Malachi 1-4 New American Standard Bible

The LORD's Love for Jacob

1 1  The [1] oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through [2]Malachi . 2  "I have loved you," says the Lord . But you say , "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother ?" declares the Lord . "Yet I have loved Jacob ; 3  but I have hated Esau , and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness ." 4  Though Edom says , "We have been beaten down , but we will [3] return and build up the ruins "; thus says the Lord of hosts , "They may build , but I will tear down ; and men will call them the [4]wicked territory , and the people [5]toward whom the Lord is indignant forever e ." 5  Your eyes will see this and you will say , " The Lord [6]be magnified beyond e the [7]border of Israel !"

The LORD Rebukes the Priests

6  " 'A son honors his father , and a servant his master . Then if I am a father , where is My honor ? And if I am a master , where is My [8]respect ?' says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name . But you say , 'How have we despised Your name ?' 7  "You are presenting defiled [9] food upon My altar . But you say , 'How have we defiled You?' In that you say , 'The table of the Lord is to be despised .' 8  "But when you present the blind for sacrifice , is it not evil ? And when you present the lame and sick , is it not evil ? [10]Why not offer it to your governor ? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive e you kindly ?" says the Lord of hosts . 9  "But now [11]will you not entreat God's favor , that He may be gracious to us? [12]With such an offering on your part , will He receive e any of you kindly ?" says the Lord of hosts . 10  "Oh that there were one among you who would shut the [13]gates , that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar ! I am not pleased with you," says the Lord of hosts , " nor will I accept an offering from [14]you. 11  "For from the rising of the sun even to its setting , My name will be great among the nations , and in every place incense is going to be offered e to My name , and a grain offering that is pure ; for My name will be great among the nations ," says the Lord of hosts . 12  "But you are profaning it, in that you say , 'The table of the Lord is defiled , and as for its fruit , its food is to be despised .' 13  "You also say , '[15]My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it," says the Lord of hosts , "and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick ; so you bring the offering ! Should I receive that from your hand ?" says the Lord . 14  "But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord , for I am a great King ," says the Lord of hosts , "and My name is [16] feared among the [17]nations ."

Israel's Unfaithfulness Rebuked

2 1  "And now this commandment is for you, O priests . 2  "If you do not listen , and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name ," says the Lord of hosts , "then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings ; and indeed , I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart . 3  "Behold , I am going to rebuke your offspring , and I will spread refuse on your faces , the refuse of your feasts ; and you will be taken away with it. 4  "Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi ," says the Lord of hosts . 5  "My covenant with him was one of life and peace , and I gave them to him as an object of reverence ; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name . 6  " True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips ; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness , and he turned many back from iniquity . 7  "For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge , and men should seek instruction from his mouth ; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts . 8  "But as for you, you have turned aside from the way ; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction ; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi ," says the Lord of hosts . 9  "So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people , just e as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality e in the instruction .

10  "Do we not all have one father ? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers ? 11  "Judah has dealt treacherously , and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem ; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god . 12  "As for the man who does this, may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers , or who presents an offering to the Lord of hosts . 13  "This is another thing you do : you cover the altar of the Lord with tears , with weeping and with groaning , because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand . 14  "Yet you say , 'For what reason e ?' Because e the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth , against whom you have dealt treacherously , though she is your companion and your wife by covenant . 15  "But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit . And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring ? Take heed then to your spirit , and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth . 16  "For I hate divorce ," says the Lord , the God of Israel , "and him who covers his garment with wrong ," says the Lord of hosts . "So take heed to your spirit , that you do not deal treacherously ."

The Near Approach of the Day of Judgment

17  You have wearied the Lord with your words . Yet you say , "How have we wearied Him?" In that you say , " Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord , and He delights in them," or , " Where is the God of justice ?"

3 1  " Behold , I am going to send My messenger , and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord , whom you seek , will suddenly come to His temple ; and the messenger of the covenant , in whom you delight , behold , He is coming ," says the Lord of hosts . 2  "But who can endure the day of His coming ? And who can stand when He appears ? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap . 3  "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver , and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver , so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness . 4  "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years . 5  "Then I will draw near to you for judgment ; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely , and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages , the widow and the orphan , and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me," says the Lord of hosts .

The Payment of Tithes

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

7  "From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the Lord of hosts . "But you say , 'How shall we return ?' 8  "Will a man rob God ? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say , 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings . 9  "You are cursed with a curse , for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10  " Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse , so that there may be food in My house , and test Me now in this ," says the Lord of hosts , "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows e . 11  "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground ; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the Lord of hosts . 12  " All the nations will call you blessed , for you shall be a delightful land ," says the Lord of hosts .

The Distinction between the Righteous and the Wicked

13  "Your words have been arrogant against Me," says the Lord . "Yet you say , 'What have we spoken against You?' 14  "You have said , 'It is vain to serve God ; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge , and that we have walked in mourning before e the Lord of hosts ? 15  'So now we call the arrogant blessed ; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape .' " 16  Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another , and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name . 17  "They will be Mine," says the Lord of hosts , "on the day that I prepare My own possession , and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." 18  So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked , between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

The Coming Day of the LORD

4 1  "For behold , the day is coming , burning like a furnace ; and all the arrogant and every evildoer e will be chaff ; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze ," says the Lord of hosts , "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch ." 2  "But for you who fear My name , the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings ; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall . 3  "You will tread down the wicked , for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing ," says the Lord of hosts .

4  " Remember the law of Moses My servant , even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel . 5  "Behold , I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord . 6  "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers , so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse ."


[1] 1:1 Lit "burden"

[2] 1:1 Or "My messenger"

[3] 1:4 Or "rebuild the ruins"

[4] 1:4 Lit "border of wickedness"

[5] 1:4 Or "whom the Lord has cursed"

[6] 1:5 Or "will be great"

[7] 1:5 Or "territory"

[8] 1:6 Lit "fear"

[9] 1:7 Lit "bread"

[10] 1:8 Lit "Offer it, please"

[11] 1:9 Lit "entreat, please"

[12] 1:9 Lit "This has been from your hand"

[13] 1:10 Or "doors"

[14] 1:10 Lit "your hand"

[15] 1:13 Lit "Behold" it is "weariness"

[16] 1:14 Or "revered"

[17] 1:14 Or "Gentiles"

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