Understanding Hard Sayings in the Bible! Jacob Have I Loved and Esau Have I Hated! Part 6
Posted by agapegeek
(Ver 1.2) This is now “Part 6.1” in the series of very advanced Bible lessons on “Understanding Hard Sayings” found in the Bible. Today’s lesson is technically Part 1 of a 2 part lesson on the subject part 6 of Hard Sayings. This is also the beginning of an independent lesson in the series, meaning you do not have to read all of the other lessons to understand what I will discuss today in this lesson. But, of course this does not mean that you will automatically understand all of the complex subjects being covered in this lesson either. If you are interested in studying any of the other “Hard Sayings” that I have covered in the Bible you may want to start your reading with the first lesson in the series called “Part 1”. What is a hard saying? The Bible contains many statements that I labeled “Hard Sayings”. I was not the inventor of this name for these types of scriptures. The disciples actually coined the phrase “Hard Saying” in the Gospel of John 6:60 and I just took it from what they said to Jesus. Hard Sayings are any words of declaration that when taken literally as they were spoken or written are very difficult for us to accept because they appears to conflict with many other verses that we also know to be true. This is what the disciples struggled with when they heard Jesus speaking about drinking His blood and eating His flesh. These words that they heard, they knew had to be the truth, but they also knew that they caused them great difficulty because they did not first fully understand what they meant and they knew that they directly conflicted with many verses found in the Old Testament that taught them not to eat flesh with the blood still in it. That is exactly the same problem that many people in the world today still face. They still see the verses but do not understand what they mean and thus they stumble over them and do not know how to resolve the conflicts. The root cause of the problem occurs when men think carnally or naturally and God is usually speaking of spiritual things. There are so many of these types of hard saying verses found in the Bible.
Introduction to Today’s Bible Hard Saying
I am going to talk about another VERY hard saying found in the New Testament. I will warn you up front that this lesson will get into some very deep and new subjects that may be over your head right now. Therefore, please make sure that you are a spiritually strong swimmer before you jump into the really deep waters found in this Bible lesson. This lesson is an attempt to answer a very tough question that I got from someone on Facebook. I have spent a lot of time in writing the response to this question and I discovered that it was so long that I needed to split it into two lessons. So today I acknowledge my God and I am using my faith to answer another hard saying found in the Bible. In the book of Romans God declares something that is extremely difficult for us to comprehend and this statement from God potentially conflicts with many of the other scriptures that most Christians should already know and believe. Here is the basic hard saying that we will be dealing with today that comes from the mouth of God:
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Let’s briefly talk about the framework of this verse in order to understand where it was written and to who it was written to insure that we are not studying the verse in isolation or taking it out of context. We should first realize that this book of Romans was written directly to us in the church. These are words inspired by God and written down by Paul for ONLY us in the church who are believers. In other words these verses were not written to anyone outside of the church. Do you understand that? Therefore everything that was written in this book must either have some application to us or be useful for us to learn something that we need to know. In this ninth chapter there are literally several very hard sayings to understand and I am only to concentrate on this one in verse 13. These verses in chapter 9 of Romans are almost entirely spiritual concepts that are easily taken the wrong way or misapplied to speak of things that that they do not apply to. This chapter of Romans speaks several times about the natural nation of Israel. These natural people are called the children of the flesh in verse 8 and God clearly says that they are not my children and many Christians ignore these types of verses because they do not wish to see them. However, the Apostle Paul begins the chapter with an important statement that sets the tone for the rest of the chapter about his great heaviness of heart and great sorrow for the natural nation of Israel in verse 2. Paul the writer wished that he could do something to save them all. Therefore understand what is happening in the context of verse 13. There are two groups of people being spoken of, one is the church and one is the natural people of Israel. One group is saved and one group is not.
There are at the least 4 O.T. direct quotes in this chapter. One is the prophet Hosea saying “those that were not my people have become my people” in verse 25. Then from the prophet Isaiah God quotes “Though the number of the natural people of Israel have been as the sands of the sea, only a remnant will be saved” in verse 27. Then in verse 15 the prophet Moses is quoted “God will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy”. Finally in the verse 13 God quotes the prophet Malachi about “Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated”. I personally believe that all of these verses are connected together for us to see and to learn something new. I can see in this chapter that God is bringing in certain information from 4 different prophets written in the Old Testament linking them together into a new clearer perspective while shedding fresh light upon our relationship to God in the New Covenant. I also believe that one of the main themes found within this chapter of Romans is a division between those that are saved and those that are not saved. A division occurs when one person is separated from another. You could view it like a divorce from the natural marriage perspective where those that were once one, have now split to become two separate individuals. I see the emphasis of this chapter to be between two different opposing groups, those that are saved and those that are not saved. I really do not have time to teach you that part of the subject fully, but that is how I view what I read in the chapter and I believe that this information will eventually help us to understand the meaning of the reason why God says that He hates a man named Esau who died approximately 4000 years ago.
What Are the Bible Conflicts With Romans 9:13?
What are the controversies and scriptural conflicts found within this single reportedly simple verse in Romans 9:13? When I read this I knew immediately that this verse disagreed with the revealed nature and the character of God demonstrated to us by the physical appearing of God in the flesh in Jesus. In John 14:9 Jesus told Phillip “When you have seen me you have seen the Father”. Jesus claimed to be the previously hidden Father God now revealed to man for the first time. Therefore show me any verse in the Gospels that reveals Jesus to be a hater of any man living or dead. I looked and I could not find one, therefore this information of the revealed God in the Gospels directly conflicts with this information stated in Romans 9:13. Romans 9:13 also seems to imply that our God is a potential Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of God. A shifting God of either love or hate depending on something not revealed in this verse. Is God theoretically good to one man while being inconsistently evil to another man? I do not believe that He is. How can a God who loved me, died for me and saved me also be a God that hates me? I do not believe that He can. You might try to say “I’m not Esau” and therefore God does not hate me. But, that is the beginning of another conflicting problem to think that you are any better than Esau who was also a mere man, a lost unsaved son of Adam. The Bible says “ALL have sinned and come short of the GLORY of GOD”! (Rom 3:23) Then again in Romans 5:12 God repeats “ALL have sinned”. “ALL” is an inclusive statement that excludes no one (me, you, Jacob or Esau). That means you and I are sinners also. We are each guilty of sin if we are judged upon our own personal state of righteousness. Therefore according to Romans 3:23 and 5:13, there is no difference between me as a man before I was saved as to what Esau was in the book of Genesis. If you think you were better than Esau then you are deceived. Notice what Paul wrote to Timothy:
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
As you can see Paul did not consider himself better than Esau and he was the one that wrote God hates Esau in Romans. Paul calls himself a chief among all sinners. That means that he thought that he was no better than any other man. Paul had the correct perspective and view of himself and many Christians today would benefit if they would learn the example that Paul set as the humble standard. Whenever a man or a woman believes themselves to be better than anyone else, it is a root of pride and self-righteousness. Therefore we have another conflict brewing that there is no stated difference between someone like me or a Paul, a Jacob or even an Esau in the natural realm of view. We are just all sinners by God’s high standards.
What other scriptural conflicts arise from this verse in Romans 9:13? The Bible declares in 1 John 4:16 that “God is Love”. How then could a God that is Love also hate? I believe that reveals a new problem. Then we read in John 3:16 “that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” to save us. So how can a loving God simultaneously hate someone still to this day after coming to die for them to save them? Is not love the opposite of hate and vice versa? John 3:16 did NOT say that “God so hated the world that He gave Jesus”. Didn’t Jesus come into the world in His great love to die for every man? Did this world declaration in John 3:16, not also include the natural man Esau? Did Jesus die to save Esau? I believe that Esau was a part of the exact same world that you and I were a part of. Therefore, John 3:16 directly conflicts with the statement that God hates the natural man named Esau of this world. Doesn’t God say in 1 Corinthians 15:22 “that in Christ ALL are made alive”? Isn’t Esau a man forgiven by the shed blood of God the same as Jacob? Did the shed blood of Jesus not include the sins of Esau? I believe that these are major theological problems that we have encountered with the statement that God hates Esau. Here is another interesting perspective on the subject of if God hates Esau:
1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Let me explain again about who Jesus was. I already told you that Jesus when born into the world was God in the flesh. However it is much more complicated than that. Jesus Christ was the only man that was ever born the Son of God and the Son of Man simultaneously. In other words God joined His Word and His Spirit to the physical egg of a woman on the earth and the these two together became the body of the man Jesus Christ with the Spirit of God on the inside of Him. God the creator in heaven literally came down to the earth and became an intimate part of His creation. The Bible says in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” and then in verse 1 it says God is the Word. So Jesus was God made a man and if He ever hated anyone I can’t find it. Then there is a deeper problem revealed here in 1 John 3:15 when the Bible says if any man hates his brother, then He has no life everlasting in Him. Since Jesus was raised from the dead and is eternally alive now we know that it is impossible for Him to hate any of His natural brothers. Uh oh? What I am trying to say is that Jesus was a natural brother of Esau because they were both direct descendants of Adam. If a human hates another human on the earth they in effect hate their own brother. People do not see it this way because they did not share the same exact mothers, they think, but that is not true at all. All people on the earth originated from the woman Eve and the man Adam so there is no one on the earth other than a human from this one family. Do you see the problem that I am teaching you? There is also another very deep and complex reality found in the Bible that directly applies to Jesus and to you and me. Read these next two verses very carefully:
Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Heb 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
God says Levi paid tithes because He was in his father Abraham when Abraham paid the titles. Levi was not a direct son of Abraham. Abraham had a son Isaac and Isaac had a son Jacob and Jacob had a son Levi. Do you understand the far reaching concepts that these verses reveal? God says anything that your father did, you did because you were in your father. Therefore Jesus and Esau were both in their father Adam and therefore Jesus was a direct brother to Esau. What we see are some natural things that teach us about some very complex principles that cannot be ignored. If God hates Esau, then He hates His own brother and there is no eternal life in Him. I find that to be a major problem with a literal interpretation of Romans 9:13.
Then there is this conflicting verse found in Acts 10:34 where God declares “that He is no respecter of persons”. A respecter of persons is revealed when anyone treats one man differently from another man based upon what they do, what they say, how they look, what they own, etc. Partiality is when a person is given special or favored status over another individual based upon any selective criteria either known or unknown. According to verses like Acts 10:34 and Ephesians 6:9, God does not respect one person differently than another person. Therefore, how could God NOT show any favoritism to one man over another while hating one man and loving the other? Since that is not possible, then I have a problem with the statement that God hates Esau. There are just too many verses in the Bible that conflict with the statement that God hates any single man. Surely you can see that these truths that I just gave you are all incompatible verses in the Bible with the stated truth that God hates Esau. Therefore we have a great theological issue that needs immediate resolution. These issues can only be overcome by digging deeper to increase our spiritual knowledge and understanding on the given subjects and that is what I will attempt to do in the rest of this lesson. Here again are some of the key conflicts revealed in the Bible:
- Esau is no different than me because Romans 3:23 says all have sinned.
- John 3:16 says God so loved Esau that He gave His only begotten son to save Esau.
- Acts 10:34 God is no respecter of any Esau or Jacob.
- Jesus said when you have seen me you have seen the father and Jesus never hated any man even asking God to forgive those that killed Him on the cross.
- Jesus was born a physical brother of Esau and therefore cannot hate His own brother or He has no eternal life.
These are five very good reasons why we should not take the verse in Romans 9:13 literally. What we begin to see is the formation of certain specific central Bible truths that are apparently in direct opposition to a another misunderstood Bible truth which needs to be either re-balanced with the others or reinterpreted using the Bible in order to be correctly understood all together to eliminate all of the conflicts. One very important rule of correct Bible interpretation is simply stated that in the true meaning of two verses, no one verse of the Bible will ever contradict with any other verse of the Bible because God is the same Author of both verses and He is a constant and a NEVER CHANGING being. These are all complex statements and reasons that I just made. But if we continue surely you will begin to see that our understanding of at least one of the truths need to be changed or adjusted so that our view of the entire truth is increased by allowing God to shine a new light on it that will help to show us that God is a consistently good and loving God to every human. The mistake some fall into is to take one isolated Bible truth like God hates Esau and then try to exalt it to make it THE ENTIRE TRUTH that God hates homosexuals, murderers, rapists or whatever. This is the common error of what some Christians try to teach using the misapplication of one verse based upon their own human interpretation. Therefore the correct interpretation of every verse is absolutely essential to keep us from falling into error.
What Does God Hate?
We must attempt to balance all of the truths that we know in order to resolve and completely remove any potential conflicts that have arisen. Also understand that God is not the one that is confused; therefore it is only people that are currently experiencing the difficulty because of our current lack of complete knowledge and understanding. We do not know everything that God knows and that is why we still struggle. I think in order to begin to understand how to resolve these conflicts that we will first need to research in the Bible to see what it is that God says that He actually hates. Does God hate people or is it stated to be something else? If God hates people then that is where we need confirmation in the scriptures to establish a new truth. However, If God does hate people like Esau, then we will establish that God is confused since He clearly told us that “He so loved the world to die for Esau”. Let us discuss the subject of hate and find the stated things that God says that He hates. I’ll give you some quick examples of what I found in the Bible that God hates:
Zec 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
You can clearly see that God still hates both an evil imagination and lies. These are two specific descriptive actions that we will see as repeated patterns of the behavior types of people that do not know or love God or His Word. From this one verse, I can begin to see that it is the evil thoughts and the evil actions of the people that are hated and not specifically the people. I still believe that God so loved us that He provided a way out of our certain death and eternal separation from God, if we would only accept this free gift of salvation. Even Christians are still capable of thinking evil and doing evil, but simultaneously God’s shed blood is sufficiently powerful to cover all of our transgressions, past, present and future. But, this does not mean as we know that we are free to intentionally sin all we want to after we become saved, it only means if we do accidently that we are not automatically lost. Let me show you another verse in the Bible that speaks of God hating something:
Deu 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
I think you can again see God’s stated hatred is directed at the evil actions of people killing their children. This is clearly a parallel to the modern actions of abortionists today. But, yet God does not say that He hates the people it only says that He hates the actions of the people killing their children. There is a huge difference between those two stated positions and it causes much confusion in the church. How can God love the sinner but still hate the sin? That is because they are not the same things. What you do is not necessarily always who you are. If it was we would all be in prison right now. There are churches in America that picket sinners and try to tell them that God hates them because of their sin, but that is foolishness and ignorance gone to seed. God is not a hater of people that He died to save. I keep saying that because I want to make sure that you get it and apply it to Esau. That is a ludicrous thing to ascribe to a God who is called Love. People just seem to forget that if God hates sinners then He must also hate them since God clearly says “all have sinned and come short of the His glory”. It is only a person’s deceived state of self-righteousness that makes them believe that they are better than anyone else. I’m only going to give you one more example of things that God hates since this could be a Bible lessons series all by itself:
Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
There are seven direct things listed that God still hates, but none of them are directly named as people even though some can easily try to say that they represent people by the descriptive terms used like the tongue and the feet features that all people possess. Read through the list and see if you can see where the emphasis is placed. Is it on the people or on the actions of people? So I believe that again we have confirmation that people can do these hated things but yet I believe that God will still loves them consistently even while hating their wrong actions. Here is the list of the seven hated things that I saw:
- Proud Look
- Lying Tongue
- Wicked Imagination
- False Witness
- Sower of Discord
Wow, that is a tough list of things that people in the world and even in the church still do every day. Speaking lies is mentioned twice and that makes it even more serious to me. Thinking evil is again repeated as a hated action. Being proud and sowing discord are two incredible things that speak volumes to me and helps to identify who God is speaking of using Esau. We’ll get more to that soon. I personally believe that God is trying to teach us something new about what we should hate. If you go through your Bible God tells us to hate evil and to love good repeatedly (Psalm 34:14, 37:27, Isa 7:15, Amos 5:15). This would appear to me to be the lesson learned from reading about what God hates in the Bible. So I believe that God is trying to teach us to become more like Him in our thoughts and our actions. There is an established Bible pattern that teaches us that if we think good Godly things we will do good things, if we think evil demonic things then we will do evil things. Therefore, set your minds on the greater higher things above and God will direct you into the paths of life.
What I am trying to do is to show you that love and hate can coexist together simply because good and evil still coexist today in the world because of what Adam chose for us in Genesis 3. Therefore, it is only important to learn and to know what it is that God hates and what it is that He loves to correctly understand what we should love and hate. If God hates people we should hate people, but we clearly see that is not true. If God hates sin, then we should hate sin and that is certainly true. Go through your Bible and study the word “hate” and it’s forms. There are approximately 179 verses that contain a form of this word. Search them all and see what we are to hate and I believe you will conclude as I have that we should hate evil and not the evil doers.
We should love the good and we should hate the evil just like the God that never changes. I believe that this principal is what God is teaching using the Jacob and Esau examples. Based upon what we have just learned about hating evil and loving good, we would be forced to conclude that Esau was evil and that Jacob was good. But, since God does not hate people I have to adjust my interpretation in Romans 9:13 to say Esau must be a symbolic representation for these evil thoughts and actions that are present in the world. Any literal interpretation would force us to say that God hated Esau as a man and then God changed His mind and died to save this man. Since God is not a being that changes that is impossible.
Do you understand Bible symbolism? Symbolism occurs when God calls one thing by a name, title or description that we have heard about, can see and we can know and understand, but He is actually speaking figuratively of another hidden thing that we have not heard of, cannot see and do not know or understand. This is what I believe is happening in Romans 9:13 when God is speaking of two men that we can read about in Genesis, but have long since died and gone away from this physical reality. Therefore the verse in Romans 9:13 must be a symbolic representation of something unknown and much greater in meaning. If this is true, why was Esau used symbolically to represent evil deeds and why was Jacob used to represent what is done that is good? What is God trying to reveal to us using this story? That is why we need to go and read to find this out next.
What Does God Reveal About Jacob and Esau in Genesis?
Let’s go back to the story of the two brothers in Genesis quickly and go through the descriptive time before they were born to learn what God reveals about them. In learning about the boys we should begin to formulate what God is doing using them to represent what He hates and what He loves:
Gen 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.
This story in Genesis is very interesting. Let’s just first begin to look and observe at what is stated and then figure out what it all means later. What we are interested in these verses are the facts that God presented to help us to better understand things we do not know yet. You see there is nothing written in the Bible that is there by chance or accident. Every word has a designed purpose and a meaning for being included. Even the obscure stories of the people in Genesis contain more than just a history lesson for us to learn from. Here in this verse, Isaac’s wife Rebekah is barren and Isaac prays to God and she becomes pregnant. There is a lot of meaning behind this verse, but I cannot teach everything in one Bible lesson so let’s continue to the next verse:
Gen 25:22 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.
While still in the womb there appears to be a great conflict arising between brothers even while they are still developing and growing. We could call it the beginning of an internal war between brothers that continues on the external after their birth. Wow that was a really important point that I just made, remember it. Put these concepts into your mind; 1). these boys are siblings, 2). they are fighting brothers and 3). the battle started before they were physically born on the earth. I will tell you that all of this information is symbolic and represents another spiritual battle and that this natural information appears to represent a much greater conflict than just a casual disagreement between natural brothers. But, we will get to that more soon. Notice that Rebekah the mother observes the fight occurring on the inside of her and prays to God to ask for the answer to what is happening and here is God’s reply that was given to her:
Gen 25:23 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.
God looks down into the realm of time to view the boys as two future nations. God is not prophesying God is simply telling her of the future using His infinite foreknowledge. Many times God sees things in a big picture simultaneously even while speaking or describing specific details. Actually what God is doing is telling her of spiritual things to come, but we have not discovered that yet. While describing this internal physical turmoil of the two brothers fighting each other, they are literally labeled using the future terms of being two nations of people. Interesting concept isn’t it? Knowing verses like these dispel the rights of a woman to abort her future child/nation. Today how many nations of future children have been eliminated by ignorant mothers? While a woman may see the fetus as only one insignificant future potential being, God clearly saw each child as being a different nation of people. God combines every child with their descendants and speaks of them all collectively. God describes that these brothers represent not only two nations, but two different kinds of people and that they will be separated from the womb. God is revealing more than the obvious that they will be born and come out from their mother; He is saying they will not be the same people and even implies them to be opposed to each other and we can go further to call them opposing enemies. The Hebrew word translated as “separated” means to divide yourself one from another. This is a very important hidden Bible lesson subject to learn about division. This is the second time I have mentioned this subject so far, but I still do not have the time to teach it to you fully today. Just keep in mind, because it is very important. I will do an individual Bible study on this subject soon.
God also says that the older son will serve the younger son which completely reverses the normal course of inheritance where the first born son would always obtain the greater family blessing revealed in the O.T. Law of God. God further implies that the younger son will become the stronger child than the older and gain preeminence over his elder brother. These are all very key points to learn to associate with a greater hidden message than what is being presented from the surface historical story. What have we learned about Jacob and Esau so far? Here is my Top 10 List of things you should have learned:
- There are two brothers in direct opposition to each other
- The opposition begins before they are born into the natural world
- The opposition continues after they are born into the natural world
- One brother will be divided against the other brother
- The younger son is stronger but is not born first
- The younger son becomes ruler of the older son
- The elder son is born first but does not inherit from the father
- Therefore the older son loses his stated birthright
- The younger son is born second but does inherit from the father
- Even though they are brothers from one father, they are two separate nations of people
The Hidden Allegory Aspect of Jacob and Esau
Let me introduce you to a potentially new hidden concept found in the Bible. I briefly already mentioned that I believed that God was using Esau and Jacob as symbolism. Symbolism is very prevalent in the Bible where God uses a natural object to convey a spiritual truth, like a field, a pearl, a seed, etc. Allegory is like symbolism but it uses real people to introduce us to hidden spiritual beings we do not yet know fully. Allegory is a concept that just takes symbolism a step further in the Bible. Both allegory and symbolism use natural representations for spiritual realities. I will attempt to briefly discuss this concept called “Allegory” or “Allegorical” information to help you better understand what God has written to us in the Bible. If you have not already learned by now that not all of the information in the Bible is obviously presented then you have not studied the Bible for very long. Allegory is always a hidden technique of God and it is used to conceal spiritual information in the Bible using real natural stories found within the course of human/Bible history. Allegory is a technique that is actually very prevalent in the Bible but yet it is also well hidden at the same time. What I have started to realize is that almost every Old Testament story written in the Bible has a greater hidden story behind it of something else that is not clearly known, obviously presented or even directly taught. I have had people try to tell me that allegory was a manmade concept invented by people in the dark ages to try to dispel the things that I am trying to teach you about today. These types of people are usually just naturally thinking or carnally minded categories of people who do not wish to see the spiritual things of God. It is really not their entire fault because I believe that it is clearly Satan’s attempt at trying to keep them from knowing the truth. Allegory is easily found in the Bible if you look for it. Let me give you a dictionary definition of the word allegory:
a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.
Hopefully you can clearly see what is described in this definition of the word allegory. Two key points need to be fully grasped from this definition. Within an allegory, there is always a story that is given which is a figurative representation of another truer story that is not given. The given allegorical information is always a symbolic treatment of a greater hidden story with transferring identical characters, characteristics, features, relationships and actions. The only thing that is not relevant in an allegory is the timing of the physical occurrence. In other words the order of events is important but not the time when they occurred. I think I’m not saying that exactly correct. You see everything certainly matters in the Bible. However the allegorical story given to us in the Bible is always a past historical event and the hidden spiritual story that it contains may be a representative type of an event that is a past, present or even a future event and possibly all three at the same time since God lives outside of the dimension of time. Allegory is an absolutely amazing way used by God to hide spiritual information in plain sight using easily understood words and stories. God tells us one true natural story about Jacob and Esau and in that story is another hidden story of information about two beings that are not named. Modern writers like C.S. Lewis in his books often used this technique or style of writing. In the Narnia book, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe there was a hidden story of Jesus, the devil and a door to salvation with our continuing spiritual battle resulting in of final victory. Therefore, C.S. Lewis understood the concepts of symbolism and allegory and he used it to tell a fictional child’s story that had a much greater hidden spiritual meaning for adults. That is exactly what God is doing with the story of Jacob and Esau. God writes a historical story that has direct meaning written to carnal men while hiding the real story that was written to spiritual men. The spiritual story clearly has the greater precedence and meaning than the natural story. But also it is impossible to understand the spiritual story without first understanding the natural story. Therefore the two stories (natural and spiritual) are eternally married together. This is the demonstrated wisdom of God and He invented this technique to teach us.
The first time that I really learned about the concept of allegory, I was reading the Bible and the Spirit of God spoke to me in my spirit for me to notice what He said in Galatians chapter 4 about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. If you have never seen this you should stop and read this chapter right now. In this chapter God explains in great detail that this real historical story of Abraham is actually an allegorical picture of His own spiritual family and family members. There are five people mentioned in this story; one father, two mothers and two sons. God reveals to us that these two women (Sarah and Hagar) represent two different covenants with God. Since God is the initiator of these covenants, we can understand that God is the representative figure of the man Abraham in the story and Sarah as you can read in this chapter was the figurative representation of God’ first wife and she is revealed to be the “Jerusalem Above” (Gal 4:26). Hagar the Egyptian slave woman is used as a figurative symbolic representation of God’s second younger slave wife and she is revealed to be the “Jerusalem that now is” (Gal 4:25). That is an awesome revelation that God taught me so do not let it slip away from you. Therefore Hagar the slave girl represents the present earthly natural nation of Israel that was in covenant with God the Father in the Old Testament. What God does in this chapter is to reveal the existence of two spiritual women that were simultaneously in covenant with the Almighty God in the Old Testament. The Heavenly Jerusalem was the older first covenant wife and she is called the mature barren woman that gives birth to us the church (Gal 4:26). The second covenant wife of God is revealed to be the natural people of Israel and they are still in bondage to the law that God had given to them on Mt. Sinai until this very day. What I want you to do is to start putting the puzzle pieces together that I am presenting to you today. Did you notice in this allegory described in Galatians 4 that the story was about two sons and two separate nations? There was one nation in heaven and one nation here on the earth. Was that not what God said about Esau and Jacob? The Bible is repeated patterns and these patterns teach us some amazing things. I do not have the time to fully elaborate on this entire allegory to teach you everything that is revealed in great detail. What I want to do is to teach you the concepts that are revealed in this allegory to help you to transfer this knowledge to the allegorical information revealed in Rebekah’s two children Esau and Jacob.
In every allegorical story found in the Bible (and there are many of them) there is always a real historical story containing real people with real relationships, doing real things, in real important ways, with a specific order of events and all of these recorded words reflect a hidden aspect of something in the spiritual dimension that you would normally not even know existed. It is an absolutely masterful way of hiding the truth in plain sight used by God. This method presents valid truthful natural information while simultaneously concealing the greater valid spiritual information. So if you are reading in the Old Testament and only seeing the natural things that were written you are virtually missing the most important spiritual messages that God was trying to reveal to you. I hope you understand the concept of allegory because I can see the story of Jacob and Esau to be highly allegorical with vast hidden spiritual information in everything written in the story.
I believe that I have gone long enough in this lesson. I have introduced you to many new things to think about. I have taught you that there are conflicts in the Bible that we need to resolve. I showed you five conflicting scriptural points that contradict what God says about hating Esau. Therefore, I have concluded that God was not speaking literally but figuratively when using these two brothers to describe what He loves and hates. I showed you multiple verses and asked you to go through the other verses searching for what God hates in the Bible. I believe I showed you enough verses that show that God hates sin while still loving the sinner. I also went through a part of the birth of Esau and Jacob in Genesis to show what God reveals about them before they were born and then shortly after. Finally I introduced you to the new concept of allegory and how God uses natural Bible stories to describe to us spiritual stories that we have never seen or heard before. In the next lesson I will attempt to expand what the Bible says about whom Jacob and Esau represent figuratively. These symbolic natural brothers are representative types of spiritual brothers. These are really deep complex subjects found in the Bible. If you understand what I am trying to say please let me know. If you have questions about anything already stated, please let me know that also. This is probably one of the most advanced Bible lessons on my whole website. It will probably overwhelm many baby or carnal Christians. I have worked a long time on trying to simplify the message, but that is truly very difficult. In the next lesson we will continue to talk about more specifically who Jacob and Esau can represent. I pray that you will hang in there and continue trying to learn even if you do not fully get every point yet. Until next time may God enlighten the eyes of your spiritual understanding to see all that He has done. God Bless!
If you would like to continue and read the next lesson in this series you can jump to “Part 6.2“.
About agapegeekUsing the Bible to understand the Bible! Advanced Bible study for mature Chrisitians who want to grow.
Posted on December 30, 2011, in Bible Study, Hard Sayings, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, God, Hate, Interpretation, Religion, Symbolism, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.