God has loved Jacob but not Esau
1 This is the message that the Lord told to Malachi. Malachi knew that he must tell this message to the Israelites.
1:1When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.
2 ‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord.
But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
1:2God says that he loves the Israelites because they are his special people.
The Lord says, ‘I chose to love Jacob and his descendants. Esau was Jacob's brother. 3 But I have not loved Esau and his descendants.
1:3Esau and Jacob were brothers who were twins. Esau was born first. So he should have received God's special blessing. But Esau sold his blessing to Jacob.
Instead, I have caused trouble for Esau. I caused Esau's mountains to become a wilderness. Nobody uses that land any longer. Now there are only jackals, in the land that belongs to Esau.’
4 Esau's descendants in Edom may say, ‘They have destroyed our towns, but we will build our houses again.’
But the Lord Almighty says, ‘They may build again, but I will knock everything down. People will call Edom, “The Evil Land”. They will call them, “The Nation that the Lord is angry with for ever”. 5 You will see with your own eyes what I will do to them. Then you will say, “The Lord has great power, even beyond Israel's borders.” ’
1:4The people of Edom were Esau's descendants. They lived in the mountains. Then powerful enemies fought them. The Edomites had to leave their homes. Nobody lived there any longer.