After the introductory word, which really constitutes the title page of the prophecy, the message begins almost abruptly with the tender and sensitive word of Jehovah to His people, "I have loved you." This is the real burden of the prophecy; everything is to be viewed in the light thereof.
Then the prophet, in an equally brief sentence, indicated the attitude of the people toward Jehovah. "Wherein hast Thou loved us?" The only possible explanation of such a question is that the people, conscious of the difference between their national position and their past greatness, and of the apparent failure of fuL6lment of the prophetic promises, questioned the love of Jehovah. This skeptical question the prophet answered by reminding them of Jehovah's love for Jacob and His hatred of Esau; of His destruction of Edom, and His deliverance of Israel.
Having thus made his fundamental statement, the prophet proceeded to utter his formal accusations. These fall into three groups, those against the priests, those against the people, and those against the nation in general.