Priests to Be Disciplined
2 “Now, O priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to honor My name,” says the Lord of hosts, “then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings [on the people]. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart. 3 Behold, I am going to rebuke your seed, and I will spread the refuse on your faces, the refuse from the festival offerings; and you will be taken away with it [in disgrace]. 4 Then you will know [without any doubt] that I have sent this [new] commandment to you (priests), that My covenant may continue with Levi [the priestly tribe],” says the Lord of hosts. 5 “My covenant with Levi was [one of] life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he [and the priests] feared Me and stood in reverent awe of My name. 6 True instruction was in Levi’s mouth and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from wickedness. 7 For the lips of the priest should guard and preserve knowledge [of My law], and the people should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. 8 But as for you [priests], you have turned from the way and you have caused many to stumble by your instruction [in the law]. You have violated the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of hosts. 9 “So I have also made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality [to people] in [your administration of] the law.”
Sin in the Family
10 Do we not all have one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers [with God]? 11 Judah has been treacherous (disloyal), and an repulsive act has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.(A) 12 As for the man who does this, may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob to the last man those who do this [evil thing], awake and aware, even the one who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts.
13 This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with [your own] weeping and sighing, because the Lord no longer regards your offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why [does He reject it]?” Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously. Yet she is your marriage companion and the wife of your covenant [made by your vows]. 15 But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. 16 “For I hate [a]divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong and violence,” says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore keep watch on your spirit, so that you do not deal treacherously [with your wife].”
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them,” or [by asking], “Where is the God of justice?”
- Malachi 2:16 I.e. unwarranted divorce. Conditions for divorce are outlined. See Deut 24:1-4; Ezra 10:10-19; Matt 5:31, 32; 19:3-12; 1 Cor 7:10-16.
New International Version
Additional Warning to the Priests
2 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you.(A) 2 If you do not listen,(B) and if you do not resolve to honor(C) my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse(D) on you, and I will curse your blessings.(E) Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.
3 “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants[a]; I will smear on your faces the dung(F) from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.(G) 4 And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi(H) may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. 5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant(I) of life and peace,(J) and I gave them to him; this called for reverence(K) and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction(L) was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked(M) with me in peace(N) and uprightness,(O) and turned many from sin.(P)
7 “For the lips of a priest(Q) ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger(R) of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.(S) 8 But you have turned from the way(T) and by your teaching have caused many to stumble;(U) you have violated the covenant(V) with Levi,”(W) says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised(X) and humiliated(Y) before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality(Z) in matters of the law.”(AA)
Breaking Covenant Through Divorce
11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable(AF) thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves(AG) by marrying(AH) women who worship a foreign god.(AI) 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove(AJ) him from the tents of Jacob[c](AK)—even though he brings an offering(AL) to the Lord Almighty.
13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears.(AM) You weep and wail(AN) because he no longer looks with favor(AO) on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.(AP) 14 You ask,(AQ) “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness(AR) between you and the wife of your youth.(AS) You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.(AT)
15 Has not the one God made you?(AU) You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[d](AV) So be on your guard,(AW) and do not be unfaithful(AX) to the wife of your youth.
So be on your guard,(BA) and do not be unfaithful.
Breaking Covenant Through Injustice
17 You have wearied(BB) the Lord with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.(BC)
- Malachi 2:3 Or will blight your grain
- Malachi 2:10 Or father
- 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
- Malachi 2:15 The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.
- 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,”