BibliaTodo Commentaries


Fleming Don Bridgeway Bible
Malachi 2

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

2. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

3. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

4. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

5. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

6. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

7. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

8. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

9. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

10. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

11. Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

12. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.

13. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

14. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

15. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

16. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

17. Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Malachi 2

Unworthy priests (2:1-9) The priests are chiefly to blame for the poor spiritual condition of Israel. If they do not quickly reform their ways, God will punish them. He will reduce their income from the people’s tithes and offerings, and bring public disgrace upon them. He may even remove them from their position as priests, in order to stop the priesthood from becoming so corrupt that it has to be abolished. God prefers to maintain the priesthood, according to the promise he gave to the tribe of Levi (2:1-4). Priests are not merely officials who look after temple rituals. They are supposed to be the spiritual and moral guides of the people. The early priests taught the people, by their personal example as well as by their instruction, how to know God and live righteously (5-6; cf. Num 25:11-13). Priests are servants of God who have the responsibility to teach people God’s law and give them practical instruction concerning everyday affairs (7; cf. Deu 33:10). But the priests of Malachi’s day have failed to uphold God’s standards, either by teaching or by practice, and so have led Israel astray. They favour the rich and powerful, and as a result are despised by the common people (8-9).

Divorces and mixed marriages (2:10-16) Marriage disorders were a further cause of Israel’s troubles. Many Jewish men had married idolatrous heathen women, and introduced idolatrous practices into the holy worship of God (cf. Ezr 9:1-2; Neh 13:23-27). Not only did these Jewish men marry idol worshippers, but they divorced their Jewish wives to do so. They despised both the marriage covenant and the covenant God made with Israel at Sinai. God designed the covenant to promote family and national unity, but these men break up families and intermarry with pagans (10-11). Malachi warns that God will act in decisive judgment against those guilty of such selfishness and disloyalty (12). The wrongdoers are upset that God no longer accepts their ritual sacrifices and offerings, but they show no concern at their own unfaithfulness in breaking a marriage covenant that God himself had witnessed (13-14). By marrying idolatrous wives they show that they have no real desire to bring their children up to know and follow God. They also show that they are unconcerned that their former wives are left to face lives of hardship (15-16).

Cheating God (2:17-3:18) When the Jews saw surrounding nations prosper while they suffered hardship, they complained that God was not just. Other nations made no effort to keep God’s law, whereas Israel was his people (17). Malachi replies that if justice is what the Jews want, then justice is what they will have; but they must realize that such justice will apply to them as well as to their heathen neighbours. They have asked for the God of justice; now he will come and do his work of justice among them (3:1). God will intervene in human affairs and bless his people as they wish, but first he will have to cleanse them of all uncleanness, rebellion and social injustice - and this will be a very painful process. Those who resist his cleansing and continue in their sin will be punished with swift destruction (2-5). (The intervention of God spoken of here was the coming of Jesus Christ. The messenger who came before him was John the Baptist; see Mat 3:10-12; Mat 11:10; Joh 3:27-28.) If the people want to escape hardship, they should be asking for mercy, not justice; for their hardship, though a punishment, is a merciful punishment. As always, God has been extremely patient with them. If God always acted according to strict justice (as they are claiming he should) they would all have been destroyed long ago (6-7). Because of drought, locust plagues and plant diseases, they have had poor crops, but all these disasters have been sent by God. They are his punishment upon them because they have kept for themselves what rightly belongs to him. In their selfishness they have failed to give him their tithes and offerings (8-9). They must change their ways and be honest with God. Then he will bless them with good rains and good crops. The result of their generosity will be that they become more contented and their land becomes a better place in which to live (10-12). Many of the people continue to murmur against God. They complain that it is useless to try to live to please him, as they still suffer hardships. By contrast, those who openly defy him seem to prosper (13-15). Others, however, will not allow themselves to be influenced by such talk. They encourage one another to remain faithful to God, believing that he will never forsake them. The difference between these two classes - those who truly serve God and those who do not - will be clearly seen in the day of judgment (16-18).

King James Version

This is the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version). "Public Domain"