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Malachi 1:2

I have loved you, says the LORD. Yet you say, How have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? says the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Furthermore, who would be so impiously foolish as to say that God cannot turn the evil wills of people—as he wills, when he wills and where he wills—toward the good? But when he acts, he acts through mercy; when he does not act, it is through justice. For “he has mercy on whom he wills, and whom he wills, he hardens.” Now when the apostle said this, he was commending grace, of which he had just spoken in connection with the twin children in Rebecca’s womb: “Before they had yet been born or had done anything good or bad, in order that the electing purpose of God might continue, it was said of them, ‘The elder shall serve the younger.’ ” Accordingly he refers to another prophetic witness, where it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I have hated.” Then, realizing how what he said could disturb those whose understanding could not penetrate to this depth of grace, he adds, “What therefore shall we say to this? Is there unrighteousness in God? God forbid!” Yet it does seem unfair that, wit...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Who are these that reply to God, who speaks to Rebecca? She had twin sons of one conception of Isaac our father. “The children were not yet born nor had done any good or evil (that the purpose of God according to election might stand).” The election was of grace, not of merit. It is the election by which he does not find but makes elect—“that it was not of works but of him that calls, that the elder should serve the younger.” To this sentence the blessed apostle adds the testimony of a prophet who came along afterward: “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated” to give us to understand plainly by the later utterance what was hidden in the predestination of God by grace before they were born. For what did he love but the free gift of his mercy in Jacob, who had done nothing good before his birth? And what did he hate but original sin in Esau, who had done nothing evil before his birth? Surely he would not have loved in the former a goodness which he had not practiced, nor would he have...

Caesarius of Arles

AD 542
At the very beginning of the world, of those two sons who were born of Adam, Abel the younger is chosen, while as a figure of the unfaithful Jews, Cain the older one is condemned. Afterward, in the time of Abraham, the same figure is fulfilled in Sarah and Hagar. Sarah was sterile for a long time as a type of the church, while Hagar as a figure of the synagogue bore a son at once. Hence it is that the younger son Isaac is received into the inheritance, but Ishmael, who was older, is driven away. This fact also seems to have been fulfilled in those two: Jacob the younger was loved by God, while Esau was rejected according to what is written: “I have loved Jacob but hated Esau.” This figure is also known to have been fulfilled in those two sisters whom blessed Jacob had as his wives: Rachel, who was the younger, was loved more than Leah the older. In fact, of the former was born Joseph, who was to be sold in Egypt as a type of our Lord and Savior. That Leah was blearyeyed while Rachel wa...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Loved us. So they thought, (Theodoret) and perhaps spoke. (Haydock) Jacob. I have preferred his posterity, to make them my chosen people, and to load them with my blessings, without any merit on their part, and though they have been always ungrateful; whilst I have rejected Esau, and executed severe judgments upon his posterity. Not that God punished Esau or his posterity beyond their deserts, but that by his free election and grace he loved Jacob, and favoured his posterity above their deserts. See the annotations upon Romans ix. (Challoner) Neither deserved any thing. God's choice was gratuitous, both with respect to the fathers and their offspring. (Worthington) ...

Richard Challoner

AD 1781
I have loved Jacob: I have preferred his posterity, to make them my chosen people, and to lead them with my blessings, without any merit on their part, and though they have been always ungrateful; whilst I have rejected Esau, and executed severe judgments upon his posterity. Not that God punished Esau, or his posterity, beyond their desert: but that by his free election and grace he loved Jacob, and favoured his posterity above their deserts. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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