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Jacob I Loved! Esau I Hated!

Famous words from the pen of the Apostle Paul in Romans 9:13! And they have provoked debate for centuries. But in the debate, many have lost sight of the larger message Paul was giving - God has been faithful to his promises!


A fresh interpretive approach comes when we examine the history of Jacob and Esau, the history of Israel and Edom, the prophetic and extra-canonical statements about Edom, and the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. An examination of this history puts the interpreter in the correct frame of mind. Rather than approach the verses from various systematic theologies, interpreters start with the historical background that informed Paul. His words and intentions in Romans 9:10-13 then become clear.

It will become clear for you when you read The Edomite Enigma.

It is crucial to discover the cognitive environment in which Paul wrote. To understand it, one must discover the centuries-long history that fed the first-century mindset. Paul was not writing in a vacuum. He was not theorizing from a comfortable seat in a theological library. Nor was he Augustine fighting Pelagius, Luther debating Erasmus, or Calvin’s successors arguing with the Remonstrants.


It was a different theological battle in which Paul was engaged, and he was writing as a man of his time. He was writing from a historical background that included statements, opinions, prophecies, and hopes about Jacob, Esau, Israel, and Edom.


Perspectives that might be gained from these sources have been ignored or lost. If one is to approach the passage in question with a first-century mind, it is imperative to recover those sources. The Edomite Enigma will do that for you!

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Recovering the first-century mind is important because of the secondary and more popular issues that emerge from the Romans 9 debate. How does God’s sovereignty interact with the image-bearing capacities he has endowed upon his creatures? Does God ordain some to heaven and some to hell before their existence and completely apart from anything they have done, good or bad? Does God love all people, or has he created some to pour out his eternal and holy hatred? Is God’s supreme self-revelation a manifestation of absolute freedom to do what he wants or a manifestation of grace for all? The Edomite Enigma will answer these questions!

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