Psalm 43[a]

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause(A)
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me(B) from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.(C)
You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected(D) me?
Why must I go about mourning,(E)
    oppressed by the enemy?(F)
Send me your light(G) and your faithful care,(H)
    let them lead me;(I)
let them bring me to your holy mountain,(J)
    to the place where you dwell.(K)
Then I will go(L) to the altar(M) of God,
    to God, my joy(N) and my delight.(O)
I will praise you with the lyre,(P)
    O God, my God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.(Q)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 43:1 In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.

Breaking Covenant Through Blemished Sacrifices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors,(N) so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased(O) with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept(P) no offering(Q) from your hands. 11 My name will be great(R) among the nations,(S) from where the sun rises to where it sets.(T) In every place incense(U) and pure offerings(V) 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(W) is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food(X) is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’(Y) and you sniff at it contemptuously,(Z)” says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices,(AA) should I accept them from your hands?”(AB) 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(AC) to the Lord. For I am a great king,(AD)” says the Lord Almighty,(AE) “and my name is to be feared(AF) among the nations.(AG)

Additional Warning to the Priests

“And now, you priests, this warning is for you.(AH) If you do not listen,(AI) and if you do not resolve to honor(AJ) my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse(AK) on you, and I will curse your blessings.(AL) 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(AM) from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.(AN) And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi(AO) may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. “My covenant was with him, a covenant(AP) of life and peace,(AQ) and I gave them to him; this called for reverence(AR) and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction(AS) was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked(AT) with me in peace(AU) and uprightness,(AV) and turned many from sin.(AW)

“For the lips of a priest(AX) ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger(AY) of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.(AZ) But you have turned from the way(BA) and by your teaching have caused many to stumble;(BB) you have violated the covenant(BC) with Levi,”(BD) says the Lord Almighty. “So I have caused you to be despised(BE) and humiliated(BF) before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality(BG) in matters of the law.”(BH)

Footnotes

  1. Malachi 2:3 Or will blight your grain

Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!(A) You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.(B) [14] [a]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert,(C) and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell(D) as you are.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides!(E) You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’(F) 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?(G) 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?(H) 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells(I) in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.(J)

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth(K) of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.(L) You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!(M) You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish,(N) but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.(O) 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs,(P) which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 23:14 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47.