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Malachi 1:2-4

Context

1:2 “I have shown love to you,” says the Lord, but you say, “How have you shown love to us?”

“Esau was Jacob’s brother,” the Lord explains, “yet I chose Jacob 1:3 and rejected Esau. 1  I turned Esau’s 2  mountains into a deserted wasteland 3  and gave his territory 4  to the wild jackals.”

1:4 Edom 5  says, “Though we are devastated, we will once again build the ruined places.” So the Lord who rules over all 6  responds, “They indeed may build, but I will overthrow. They will be known as 7  the land of evil, the people with whom the Lord is permanently displeased.

1 tn Heb “and I loved Jacob, but Esau I hated.” The context indicates this is technical covenant vocabulary in which “love” and “hate” are synonymous with “choose” and “reject” respectively (see Deut 7:8; Jer 31:3; Hos 3:1; 9:15; 11:1).

2 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Esau) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Heb “I set his mountains as a desolation.”

4 tn Or “inheritance” (so NIV, NLT).

5 sn Edom, a “brother” nation to Israel, became almost paradigmatic of hostility toward Israel and God (see Num 20:14-21; Deut 2:8; Jer 49:7-22; Ezek 25:12-14; Amos 1:11-12; Obad 10-12).

6 sn The epithet Lord who rules over all occurs frequently as a divine title throughout Malachi (24 times total). This name (יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, yÿhvah tsÿvaot), traditionally translated “Lord of hosts” (so KJV, NAB, NASB; cf. NIV NLT “Lord Almighty”; NCV, CEV “Lord All-Powerful”), emphasizes the majestic sovereignty of the Lord, an especially important concept in the postexilic world of great human empires and rulers. For a thorough study of the divine title, see T. N. D. Mettinger, In Search of God, 123-57.

7 tn Heb “and they will call them.” The third person plural subject is indefinite; one could translate, “and people will call them.”



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