Hate (properly שָׂנֵא, μισέω), to regard with a passion contrary to love (Jer 44:4). God's hatred is towards all sinful thoughts and ways. It is a feeling of which all holy beings are conscious in view of sin, and is wholly unlike the hatred which is mentioned in the Scriptures among the works of the flesh (Ga 5:20). SEE ANGER. When the Hebrews compared a stronger affection with a weaker one, they called the first love, and the other hatred, meaning to love in a less degree — "Jacob have I
loved, and Esau have I hated" (Ro 9:13); i.e. on Jacob have I bestowed privileges and blessings such as are the proofs of affection; I have treated him as one treats a friend whom he loves; but from Esau have I withheld these privileges and blessings, and therefore treated him as one is wont to treat those whom he dislikes. That this refers to the bestowment of temporal blessings, and the withholding of them, is clear, not only from this passage, but from comparing Mal 1:2-3; Ge 25:23; Ge 27:27-29,37-40. Indeed, as to hated, its meaning here is rather privative than positive. So, "If a man have two wives, — one beloved and another hated" (De 21:15); i.e. less beloved. When our Savior says that he who would follow him must hate father and mother, he means that even these dearest earthly friends must be loved in a subordinate degree; so, in the same sense, the follower of Christ is to hate his own life, or be willing to sacrifice it for the love and service of the Redeemer (Ge 29:30; De 21:16; Pr 13:24; Mt 6:24; Mt 10:37; Lu 14:26; Lu 16:13; Joh 12:25). SEE LOVE.