Malachi

Chapter 1

¶1. The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by the hand of Malachi:

2. I have loved you, says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? says the Lord. Yet, I loved Jacob.

3. And I hated Esau and have made his mountains a wasteland and his inheritance a wilderness for jackals.

4. Because Edom says, “We are beaten down, but we will rebuild the ruins,” thus says the Lord of hosts: They may build, but I will tear down, and people will call them, “The wicked land” and “The people against whom the Lord has everlasting indignation”.

5. Your eyes will see, and you will say, “The Lord be magnified beyond the border of Israel!”

6. A son honors his father, and a slave, his master. If I am a Father, where is my honor? And if I am a Master, where is my respect? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests who despise my name! But you say, “How have we despised your name?”

7. By offering defiled bread upon my altar! But you say, “How have we defiled you?” When you think of the table of the Lord as contemptible.

8. For when you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Try bringing it to your governor! Will he accept you or show you any favor? says the Lord of hosts.

9. (Seek now, I beg you, the favor of God, that He will be gracious to us!) But with such from your hand, will you find favor with him? says the Lord of hosts.

10. Who among you would even close the doors or kindle a fire on my altar without pay? I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not be pleased with an offering from your hand.

11. From the rising of the sun until its going down, my name will be great among the Gentiles, and in every place will incense be brought to me, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

12. But you profane it, in that you say, “The table of the Lord is polluted, it and its fruit. Its food is despicable.”

13. And you say, “Behold, what a burden!” And you sniff at it, says the Lord of hosts. You offer that which is torn, the lame, and the sick — that is the kind of offering you bring! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord.

¶14. The guileful man is cursed, who has in his flock a male and makes a vow, but then sacrifices a corrupt thing to the Lord. I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the Gentiles.

Chapter 2

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¶1. And now, this commandment is for you, O priests!

2. If you will not listen, and if you will not take it to heart to give glory to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send forth a curse against you. I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already because you are not taking it to heart.

3. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and I will smear dung on your faces, the dung of your feasts, and one will lift up your faces to it.

4. You will know then that I did send this commandment to you so that my covenant might continue with Levi, says the Lord of hosts.

5. My covenant was with him, life and peace, and I gave them to him for the fear with which he feared me; he was terrified at my name.

6. The law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity.

7. The lips of a priest should preserve knowledge. They should seek the law from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

8. But you! You have turned from the way! You have caused many to stumble at the law! You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts.

9. Therefore, I have made you contemptible and abased before all the people, since none of you keep my ways, but have respect of persons in applying the law.

¶10. Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why, then, do each of us deal treacherously with his brother, to profane the covenant of our fathers?

11. Judah has been unfaithful, and an abomination is done in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord which he loved, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

12. The Lord will cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this and then gets up and testifies and makes an offering to the Lord of hosts!

¶13. And this second thing you do. You cover the altar of the Lord with tears and weeping and groaning. He no longer regards or takes pleasure in the offering from your hand.

14. But you say, “Why?” Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, that you have dealt treacherously with her, yet she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

15. But did He not make one? And the rest of the spirit was His. And why one? He was seeking a godly seed.[1] Take heed to your spirit, and let none of you be unfaithful to the wife of your youth!

16. The Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce and the man who covers up wrong with his garment, says the Lord of hosts. Take heed to your spirit, and be not unfaithful!

¶17. You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, “How have we wearied Him?” When you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them!” Or when you say, “Where is the God of judgment?”

Chapter 3

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¶1. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Behold, he is coming! says the Lord of hosts.

2. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who will stand when he appears? He is like a refiner’s fire and like the fullers’ lye.

3. And he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them as gold and silver, and in righteousness will they bring an offering to the Lord.

4. Then will the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be sweet to the Lord, as in days of old and as in years past.

5. And I will draw near you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, and against adulterers, and against false witnesses, and against those who oppress the worker in his wages and the widow and the orphan, and against those who turn the stranger away and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

6. I, the Lord, do not change; therefore, you sons of Jacob are not consumed.

7. For from the days of your fathers, you have turned aside from my statutes and have not observed them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, “What do you mean, ‘return’?[2]

8. Will man rob God? Yet, you have robbed me. But you say, “How have we robbed you?” In the tithe and the offering.

9. You are cursed with a curse. You — the entire nation — have robbed me!

10. Bring all the tithe into the storehouse so that there will be food in my house! Put me to the test with this, says the Lord of hosts! I will damn myself [3] if I do not open the windows of heaven to you and pour out such a blessing upon you that there will not be enough room to receive it.

11. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he will not destroy the fruit of your ground. Neither will your vine in the field lose its fruit, says the Lord of hosts.

12. All nations will call you blessed, for you will become a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts.

13. Your words have been stout against me, says the Lord. Yet you say, “What have we said against you?”

14. You have said, “It is vain to serve God and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts?”

15. And now, we call the proud blessed; evildoers are exalted, and those who tempt God are delivered.

16. Then those who feared the Lord spoke, each one with his neighbor, and the Lord gave ear and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared the Lord and thought on His name.

17. And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day that I make up my peculiar treasure, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.

18. Then will you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him.

Chapter 4

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[Hebrew text continues as 3:19, etc.]

¶1/19. Behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and He will set them on fire. The day is coming, says the Lord of hosts, that will leave them neither root nor branch.

2/20. To you who fear my name will the Sun of righteousness rise with healing in his wings, and you will go out and gambol about like fattened calves.[4]

3/21. And you will tread down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I am preparing, says the Lord of hosts.

¶4/22. Remember the law of Moses my servant, the statutes and judgments which I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

5/23. Behold, I am sending to you Elijah the prophet before the great and fearful day of the Lord comes.

6/24. And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the sons and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.


Footnotes

[1] This section of verse 15 is one of the many messages in the prophets with a dual meaning, one for the prophet’s time, and another meaning for the future. On the surface, this is God’s reason for insisting on Israelite men being faithful to their Israelite wives, but this portion of scripture also appears to have been a not-so-obvious revelation concerning God’s reason for creating His Son, and it may also be translated thus: “Did He not create one in whom is the fullness of the Spirit? And why him? Because He wanted a divine child.”

[2] The Hebrew word can also mean “repent”. Here, the people were incredulously demanding that Malachi tell them what they had done wrong that would require repentance. Malachi’s (God’s) answer follows, in verse 8.

[3] The Hebrew construction here is part of a well-known formula for a curse of the greatest magnitude, used only in matters of the highest importance. It is the ultimate oath that could be expected or required of anyone because the one making the oath is swearing on his own soul in order to show his full commitment to doing what he has sworn to do. It was so dreaded a curse that the curse itself was left unspoken. Anyone who broke such an oath betrayed a very sacred trust and was worthy of damnation. With the use of this kind of oath, God is giving supreme assurance that He is committed to doing what He promises to do.

[4] Literally, “calves of the stall”.

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