So here in chapter nine, Paul is again speaking to the Jews with a message that was difficult for some of them to hear, but again, good news to us.
He told them that it wasn’t genetic background that makes a person the child of God, but faith in Jesus. No matter how hard you pursue righteousness, if you are relying on following the law to get there, you will fall short.
There is a passage in the chapter that I just want to touch on. It’s where Paul quotes from the Old Testament book of Maliachi, where God said, “I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.”The Old Testament was, of course, written in Hebrew. And the Hebrew language for “hate” here is different than the way we use the word. In Hebrew, it was more of a comparative word used in tandem with “love”. God loved Jacob *more* than he loved Esau. He bestowed blessings upon Jacob which he withheld from Esau. With us, when we say we hate someone, it’s almost an active emotion. It’s an emotion directed at someone. In Hebrew, it’s not that. It’s just less attention, less love when compared to someone else.