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Pastor Andrew Webb | Fayetteville, North Carolina
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Providence ARP Church
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Could the word translated "hated" in Romans 9:13 really mean "liked him a little less?"
SUNDAY, JULY 03, 2011
Posted by: Providence ARP Church | more..
13,260+ views | 4,610+ clicks
"As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated (Greek: Miseo)" (Romans 9:13)

What did God make his choice of Jacob and his rejection of Esau based on? The answer is His own good pleasure. God says specifically that, before he had created either of them, he loved Jacob and he hated Esau.

Now some people who have trouble the doctrines of election and reprobation have had great difficulty with verse 13, and have tried to say "well it’s not that God hated Esau, he just loved him a little less. So it should read, 'Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have loved a little less (than Jacob).' But not only doesn't that fit the context and theology of these verses, it just isn’t a viable translation, at all.

The Greek word for hated in verse 13 is Miseo hated or despised

[3404 miseo {mis-eh'-o}

Meaning: 1) to hate, pursue with hatred, detest 2) to be hated, detested

Origin: from a primary misos (hatred); TDNT - 4:683,597; v

Usage: AV - hate 41, hateful 1; 42]

Paul of course is quoting there verse from the Old Testament, specifically Malachi 1:2-3 and the Hebrew word for hated there is Sane’ (Sah-nay) meaning hated.

[8130 sane' {saw-nay'}

Meaning: 1) to hate, be hateful 1a) (Qal) to hate 1a1) of man 1a2) of God 1a3) hater, one hating, enemy (participle) (subst) 1b) (Niphal) to be hated 1c) (Piel) hater (participle) 1c1) of persons, nations, God, wisdom

Origin: a primitive root; TWOT - 2272; v

Usage: AV - hate 136, enemies 3, enemy 2, foes 1, hateful 1, misc 3; 146]

Let me give you just a few other examples of the use of those word to make the point, I could give dozens, but I’ll just give you some typical ones:

Hebrews 1:9 speaking of Christ “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions."

Jesus Loved lawlessness a little less than righteousness? I don’t think so!

Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake”

They’re going to kill you because you’re loved but not quite as much?

Well what about the Hebrew word Sane’?

2 Samuel 13:22 But Absalom did not speak to Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.

Absalom wanted to kill Amnon, because he loved him less? Nope.

It was the Sovereign differentiating love and hate of God that made all the difference between these two boys, because both of them were born into this world fallen sinners, and both deserved to go to hell. And that really is the answer to those who say it’s not fair that God chooses some to receive his mercy. "Fair" would be everyone receiving justice from the hand of God because after all, everyone is a sinner, and every sin deserves death (Rom. 6:23). No one deserves mercy, it would be mercy if it was deserved.

What we need from God is neither justice, nor injustice, it is mercy. What we need is what happened to Jacob when God met him at Bethel in Genesis 28. There he showed Jacob a ladder “set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” That ladder that alone can bridge the divide between heaven and earth is Jesus Christ, He himself told us that John 1:51 “And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." But in order to believe that and embrace the salvation offered in Jesus, God has to change our hearts as he changed the heart of Jacob.

If we are going to see the Kingdom and ascend that ladder, we must be born again. And that is what God mercifully does for all his Elect, because all of us were just a fallen and sinful as Jacob and Esau, as Paul instructed Titus to teach Christians:

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,

5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Category:  Greek & Hebrew Words

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