Malachi 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Rules for Priests
2 “Priests, this ·command [warning] is for you. 2 Listen to me. Pay attention to what I say. Honor my name,” says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. “If you don’t, I will send a curse on you and on your blessings. I have already cursed them, because you don’t ·pay attention to what I say [take my warning to heart].
3 “I will ·punish [discipline; rebuke] your descendants. I will smear your faces with ·the animal insides [offal; entrails; or dung] left from your feasts, and you will be thrown away with it. 4 Then you will know that I am giving you this ·command [warning] so my ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with Levi will continue,” says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. 5 “My ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with ·the Levites [L him; C Levi] was to bring life and peace so they would ·honor [fear] me. And they did ·honor [fear] me and ·fear me [L stood in awe of my name; Prov. 1:7]. 6 ·They taught the true teachings [True law/instruction/L Torah was in his mouth] and ·spoke no lies [no iniquity was found on his lips]. With peace and ·honesty [integrity] they ·did what I said they should do [walked with me], and they kept many people from sinning.
7 “·A priest [L The lips of a priest] should ·teach what he knows [preserve/guard knowledge; Deut. 33:10], and people should ·learn the teachings [seek instruction] from ·him [L his mouth], because he is the messenger of the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. 8 But you priests have ·stopped obeying me [L turned from the way/path]. With your teachings you have caused many people to ·do wrong [stumble]. You have ·broken [corrupted] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with ·the tribe of Levi [L Levi]!” says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. 9 “You have not been careful to ·do what I say [follow my ways/paths], but instead you ·take sides [show favoritism/partiality] in ·court [legal] cases. So I have caused you to be ·hated [despised] and ·disgraced [humiliated] in front of everybody.”
Judah Was Not Loyal to God
10 ·We all have the same [L Do we not have one….?] father; the ·same [one] God created us. So why do people ·break their promises to [betray] each other and ·show no respect for [profane; defile] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] our ·ancestors [fathers] made with God [Ex. 19–24]? 11 ·The people of Judah [L Judah] have ·broken their promises [been unfaithful]. They have done ·something God hates [an abomination/detestable thing] in Israel and Jerusalem: ·The people of Judah [L Judah] ·did not respect [desecrated] the ·Temple [sanctuary; or holy things] that the Lord loves, and the men of Judah married ·women who worship [L the daughter of] foreign gods. 12 Whoever does this might bring offerings to the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], but the Lord will still cut that person off from the ·community of Israel [L tents of Jacob].
13 This is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with your tears. You ·cry [weep] and moan, because he does not ·accept [look with favor on] your offerings and is not pleased with what you bring. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord ·sees how you treated [L is the witness between you and] the wife ·you married when you were young [L of your youth]. You ·broke your promise [have been unfaithful] to her, even though she was your partner and ·you had an agreement with her [your wife by solemn covenant]. 15 ·God made [L Did not God make…?] husbands and wives to become one body and one spirit for his purpose—so they would have ·children who are true to God [godly offspring].
So ·be careful [L guard yourself in your spirit], and do not ·break your promise [be unfaithful] to the wife ·you married when you were young [L of your youth].
16 The Lord God of Israel says, “·I hate divorce. And I hate the person who [or The one who hates and divorces] ·does cruel things as easily as he puts on clothes [L covers his clothes in violence],” says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
So be ·careful [on your guard]. And do not ·break your trust [be unfaithful].
The Special Day of Judging
17 You have ·tired [wearied] the Lord with your words.
You ask, “How have we ·tired [wearied] him?”
You did it by saying, “·The Lord thinks [L In the Lord’s eyes] anyone who does evil is good, and he is pleased with them.” Or you asked, “Where is the God ·who is fair [of justice]?”
Malachi 2 New International Version (NIV)
Additional Warning to the Priests
2 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 2 If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. 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 from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. 4 And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. 5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”
Breaking Covenant Through Divorce
10 Do we not all have one Father[b]? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?
11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove him from the tents of Jacob[c]—even though he brings an offering to the Lord Almighty.
13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[d] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[e] says the Lord Almighty.
So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.
Breaking Covenant Through Injustice
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”