A prophecy:(A) The word(B) of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.[a]

Israel Doubts God’s Love

“I have loved(C) you,” says the Lord.

“But you ask,(D) ‘How have you loved us?’

“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob,(E) but Esau I have hated,(F) and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland(G) and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.(H)

Edom(I) may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild(J) the ruins.”

But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish.(K) They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord.(L) You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great(M) is the Lord—even beyond the borders of Israel!’(N)

Breaking Covenant Through Blemished Sacrifices

“A son honors his father,(O) and a slave his master.(P) If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect(Q) due me?” says the Lord Almighty.(R)

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

“But you ask,(S) ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

“By offering defiled food(T) on my altar.

“But you ask,(U) ‘How have we defiled you?’

“By saying that the Lord’s table(V) is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals,(W) is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased(X) with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.(Y)

“Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings(Z) from your hands, will he accept(AA) you?”—says the Lord Almighty.

10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors,(AB) so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased(AC) with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept(AD) no offering(AE) from your hands. 11 My name will be great(AF) among the nations,(AG) from where the sun rises to where it sets.(AH) In every place incense(AI) and pure offerings(AJ) will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

12 “But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table(AK) is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food(AL) is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’(AM) and you sniff at it contemptuously,(AN)” says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices,(AO) should I accept them from your hands?”(AP) says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal(AQ) to the Lord. For I am a great king,(AR)” says the Lord Almighty,(AS) “and my name is to be feared(AT) among the nations.(AU)

Additional Warning to the Priests

“And now, you priests, this warning is for you.(AV) If you do not listen,(AW) and if you do not resolve to honor(AX) my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse(AY) on you, and I will curse your blessings.(AZ) Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.

“Because of you I will rebuke your descendants[b]; I will smear on your faces the dung(BA) from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.(BB) And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi(BC) may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. “My covenant was with him, a covenant(BD) of life and peace,(BE) and I gave them to him; this called for reverence(BF) and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction(BG) was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked(BH) with me in peace(BI) and uprightness,(BJ) and turned many from sin.(BK)

“For the lips of a priest(BL) ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger(BM) of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.(BN) But you have turned from the way(BO) and by your teaching have caused many to stumble;(BP) you have violated the covenant(BQ) with Levi,”(BR) says the Lord Almighty. “So I have caused you to be despised(BS) and humiliated(BT) before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality(BU) in matters of the law.”(BV)

Breaking Covenant Through Divorce

10 Do we not all have one Father[c]?(BW) Did not one God create us?(BX) Why do we profane the covenant(BY) of our ancestors by being unfaithful(BZ) to one another?

11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable(CA) thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves(CB) by marrying(CC) women who worship a foreign god.(CD) 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove(CE) him from the tents of Jacob[d](CF)—even though he brings an offering(CG) to the Lord Almighty.

13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears.(CH) You weep and wail(CI) because he no longer looks with favor(CJ) on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.(CK) 14 You ask,(CL) “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness(CM) between you and the wife of your youth.(CN) You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.(CO)

15 Has not the one God made you?(CP) You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[e](CQ) So be on your guard,(CR) and do not be unfaithful(CS) to the wife of your youth.

16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,(CT)” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[f](CU) says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard,(CV) and do not be unfaithful.

Breaking Covenant Through Injustice

17 You have wearied(CW) the Lord with your words.

“How have we wearied him?” you ask.(CX)

By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased(CY) with them” or “Where is the God of justice?(CZ)

“I will send my messenger,(DA) who will prepare the way before me.(DB) Then suddenly the Lord(DC) you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant,(DD) whom you desire,(DE) will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

But who can endure(DF) the day of his coming?(DG) Who can stand(DH) when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire(DI) or a launderer’s soap.(DJ) He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;(DK) he will purify(DL) the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.(DM) Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,(DN) and the offerings(DO) of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.(DP)

“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers,(DQ) adulterers(DR) and perjurers,(DS) against those who defraud laborers of their wages,(DT) who oppress the widows(DU) and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners(DV) among you of justice, but do not fear(DW) me,” says the Lord Almighty.

Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes

“I the Lord do not change.(DX) So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.(DY) Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away(DZ) from my decrees and have not kept them. Return(EA) to me, and I will return to you,”(EB) says the Lord Almighty.

“But you ask,(EC) ‘How are we to return?’

“Will a mere mortal rob(ED) God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes(EE) and offerings. You are under a curse(EF)—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe(EG) into the storehouse,(EH) that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates(EI) of heaven and pour out(EJ) so much blessing(EK) that there will not be room enough to store it.(EL) 11 I will prevent pests from devouring(EM) your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,(EN)” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed,(EO) for yours will be a delightful land,”(EP) says the Lord Almighty.(EQ)

Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God

13 “You have spoken arrogantly(ER) against me,” says the Lord.

“Yet you ask,(ES) ‘What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘It is futile(ET) to serve(EU) God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements(EV) and going about like mourners(EW) before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant(EX) blessed. Certainly evildoers(EY) prosper,(EZ) and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

The Faithful Remnant

16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.(FA) A scroll(FB) of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared(FC) the Lord and honored his name.

17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my(FD) treasured possession.(FE) I will spare(FF) them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son(FG) who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous(FH) and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.(FI)

Judgment and Covenant Renewal

[g]“Surely the day is coming;(FJ) it will burn like a furnace.(FK) All the arrogant(FL) and every evildoer will be stubble,(FM) and the day that is coming will set them on fire,(FN)” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch(FO) will be left to them. But for you who revere my name,(FP) the sun of righteousness(FQ) will rise with healing(FR) in its rays. And you will go out and frolic(FS) like well-fed calves. Then you will trample(FT) on the wicked; they will be ashes(FU) under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.

“Remember the law(FV) of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb(FW) for all Israel.(FX)

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah(FY) to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.(FZ) He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children,(GA) and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike(GB) the land with total destruction.”(GC)

Footnotes

  1. Malachi 1:1 Malachi means my messenger.
  2. Malachi 2:3 Or will blight your grain
  3. Malachi 2:10 Or father
  4. Malachi 2:12 Or 12 May the Lord remove from the tents of Jacob anyone who gives testimony in behalf of the man who does this
  5. Malachi 2:15 The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.
  6. Malachi 2:16 Or “I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “because the man who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence,”
  7. Malachi 4:1 In Hebrew texts 4:1-6 is numbered 3:19-24.

The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.

I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob,

And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever.

And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.

And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.

And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts.

10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.

13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord.

14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

12 The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts.

13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.

For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?

15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

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