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A HERMENEUTIC OF VULNERABILITY. EDOM IN MALACHI 1:2–5

Year: 2018

Authors: Gerrie F. Snyman

The current interpretation of Edom in Mal 1: 2-5 does not allow for any redemption of Edom. This article looks into the possibility of reading these verses differently so as to allow for the rehabilitation of Edom. At issue here is to whom the deity is referring to in Mal 1:4: the Edomites or the audience of Malachi’s prophecy, the priests? In nearly all the translations and commentaries it seems to be the Edomites, but Gerda Hoekveld-Meijer (1996) made the bold claim that the text refers to the priests, or the Levites, turning Edom into a blessing. Something similar happened with the figure of Cain in Genesis 4. In order to answer the question of the validity of this interpretation of Edom, this essay will look at what happened to Cain in Gen 4 and Edom in Obadiah (in which the anti-Edomite sentiments are the clearest) before it takes up the case of Edom in Malachi.