Warning to the Priests

“Therefore, this decree(A) is for you priests: If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart(B) to honor My name,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings.(C) In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.

“Look, I am going to rebuke your descendants,(D) and I will spread animal waste[a] over your faces, the waste from your festival sacrifices,(E) and you will be taken away with it. Then you will know that I sent you this decree so My covenant with Levi(F) may continue,” says the Lord of Hosts. “My covenant with him was one of life and peace,(G) and I gave these to him; it called for reverence, and he revered Me and stood in awe of My name.(H) True instruction was in his mouth, and nothing wrong was found on his lips. He walked with Me(I) in peace and fairness and turned many from sin.(J) For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts.(K)

“You, on the other hand, have turned from the way.(L) You have caused many to stumble(M) by your instruction. You have violated[b] the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of Hosts. “So I in turn have made you despised(N) and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in your instruction.”(O)

Judah’s Marital Unfaithfulness

10 Don’t all of us have one Father?(P) Didn’t one God create us?(Q) Why then do we act treacherously against one another,(R) profaning(S) the covenant of our fathers?(T) 11 Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable(U) thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned(V) the Lord’s sanctuary,[c](W) which He loves,(X) and has married the daughter of a foreign god.[d](Y) 12 To the man who does this, may the Lord cut off(Z) any descendants[e][f](AA) from the tents of Jacob, even if they present an offering to the Lord of Hosts.

13 And this is another thing you do: you cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning,(AB) because He no longer respects your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands.(AC)

14 Yet you ask, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been a witness(AD) between you and the wife of your youth.(AE) You have acted treacherously against her, though she was your marriage partner(AF) and your wife by covenant.(AG) 15 Didn’t the one God make us with a remnant of His life-breath? And what does the One seek?[g] A godly offspring. So watch yourselves carefully,[h](AH) and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth.

16 “If he hates(AI) and divorces his wife,(AJ)” says the Lord God of Israel, “he[i] covers his garment with injustice,”(AK) says the Lord of Hosts. Therefore, watch yourselves carefully,[j] and do not act treacherously.

Judgment at the Lord’s Coming

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

Yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him?”

When you say, “Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and He is pleased with them,”(AM) or “Where is the God of justice?”(AN)


  1. Malachi 2:3 Dung or entrails
  2. Malachi 2:8 Lit corrupted
  3. Malachi 2:11 Or profaned what is holy to the Lord
  4. Malachi 2:11 = a woman who worshiped a foreign god
  5. Malachi 2:12 One Hb ms, LXX, DSS read off one witnessing or answering
  6. Malachi 2:12 Lit off one waking or answering; Hb obscure
  7. Malachi 2:15 Or Did the One not make them? So their flesh and spirit belong to Him, or No one who does this even has a remnant of the Spirit in him; Hb obscure
  8. Malachi 2:15 Lit So guard yourselves in your spirit
  9. Malachi 2:16 Or The Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce and the one who
  10. Malachi 2:16 Lit Therefore, guard yourselves in your spirit

Additional Warning to the Priests

“And now, you priests, this warning is for you.(A) 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.

“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) And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi(H) may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. “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. 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)

“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) 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. “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

10 Do we not all have one Father[b]?(AB) Did not one God create us?(AC) Why do we profane the covenant(AD) of our ancestors by being unfaithful(AE) to one another?

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.

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

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)

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


  1. Malachi 2:3 Or will blight your grain
  2. Malachi 2:10 Or father
  3. 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
  4. Malachi 2:15 The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.
  5. 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,”