Jacob Have I Loved But Esau Have I Hated


What is the best English interpretation of “….Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated”?




  1. The quote that you are asking about is a Christian one from Romans. If you are asking specifically about that quote I would suggest that you might be better served by asking a Christian resource to help you understand it.

    There is a somewhat similar quote found at the beginning of Malachi, 1:2-3, “I loved you says God…Was not Esau the brother of Jacob…yet I loved Jacob. But I hated Esau…”
    The commentaries explain that, despite the fact that Esau and Jacob are both the sons of Isaac, nevertheless God chose Jacob to be the inheritor of the Land of Israel. This is so even though Esau is the older brother who would normally receive the choicest inheritance. In this case, however, God attests that it was not so.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team