In Calvinism, God picks and chooses who’s saved and who’s lost. The next passage that they’re going to use is Esau and Jacob. It seems like God chose who will be the elect, who’s saved, and who’s lost before they were born, before they even had the chance to use free choice.
Romans 9:10-13 “And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
Calvinist will show that even during pregnancy, without any free choice whatsoever, the Lord ordained Esau underneath Jacob.
Let’s look at the context of the passage first. In Romans 9:11, God elected before birth, but nothing in this verse talks about salvation or going to heaven/hell. It simply said that God elected something before birth. Elect, which means choosing, have to be only limited to salvation or in other things. In v12, it shows what the election is: the elder shall serve the younger, that’s it. Esau had the birthright but Jacob took the birthright and Jacob had the right to the birthright because that was elected by God no matter how much he wanted it. God chose Jacob to be the superior nation rather than Esau. Esau as the weaker nation would be submissive to Jacob, to Israel. The nation of Israel is elected by God.
Genesis 25:22-23 “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. 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.”
That’s the passage that Paul was quoting from. After v23, there is nothing to do with salvation, even the whole chapter had nothing to do with salvation. So the author, when he was quoting from this passage, had nothing to do with salvation.
Romans 9:10-12 “And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.”
This is national election, not salvation.
Romans 9:13 “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
This is the area about salvation. Calvinist assumes that this election is an unconditional election. ‘Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated’ but here’s the thing, when we look at that passage that Paul is quoting, when did that happen? Did that happen before birth? That’s what they’re assuming. If we look at the book of Genesis that Paul was quoting from, it didn’t show that at all, that God said I hate Esau and I love Jacob. He said that long after they made their choices and decisions.
Malachi 1:2-3 “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, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”
The reason why God hated Esau as a lost reprobate (it happened long after) is based on a condition of the choice of Esau rejected God’s birthright and because he was fleshy.
Why would God say this long after Genesis? Because He saw their lives, the decisions that they made, and based on that, that’s why God hated Esau.
Genesis 25:34 “Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.”
Esau despised his birthright. If we despise what God gives and despise what we’re blessed with, don’t you think God will despise us in return?
Hebrews 12:16 “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.”
Why was Esau a reprobate? Based on that choice he made, that’s why he became a reprobate. It’s true even today that no matter how a person would cry and weep with bitter tears, it doesn’t change the fact that it will not get them saved.
Calvinist’s tactic is to try to tie Romans 9:11-13 together and they’d keep harping on context. So here’s how we argue: Which one is the salvation passage? v13. There is absolutely nothing in this passage where we can prove that God hated Esau unconditionally. Every verse we find where God hated Esau and why Esau became a reprobate was based on his decision. The election before birth can be proved as a national election because of Genesis 25 (Paul was quoting from there). Paul is simply saying God elected Jacob before birth that he would be the superior nation and based on Esau’s free choice and decision, the Lord had to reject him and He hated Esau. Notice what Paul starts out in v13, ‘as it is written’, he is giving a separate verse passage and this separate verse passage is talking about a totally different idea at Malachi. Do you think Malachi was thinking about election before birth? No. This is just a separate verse topic, an additional note concerning Esau.
If Calvinist accuses us of playing Bible roulette, ask them ‘Show me one verse anywhere where it supported this in Romans 9:13’.