Original Research

The God who hates: The significance of Esau/Edom in the postexilic prophetic eschatology according to Malachi 1:2–5 with a systematic theological postscript

Bob Wielenga
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 56, No 1 | a2822 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v56i1.2822 | © 2022 Bob Wielenga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 November 2021 | Published: 18 March 2022

About the author(s)

Bob Wielenga, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the SA Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


This research wants to clarify the significance of Esau/Edom in Malachi’s postexilic prophetic eschatology. Hence, its focus is on the declaration of divine hate for Esau/Edom in Malachi 1:3, applying the Deuteronomic covenant concept, predominant in Malachi, for a deeper understanding of its significance in the acrimonious dialogues between God and his people. As much as this declaration of divine hate is coordinated in Malachi 1:2–5 with the declaration of divine love for Jacob/Israel, nevertheless, it has a distinct communicative intent of its own in Malachi’s prophetic address. Postexilic Jacob/Israel is confronted with the possibility of a judgement such as Esau/Edom’s if return to God does not occur – ultimate judgement imagined as a burning furnace leaving nothing but ashes on the Day of the Lord. This article wants to contribute to a deeper understanding of the function of divine hate in the judgement prophecy of Malachi.

Contribution: This article intends to contribute from a biblical-theological perspective to the systematic theological discussion about the doctrine of God within the Christian community of faith, focusing on the divine names and attributes in Malachi 1:2–5.


Malachi’s eschatology; Esau/Edom; divine love and hate; Deuteronomic covenant curses; treaty betrayal; names and attributes of God


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Crossref Citations

1. How should we then live? A missiological reading of Genesis 34: A redemptive historical approach
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In die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi  vol: 57  issue: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/ids.v57i1.2983