, while yet the posterity of Esau might with less suspicion have repaired their houses, it became hence sufficiently evident that the curse of God was upon them.
And to the same purpose he adds, If Edom shall say, We have been diminished, but we shall return and build houses; but if they build, I will pull down, saith God. He confirms what I have stated, that the posterity of Edom had no hope of restoration, for however they might gather courage and diligently labor in rebuilding their cities, they were not yet to succeed, for God would pull down all their buildings. This difference then was like a living representation, by which the Jews might see the love of God towards Jacob, and his hatred towards Esau. For since both people were overthrown by the same enemy, how was it that liberty was given to the Jews and no permission was given to the Idumeans to return to their own country? There was, as it has been said, a greater ill-will to the Jews, and yet the Chaldeans dealt with them more kindly. It then follows, that all this was owing to the wonderful purpose of God, and that hence it also appeared, that the adoption, which seemed to have been abolished when the Jews were driven into exile, was not in vain.
Thus then saith Jehovah of hosts, They shall build, that is, though they may build, I will overthrow; and it shall be said to them, Border of ungodliness, and a people with whom Jehovah is angry for ever. By the border of ungodliness he means an accursed border; as though he had said, “It will openly appear that you are reprobate, so that the whole world can form a judgment by the event itself.” By adding, A people with whom Jehovah is angry or displeased, he again confirms what I have said of love and hatred. God might indeed have been equally angry with the Jews as with the Edomites, but when God became pacified towards the Jews, while he continued inexorable to the posterity of Esau, the difference between the two people was hence quite manifest.
Noticed also must be the words, עד-עולם, od-oulam, for ever: for God seemed for a time to have rejected the Jews, and the Prophets adopt the same word זעם, som, angry, when they deplore the condition of the people, who found in various ways that God was angry with them. But the wrath of God towards the Jews was only for a time, for he did not wholly forget his covenant; but he became angry with the Edomites for ever, because their father had been rejected: and we know that this difference between the elect and the reprobate is ever pointed out, that when God visits sins in common, he ever moderates his wrath towards his elect, and sets limits to his severity, according to what he says, “If his posterity keep not my covenant, but profane my law, I will chastise them with the rod of man; but my mercy will I not take away from him.” (Psalm 89:31-33 2 Samuel 7:14.) But with regard to the reprobate, God’s vengeance ever pursues them, is ever suspended over their heads, and ever fixed as it were in their bones and marrow. For this reason it is that our Prophet says, that God would be angry with the posterity of Esau.
This perhaps addresses the concept of Israel being saved as a nation (group salvation) touching on the New Perspective on Paul/ Federal vision?
I thought you hated reading
lol I'm training my brain to concentrate! lol
Don't know. That the Bible says God "hated Esau" seems to imply it. I suppose an argument could be made that God's hatred of Esau is in regard to Esau not being chosen as the head of God's chosen people, and not necessarily with regard to his salvation, but that seems like it would be a difficult position to hold.
Below is the context...which I do not see eye to eye with. As a matter of fact I really do not like it at all.
"The Bible says nothing about how Esau ended his life, spiritually. The "Esau I hated" thing only had to do with Esau being subordinated to Jacob in primogeniture. Paul uses the quote in Romans 9 to show Jewish critics that God doesn't elect on the basis of bloodline.
The only reason we know Manasseh is in heaven now is because the Bible tells us he repented before he died. God withheld that information from us about Esau. In fact, I would suggest that Esau's sincere forgiveness of Jacob when they met again as older men indicated some work of grace in his life."
Sarah, I don't wish to drag this thread off topic, but all this shows is that you didn't grasp what was being said on the other thread. Nothing put forward there in any way suggested that the reprobate are not under God's judicial wrath and hatred: it was simply pointed out that he is still related to them as Creator, and in that relation he still keeps them in existence - that is a relationship and a preservation which Samuel Rutherford is willing to speak of as one kind of effectual love.
This is an interesting thread, as I was wondering about this a few months ago when going through Genesis! I would question what is meant by "Jacob I loved, Esau I hated", the way I would ask what was meant when Jesus said "anyone who hates his life will gain it". It seems to me that Esau's mother was saved (correct me if I'm wrong), as I seem to remember her accepting God as her God, but I'm not sure about Esau.. Surely the question does revolve mainly around what was meant by "hate" in this context?
That's a metaphysical ideology to which you and him and some others hold that I don't and we'll have to agree to disagree. I based my ideology on the fact that God can and does give and/or withdraw many of his attributes to his creatures which doesn't make him a changeable God just makes him sovereign in doing as he pleases. If he can withdraw grace and kindness etc from a person in hell and that doesn't make him changeable, then withdrawing his love from that same person doesn't make him changeable either.
Clearly this person does not understand the doctrines of election and reprobation. Therefore, it is good to keep in mind WCF Chpater 3:VIII:
God did not reveal His hatred of Esau in order for us to 'state dogmatically that Esau is in hell.' He did so that each of us might be assured of our eternal election.
Scripture is not dogmatic about it, but rather allows us to infer, perhaps.
I don't think it is wise to infer something dogmatically.
I like the point above about his softer heart towards his brother later in life. I would consider that a good sign that God was favorable towards him, in softening his heart in such a great measure.
IMO the "context" is election, and in Romans 9 Paul teaches that Esau was not elect as an individual. This also applies to any person who is unelect or hated by God. This should not be confused with the general love God has for all His creation. Though the "problem" may be IMMHO Satan is part of such. I know many say the scripture is not specific on this BUT Satan is part of creation and the logical inference is that God has some type of love towards Satan. Of course Satan is "loved" so much God keeps him around for eternity. Man my head hurts when I think that it is better to exist than to not exist. Maybe from God's perspective it is, but from the creature in hell I would not say so.
So in your opinion there is room to think that Esau was just an example that may have not been real? In other words, why even use him if may have been not so? IMMHO it is clearly stated the destination of Esau is dogmatically expressed by Paul. I appreciate your thoughts and see that the variance of opinion is far from unanimous even within the reformed camp.
I have no idea what this means.
I said "God did not reveal His hatred of Esau in order for us to state dogmatically that Esau is in hell." There is a difference between 'thinking' that Esau is in hell and 'stating dogmatically' that Esau is in hell. A dogmatic statement is one where no difference of opinion is allowed. As someone said earlier, the best that you can do is infer that Esau is in hell. But, beyond that, the point of the revelation is not so that we can judge Esau, but that we might judge our own election.
If you mean by "metaphysical ideology" simply that we hold that existence is good, I take no issue with that description; but it is a metaphysical ideology that is based on the testimony of Scripture, where existence (having been created) is characterized as good. Rutherford's position is also characterized by a method that finds in an effect a reason to look for a sufficient cause, without attributing the same effect to different causes. But if the other thread was not sufficient to clarify to you the distinctions being drawn, I'm doubtful of being able to do any better over here - whether you accept the position or not, though, it would be nice not to misrepresent it.
I only meant that Esau was not elect and is mentioned specifically in Romans 9. I agree that this chapter gives me confidence that it is God Who elects and from this it is CLEAR to me Esau was not elect.