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The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 12, 06-27-2014
In the last segment of our presentation of Paul's epistle to the Romans, we completed Romans chapter 8, which, as we explained, summarized many of Paul's statements in the chapters which precede it. Paul ended Romans 8 by stating that nothing could separate the love of Christ away from the creation of Adamic man, which in its entirety and without exception awaits liberation from the bondage of decay. Tonight we shall present Romans chapter 9, where after explaining these things Paul turns his attention to his kinsmen Israelites in Judaea.
One cannot truly understand Romans chapter 9 without understanding the demographic makeup of the Roman province of Judaea during the time of Christ. This is because an understanding of Paul's statements in this chapter, and the chapters beyond where he continues the same topic he presents here, hinges on two statements which are made by Paul in the opening verses. These are in verse 3 where he expresses a deep concern “for the brethren, my kinsmen in regards to the flesh”, and then he goes on to say that “not all those who are from Israel are those of Israel”. Seeing this, there are a few things which are clearly obvious, the first being that Paul is a racist concerned only with Israelites in regards to the flesh, whether or not they have accepted the Gospel, and secondly that not everyone in Israel at Paul's time is of that flesh, since not everyone in Israel is an Israelite!
Paul is a racist, and not even the King James Version obscures the meaning of his statement where it reads that Paul has sorrow in his heart for “my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh”, and from that point Paul goes on to comparing Jacob with Esau, and vessels of mercy, referring to Israelites, compared to vessels of destruction, referring to Edomites. To understand why Paul would say these things requires an understanding of the population of Judaea in Paul's time. There is nothing “spiritual” about Paul's words here, since he himself professes that his brethren are “according to the flesh”, and not according to what they may profess or claim to believe.
When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC, the Edomites were among their allies. Evidence for this is in the Scriptures at 1 Esdras chapter 4, where among other things that Ezra the scribe had recorded we read the words of Zorobabel (Zerubbabel) who about 70 years later had said to the King of Persia: “45 Thou also hast vowed to build up the temple, which the Edomites burned when Judea was made desolate by the Chaldees.” This is verified in Psalm 137, a Psalm written during the Babylonian captivity, where it says “7 Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.”
The Edomites moved northward into the lands of Judah and Israel in large numbers after the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations of the Israelites. This is prophesied by Ezekiel in his 34th and 35th chapters, where it says in part: “[34:] 1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.... [35:] 7 Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth. 8 And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword. 9 I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 10 Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there: 11 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee. 12 And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume.” So we see that after the deportations, the Edomites had made both Israel and Judah their own, and they shall not go unpunished.
The Edomites had taken over much of the ancient land and many of the cities of Judah and Israel after the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem, and Ezekiel attributes these words to the Edomites, “thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it”, and they did indeed possess it. However they did not yet take Jerusalem to themselves, and we see in Nehemiah chapter 2 that when Nehemiah went to inspect the city for the first time, he could hardly get into it because of the rubble left from its destruction nearly 70 years before.
From Nehemiah chapter 2: “12 And I rose up by night, I and a few men with me; and I told no man what God put into my heart to do with Israel; and there was no beast with me, except the beast which I rode upon. 13 And I went forth by the gate of the valley by night, and to the mouth of the well of fig trees, and to the dung-gate: and I mourned over the wall of Jerusalem which they were destroying, and her gates were devoured with fire. 14 And I passed on to the fountain gate, and to the king's pool; and there was no room for the beast to pass under me. 15 And I went up by the wall of the brook by night, and mourned over the wall, and passed through the gate of the valley, and returned.” This passage illustrates that Jerusalem still lay in heaps of rubble upon Nehemiah's first visit there, and also helps serve to prove the Christogenea chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah, where we assert that Nehemiah was made governor of Jerusalem a few years after this visit, from 502 to 490 BC, but Ezra was governor of Jerusalem from about 457 BC. This chronology was part of our presentation on the Gospel of Mark chapter 13, presented in December of 2011.
Over three hundred years later, the remnant of the Israelites which had returned to Judaea had grown quite powerful. In the time of the Levitical high priest Judas the Maccabee (which means hammer), they threw off the yoke of the Greek Seleucid kings who were ruling Syria and thereby gained independence for Jerusalem in the mid-second century BC. Thereafter the Maccabees, who are better known as the Hasamonaean dynasty, ruled Judaea as kings. After a couple of decades these priest-kings somehow decided to subject and then forcibly convert to their own religion a lot of the people who were dwelling in the old lands of Israel around them. These people were for the most part the Edomites, along with other Canaanites, who had spread throughout the old cities and the countryside of Israel and Judah after the deportations. Obviously, by this time the religion now called Judaism was only a corrupted version of the faith of Yahweh found in the Old Testament.
From this period of the Hasamonaean high priests, which began around 156 BC, the historian Flavius Josephus records battles by the early men of this dynasty, Judas Maccabee and his brothers, against the Edomites of Hebron, Marissa, and other towns, in which Marissa was burnt. There were no recorded attempts to convert their enemies at this time. However a couple of generations later one of their descendants, Hyrcanus, chose to convert the Edomites rather than destroy them. Josephus records in Antiquities book 13 that “257 Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would submit to circumcision, and make use of the laws of the Judaeans; 258 and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the right of circumcision, and of the rest of the Judaean ways of living; at which time, therefore, this befell them, that they were hereafter considered to be Judaeans.”
Later, in that same book of Josephus' Antiquities, we see the much greater extent of the conversion of the surrounding Edomite and other non-Israelite peoples to Judaism, which took place while Alexander Janneus was high priest and king, from 103 to 76 BC: “393 But Alexander marched again to the city of Dios, and took it; and then made an expedition against Essa, where was the best part of Zeno's treasures, and there he surrounded the place with three walls; and when he had taken the city by fighting, he marched to Golan and Seleucia; 394 and when he had taken these cities, he, besides them, took that city which is called The Valley of Antiochus , as also the fortress of Gamala. He also accused Demetrius, who was governor of those places, of many crimes, and turned him out; and after he had spent three years in this war, he returned to his own country, when the Judaeans joyfully received him upon his good success. 395 Now at this time the Judaeans were in possession of the following cities that had belonged to the Syrians, and Idumeans, and Phoenicians: at the seaside, Strato's Tower, Apollonia, Joppa, Jamnia, Ashdod, Gaza, Anthedon, Raphia, and Rhinocolura; 396 in the middle of the country, near to Idumea, Adorn, and Marisa; near the country of Samaria, Mount Carmel, and Mount Tabor, Scythopolis, and Gadara; of the country of Gaulonitis, Seleucia and Gabala; 397 in the country of Moab, Heshbon, and Medaba, Lemba, and Oronas, Gelithon, Zara, the Valley of the Cilices, and Pella; which last they utterly destroyed, because its inhabitants would not bear to change their religious rites for those peculiar to the Judaeans. The Judaeans also possessed others of the principal cities of Syria, which had been destroyed. 398 After this, King Alexander, although he fell into a distemper by hard drinking, and had a quartan ague which held him three years, yet would not stop going out with his army, till he was quite spent with the labours he had undergone, and died in the bounds of Ragaba, a fortress beyond Jordan.” If Alexander Janneus destroyed some cities because they would not convert to Judaism, we can be certain that all these other cities certainly did convert to Judaism, the practice of which Hyrcanus had initiated before him. Alexander died about 76 BC.
Of course, from this point the Edomites eventually came to dominate all of Jerusalem and Judaea, including the Temple, which they had full control of by the time of Christ. That is why Christ, in John chapter 8, conceded that they were of Abraham's seed, because they were indeed descendants of Esau. That they were not Israelites is attested to both in that same chapter where Christ told them that they were children of the devil, that first murderer Cain, and in John 10:26 where Christ told them “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”. They were not His sheep because they were not Israelites, but Edomites. The links from Esau to Cain lie in the genes of his Canaanite wives, and the intermingling of Kenite and Canaanite which is evident throughout the history of the Old Testament, and suggested in Genesis chapter 15.
From Greek and Roman records, we can see that from before the Hellenistic period all of the southern portions of the land once known as Judah and Israel were called Idumaea, after the Edomites, which in the time of Christ was considered a part of the Roman province of Judaea. It is clear from those records that Idumaea and Gaza were a part of the Roman province. Many modern Jews attempt to deny the absorption of the Edomites and their adoption of Judaism. However Strabo supports the details supplied by Josephus, and the early first century Greek geographer attests that the Idumaeans were “mixed up” with the Judaeans, and that they “joined the Judaeans, and shared in the same customs with them” (Strabo, Geography, Book 16, chapter 2 [16.2.34]).
Josephus, in Antiquities Book 15, writes that as soon as Herod gained power in Judaea he despised the office of high priest, where he says: “22 He also did other things, in order to secure his government, which yet occasioned a sedition in his own family; for being cautious how he made any illustrious person the high priest of God, he sent for an obscure priest out of Babylon, whose name was Ananelus, and bestowed the high priesthood upon him.”
Later, in Book 20 of his Antiquities Josephus says that “247 Herod was then made king by the Romans, but did no longer appoint high priests out of the family of Asamoneus; but made certain men to be so that were of no eminent families, but barely of those who were priests, excepting that he gave that dignity to Aristobulus; 248 for when he had made this Aristobulus, the grandson of that Hyrcanus who was then taken by the Parthians, and had taken his sister Mariamne to wife, he thereby aimed to win the goodwill of the people, who had a kind remembrance of Hyrcanus [his grandfather]. Yet did he afterward, out of his fear lest they should all bend their inclinations to Aristobulus, put him to death, and that by contriving how to have him drowned as he was swimming at Jericho, as we have already related that matter; 249 but, after this man, he never intrusted the priesthood to the posterity of the sons of Asamoneus. Archelaus, also, Herod's son, did like his father in the appointment of the high priests, as did the Romans also, who took the government over the Judaeans into their hands afterward. 250 Accordingly, the number of the high priests, from the days of Herod until the day when Titus took the temple and the city, and burnt them, were in all twenty-eight; the time, also, that belonged to them was a hundred and seven years. 251 Some of these were the political governors of the people under the reign of Herod, and under the reign of Archelaus his son, although, after their death, the government became an aristocracy, and the high priests were intrusted with a dominion over the nation. And thus much may suffice to be said concerning our high priests.”
Quoting Clifton Emahiser's Watchman's Teaching Letter, #83 for March of 2005, in that issue he cited Eusebius' testimony that Herod corrupted the office of high priest, and Clifton said: Eusebius speaks of this in his The Church History 1:6, and my translation is by Paul L. Maier, pages 34-35:
“When the line of [Judaean] rulers ceased, the orderly succession of high priests from generation to generation fell into instant confusion. The reliable Josephus reports that Herod, once made king by the Romans, no longer appointed high priests of the ancient line but obscure sorts instead, a practice followed by his son Archelaus and the Roman governors after him when they took over the government of the [Judaeans]. The same writer reports that Herod was the first to lock up the sacred vestment of the high priest and keep it under his own seal rather than priestly control, as did his successor Archelaus and the Romans after him.”
Not only this, but once Herod took power he attempted to destroy all of Israel’s genealogical records, ibid. 1:7, page 37:
“... So Herod, with no Israelite ancestry and pained by his base origins, burned the genealogical records, thinking he would appear of noble birth if no one were able to trace his bloodline from public documents. A few, however, carefully kept private records of their own, either remembering the names or finding them in copies, and took pride in preserving the memory of their aristocratic birth...”
While Josephus does not summarize in detail how Herod had replaced the men who fulfilled the administrative positions of the government of Judaea with those of his own tribe of the Edomites, it is nevertheless evident in many places that he did so. Among them is the story of Costobarus, from Antiquities Book 15: “253 Costobarus was an Idumean by birth, and one of principal dignity among them, and one whose ancestors had been priests to the Koze, whom the Idumeans had [formerly] esteemed as a god; 254 but after Hyrcanus had made a change in their political government, and made them receive the Judaean customs and law, Herod made Costobarus governor of Idumea and Gaza, and gave him his sister Salome to wife; and this was upon the slaughter of [his uncle] Joseph, who had that government before, as we have related already. 255 When Costobarus had gotten to be so highly advanced, it pleased him and was more than he hoped for, and he was more and more puffed up by his good success, and in a little while he exceeded all bounds, and did not think fit to obey what Herod, as their ruler, commanded him, or that the Idumeans should make use of the Judaean customs, or be subject to them.” Costobarus was then described as having tried to overthrow Herod, an endeavor in which he failed. That the Idumaeans indeed retained the appearance of keeping the Judaean customs and a Judaean identity is evident throughout the subsequent chapters of Josephus' histories. However they brought all of their old habits along with them, and it is clear that the nature of that Judaism which resulted in the Talmud is absolutely contrary to the religion of Yahweh we see in the Scripture.
Later in that same book, Josephus describes how after Herod proceeded to eradicate the entire family of the Hasamoneans in order to further secure his position as king. He then wrote in Antiquities Book 15, in line 266 that: “insomuch that there were now none at all left of the kindred of Hyrcanus; and the kingdom was entirely in Herod's own power, and there was no one remaining of such dignity as could put a stop to what he did against the Judaean laws.”
With this conversion to Judaism (because we can no longer consider it the faith of Yahweh) by all of the Edomites and others dwelling in Judaea, and with the corruption of the offices of the high priest by the appointment of men who were political rather than hereditary Levitical priests, and with the permeation by Edomites into all facets of Judaean society, we can then understand Paul's plea here at the beginning of Romans chapter 9:
1 I speak the truth among the Anointed, I lie not, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit,
The Codex Claromontanus (D) interpolates the word for the name Yahshua, where the first clause of the verse may be read “I speak the truth in respect of Christ Yahshua”, the word ἐν (Strong's # 1722) here in the text being read as in respect of rather than as among. The word χριστός with the definite article may be interpreted as Christ, or it may be interpreted as a reference to the anointed as the body of Christians collectively. We shall expound on this interpretation at a later point in our presentation of Paul's epistles, as there are several places where the context clearly supports this interpretation.
2 that grief for me is great, and distress incessant in my heart, 3 for I have prayed that I myself would be accursed from the Anointed for the brethren, my kinsmen in regards to the flesh;
Most manuscripts read “for my brethren”, except that the Codex Vaticanus (B) wants the phrase entirely. Here the text follows the third century papyrus P46.
While we may interpret part of Paul's prayer in verse 3 as “that I myself would be accursed from the Christ”, the phrase ἀνάθεμα εἶναι ... ἀπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ is rendered here quite literally: to “be accursed from the anointed”, where Paul must mean the anointed people, referring to the collective body of Christians, which are the children of Israel as a single body: the body of Christ. We shall do a fuller exposition of this use of the word at a later date, however one example in Paul's writing where it is clear that the word is used to refer not to Yahshua Christ the individual but to the children of Israel collectively is at Hebrews 11:26 where Paul states that Moses “esteemed the reproach of the Anointed greater riches than the treasures of Egypt...” It was not Christ being reproached in Egypt, but Israel collectively. Furthermore just a few sentences before this one, at the end of chapter 8, Paul explained that nothing at all “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”, as the King James Version reads the end of Romans 8:39. Therefore it is unlikely that here Paul is praying that he would rather be separated from Christ for his brethren, but more likely that he would rather be separated from the body of Christians than see his brethren so separated.
4 those who are Israelites, whose is the position of sons, and the honor, and the covenants, and the legislation, and the service, and the promises; 5 whose are the fathers; and of whom are the Anointed in regards to the flesh, being over all blessed of Yahweh for the ages. Truly.
As we explained in our presentation of Romans chapter 8, the word υἱοθεσία (Strong's # 5206) is not adoption, it is the position of a son. Yet even if one insists that it can refer to adoption, Paul tells us here that this adoption belongs to the children of Israel. The word for covenants is in the singular in the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Vaticanus (B) and Claromontanus (D). Of these, the papyrus P46 and the Codex Claromontanus (D) also have the word for promises in the singular. The text is supported by the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Ephraemi Syri (C), the 6th century uncial 0285, and the Majority Text.
We can translate the term for anointed here as Christ, interpreting it as if it referred to Yahshua Christ, and we would not be wrong in doing so. However it is superfluous to do so, because it has already by this time been well established through the Gospel that Christ had descended from the patriarchs of the Israelites and the House of David. But rendering the term as the anointed with the understanding that it is referring to the body of Israelites collectively here is contextually accurate, since Paul is comparing the Israelites remaining in Judaea to those Edomite “Jews” of Judaea, and it is these two groups which he is contrasting throughout chapters 9 to 11 of this epistle. The covenants and the promises and these other things which Paul refers to here from the Old Testament belong to Israel collectively as the anointed people of Yahweh, and not to the Edomites with whom Paul is contrasting Israel here, which, as we shall see, is demonstrated by his comments concerning the promises relating to Jacob and Esau later in this chapter.
We see here that Paul of Tarsus is indeed a racist. He is not saying that the covenants and promises and service and legislation are for anyone in geographical Israel who believes. Rather, he is saying that these things belong to Israelites, and Israel is reckoned according to the flesh. As he did here in verse 5, likewise in verse 2 Paul accounted his brethren and his kinsmen according to the flesh. He did not account Israel according to some esoteric so-called spiritual reckoning, or according to a mere reckoning of profession. He counted his brethren and his kinsmen and Israel and the anointed according to the flesh! If Paul accounts Israel according to the flesh, writing this over 25 years after the passion of the Christ, then there is no such thing as a “spiritual” Israel, and we must continue to account Israel according to the flesh today! However here we also see that there is a clear distinction between Israel and the people whom we would now call Jews, which are those who rejected Christ. Here Paul also explains why they rejected Christ.
6 Not, however, that the word of Yahweh has failed; since not all those who are from Israel are those of Israel:
As we have already seen here, Paul accounts Israel according to the flesh, not according to profession, and not everyone in Israel, which is a reference to the geographical area, is of Israel, which is a reference to the actual people of Israel. The Codex Claromontanus (D) reads the end of this verse to say “not all those who are from Israel are they Israelites.” Paul is telling us clearly that those who rejected Christ were not Israel, just as Christ told those who rejected Him that they did so because they were “not His sheep”. The Word of Yahweh does not fail, as Christ said “My sheep hear My voice … and they follow Me.” Christ did not say “those who hear My voice are My sheep”, Christ said “My sheep hear My voice”, and the sheep in the Bible are nobody but the children of Israel. From Psalm 100: “3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” From Psalm 95, where the context demonstrates that only Israel are the sheep of God's pasture: “6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.”
In his first epistle the apostle John explained this same thing which Paul does here in a different manner where he said (in 1 John 2:18-21) “18 Little children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the Antichrist comes, even now many Antichrists have been born, from which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They came out from us but they were not from of us. [Paul said “not all those who are from Israel are those of Israel.”] For if they were from of us, they would have abided with us, but so that they would be made manifest that they are all not from of us. 20 Yet you have an anointing [you are the χριστός, or anointed people] from the Holy One and you know all. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it and because any lie is not from of the truth.” Both John and Paul are telling us in their own way that it is the Gospel which would divide the wheat from the tares, and that the anointed people can indeed understand the Gospel.
7 nor because they are offspring of Abraham all children: but, “In Isaac will your offspring be called.”
Paul cites Genesis 21:12, where Abraham was compelled to send Hagar and Ishmael away, that they not interfere with the inheritance for Isaac and it reads “And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
Therefore Paul here in Romans reinforces the meaning of seed in relation to the promises of God, that in Paul's mind the seed are the offspring and nothing else, referring to the descendants of Isaac. In the later verses of this chapter we shall see that of those of the seed of Isaac are of two types, vessels of destruction and vessels of mercy.
8 That is to say, the children of the flesh, these are not children of Yahweh, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
The term “children of the flesh”, used to compare Ishmael and Isaac, is therefore a reference to all of the descendants of Abraham as a whole, but the term “children of the promise” narrows the scope of the Gospel to those for whom it was specifically meant, for those to whom it was specifically promised: for the seed or descendants of Abraham through Isaac, and out of those, for the seed of Isaac through Jacob Israel. Paul is not “spiritualizing” the Gospel, he is instead describing the very specific people for whom it was intended. Paul uses Ishmael as an example, explaining that even he is excluded since the promises are specifically intended for Isaac. Therefore if Ishmael was excluded, we cannot imagine that anyone else can be included, because Abraham himself desired to keep Ishmael, and he was grieved when he was compelled to send him away. Here Paul is reinforcing the fact that all of the promises and covenants of God are for the actual descendants of Isaac, and that has not ever changed.
9 Indeed this word of promise: “At the appointed time I will come, and there will be a son for Sarah.”
Paul is citing Genesis chapter 18, where it says “10 And he [meaning God] said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? 13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.” Although here Paul cites the promise as it was repeated in Genesis chapter 18, it had already been promised where it had been recorded in Genesis chapter 17: “19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” The Hebrew meaning of Isaac is laughter (Strong's # 3327).
10 And not only, but Rebekka also had conceived from one, by Isaak our father.
Paul is explaining that Rebekka had also conceived from a promise, ostensibly referring to the promise found in Genesis chapter 25: “21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
11 Then not yet having been born, nor having performed any good or evil, (that the purpose of Yahweh concerning the chosen endures, not from rituals, but from the calling,) 12 to her [P46 and D want “to her”] it was said, “the elder will serve the younger:”
Paul refers to Genesis 25:23 at the end of verse 12. The word κακός (2556) is evil, following the 3rd century papyrus P46, the Codex Claromontanus (D) and the Majority Text. The NA27 has φαῦλος (5337), which is mean or poor, after the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A) and Vaticanus (B).
That the “purpose of the chosen endures”, where the verb is in the present tense, Paul here is demonstrating that in his day the purpose of the chosen continues to endure, and that the literal, genetic children of Israel continue to be those very chosen. Paul is teaching the fulfillment of all of these Old Testament promises to the patriarchs in the very descendants, or seed, which they were promised. Therefore the Israel of the New Testament is one and the same as the Israel of the Old Testament.
13 just as it is written, “Jakob I love, and Esau I hated.”
Paul is quoting the Word of Yahweh God which is found in the opening verses of the prophet Malachi. From Malachi chapter 1: “1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”
We shall discuss this prophecy of Malachi when we present the later part of this chapter. Paul is a racist, and Yahweh our God is a hater. Paul accounts Israel by the flesh, and expresses concern for them in that manner. Paul's concern was not for believers, and his lack of concern was not for unbelievers. Rather, Paul's concern was for Israel his “kinsmen in accordance with the flesh” because many of them evidently did not yet hear or accept the Gospel, and Paul's lack of concern was for those Edomites in Israel whom God hates, the children of Esau whom Paul is about to describe as “vessels of destruction” later in this same chapter. Yahweh God hated Esau, that hatred certainly extended to Esau's posterity, and we see that therefore it is indeed Biblical to hate. Just as David said in Psalm 139 “21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” David hated the enemies of God, and there was nothing wicked in that. But to understand exactly why God hated Esau, one must also examine the Scripture, rather than pontificating or imagining for ourselves just how such things could be.
Paul himself tells us elsewhere exactly what the sins of Esau were, in Hebrews chapter 12 where he uses Esau as an example by which to admonish Israelites: “14 Pursue peace with all, and sanctification - which without no one should see the Prince. 15 Watching closely that not any are lacking from the favor of Yahweh, “lest any root of bitterness springing up” would trouble you and by it many would be defiled, 16 nor some fornicator or profane person, as Esau who for one meal sold his own birthright. 17 For you know that even afterwards, desiring to inherit the blessing he was rejected, for he did not find a place for repentance even though he sought after it with tears.” So Esau was a fornicator and a profane person. Yet those are not even the terms appropriate for someone who merely bought a bowl of porridge. However they are appropriate for someone who despised his birthright by doing the other things which Scripture tells us that Esau had done. Esau could only be called a fornicator for one reason: that he was a race-mixer. Jude equates fornication with the pursuit of strange flesh. Paul, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, equates fornication with a race-mixing episode in which the sons of Israel had joined themselves to the daughters of Moab. Therefore race-mixing is a form of fornication.
Looking back into the Old Testament, Esau was loved by his father Isaac. Yet the only things which Esau did to trouble his parents are described in Genesis chapter 26: “34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.” Then in Genesis chapter 27 it is recorded that Rebekah engineers a way to ensure that the promises of the birthright in the blessing pass to Jacob rather than to Esau. Upon Jacob receiving the blessing Rebekah's statement to Isaac explains the reasons for her actions: “46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?”
If God were not a hater, then it is Jacob who should have been despised for not having given his brother a bowl of porridge in his time of hunger. Yet Jacob withheld the porridge for a price, and a very high price at that, and Jacob was blessed for his actions. The only way this act could be justified is that Jacob was right in his actions, when he took the birthright from Esau because Esau did not deserve to have it. The only way it could be reckoned that Esau did not deserve to have it, is because he was a fornicator as Paul calls him, and from the Genesis account it can only be determined that Paul was referring to Esau's race-mixing.
Paul told the Hebrews in that same passage of chapter 12 to pursue “sanctification - which without no one should see the Prince.” Then Paul called Esau a fornicator and a “profane person”. Something sanctified is something dedicated to God, and both Jacob and Esau were sanctified in the loins of Isaac when Abraham dedicated his son on the altar at Yahweh's request. Something profane is the opposite of something sanctified, and represents something which has been tainted, soiled, or handled in a manner which was contrary to God's laws. Esau was profane because he had given himself over to Canaanite women. Only by his acts of race-mixing was Esau a fornicator and a profane person. Paul had also warned the Corinthians not to commit fornication, and therefore we see several witnesses in these passages from Paul's epistles, that race-mixing remains a sin for Christians, because Christians are to pursue sanctification and only Israelites are sanctified in Christ.
History and Scripture have revolved around the descendants of Jacob and Esau ever since the sacrifice of Isaac. Ostensibly, Yahweh chose these brothers to personalize the struggle between the two seeds of Genesis 3:15. Esau, the fleshly man of the two, joined the ranks of the enemy in his marriages. Most men today are like Esau, and not like Jacob. They want to make their own way, rather than follow the Way.
Jacob followed the will of his parents by taking a wife of his own people. Esau took wives of the Canaanites, and that troubled his parents. Rebekah understood that her life was worthless if Jacob had done what Esau did. Yahweh foresaw this, and hated Esau from the womb. Esau is an example to race-mixers everywhere, for all of the race-mixers of the Adamic race show contempt for the heritage which they have from their forefathers. Jacob was renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28), and Esau was renamed Edom (Genesis 25:30), and while this is not the precise reason given in Scripture, the name Edom is really the same exact Hebrew word as Adam. What we have, ostensibly, is a parable illustrating the differences between the man who would follow the will of God, which is the spiritual man, and the man who would follow after his own lusts, which is the man of the flesh. The spiritual man will rule with God, which is what the name Israel means.
After Esau had lost the blessing of the birthright, he sought to make repairs. For it says in Genesis chapter 28 “8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; 9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.” But Ishmael had also been rejected as an heir to Abraham, and even realizing what he had done wrong, Esau never sought the will of his parents. Esau could not recover the birthright. He could not have it because he had no acceptable son to pass it onto. Yahweh foresaw the sin of Esau, and that sin should serve as a signal example to us today. Therefore Jacob was destined from the womb to be the heir, as the circumstances of his birth presage, from Genesis chapter 25 where it is speaking of Rebekah: “24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.” Esau later cried that “Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.” He was named Jacob because at birth he had his hold on Esau's heel, a sign that he would supplant him for the birthright, which Esau himself then recognized.
The pre-program comments are found at the Christogenea forum here: http://forum.christogenea.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6113