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Does the Bible make any indication of whether Esau went to hell or heaven?

Argument for hell: Romans 9:13.

Argument for heaven: ... any? ...

Thanks!

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closed as not constructive by David Stratton, Narnian, Andrew, Caleb Nov 17 '12 at 17:47

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Welcome to the site. No offense, but I'm voting to close this as "not constructive". It's not really a good fit for the site based on the site guidelines. It's more like a trivia question, with no way to give a "right" answer. I'd invite you to read the FAQ, as well as meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1379/… –  David Stratton Nov 16 '12 at 12:40
    
As a 5-point Calvinist, I used to cite this passage as defense of my position. I no longer do that in the way I used to. This passage does not directly concern which individuals goes to heaven and which to hell. It concerns Paul explaining that God did not break the covenants when he made Christ the way of salvation and physical descent from the patriarchs only ancillary to the historical events. Conflating the two ideas (salvation of individuals and promises to the patriarchs) is not helpful for this passage. The passage describes God's sovereign right to choose who is part of the promise. –  San Jacinto Nov 16 '12 at 13:19
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1 Answer 1

Malachi 1:2-3 (cited in Romans 9:13) is talking primarily about nations - Jacob (or Izrael) is the people of Izrael and Esau is Edom. By stating "I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated", God confirms that Izrael is the chosen nation and His promises are still fully valid about Izrael, but Edom is no chosen nation and God's promises to Abraham can't be applied to Edom. Of course, this doesn't mean that it is not tied anyhow to grace given or not given to Esau and Jacob, but this is just meaning number two.

For ancient Semites, meaning of "hate" was broader and usually not as harsh as we understand it. For example, in Luke 14:26 Jesus orders his disciples to "hate" their parents, brothers, sisters and so on - but it means just "they shouldn't be too important for you, God is the number one, not them". "I have hated Esau" in Malachi 1:3/ Romans 9:13 might have meant just that "I prefer Jacob to Esau".

To conclude: we don't know. Bible seems to suggest that Esau should be in hell, but Jesus have lead many souls out of Sheol and Esau might have been one of them. It's up to God to judge, our job is not to guess who is in heaven or not - our job is to believe in Christ, bear fruits of Holy Spirit and finally enter Heaven, where we will learn who is there and who not :-)

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Just a note, the passage does not need to refer to nations. Surely Jacob and Esau each grew into nations, but the passage was concerning the men themselves. Abraham was chosen. Isaac was the son of the promise, no Ishmael. Jacob was chosen, not Esau. Joseph was chosen in a way his brothers weren't. When you begin talking about the patriarchs and covenants, there is no warrant to assume that each passage is talking about the nations and not the men. After all, Paul labored this point in Romans 9: fleshly descent of a man or nation is not what makes you part of the promise. –  San Jacinto Nov 16 '12 at 13:21
    
I agree perfectly with the end of your comment. But about the beginning: the distinction between persons and nations was not important to Paul, important was who is by flesh and who by promise. In Malachi, verse 3 ends with a prophecy against Edom, so the "nation" interpretation is clearly the number one. It is tied to Jacob and Esau as individuals too, and I never stated this doesn't talk about them at all. I see where you aim to: it's not clear whether this argument to soften disgrace of Esau in eyes of God is valid or not. I'll think it over and perhaps edit my answer. –  Pavel Nov 17 '12 at 20:43
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