“I will send my messenger,(A) who will prepare the way before me.(B) Then suddenly the Lord(C) you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant,(D) whom you desire,(E) will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

But who can endure(F) the day of his coming?(G) Who can stand(H) when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire(I) or a launderer’s soap.(J) He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;(K) he will purify(L) the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.(M) Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,(N) and the offerings(O) of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.(P)

“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers,(Q) adulterers(R) and perjurers,(S) against those who defraud laborers of their wages,(T) who oppress the widows(U) and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners(V) among you of justice, but do not fear(W) me,” says the Lord Almighty.

Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes

“I the Lord do not change.(X) So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.(Y) Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away(Z) from my decrees and have not kept them. Return(AA) to me, and I will return to you,”(AB) says the Lord Almighty.

“But you ask,(AC) ‘How are we to return?’

“Will a mere mortal rob(AD) God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes(AE) and offerings. You are under a curse(AF)—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe(AG) into the storehouse,(AH) that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates(AI) of heaven and pour out(AJ) so much blessing(AK) that there will not be room enough to store it.(AL) 11 I will prevent pests from devouring(AM) your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,(AN)” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed,(AO) for yours will be a delightful land,”(AP) says the Lord Almighty.(AQ)

Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God

13 “You have spoken arrogantly(AR) against me,” says the Lord.

“Yet you ask,(AS) ‘What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘It is futile(AT) to serve(AU) God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements(AV) and going about like mourners(AW) before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant(AX) blessed. Certainly evildoers(AY) prosper,(AZ) and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

The Faithful Remnant

16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.(BA) A scroll(BB) of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared(BC) the Lord and honored his name.

17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my(BD) treasured possession.(BE) I will spare(BF) them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son(BG) who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous(BH) and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.(BI)

Judgment and Covenant Renewal

[a]“Surely the day is coming;(A) it will burn like a furnace.(B) All the arrogant(C) and every evildoer will be stubble,(D) and the day that is coming will set them on fire,(E)” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch(F) will be left to them. But for you who revere my name,(G) the sun of righteousness(H) will rise with healing(I) in its rays. And you will go out and frolic(J) like well-fed calves. Then you will trample(K) on the wicked; they will be ashes(L) under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.

“Remember the law(M) of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb(N) for all Israel.(O)

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah(P) to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.(Q) He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children,(R) and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike(S) the land with total destruction.”(T)

Footnotes

  1. Malachi 4:1 In Hebrew texts 4:1-6 is numbered 3:19-24.

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.[a](A)

Praise the Lord from the heavens;(B)
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;(C)
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.(D)
Praise him, sun(E) and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens(F)
    and you waters above the skies.(G)

Let them praise the name(H) of the Lord,
    for at his command(I) they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree(J) that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord(K) from the earth,
    you great sea creatures(L) and all ocean depths,(M)
lightning and hail,(N) snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,(O)
you mountains and all hills,(P)
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals(Q) and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings(R) of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,(S)
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor(T) is above the earth and the heavens.(U)
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b](V)
    the praise(W) of all his faithful servants,(X)
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.(Y)

Praise the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 148:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 14
  2. Psalm 148:14 Horn here symbolizes strength.

Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself,(A) but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.(B)

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan(C) has so filled your heart(D) that you have lied to the Holy Spirit(E) and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?(F) Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?(G) What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”(H)

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died.(I) And great fear(J) seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body,(K) and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”(L)

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord?(M) Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.(N) Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.(O) 11 Great fear(P) seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders(Q) among the people. And all the believers used to meet together(R) in Solomon’s Colonnade.(S) 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.(T) 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.(U) 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.(V) 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.(W)

The Apostles Persecuted

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party(X) of the Sadducees,(Y) were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.(Z) 19 But during the night an angel(AA) of the Lord opened the doors of the jail(AB) and brought them out.(AC) 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”(AD)

21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

When the high priest and his associates(AE) arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin(AF)—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there.(AG) So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests(AH) were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.

25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people(AI) would stone them.

27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin(AJ) to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,”(AK) he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”(AL)

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!(AM) 30 The God of our ancestors(AN) raised Jesus from the dead(AO)—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.(AP) 31 God exalted him to his own right hand(AQ) as Prince and Savior(AR) that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.(AS) 32 We are witnesses of these things,(AT) and so is the Holy Spirit,(AU) whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were furious(AV) and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel,(AW) a teacher of the law,(AX) who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census(AY) and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.(AZ) 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”(BA)

40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged.(BB) Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing(BC) because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.(BD) 42 Day after day, in the temple courts(BE) and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news(BF) that Jesus is the Messiah.(BG)