New American Standard Bible
it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
King James Bible
It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Darby Bible Translation
it was said to her, The greater shall serve the less:
World English Bible
it was said to her, "The elder will serve the younger."
Young's Literal Translation
'The greater shall serve the less;'
Romans 9:12 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
It was said unto her - By Yahweh; see Genesis 25:23.
The elder - The oldest son, which was Esau. By the law of primogeniture among the Hebrews, he would have been entitled to special honors and privileges. But it was said that in his case this custom should be reversed, and that he should take the rank of the younger.
Should serve - Shall be subject to; shall not have the authority and priority, but should be inferior to. The passage in Genesis Gen 25:23 shows that this had reference particularly to the posterity of Esau, and not to him as an individual. The sense is, that the descendants of Esau, who were Edomites, should be inferior to, and subject to the descendants of Jacob. Jacob was to have the priority; the promised land; the promises; and the honor of being regarded as the chosen of God. There was reference here, therefore, to the whole train of temporal and spiritual blessings which were to be connected with the two races of people. If it be asked how this bears on the argument of the apostle, we may reply,
(1) That it settles "the principle" that God might make a distinction among people, in the same nation, and the same family, without reference to their works or character.
(2) that he might confer his blessings on such as he pleased.
(3) if this is done in regard to nations, it may be in regard to individuals. The principle is the same, and the justice the same. If it be supposed to be unjust in God to make such a distinction in regard to individuals, it is surely not less so to make a distinction in nations. The fact that numbers are thus favored, does not make it the more proper, or remove any difficulty.
(4) if this distinction may be made in regard to temporal things, why not in regard to spiritual things? The principle must still be the same. If unjust in one case, it would be in the other. The fact that it is done in one case proves also that it will be in the other; for the same great principle will run through all the dealings of the divine government. And as people do not and cannot complain that God makes a distinction among them in regard to talents, health, beauty, prosperity, and rank, neither can they complain if he acts also as a sovereign in the distribution of his spiritual favors. They, therefore, who regard this as referring only to temporal and national privileges, gain no relief in respect to the real difficulty in the case, for the unanswerable question would still be asked, why has not God made all people equal in everything? Why has he made any distinction among people? The only reply to all such inquiries is, "Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight;" Matthew 11:26.
LibraryGod's Will and Man's Will
The great controversy which for many ages has divided the Christian Church has hinged upon the difficult question of "the will." I need not say of that conflict that it has done much mischief to the Christian Church, undoubtedly it has; but I will rather say, that it has been fraught with incalculable usefulness; for it has thrust forward before the minds of Christians, precious truths, which but for it, might have been kept in the shade. I believe that the two great doctrines of human responsibility …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863
The Coming of the Called.
Whence Also the Just of Old, Before the Incarnation of the Word...
The Sum and Substance of all Theology
The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger."
"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.
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