Awesome question and equally awesome answer by @Saintatlarge. I learned something pretty cool, here.
I particularly agree with the context being important to understanding.
In the case of Malachi 1:3 with God saying, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated," we have to remember that God originally talked to their mother while they were still in the womb -- judging that Esau (the elder) would serve Jacob (the younger, by a few seconds). Why did God "hate" an unborn child?
I have thought long and hard about this and other enigmas in the Bible. After half a century, I think I have an answer that is elegant and loving.
Every place in the Bible where it talks of God's hate, retribution or vengeance, it's not talking about human emotions. How could it? God isn't human.
God created the physical laws of causality -- every aspect of this action-reaction reality. If someone disobeys these laws, they pay the penalty. If we were talking about humans, "hate" may be involved. Murder someone and you might have a lynch mob after you.
With God, it's completely different. For a suicide perpetrator to step off of a 20-story building, they go splat on the pavement. That's God "hating" them at the velocity of impact. That's the collision of God's laws of the solidity of matter, and gravity, colliding with the person's choice (decision).
Why would God "hate" Esau?
Another part of scripture seems to apply, here. Jesus said that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. There was no equivocation. But what about all those criminals who die peacefully of old age without dying by the sword? Was Jesus lying? Mistaken? Of course not.
Numbers 14:18 tells us about the sins of the fathers. I've always wondered about the innocent children paying for the crimes of their ancestors. Not so. Read it again, carefully. It's saying the same thing as live by the sword, die by the sword. Karma and reincarnation.
The everlasting life Jesus promised us is freedom from these things.
But likely Esau cheated someone of their birthright and that evil hung around his prenatal neck, condemning him in the eyes of God. He broke the law and pays for his own crimes. He is the child of the 3rd and 4th generation after the father who committed the original crime.
So, when anything bad happens to you, you must be grateful to God. You must turn the other cheek. You must accept 100% responsibility, blaming no one. Only then can you be free of being victim and becoming perpetrator