Malachi 1 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Malachi 1)

Verse 2

[2] I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

Loved you — Both personally considered and relatively, in progenitors.

Us — Who have been captives, and groaned under it all our days 'till of late.

Was not Esau — Did not one father beget them, and one mother bear them? I loved Jacob - I preferred him to the birthright, and this of free love. I loved his person, and his posterity.

Verse 3

[3] And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

I hated — I loved not Esau's posterity as I loved Jacob's.

His heritage — Mount Seir with the neighbouring mountains.

Waste — By Nebuchadnezzar's arms five years after the sacking of Jerusalem, and whereas Jacob's captivity returned, and their cities were rebuilt, Esau's never were.

The dragons — Creatures which delight in desolate places, by which the utter desolation of Esau is signified.

Verse 4

[4] Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.

Throw down — So he did in the times of the Maccabees.

The border of wickedness — They will be a most wicked people, and so notorious, that all their neighbours shall brand them for it.

Hath indignation — They will so highly provoke God, that his indignation will be kindled against them for ever.

Verse 5

[5] And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

From the border of Israel — Let Israel from all his borders give God praise.

Verse 6

[6] A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

O priests — Had undutifulness been found among the ignorant people, it might have been a little excusable. But you, O priests, whose business is to know me, have like Eli's sons despised me yourselves, and made others do so too.

Verse 7

[7] Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

Bread — Either the meal-offerings, or rather in a more large sense, all sacrifices and oblations.

Ye say — Perhaps in words; at least your deeds speak your thoughts.

The table — This comprehends all that was offered to God.

Verse 8

[8] And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

Evil — Is it not against the express command of God.

Verse 9

[9] And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.

I pray you — O priests.

Beseech — Intercede with God for his sinful people.

This — This contempt of God.

Verse 11

[11] For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Incense — A law term for a gospel duty, and under this type are contained the prayers and praises, nay, the whole gospel-worship.

A pure offering — Both sincere, in opposition to hypocrisy, and holy, in opposition to impurity, superstition and idolatry.

Verse 12

[12] But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.

But ye — O priests! And the people by your examples.

Ye say — By your deportment.

Is polluted — Not a sacred thing.

His meat — Either the meat which fell to the priest's share, or the portion which was laid upon the altar.

Verse 13

[13] Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.

What a weariness — What a toil and drudgery to observe every point of the law.

This — With such minds snuffing at my service, and with such sacrifices, unfit for mine altar.

Verse 14

[14] But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

The deceiver — The hypocrite that would seem to offer a sacrifice of the best, but puts God off with the worst.

A male — A perfect male, such as God requireth.