Contemporary English Version
True and False Priests
2 I, the Lord All-Powerful, have something else to say to you priests. 2 You had better take seriously the need to honor my name. Otherwise, when you give a blessing, I will turn it into a curse. In fact, I have already done this, because you haven’t taken to heart your duties as priests. 3 I will punish your descendants and rub your faces in the manure from your animal sacrifices, and then be done with you.[a]
4 I am telling you this, so I can continue to keep my agreement with your ancestor Levi. 5 I blessed him with a full life, as I had promised, and he kept his part of the agreement by honoring me and respecting my name. 6 He taught the truth and never told lies, and he led a lot of people to turn from sin, because he obeyed me and lived right.
7 You priests should be eager to spread knowledge, and everyone should come to you for instruction, because you speak for me, the Lord All-Powerful. 8 But you have turned your backs on me. Your teachings have led others to do sinful things, and you have broken the agreement I made with your ancestor Levi. 9 So I caused everyone to hate and despise you, because you disobeyed me and failed to treat all people alike.
A Broken Agreement
10 Don’t you know that we all have God as our Father? Didn’t the one God create each of us? Then why do you cheat each other by breaking the agreement God made with your ancestors? 11 You people in Judah and Jerusalem have been unfaithful to the Lord. You have disgraced the temple that he loves, and you have committed the disgusting sin of worshiping other gods.[b] 12 I pray that the Lord will no longer let those who are guilty belong to his people, even if they eagerly decide to offer the Lord a gift.[c]
13 And what else are you doing? You cry noisily and flood the Lord’s altar with your tears, because he isn’t pleased with your offerings and refuses to accept them. 14 And why isn’t God pleased? It’s because he knows that each of you men has been unfaithful to the wife you married when you were young. You promised that she would be your partner, but now you have broken that promise. 15 Didn’t God create you to become like one person with your wife?[d] And why did he do this? It was so you would have children, and then lead them to become God’s people. Don’t ever be unfaithful to your wife. 16 The Lord God All-Powerful of Israel hates anyone who is cruel enough to divorce his wife. So take care never to be unfaithful!
17 You have worn out the Lord with your words. And yet, you ask, “How did we do that?”
You did it by saying, “The Lord is pleased with evil and doesn’t care about justice.”
- 2.3 and then be done with you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 2.11 worshiping other gods: Or “marrying the worshipers of other gods.”
- 2.12 even if. . . gift: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 2.15 Didn’t. . . wife: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.