Malachi

JB MALACHI Chapter 1

1:1 An oracle. The word of Yahweh to Israel through the ministry of Malachi.[*a]

The love of Yahweh for Israel

1:2 I have shown my love for you, says Yahweh. But you ask, ‘How have you shown your love?’ Was not Esau[*b] Jacob’s brother? – it is Yahweh who speaks; yet I showed my love for Jacob

1:3 and my hatred for Esau. I turned his towns into a wilderness and his heritage into desert pastures.

1:4 Should Edom say, ‘We have been struck down but we will rebuild our ruins’, this is the reply of Yahweh Sabaoth: Let them build! I will pull down. They shall be known as Unholy Land and Nation-with-which-Yahweh-is-angry-for-ever.

1:5 Your eyes are going to see this and you will say, ‘Yahweh is mighty beyond the borders of Israel’.

An indictment of the priests

1:6 The son honours his father, the slave respects his master. If I am indeed father, where is my honour? If I am indeed master, where is my respect? Yahweh Sabaoth asks this of you, priests, you who despise my name. You ask, ‘How have we despised your name?’

1:7 By putting polluted food on my altar. You ask, ‘How have we polluted it?’ By holding the table of Yahweh in contempt.

1:8 When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you bring the lame and the diseased, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your high commissioner, and see if he is pleased with this or receives you graciously, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

1:9 Now try pleading with God to take pity on us (this is your own fault); do you think he will receive you graciously? says Yahweh Sabaoth.

1:10 Oh, is there no one among you who will shut the doors and stop you from lighting useless fires on my altar? I am not pleased with you, says Yahweh Sabaoth; from your hands I find no offerings acceptable.

1:11 But from farthest east to farthest west my name is honoured among the nations and everywhere a sacrifice of incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering too, since my name is honoured among the nations, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

1:12 But you, you profane it by thinking of the Lord’s table as defiled and by holding in contempt the food placed on it.

1:13 ‘How tiresome it all is!’ you say; and you sniff disdainfully at me, says Yahweh Sabaoth. You bring a stolen, lame or diseased animal, you bring that as an offering! Am I to accept this from your hand? says Yahweh Sabaoth.

1:14 Cursed be the rogue who owns a male which he has vowed to offer from his flock, and instead sacrifices a blemished animal to me! For I am a great king, says Yahweh Sabaoth, and my name is feared throughout the nations.

JB MALACHI Chapter 2

2:1 And now, priests, this warning is for you.

2:2 If you do not listen, if you do not find it in your heart to glorify my name, says Yahweh Sabaoth, I will send the curse on you and curse your very blessing.[*a] Indeed I have already cursed it, since there is not a single one of you who takes this to heart.

2:3 Now watch how I am going to paralyse your arm and throw dung in your face – the dung from your very solemnities – and sweep you away with it.

2:4 Then you shall learn that it is I who have given you this warning of my intention to abolish my covenant with Levi, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

2:5 My covenant was with him: it stood for life and peace, and these were what I gave him; it stood for fear and trembling, and he respected me and stood in awe of my name.

2:6 The teaching of truth was in his mouth, falsehood was not to be found on his lips; he walked with me in integrity and virtue; he converted many from sinning.

2:7 The lips of the priest ought to safeguard knowledge; his mouth is where instruction should be sought, since he is the messenger of Yahweh Sabaoth.

2:8 But you, you have strayed from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your teaching. You have destroyed the covenant of Levi, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

2:9 And so I in my turn have made you contemptible and vile in the eyes of the whole people in repayment for the way you have not kept to my paths but have shown partiality in your administration.

Mixed marriage and divorce

2:10 Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why, then, do we break faith with one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors?

2:11 Judah has broken faith: a detestable thing has been done (in Israel and) in Jerusalem. Yes, Judah has profaned the sanctuary that Yahweh loves. He has married the daughter of an alien god.

2:12 The man who does this – whoever he be – may Yahweh cut him off from the tents of Jacob and from the company of those who present the offering to Yahweh Sabaoth.

2:13 And here is something else you do: you cover the altar of Yahweh with tears, with weeping and wailing, because he now refuses to consider the offering or to accept it from your hands.

2:14 And you ask, ‘Why?’ It is because Yahweh stands as witness between you and the wife of your youth, the wife with whom you have broken faith, even though she was your partner and your wife by covenant.

2:15 Did he not create a single being that has flesh and the breath of life? And what is this single being destined for? God-given offspring. Be careful for your own life, therefore, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

2:16 For I hate divorce, says Yahweh the God of Israel, and I hate people to parade their sins on their cloaks, says Yahweh Sabaoth. Respect your own life, therefore, and do not break faith like this.

The day of Yahweh

2:17 You weary Yahweh with your talk. You ask, ‘How do we weary him?’ When you say, ‘Any evil-doer is good as far as Yahweh is concerned; indeed he likes them best’; or when you say, ‘Where is the God of justice now?’

JB MALACHI Chapter 3

3:1 Look, I am going to send my messenger to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

3:2 Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali.

3:3 He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to Yahweh as it should be made.

3:4 The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by Yahweh as in former days, as in the years of old.

3:5 I mean to visit you for the judgement and I am going to be a ready witness against sorcerer, adulterer and perjurer, against those who oppress the wage-earner, the widow and the orphan, and who rob the settler of his rights-no need for you to be afraid of me, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

Temple tithes

3:6 No; I, Yahweh, do not change; and you, sons of Jacob, you are not ruined yet!

3:7 Since the days of your ancestors you have evaded my statutes and not observed them. Return to me and I will return to you, says Yahweh Sabaoth. You ask, ‘How are we to return?

3:8 Can a man cheat God?’ Yet you are cheating me. You ask, ‘How are we cheating you?’ In the matter of tithes and dues.

3:9 The curse lies on you because you, yes you the whole nation, are cheating me.

3:10 Bring the full tithes and dues to the storehouse so that there may be food in my house, and then see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out blessing for you in abundance.

3:11 For your sake I will lay a strict injunction on the locust not to destroy the fruits of your soil nor to make the vine in your fields barren, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

3:12 All the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delights, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

The triumph of the virtuous on the day of Yahweh

3:13 You say harsh things about me, says Yahweh. You ask, ‘What have we said against you?’

3:14 You say, ‘It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before Yahweh Sabaoth?

3:15 Now we have reached the point when we call the arrogant blessed; yes, they prosper, these evil-doers; they try God’s patience and yet go free.’

3:16 This is what those who fear Yahweh used to say to one another. But Yahweh took note and heard them: a book of remembrance was written in his presence recording those who fear him and take refuge in his name.

3:17 On the day which I am preparing, says Yahweh Sabaoth, they are going to be my own special possession. I will make allowances for them as a man makes allowances for the son who obeys him.

3:18 Then once again you will see the difference between an upright man and a wicked one, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him.

3:19 For the day is coming now, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and the evil-doers will be like stubble. The day that is coming is going to burn them up, says Yahweh Sabaoth, leaving them neither root nor stalk.

3:20 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays; you will leap like calves going out to pasture.

3:21 You will trample on the wicked, who will be like ashes under your feet on the day I am preparing, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

Appendices

3:22 Remember the Law of my servant Moses to whom at Horeb I prescribed laws and customs for the whole of Israel.

3:23 Know that I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before my day comes, that great and terrible day.

3:24 He shall turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the hearts of children towards their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.

END OF JB MALACHI [3 Chapters].

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