Against Edom (Mal 1:3-1:5)

“‘But I have hated Esau.

I have made

His hill country

A desolation.

I have made

His heritage

A desert for jackals.’

If Edom says.

‘We are shattered,

But we will rebuild the ruins.’

Yahweh of hosts says.

‘They may build,

But I will tear down,

Until they are called

The wicked country.

Yahweh is angry forever

With those people.’

Your own eyes shall see this.

You shall say.

‘Great is Yahweh,

Beyond the border of Israel!’”

Edom was considered the land where Esau had settled.  Thus, Yahweh hated Edom.  He had made their hill country a desolation.  Their heritage was like a desert of wild jackals.  Even if they wanted to rebuild their ruins, Yahweh would tear it down, because they were a wicked country.  Yahweh was angry with them forever.  Their own eyes had seen that Yahweh was great, even beyond the borders of Israel.

Rebuilding the altar (1 Macc 4:44-4:47)

“They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned. They thought it best to tear it down. Thus, it would not be a lasting shame to them that the gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar. They stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until a prophet should come to tell them what to do with these stones. Then they took unhewn stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar like the former one.”

They were a little unsure of what to do with the altar for the burnt offerings because it had been profaned, so they tore it down. They did not want the shame of the defiled gentiles on them. They took the stones from that altar and put them on a temple hill. They were awaiting a prophet to tell them what to do with them. Then they built a new altar like the former one with uncut stones just as the Mosaic Law directed them to do in Exodus, chapter 20.