Malachi 1:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"I have loved you," says the LORD. "But you ask, 'How have you loved us?' "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob,

New Living Translation
"I have always loved you," says the LORD. But you retort, "Really? How have you loved us?" And the LORD replies, "This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob,

English Standard Version
“I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob

New American Standard Bible
"I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob;

King James Bible
I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I have loved you," says the LORD. But you ask: "How have You loved us?"" Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother?" This is the LORD's declaration. "Even so, I loved Jacob,

International Standard Version
"I've loved you," says the LORD. "But you ask, 'How have you loved us?' "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD, "yet I loved Jacob,

NET Bible
"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

New Heart English Bible
"I have loved you," says the LORD. Yet you say, "How have you loved us?" "Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother?" says the LORD, "Yet I loved Jacob;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"I loved you," says the LORD. "But you ask, 'How did you love us?' "Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "I loved Jacob,

JPS Tanakh 1917
I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say: 'Wherein hast Thou loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Saith the LORD; Yet I loved Jacob;

New American Standard 1977
“I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How hast Thou loved us?” “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob;

Jubilee Bible 2000
I have loved you, said the LORD. Yet ye say, In what hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? said the LORD; yet I loved Jacob,

King James 2000 Bible
I have loved you, says the LORD. Yet you say, How have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? says the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

American King James Version
I have loved you, said the LORD. Yet you say, Wherein have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? said the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

American Standard Version
I have loved you, saith Jehovah. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother, saith Jehovah: yet I loved Jacob;

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have loved you, saith the Lord: and you have said: Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau brother to Jacob, saith the Lord, and I have loved Jacob,

Darby Bible Translation
I have loved you, saith Jehovah; but ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith Jehovah, and I loved Jacob,

English Revised Version
I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob;

Webster's Bible Translation
I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, In what hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

World English Bible
"I have loved you," says Yahweh. Yet you say, "How have you loved us?" "Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother?" says Yahweh, "Yet I loved Jacob;

Young's Literal Translation
I have loved you, said Jehovah, And ye have said, 'In what hast Thou loved us?'
Study Bible
The Lord's Love for Israel
1The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. 2"I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob; 3but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness."…
Cross References
John 15:12
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you.

Romans 9:13
So it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Genesis 25:23
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."

Deuteronomy 4:37
"Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power,

Deuteronomy 7:8
but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 23:5
"Nevertheless, the LORD your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loves you.

Deuteronomy 33:3
"Indeed, He loves the people; All Your holy ones are in Your hand, And they followed in Your steps; Everyone receives of Your words.

Isaiah 41:8
"But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend,

Isaiah 41:9
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.

Isaiah 63:1
Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
Treasury of Scripture

I have loved you, said the LORD. Yet you say, Wherein have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? said the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

I have. The prophet shows in these verses (ver.

Malachi 1:2-5 I have loved you, said the LORD. Yet you say, Wherein have you loved …

Deuteronomy 7:6-8 For you are an holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God …

Deuteronomy 10:15 Only the LORD had a delight in your fathers to love them, and he …

Deuteronomy 32:8-14 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when …

Isaiah 41:8,9 But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed …

Isaiah 43:4 Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honorable, and …

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you …

Romans 11:28,29 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as …

Wherein.

Malachi 1:6,7 A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a …

Malachi 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, Wherein have …

Malachi 3:7,8,13,14 Even from the days of your fathers you are gone away from my ordinances, …

Jeremiah 2:5,31 Thus said the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, …

Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

yet I.

Genesis 25:23 And the LORD said to her, Two nations are in your womb, and two manner …

Genesis 27:27-30,33 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his …

Genesis 28:3,4,13,14 And God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, …

Genesis 32:28-30 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: …

Genesis 48:4 And said to me, Behold, I will make you fruitful, and multiply you, …

Romans 9:10-13 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even …

(2) I have loved--i.e., shown abundant proof of my love. The prophet goes on to show how God has shown so great proofs of His love.

Was not Esau Jacob's brother?--And would not one suppose from that fact they would have similar privileges? But not so.

I loved Jacob, (3) and I hated Esau . . .--The ethical reason for God's love of Jacob and hatred of Esau is not touched upon here, nor is it necessary to the argument. It is God's love for Israel that the prophet wishes to dwell on, and he mentions the hatred towards Esau merely for the sake of a strong contrast. The nations, Israel and Edom, are here referred to, not the individuals, Jacob and Esau. This passage receives a graphic illustration from the words of Psalm 137:7, composed after the return from the captivity: "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof." (On St. Paul's application of the words of Malachi, see Notes on Romans 9:13.)

Laid his mountains . . . waste . . .--It is a somewhat disputed point to what historical fact this refers. But, on the whole, we may reasonably infer from Jeremiah 49:7; Jeremiah 49:17-21, compared with Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 25:21, that the subjugation of the Edomites by Nebuchadnezzar is here referred to.

Dragons.--Better, jackals. The LXX. and Gesenius render the word "habitations," by comparison with a similarly sounding Arabic word.

Verse 2-5. - § 2. The prophet declares God's special love for Israel Verse 2. - I have loved you. The prophet, desiring to bring home to the people their ingratitude, lays down his thesis; then, in his characteristic manner, repeats the objection of the sceptics in an interrogatory form, and refutes it by plain argument. God had shown his love for Israel by electing them to be his people, and by his treatment of them during the whole course of their history. Wherein hast thou loved us! This was the inward feeling of the people at this time. They doubted God's love and faithfulness. Events had not turned out as they expected. They had, indeed, returned from captivity, and the temple was rebuilt; but none of the splendid things announced by the prophets had come to pass. They were not great and victorious; Messiah had not appeared. Therefore they repined and murmured: they were ungrateful for past favours, and questioned God's power and providence. Was not Esau Jacob's brother? God refutes their unjust charge by referring them to a palpable fact, viz. the different fate of the descendants of the twin brothers, Esau and Jacob. How miserable the destiny of the Edomites! how comparatively fortunate the condition of the Israelites! Yet I loved Jacob. I have loved you, saith the Lord,.... Which appeared of old, by choosing them, above all people upon the face of the earth, to be his special and peculiar people; by bestowing peculiar favours and blessings upon them, both temporal and spiritual; by continuing them a people, through a variety of changes and revolutions; and by lately bringing them out of the Babylonish captivity, restoring their land unto them, and the pure worship of God among them:

Yet ye say, wherein hast thou loved us? the Targum renders it, "and if ye should say"; and so Kimchi and Ben Melech; which intimates, that though they might not have expressed themselves in so many words, yet they seemed disposed to say so; they thought it, if they said it not; and therefore, to prevent such an objection, as well as to show their ingratitude, it is put in this form; and an instance of his love is demanded, which is very surprising, when they had so many; and shows great stupidity and unthankfulness. Abarbinel renders the words, "wherefore hast thou loved us?" that is, is there not a reason to be given for loving us? which he supposes was the love of Abraham to God; and therefore his love to them was not free, but by way of reward to Abraham's love; and consequently they were not so much obliged to him for it: to which is replied,

was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord; Jacob and Esau were brethren; they had one and the same father and mother, Isaac and Rebekah, and equally descended from Abraham; so that if one was loved for the sake of Abraham, as suggested, according to Abarbinel's sense, the other had an equal claim to it; they lay in the same womb together; they were twins; and if any could be thought to have the advantage by birth, Esau had it, being born first: but before they were born, and before they had done good or evil, what is afterwards said of them was in the heart of God towards them; which shows that the love of God to his people is free, sovereign, and distinguishing, Genesis 25:23,

yet I loved Jacob; personally considered; not only by giving him the temporal birthright and blessing, and the advantages arising from thence; but by choosing him to everlasting life, bestowing his grace upon him, revealing Christ unto him, and making him a partaker of eternal happiness; and also his posterity, as appears by the above instances mentioned; and likewise mystically considered, for all the elect, redeemed, and called, go by the name of Jacob and Israel in Scripture frequently; for what is here said of Jacob is true of all the individuals of God's people; for which purpose the apostle refers to this passage in Romans 9:13, to prove the sovereignty and distinction of the love of God in their election and salvation: and this is indeed a clear proof that the love of God to his people is entirely free from all motives and conditions in them, being before they had done either good or evil; and therefore did not arise from any goodness in them, nor from their love to him nor from any good works done by them: the choice of persons to everlasting life, the fruit of this love, is denied to be of works, and is ascribed to grace; it passed before any were wrought; and what are done by the best of men are the effects of it; and the persons chosen or passed by were in an equal state when both were done; which appears by this instance: and by which also it is manifest that the love of God to men is distinguishing; it is not alike to all men; there is a peculiar favour he bears to own people; which is evident by the choice of some, and not others; by the redemption of them out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation; by the effectual calling of them out of the world; by the application of the blessings of grace unto them; and by bestowing eternal life on them: and it may be further observed, that the objects of God's love have not always the knowledge of it; indeed they have no knowledge of it before conversion, which is the open time of love; and after conversion they have not always distinct and appropriating views of it; only when God is pleased to come and manifest it unto them. 2. I have loved you—above other men; nay, even above the other descendants of Abraham and Isaac. Such gratuitous love on My part called for love on yours. But the return ye make is sin and dishonor to Me. This which is to be supplied is left unexpressed, sorrow as it were breaking off the sentence [Menochius], (De 7:8; Ho 11:1).

Wherein hast thou loved us?—In painful contrast to the tearful tenderness of God's love stands their insolent challenge. The root of their sin was insensibility to God's love, and to their own wickedness. Having had prosperity taken from them, they imply they have no tokens of God's love; they look at what God had taken, not at what God had left. God's love is often least acknowledged where it is most manifested. We must not infer God does not love us because He afflicts us. Men, instead of referring their sufferings to their proper cause, their own sin, impiously accuse God of indifference to their welfare [Moore]. Thus Mal 1:1-4 form a fit introduction to the whole prophecy.

Was not Esau Jacob's brother?—and so, as far as dignity went, as much entitled to God's favor as Jacob. My adoption of Jacob, therefore, was altogether by gratuitous favor (Ro 9:13). So God has passed by our elder brethren, the angels who kept not their first estate, and yet He has provided salvation for man. The perpetual rejection of the fallen angels, like the perpetual desolations of Edom, attests God's severity to the lost, and goodness to those gratuitously saved. The sovereign eternal purpose of God is the only ground on which He bestows on one favors withheld from another. There are difficulties in referring salvation to the election of God, there are greater in referring it to the election of man [Moore]. Jehovah illustrates His condescension and patience in arguing the case with them.1:1-5 All advantages, either as to outward circumstances, or spiritual privileges, come from the free love of God, who makes one to differ from another. All the evils sinners feel and fear, are the just recompence of their crimes, while all their hopes and comforts are from the unmerited mercy of the Lord. He chose his people that they might be holy. If we love him, it is because he has first loved us; yet we all are prone to undervalue the mercies of God, and to excuse our own offences.
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