Romans 9:9-13 Commentary

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Romans 9:9 For this is the word of promise: "AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON." (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: epaggelias gar o logos houtos, Kata ton kairon touton eleusomai (1SFMI) kai estai (3SFMI) te Sarra huios.

Amplified: For this is what the promise said, About this time [next year] will I return and Sarah shall have a son.(4)

ESV: For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son."

ICB: God's promise to Abraham was this: "At the right time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."

NKJV: For this is the word of promise: "At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son."

NIV: For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."

NLT: For God had promised, "Next year I will return, and Sarah will have a son."

Philips: For it was a promise when God said: 'At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son'. (Everybody, remember, thought it quite impossible for Sarah to have a child.)

Wuest: for the word of promise is this, According to this season I will come and there will be to Sarah a son.

Young's Literal: for the word of promise is this; 'According to this time I will come, and there shall be to Sarah a son.'

Romans 1:18-3:20 Romans 3:21-5:21 Romans 6:1-8:39 Romans 9:1-11:36 Romans 12:1-16:27
Summary of
Romans 9-11
Romans 9 Romans 10 Romans 11
God's Sovereignty
Israel's Election by God
Man's responsibility
Israel's Rejection of God
God's Ways Higher
God Not Rejecting Israel

Related resources

Are you confused about God's plan for Israel? Then I highly recommend Tony Garland's 12 Hour Course on Romans 9-11 in which he addresses in depth the question of What Will Happen to Israel? (click) or see the individual lectures below)

Note that when you click the preceding links, each link will in turn give you several choices including an Mp3 message and brief transcript notes. The Mp3's are long (avg 70+ min) but are in depth and thoroughly Scriptural with many quotations from the Old Testament, which is often much less well understood than the NT by many in the church today. Tony Garland takes a literal approach to Scripture, and his love for the Jews and passion to see them saved comes through very clearly in these 12 hours of teaching! Take your home Bible Study group through this series if you dare! Take notes on the tapes as the transcripts are a very abbreviated version of the audio messages. This course is highly recommended for all who love Israel! I think you will agree that Tony Garland, despite coming to faith after age 30 as an engineer, clearly has been given a special anointing by God to proclaim the truth concerning Israel and God's glorious future plan for the Jews. Garland has also produced more than 20 hours of superb audio teaching in his verse by verse commentary on the Revelation (in depth transcripts also available) which will unravel (in a way you did not think was possible considering the plethora of divergent interpretations) God's final message of the triumph and return of the our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords! Maranatha!

FOR THIS IS A (literally "the") WORD OF PROMISE AT THIS TIME I WILL COME AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON: epaggelias gar o logos houtos kata ton kairon touton eleusomai (1SFMI) kai estai (3SFMI) te Sarra huios:

For (gar) is a term of explanation, which should always prompt you to pause and ask yourself what is the Spirit seeking to explain?

Word of promise - In the immediate context, this would refer to God's promise that Abraham would have a son from Sarah despite their old age. In Genesis 15:6 we see that Abraham took God at His Word (the promise of a son that would eventually be as numerous as the stars, Ge 15:5), and rested on His promise, so much so that he was prepared to sacrifice that very son (Isaac), the one through whom God had promised Abraham an innumerable posterity! The Word of Promise was a Word of Life, life that would come through Isaac, the son of promised and one day life and the potential for eternal life through the Word of Life, Christ Jesus (1Jn 1:1). As an aside faith is dynamic not static and demonstrates that it is genuine faith by obedience (Ge 22:1-2 God told Abraham to sacrifice his son). Obedience did not save Abraham, but it clearly demonstrate to all subsequent generations that he was a genuine believer! Abraham banked on God's promise of a great posterity so much that he was willing to slay the one who from whom that posterity would come (Read Ge 22:9-14). He believed God would still fulfill His word of promise and in Hebrews we learn that Abraham believed in the resurrection (read Heb 11:17-19-note)

Compare other similar phrases that describe God's Word…

  • word of life - 1 John 1:1.
  • word of His grace - Acts 20:32
  • word of the kingdom - Matthew 13:19
  • word of promise - Romans 9:9
  • word of faith - Romans 10:8
  • word of reconciliation - 2Corinthians 5:19,
  • word of truth - Ephesians 1:13
  • the word of exhortation - Hebrews 13:22

Promise (1860) (epaggelia/epangelia from epí = intensifies verbal meaning + aggéllo = to tell, declare) originally referred to an announcement or declaration (especially of a favorable message) but in later Greek came to mean a declaration to do something with the implication of obligation to carry out what is stated (thus a promise or pledge). Epaggelia was primarily a legal term denoting summons, a promise to do or give something, but in the NT speaks primarily of the promises of God.

Epaggelia - 52x in 50v (note concentration in Hebrews = 14x in 13v) - NAS = promise (37), promised (1), promises (12), what was promised (2).

Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:33, 39; 7:17; 13:23, 32; 23:21; 26:6; Rom 4:13f, 16, 20; 9:4, 8f; 15:8; 2 Cor 1:20; 7:1; Gal 3:14, 16ff, 21f, 29; 4:23, 28; Eph 1:13; 2:12; 3:6; 6:2; 1 Tim 4:8; 2 Tim 1:1; Heb 4:1; 6:12, 15, 17; 7:6; 8:6; 9:15; 10:36; 11:9, 13, 17, 33, 39; 2Pet 3:4, 9; 1John 2:25.

This verse is taken from from (Ge18:10) but not an exact quote of the LXX in this case.

And he said, "I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. (Ge 18:10)

Paul is reminding his readers that God's choice is not based on natural descent. Isaac's birth is supernatural and represents God's sovereign choice.

Time (2540) (kairos means a point of time or period of time, time, period, frequently with the implication of being especially fit for something and without emphasis on precise chronology. It means a moment or period as especially appropriate the right, proper, favorable time (at the right time).

Kairos can refer to a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for or a strategic point in time.

Kairos speaks of a limited period of time, with the added notion of suitableness ("the suitable time", "the right moment", "the convenient time"). Kairos refers to a distinct, fixed time period, rather than occasional moments.

Kairos is not so much a succession of minutes (Greek chronos 5550), but a period of opportunity. Chronos refers to chronological time, to clock time or calendar time, to a general space or succession of time. Kairos, on the other hand, refers to a specific and often predetermined period or moment of time and so views time in terms of events, eras, or seasons, such as the times of the Gentiles (see below) In other words, kairos defines the best time to do something, the moment when circumstances are most suitable, the psychologically "ripe" moment.

In rhetoric kairos is "a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved." (E. C. White, Kaironomia p. 13)

Romans 9:10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived * twins by one man, our father Isaac (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: ou monon de, alla kai Rebekka ex enos koiten exousa, (PAPFSN) Isaak tou patros hemon;

Amplified: And not only that, but this too: Rebecca conceived [two sons under exactly the same circumstances] by our forefather Isaac,

ESV: And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,

ICB: And that is not all. Rebekah also had sons. And those sons had the same father, our father Isaac.

NKJV: And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac

NIV: Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac.

NLT: This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he grew up, he married Rebekah, who gave birth to twins.

Philips: And then, again, a word of promise came to Rebecca, at the time when she was pregnant with two children by the one man, Isaac our forefather.

Wuest: And not only, but also Rebecca, conceiving by one, Isaac, our father.

Young's Literal: And not only so, but also Rebecca, having conceived by one -- Isaac our father--

AND NOT ONLY THIS BUT THERE WAS REBEKAH ALSO WHEN SHE HAD CONCEIVED TWINS BY ONE MAN OUR FATHER ISAAC: Ou monon de alla kai Rebekka ex enos koiten echousa (PAPFSN) Isaak tou patros hemon:

Notice that this sentence is not formally completed, being taken up after the parenthetical Ro 9:11 by “It was said unto her” in Ro 9:12.

And not only this - The connective "and" indicates Paul is giving another example to illustrate his point.

By one man our father Isaac - Rebekah's children had one and the same father

Conceived - This meaning is derived from two words koite (bed) and echo (to have or hold), so the phrase is literally "having bed."

Conceived (2845) (koite) is a word which in general first refers to a structure on which one can lie down (a bed, couch), for resting or sleeping. Then koite or bed came to be used as an extension of the word "bed" or a euphemism for sexual relations (defiling the marriage bed - Heb 13:4-note). Paul uses koite in the plural implying "sexual excesses, promiscuity, illicit affairs or illicit sexual activity (Ro 13:13-note). As noted above here in Romans 9:10, koite is combined with the verb echo (to have) and literally reads "bed having" (or have bed) and is an idiomatic way of saying conceive or become pregnant.

Paul's point is that unlike Ishmael and Isaac who were of a single father, but two mothers, Esau and Jacob had one mother and one father and that furthermore, they were twins conceived in the same act of union (Ge. 25:21, 22, 23, 24 ) .

Koite - 4x -Usage: bed(2), conceived*(1), sexual promiscuity(1).

Luke 11:7 and from inside he answers and says, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.'

Romans 9:10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;

Romans 13:13-note Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.

Hebrews 13:4-note Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed (marriage added because it is clearly implied) is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Koite - 81x in 79v in non-apocryphal Septuagint often of a literal bed - Ge 49:4 ("bed" - used in context of illicit sexual contact ~ incest);

Ex 10:23; 21:18; Lev 15:4f, 16ff, 21, 23f, 26, 32; 18:20, 22f; 19:20; 20:13; 22:4; Num 5:13, 20; 31:17f, 35; Jdg 21:11f; 2 Sam 4:5, 11; 11:2, 13; 13:5; 17:28; 1 Kgs 1:47; 1 Chr 5:1; Esth 4:17; Job 7:13; 33:15, 19; 36:28; 37:8; 38:40; Ps 4:4; 36:4; 41:3; 149:5; Prov 7:17; Song 3:1; Isa 11:8; 17:2; 56:10; 57:7; Jer 10:22; 50:6; Ezek 23:17; Dan 2:28f; 4:5, 8, 10, 13; 7:1f; Hos 7:14; Mic 2:1, 12

Robert Haldane - And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; Not only in the case of Isaac was the election limited to him as the son of promise, but also in a still more remarkable instance was this truth indicated in the case of the two sons of Isaac. They were conceived by Rebecca of the same husband, yet God chose the one and rejected the other. An original difference between Isaac and Ishmael might be alleged, since the one was born of the lawful wife of Abraham, the free woman, and the other was the son of the bond woman; but in the case now brought forward there existed no original difference. Both were sons of the same father and mother, and both were born at the same time. The great distinction, then, made between the two brothers could only be traced to the sovereign will of God, who thus visibly notified, long before the event, the difference of the Divine purpose, according to election, towards the people of Israel.

Matthew Poole comments that this is added "because there might be some objection against the former; as if there were some reason why God chose Isaac, and refused Ishmael. Isaac was born of a free-woman, and when Abraham was uncircumcised: besides, Ishmael no sooner came to years, but he showed some tokens of perverseness, and of a wicked spirit. Therefore, in this and the three following verses, he gives another, which was beyond all exception; and that is in Esau and Jacob, betwixt whom there was no disparity, either in birth or in works: they had both one and the same mother; Rebecca conceived with them at one and the same time, and that by no other person than our father Isaac; and yet the one of these is chosen, and the other refused. Tills now was an undeniable proof, that the promise belongs not to all the children of Abraham, or of Isaac, according to the flesh; all the seed of neither are the children of the promise."

Constable - God's special election of one portion of Abraham's descendants for special blessing is further evident in His choice of Jacob rather than Esau. Someone might say that Isaac was obviously the natural son through whom blessing would come since he was the first son born to Abraham and Sarah. That was not true of Jacob. Furthermore Esau and Jacob both had the same mother as well as father, so that was not a factor as an objector might claim it was in Isaac and Ishmael's case. Jacob and Esau might have shared the firstborn privilege since they were twins. One conception produced both of them. However, God chose Jacob even though Rebekah bore Esau before Jacob. As in the case of Isaac, God made a choice between them before their birth. Their birth was also supernatural since their mother was barren. God chose Jacob before he had done any deeds or manifested a character worthy of God's special blessing. The fact that Jacob became a less admirable person in some respects than Esau shows that God's choice was not due to Jacob but to Himself. (Romans 9 Expository Notes)

In Romans 9:10, 11, 12, 13 John Murray explains that

In these verses appeal is made to another instance of the same kind of differentiation in patriarchal history. The thesis being established, it must be remembered, is that not by natural descent did the descendants of Abraham become partakers of God's covenant grace and promises. This was proven in Abraham's own sons in the differentiation between Isaac and Ishmael. But it was not only in Abraham's sons that this discrimination appeared; it enters also into Isaac's own family. The argument of the apostle becomes cumulative as it proceeds. There are new factors exemplified in Isaac's family that do not appear in the case of Abraham's sons and these considerations point up more forcefully and conclusively the differentiation that must be recognized in the fulfilment of God's covenant purposes.

Romans 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,

Greek: mepo gar gennethenton (APPMPG) mede praxanton (AAP) ti agathon e phaulon, hina e kat' eklothen prothesis tou theou mene, (PAPMSG)

Amplified: And the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them],

ESV: though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call--

ICB: But before the two boys were born, God told Rebekah, "The older will serve the younger." This was before the boys had done anything good or bad. God said this before they were born so that the one chosen would be chosen because of God's own plan. He was chosen because he was the one God wanted to call, not because of anything he did.

NKJV: (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),

NIV: Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand:

NLT: But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message proves that God chooses according to his own plan,

Philips: And then, again, a word of promise came to Rebecca, at the time when she was pregnant with two children by the one man, Isaac our forefather. It came before the children were born or had done anything good or bad, plainly showing that God's act of choice has nothing to do with achievements, good or bad, but is entirely a matter of his will.

Wuest: For not yet having been born nor having practiced any good or evil, in order that the purpose of God dominated by an act of selecting out may abide, not out of a source of works, but out of the source of the One who calls,

Young's Literal: (for they being not yet born, neither having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling,) it was said to her--

FOR THOUGH THE TWINS WERE NOT YET BORN AND HAD NOT DONE ANYTHING GOOD OR BAD: mepo gar gennethenton (APPMPG) mede praxanton (APPMPG) ti agathon e phaulon:

For (gar) is a term of explanation, which should always prompt you to pause and ask yourself what is the Spirit seeking to explain?

Denney - The conditional negatives (mepo, mede) represent the circumstances not as mere facts of history, but as conditions entering into God’s counsel and plan. The time of the prediction was thus chosen, in order to make it clear that He Who calls men to be heirs of His salvation makes free choice of whom He will, unfettered by any claims of birth or merit (Expositor's Greek Testament)

Good (18) (agathos) (see in depth study on agathos) means profitable, benefiting others, whereas the related word kalos means constitutionally good, but not necessarily benefiting others.

Bad (5337) (phaulos) worthless, bad or of no account. It describes the impossibility of any true gain ever coming forth. The notion of worthlessness is central to the meaning. Note the KJV (Textus Receptus) translates a different Greek word (kakos) which denotes a lack of something and thus that which is bad or not as it ought to be.

Phaulos - 6x in 6v - John 3:20; 5:29; Ro 9:11; 2Cor 5:10; Titus 2:8; Jas 3:16. NAS = bad(3), evil(3).

God foresaw both Esau and Jacob as born in sin, "by nature children of wrath even as the rest" (Ephesians 2:3). If left to themselves they would have continued in sin through life; but for wise and holy reasons, not made known to us, God purposed to change Jacob's heart, and to leave Esau to his perverseness.

IN ORDER THAT GOD'S PURPOSE ACCORDING TO HIS CHOICE MIGHT STAND (remain continually) : hina e kat eklogen prothesis tou theou mene (3SPAS):

In order that - expresses purpose. Always ask what purpose?

Purpose (4286) (prothesis from protíthemi = set before oneself and so to purpose or plan) means to plan in advance. It describes that which is planned or purposed in advance. Here it describes God’s intention beforehand.

Wuest - The word (prothesis) speaks of the action of an individual setting before himself a proposed action. Thus, it presupposes deliberation upon a course of conduct, and then the determination to carry it through.

Prothesis - 12x in 12v -Matt 12:4; Mark 2:26; Luke 6:4; Acts 11:23; 27:13; Rom 8:28; 9:11; Eph 1:11; 3:11; 2 Tim 1:9; 3:10; Heb 9:2. NAS = consecrated(3), purpose(7), resolute(1), sacred(1).

Prothesis has a secular Greek use meaning setting forth of something in public and in a similar NT use refers to the name give to the shewbread ("loaves of presentation") in the Temple which is "exposed before God". The bread before the Presence of the Lord consisted of twelve loaves of wheat bread offered every Sabbath (12 = number of the tribes of Israel) and arranged in two rows on the table before the Holy of Holies and to remain there for seven days.

See topics:

The other major NT meaning of prothesis and the one intended by Paul in Ro 9:11 is purpose, which is something set up as an object or end to be attained. Purpose describes fixed intention in doing something or the reason for which something is done or for which something exists. It describes what one intends to accomplish or attain and suggests a settled determination (this is going to happen - see uses below that especially relate to God's purpose).

Richards - God's sovereignty is affirmed in both OT and NT. An important NT aspect of this affirmation is found in the repeated emphasis on that which God has purposed, planned, and decreed. Two Greek words, prothesis and boule, are particularly significant. Prothesis means "a plan" or "a resolve," denoting a decision that has been made. The NIV renders this word "purpose" in four of the twelve places where it appears in the NT (Ro 8:28; 9:11; Eph 1:11; 3:11). Boule is a strong term, indicating God's fixed intention. That which is his purpose stands utterly fixed and cannot be changed by any action of others. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)

Prothesis speaks of the action of an individual setting before himself a proposed action. Thus, it presupposes deliberation upon a course of conduct, and then the determination to carry it through.

Prothesis was also used to denote the public lying in state of the dead (Plato, Leg., 12, 947b), public announcements (Aristot., Pol., 6, 8, p. 1322a 9), and later an intention (Polyb., 5, 35, 2). From Aristotle on prothesis was used to express purpose and as shown below Paul uses it of 'the Divine purpose of God for the salvation of mankind,' the 'purpose of the ages' determined in the Divine mind before the creation of the world". (Adapted in part from Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

Denney discusses God's purpose in relation to the difficult doctrine of election (Election - see also Walter Elwell's discussion, Another article by Timothy George) -- it is a divine doctrine difficult for finite human minds to comprehend and process -

Prothesis in this theological sense is a specially Pauline word. The purpose it describes is universal in its bearings, for it is the purpose of One Who works all things according to the counsel of His will, Ephesians 1:11 (note); it is eternal, a prothesis ton aionon, Ephesians 3:11 (note); it is God’s idia prothesis, (His own purpose) 2Timothy 1:9 (note), a purpose, the meaning, contents, and end of which find their explanation in God alone; it is a purpose kat eklogen (according to election) i.e., the carrying of it out involves choice and discrimination between man and man, and between race and race; and in spite of the side of mystery which, belongs to such a concept, it is a perfectly intelligible purpose, for it is described as prothesis en epoiesen en Christo Iesou, and what God means by Christ Jesus no one can doubt. God’s eternal purpose, the purpose carried out kat eklogen (according to election), yet embracing the universe, is clearly revealed in His Son. The permanent determining element, wherever this purpose is concerned, is not the works of men, but the will and call of God; and to make this plain was the intention of God in speaking as He did, and when He did, to Rebecca about her children. If we look to Genesis 25:23, it is indisputably the nations of Israel and Edom that are referred to: “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elder shall serve the younger”. The same is true also of Malachi 1:2 (note) : “I loved Jacob, but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation,” etc. Yet it would not be right to say that Paul is here considering merely the parts assigned by God to nations in the drama of providence; He is obviously thinking of Jacob and Esau as individuals, whose own relation to God’s promise and inheritance (involving no doubt that of their posterity) was determined by God before they were born or had done either good or ill. On the other hand, it would not be right to say that Paul here refers the eternal salvation or perdition of individuals to an absolute decree of God which has no relation to what they are or do, but rests simply on His inscrutable will. He is engaged in precluding the idea that man can have claims of right against God, and with it the idea that the exclusion of the mass of Israel from the Messiah’s kingdom convicts God of breach of faith toward the children of Abraham; and this He can do quite effectually, on the lines indicated, without consciously facing this tremendous hypothesis. (Expositor's Greek Testament)

Choice (1589) (ekloge from eklegomai [eklego - word study] in turn from ek = out + lego = select, choose, eklegomai meaning to choose or select for oneself, but not necessarily implying rejection of what is not chosen. See study of related word eklektos = elect) means literally a choosing out, a picking out, a selection or an election (2Pe 1:10, 1Th 1:4 - referring to God's selection of believers). In the passive sense ekloge refers to God's selection for a purpose or task. In other words it represents a special choice as when God referred to Paul as "my chosen instrument" (Acts 9:15). In Ro 11:28 ekloge speaks of God's choice of Israel, who were selected by Him to carry out His specific plan of redemption for mankind.

In the context of Scripture ekloge speaks of election, the benevolent purpose of God by which any are chosen unto salvation so that they are led to embrace and persevere in Christ’s bestowed grace and the enjoyment of its privileges and blessings here and hereafter. Although not used in this way in the present context, ekloge, can describe election which is vocational. The Lord called out the tribe of Levi to be His priests, but Levites were not thereby guaranteed salvation. Jesus called twelve men to be apostles but only eleven of them to salvation. After Paul came to Christ because of God’s election to salvation, God then chose him in another way to be His special apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; Ro 1:5).

Ekloge - 7x in 7v - NAS = choice(4), choosing(1), chosen(1), those who were chosen(1).

Acts 9:15; Ro 9:11-note; Ro11:5-note, Ro 11:7-note, Ro 11:28-note; 1Th 1:4-note; 2Pe 1:10-note.

NIDNTT elaborates on several interesting aspects of secular use of this word group (eklego, eklegomai, ekloge, eklektos) in classic Greek noting that…

(1) eklegomai (Herodotus) is the middle voice of eklego, pick out, choose out a person or thing (from a sizeable number). The active form does not occur at all in the NT and only occasionally in the LXX. It is derived from lego = count, collect, read (Word). The verbal adjective eklektos, which is sometimes used absolutely (attested since Plato), denotes the person or thing upon whom the choice has fallen. The noun ekloge, derived from the verb (likewise Plato) and originally meaning exclusively the act of choosing, can be used with the verbs lambano = take, poieomai = do, or ginomai, here in the sense of arrive at.

The words of this group are used in various contexts, but wherever they are found, it is evident that certain things common to them all are implied.

First, there are several objects from which to choose; secondly, the person making the choice is not tied down by any circumstances which force his hand, but is free to make his own decision. Thirdly, the person making the choice-at least at the moment of choosing-has the person or thing to be chosen at his disposal. Moreover, the act of choosing (and thus the words of this group) includes a judgment by the chooser as to which object he considers to be the most suitable for the fulfilment of his purpose. It is not of vital importance whether it be objective criteria, or subjective feelings and considerations which are paramount in making the decision.

(2) Although these words originate in military vocabulary, by the time of Plato eklegomai and ekloge are already in use in a political sense (referring to elections). In every case it is a matter of electing people to perform a certain task, or administer a certain office. These include in the political sphere the presbytai, elders, for the administration of the polis (city) (Plato, Rep., 536c; Polybius, 6, 10, 9), the archontes (Plato, Rep., 414a, Beginning, art. arche NT 4), or other officials and people with public responsibilities (Plato, Laws, 802b). ekloge, however, is also used of the general conscription of men for military service (Polybius 5,63,11), and the selection of individuals from the whole army for a particularly difficult or glorious mission (Polybius 9, 13, 9).

Prudence and experience, appropriate standing in society or sufficient wealth, courage and suitability constitute the conditions necessary in each instance, if a person is to be considered for election. But it is the election itself which makes it possible for him to take up his function and which at the same time lays an obligation upon him. For election, whether of individuals or of a group, is regarded as a distinction (very occasionally it is used in a negative sense, implying especial severity). It is usually conducted in a manner in keeping with the concept of an aristocratic élite. It is always, however, accompanied by some kind of obligation or task concerned with the well-being of all the other members of the community of which the one elected forms part. Through its proper organs, the polis gives the individual who has special gifts the opportunity to develop these for the benefit of all.

(3) At the same time, the words may be applied to objects. eklegomai is used of the choice of certain places (Plato, Tim., 24c), deciding in favour of what is intellectually or aesthetically good (Symposium, 198d), or selection of especially treasured passages from literature in general or from the work of a certain author (Athenaeus, 14, 663c; Polybius, 1, 47, 9). Ekloge can also refer to the requisition of material (e.g. ships), or the levying of official tribute and taxes (Athenaeus 6, 235b).

The words express in every case the idea that a part has been claimed from a greater quantity, by an independent act of decision for a particular purpose, and that the remainder has been passed over. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

NOT BECAUSE OF WORKS BUT BECAUSE OF HIM WHO CALLS: ouk ex ergon all ek tou kalountos (PAPMSG):

Not because of works but… - Literally the Greek reads "not out of works but out of the calling".

In other words, it is not because of anything that man does within himself. In the current verse Esau and Jacob were not born so they could not have done anything yet. Man does not obtain salvation by his works. He cannot manipulate God by His works. God is sovereign in election and in salvation.

Calls in this context means "calls to salvation" (see discussion of "the called" in study of the related word kletos). God's call to salvation in the epistles of Paul and Peter is an "effectual" call so that in essence those who are called equates with those who are chosen (the elect).

Calls (2564)(kaleo from root kal-, whence English “call” and “clamour”) literally means to speak to another in order to attract their attention or to them bring nearer, either physically or in a personal relationship. Kaleo is a major verb in the NT and its specific meaning depends on the the context in which it is used. Here it refers to calling of God.

Romans 9:12 it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."

Greek: errethe (3SAPI) aute hoti o meizon douleusei (3SFAI) to elassoni;

Amplified: It was said to her that the elder [son] should serve the younger [son].

ESV: she was told, "The older will serve the younger."

ICB: But before the two boys were born, God told Rebekah, "The older will serve the younger." This was before the boys had done anything good or bad. God said this before they were born so that the one chosen would be chosen because of God's own plan. He was chosen because he was the one God wanted to call, not because of anything he did.

NKJV: it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger."

NIV: not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger."

NLT: not according to our good or bad works.) She was told, "The descendants of your older son will serve the descendants of your younger son."

Philips: The promise was: 'The older shall serve the younger'.

Wuest: The older shall serve the younger; even as it stands written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.

Young's Literal: 'The greater shall serve the less;'

IT WAS SAID TO HER THE OLDER (Esau) WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER (Jacob) : errethe (3SAPI) aute hoti o meizon douleusei (3SFAI) to elassoni:

Genesis 25:22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”

Paul quotes the Septuagint (LXX) of (Genesis 25:23) (o meizon douleusei (3SFAI) to elassoni).

Serve (1398) (douleuo from doulos = slave or one who is in bondage or bound to another, in the state of being completely controlled by someone or something) means to be in bondage or in the position of a servant and to act accordingly, dutifully obeying the master's commands.

This "prophecy" was given before the twins were born. The eldest son according to man's ways should have received the blessing but God choose Jacob over Esau.

Esau, the older, did not actually serve Jacob, his younger twin; but Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, did. For example during David's reign we read that…

he (David) put garrisons in Edom. In all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became servants (Lxx = doulos) to David. And the LORD helped David wherever he went. (2Sa 8:14)

Do you know the final confrontation of Jacob and Esau recorded in the Scriptures? Jesus before Herod, the King before "a" king. Herod was Idumean, Edomite, a descendant of Esau. Jesus was, through David, a descendant of Jacob. There, standing face-to-face, were Jacob and Esau! Herod has nothing but contempt for the King of the Jews, and Jesus will not open his mouth in the presence of Herod. This is God's strange and mysterious way of dealing with humanity. His ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts.

Romans 9:13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."

Greek: kathos gegraptai, (3SRPI) Ton Iakob egaphesa, (1SAAI) ton de Esau emisesa. (1SAAI)

Amplified: As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (held in [1] relative disregard in comparison with My feeling for Jacob).

ESV: As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

ICB: As the Scripture says, "I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau."

NKJV: As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."

NIV: Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

NLT: In the words of the Scriptures, "I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau."

Philips: And we get a later endorsement of this divine choice in the words: 'Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated'.
We must not jump to conclusions about God

Wuest: even as it stands written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.

Young's Literal: according as it hath been written, 'Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate.' JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN: kathos gegraptai (3SRPI):

Written (1125) (grapho) is in the perfect tense which emphasizes the lasting and binding authority of that which was written. It has been written at some point in time in the past and it "stands" written.

Paul is saying in this section (Ro 9:10, 11, 12, 13) that God's election is…

Not based on natural descent
Not based on works (good or bad)
According to His purpose

JACOB I LOVED BUT ESAU I HATED: ton Iakob egaphesa (1SAAI) ton de Esau emisesa (1SAAI):


Paul quotes the Septuagint (LXX) of (Malachi 1:2,3-note).

Loved (verb) (25) (agapao see related study of noun agape) means to love unconditionally and sacrificially as God Himself loves sinful men (John 3:16), the way He loves the Son (John 3:35, 15:9, 17:23, 24). Agapao is a verb and by its verbal nature calls for action. This quality of love is not an emotion but is an action initiated by a volitional choice.

John MacArthur writes that agapao "expresses the purest, noblest form of love, which is volitionally driven, not motivated by superficial appearance, emotional attraction, or sentimental relationship." (1 & 2 Thessalonians. Moody Press)

A student once said to Dr. Griffith Thomas that he was having trouble with this passage because he could not understand why God hated Esau. Dr. Thomas answered, "I am having a problem with that passage too, but mine is different. I do not understand why God loved Jacob." (Ed: And I'll add "I don't know why He loved me!")

That is the big problem. It is easy to see why God rejected Esau. He was godless, filled with pride, and not surprisingly from his loins came forth a nation (Edom) that wanted to live without God and which as a result turned their backs to Him. And so from a human perspective we can find some rationale for why God rejected Esau, but that is not the case with why He chose Jacob. This reminds me of the passage in Deuteronomy which says "the secret things belong to the LORD." (Dt 29:29)

Jacob I loved - The Hebrew idiomatic phrase (according to Rienecker) can mean "I prefer Jacob to Esau". In other words in context God choose Jacob even though Esau was the firstborn. Don't forget though that Esau sold his birthright for a mess of porridge -- he despised his birthright (Ge 25:34) See article on Esau

Hated (3404) (miseo from misos = hatred) means to dislike strongly, to have a strong aversion to or to detest, all of these representing expressions of hostility of one person (or group) toward another (Mt 5:43, Lk 6:27, et al). Specifically the hatred can be directed toward God (Lk 1:71). Good hatred in Heb 1:9 (cf use of miseo in Lxx of Ps 101:3, Ps 119:104, 113, 128, 163, Ps 139:21-22). The majority of the NT uses of miseo convey the literal meaning of animosity towards God, people or particular attitudes.

It is notable that except for Lk 1:71, miseo is always used by Jesus in the Gospels.

The literal meaning of bearing ill will towards another person or persons is found in the majority of texts (e.g., Mt 5:43, 44; 6:24; Lk 1:71; Jn 7: 7; 17:14; Titus 3: 3; 1Jo. 2: 9 ff.; Rev. 17:16). The world’s hatred for the people of God is expressed in Lk 1:71; Jn 7: 7; 15:18; 17:14; 1Jo. 3:13. Mt 10:22; 24:9; Mk 13:13; Lk 21:17 describe suffering hatred for the cause of the Gospel.

In Luke 14:26 (See notemiseo is used in what might be described as a "non-literal" meaning. Friberg has this note on miseo in Luke 14:26 stating "Hebraistically, requiring single-minded loyalty in discipleship prefer less, love less." Renn adds that "Our love for God, for Christ, and for the cause of the gospel should so exceed all other loyalties that, compared with our earthly love for those in our family, our love for the Lord should make our mortal attachment to our loved ones seem like hatred. Explicit malice towards our families is, of course, in no way intended." Renn adds that in John 12:25 "Hate in this text is not literal malice towards oneself, but rather indicates symbolically the most sublime expression of selflessness, expressed hyperbolically as hatred."

Miseo also indicates hatred of sin in Heb. 1: 9; Jude 1:23; Rev. 2: 6, 15. Ro 7:15 mentions the apostle Paul’s personal dilemma in which he wrestles with conflicting desires of hatred of sin and an attraction to that which is evil.

BDAG "To be disinclined to, disfavor, disregard in contrast to preferential treatment (Mt 6:24, Lk 16:13, Lk 14:26)" Here is a good OT example - "Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved (Heb = sane; Lxx = miseo), and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren." (Ge 29:31, see similar use in Dt 21:15, 16)

NIDNTT - miseō, hate, originally denoted the resentment which arises when someone feels himself injured by the behaviour of another. This meaning is also broadened to include an active element . echthros and its cognates, on the other hand, derive from the Gk. echthros, hatred, and convey rather the fixed idea of irreconcilable, deep-rooted enmity. An echthros is someone from whom one can expect only harm and danger, or at least from whom one imagines that this is what one should expect. The verb miseo connotes not only antipathy to certain actions, but also a permanent and deep-seated human hostility towards other men or even the deity.

To hate is to possess and/or express a strong negative reaction, a feeling toward someone considered an enemy as well as loving someone less than another.

Miseo is the opposite of agapao (to love). The essence of to love is to care more about others than about self, caring even to the point of sacrifice of one's life (Jn 15:13, Eph 5:25). To hate is to care little or nothing about the other person and even wish them harm and/or death (Eph 5:29, Mt 24:9).

Wuest says that in general " miseo speaks of a concealed and cherished hatred; stugeo of a hatred which is expressed." (Note: Stugeo is the root of the verb apostugeo in Ro 12:9-note. Stugeo describes an intense dislike, an aversion or a repugnance to something. When you add the prefix apo [away or from] the compound verb conveys the sense of one who hates something so extremely that he or she literally backs away from it in disgust. )

Hate (Webster's Dictionary) - To feel strong aversion or intense dislike for. To dislike greatly; to have a great aversion to. It expresses less than abhor, detest, and abominate, unless pronounced with a peculiar emphasis. In Scripture, it signifies to love less. Hate implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice

Hate is a relative term in Romans 9:13. Jesus used the same word in a similar way when He cautioned that a man must hate his father and mother if he would come to Christ (Lk 14:26). Obviously Jesus, who was an advocate of the Law (Ex 20:12), was not encouraging "hate" in the usual sense of the word. But through a consecrated use of the hyperbole of antithesis, Jesus is saying that the love a man has for Christ ought to dwarf his love for his father to the extent that the latter would seem to be "hate" by comparison. Hatred in this sense is not absolute but relative to a higher choice.

Therefore, God did not "hate" Esau in the conventional sense of the word. In fact, He greatly prospered and favored him (Ge 27:38, 39, 40). Esau did receive earthly blessings, as he himself testified (Ge 33:9.)

However, God's favor and blessing upon Jacob was so extensive that by comparison Esau would appear to be hated. The verse could be understood to mean that God has chosen Jacob to fulfill His elective purpose, but He has passed over Esau. Keep in mind that Esau rejected God. The divine rationale for this action is simply the elective purpose of God in Israel.

Miseo - 40x in 36v - Usage: hate(13), hated(12), hateful(1), hates(12), hating(2).

Matthew 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.'

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Matthew 10:22 "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.

Mark 13:13 "You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Luke 1:71 Salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES, And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US (all who hate Israel and Jews);

Luke 6:22 "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. (Note the key qualifier - they hate us because we are followers of Jesus!)

Luke 6:27 "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (Clearly a charge necessitating supernatural enablement -- this is not something a natural man can do -- it speaks of the need for the Holy Spirit's power!)

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

Luke 19:14 "But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.'

Luke 21:17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. (Compare with Luke 6:22)

John 3:20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (Ultimately "the Light" is the Lord - Jn 8:12).

John 7:7 "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.

John 12:25 "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

John 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

John 15:23 "He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 "But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, 'THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.'

John 17:14 (Jesus praying to His Father says) "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. (Paul hated sin and evil but was still doing it).

Romans 9:13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."

Ephesians 5:29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.


1 John 2:9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now… 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

1 John 3:13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.

1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

1 John 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Jude 1:23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Revelation 2:6 'Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Revelation 17:16 "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.

Revelation 18:2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.

Miseo - 158v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Take a few moments and read through these OT uses of miseo especially in Psalms and Proverbs) -

Ge 26:27; 29:31, 33; 37:4, 8; Ex 18:21; 20:5; Lev 19:17; 26:17; Num 10:35; Deut 1:27; 4:42; 5:9; 7:10, 15; 9:28; 12:31; 16:22; 19:4, 6, 11; 21:15ff; 22:13, 16; 24:3; 30:7; 32:41, 43; 33:11; Jdg 11:7; 14:16; 15:2; 2Sa 5:8; 13:15, 22; 18:28; 19:6; 22:18, 41; 1Ki 22:8; 2Chr 18:7; 19:2; Esther 4:17; Job 34:17; Ps 5:5; 11:5; 18:17, 19, 40; 21:8; 25:19; 26:5; 31:6; 34:21; 35:19; 36:2; 38:19; 44:7, 10; 45:7; 50:17; 55:12; 68:1; 69:4, 14; 74:4, 23; 83:2; 86:17; 89:23; 97:10; 101:3; 105:25; 106:10, 41; 119:104, 113, 128, 163; 120:6; 129:5; 139:21f; Pr 1:22, 29; 5:12; 6:16; 8:13, 36; 9:8; 11:15f; 12:1; 13:5, 24; 14:20; 15:10, 27, 32; 17:9; 19:7; 22:14; 25:17; 26:28; 28:16; 29:10, 24; Eccl 2:17f; 3:8; 8:1; Isa 1:14; 33:15; 54:6; 60:15; 61:8; 66:5; Jer 12:8; 44:4; Ezek 16:27, 37; 23:28; 36:3; Dan 4:19; Hos 9:15; Amos 5:10, 15, 21; 6:8; Mic 3:2; Hag 2:14; Zech 8:17; Mal 1:3; 2:13, 16

Proverbs 1:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.

Proverbs 8:13 "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.

Comment: Notice that reverential fear of Jehovah is manifest by hatred of what He hates! Do you fear the LORD?

Proverbs 5:12 (context of one enslaved to sexual immorality) And you say, "How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof!

G Michael Hagan discussion of "Hate" -

Hate derives from a strong dislike or ill will toward persons or things. As an emotional attitude, a person may oppose, detest, or despise contact with a thing or a person. Love and hatred often stand opposed. Wisdom says, there is "a time to love and a time to hate" (Ecclesiastes 3:8 ). In the biblical record, every being may express or experience hate.


The Bible says that God hates religiosity (Isaiah 1:14 ; Amos 5:21 ), hypocrisy and lies (Zechariah 8:17), wrongdoing (Isaiah 61:8); divorce (Malachi 2:16 ), violence (Malachi 2:16), idolatrous practices (Hosea 9:15), and the way the prophets are treated (Jeremiah 44:4). The theology underlying God's hatred rests upon two essential qualities of God: holiness and justice. As a divine Being with standards, God hates anything that despises, detests, or disregards those standards. In return, people hate God (Psalm 139:21-22 ). Humanity may choose to follow in God's path in hating anything that hates the Lord or his standards (Psalm 139:22 ). The response by God's people needs to mirror God's attitude toward evil. We are to hate evildoers (Ps 26:5), idolaters (Ps 31:6), the false way (Ps 119:104), falsehood (Ps 119:163), and anything that is evil (Ps 97:10 ; Pr 8:13 ; Amos 5:15).


The Bible notes that people can hate discipline (Psalm 50:17), peace (Psalm 120:6), and knowledge (Proverbs 1:22). This sense of "hatred" carries the meaning of "loathing." A person so characterized is viewed in a negative sense, often labeled as a "fool." Some people hate anything that is good (Micah 3:2). They are viewed as "evil." They may hate God's people as well. The psalmist tells us, "I suffer from those who hate me" (Ps 9:13). A strong dislike surfaces for a variety of reasons, all encompassed by the term "hatred." Jesus accepted that believers would be hated, pronouncing a blessing on those so hated (Luke 6:22 . In fact, one mark of a disciple derives from being hated (Luke 14:26). Of course, the world hated Jesus first (John 7:7). True disciples hold an attitude of love toward those who hate them (Luke 6:27). This hatred of God's people appears to be an inevitable fact of life (Ps 25:19 ; 35:19 ; 41:7 ; 83:2 ; Pr 9:8 ). God may be involved on occasion in turning people to hate his people (Psalm 105:25 ). This idea attests how everything fits into God's plan in some way.

Normal relationships may produce hatred between people. A husband may hate his wife (Ge 29:31,33 ). Joseph's brothers hated him (Ge 37:4). Amnon's lust turned to hate after he raped his sister, Tamar (2Sa 13:15). A parent may hate a son (Pr 13:24 ). Neighbors, nations, and classes of people, such as the poor may be hated (Dt 19:11 ; Pr 19:7 ; Isa 66:5). Hatred proves to be a tangible measurement of evil in the world. Its ugliness may extend in any direction. Any aversion of humans to others expresses hatred. (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

F B Meyer -The apostle is dealing here, not with individuals as such, but with peoples w id nations. For instance, Isaac stands for the entire Jewish race — Abraham’s seed (Romans 9:7). He is dealing with the question, why it was that God chose Israel and rejected Edom; chose Jacob and rejected Esau: and he shows that the ultimate decision of their destinies lay in the purpose of God, according to election. The one was elect to be a channel of immense blessing to the world; whilst the other was rejected. But we must always associate the Divine foreknowledge with the Divine choice. “Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate.” We must regard Jacob and Esau, not as individual personalities merely, but as the founders of nations. For God’s purpose in the building-up of the chosen people, Jacob the methodical and far-seeing, was more suited than Esau the free-lance, the rover, the child of impulse and passion. And, besides, there were religious aptitudes and capacities within him, of which Esau gave no sign or trace. This does not solve the entire mystery, perhaps; but only casts it a degree or two further back. Still, it ought to be considered. Like a candle, it casts a slender ray on to the black abyss. In any case, is it not certain that God’s choice did alight on him who was most suited to serve the Divine purpose? It may be that God is wanting to execute his purpose through you. Take heed. Still the savory dish steams on the desert air, and appeals to the appetite of our natures; and we are strongly tempted to forego the unseen and eternal for a moment’s gratification. See to it that for one morsel of meat you do not sell your birthright. (Our Daily Homily)