Tag: Old Testament (page 1 of 2)

Did God Hate Esau?

Ruth D – Please explain Romans 9:13 – “I loved Jacob but hated Esau.” Does that mean certain people will never be saved, because God has not chosen them, or does it go back to faith and works?

Dave – Thank you for your question. It is not an easy one. Romans 9-11 are difficult chapters to grasp. After rereading all of Chapter 9, I can share some ideas with you. Overall, we must remember that God knows the future. He knows who will have the right attitudes and saving faith before they are even born. For example, He knew what Esau and Jacob would be like before their birth, and the reason He hated Esau was because he was not man of faith and spirit but rather a “man of the world,” i.e., tough, strong, good hunter and, most importantly, he did not value spiritual things.

Paul is also revealing something God said repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, that only some Jews will be saved (“the remnant”), most would not. Paul is making clear that physical lineage does not determine who obtains eternal life. It seems as though there are only two “philosophical” options regarding human life – either we trust that we are good enough for Heaven or we are not and need saving by God’s mercy. Humans can will to do this or that, but the bottom line is this – have they found God’s mercy? I know that verses 15-16 in Romans 9 make it sound like God selects people on earth to be saved and also chooses some to go to destruction. Some Christians believe this concept of predestination where God just does what He does and individuals have no choice. But I contend that even when people are chosen or called they can renege on the invitation like Judas Iscariot did. Saul/Paul was chosen as demonstrated by a strong vision that most people never get, but he still could have walked away from the Lord. I further believe that God’s mercy is willing and waiting for sinners to repent and find Jesus. I do not believe that if such a person does this that God will say “No, you have not been chosen by Me.”

I further think that the idea of predestination in Romans 8:29 means that as God saw the future and He decided to make those willing souls to become like Jesus eventually. In other words, before He made everything, He made the decision to do what was necessary to make evil disappear forever, knowing full well what He had to do to accomplish this. Those souls who would respond to His Truth (mercy), would therefore be predestined to eternal life.

Again, this is difficult to deal with and I am not saying all I’ve said is totally the Truth. It’s just the way I have dealt with your question for the 44 years I’ve known Him.

QA #38 Feedback on concept of predestination:

Nels F (10/7/13) – So interesting–thanks!

The Canonization of Daniel

Renate R – How did the book of Daniel get into the Bible, and did Daniel keep it a secret until a certain time?

Dave – The Book of Daniel was canonized without any reported opposition. It was, however, denied a place among the Prophets and was placed instead among the books of the Hagiographa (the third division of canonized Hebrews Books set apart from Books of the Law and the Prophets). A man named Rashi, in his commentary to the Talmud, thinks this occurred because Daniel did not share his visions with the Jewish People as the prophets of his and earlier generations had done. The criterion of prophecy, according to this statement, appears to be the dissemination of the prophetic insight to the public. Daniel, so the sages of the Talmud suggest, was not charged with the task of doing so. Indeed, after one of Daniel’s visions, this non-prophetic reaction is demonstrated in his own words: ‘And I, Daniel, felt very weak and then arose and performed the work of the king (8:27).

If Daniel was not sent as a prophet to the people, why was his book included in the Bible? The Talmud teaches: “Prophecy that is needed for the generations was written down; that which is not needed for the generations was not written down.” The sages who canonized the Book of Daniel must therefore have seen a permanent value in the record of Daniel’s life and his visions. Source: Fred Blumenthal

I think all OT Books were canonized by 400 BC. Hundreds of years later, early church fathers knew Daniel was from God because Jesus quoted from it, it was historically accurate, no contradictions, and the Jewish scholars recognized it being from God. Hope this helps.


Alona R – Very interesting – thanks for the research.

Moses and the Promised Land

Trish S – Why was Moses not allowed into the Promised Land?

Dave – Thanks for your question. There are two key Scriptures to consider:

  • Exodus 17:6 – God directs Moses

    Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shallcome out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.

  • Numbers 20:8-12 – God directs Moses a different time 

    “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”

The first time in Exodus, no problem. But that second time in Numbers God told Moses to just SPEAK to the rock. Well, Moses was so upset with the people that he not only struck that rock but did so twice. I think he was not only venting his anger in front of those he was leading, but also said “we” as if it was he and God supplying the miracle water rather than just God alone. We learn from James 3:1 that people given more authority has more responsibility before God therefore any punishment is more severe.


Nels F (3/4/14) – Wonderful answer easy to understand – Dave!

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