Old Testament

Malachi 2
A Warning to the Priests From the Lord
21Now, you priests, this commandment is for you.
2If you do not listen, if you do not set your heart on giving glory to my name, says the Lord of Armies, then I will send the curse[] against you. I will curse your blessings. In fact, I have already cursed your offerings because you are not putting your heart into it. 3Yes, I will rebuke your offspring.[] I will smear animal bowels and their contents on your faces, the bowels produced by your festivals, and you will be hauled off with them.[]
4You will know that I sent you this commandment, so that my covenant with Levi may continue, says the Lord of Armies. 5My covenant with him was life and peace, which I gave to him. It was a covenant of reverence,[] and he revered me. He respected my name. 6The true law was in his mouth, and no injustice was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness. He turned many away from guilt. 7The lips of a priest should be guardians of knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth because he is a messenger of the Lord of Armies.
8But you priests have turned from the way. You have made many people stumble in regard to the law.[] You have ruined the covenant with Levi, says the Lord of Armies. 9So I have made you despised and humiliated you in the view of all the people, because you are not keeping my ways but are showing favoritism in carrying out the law.
Instruction From the Prophet: The Covenant Is Broken By Divorce
10Don't we all have one Father? Hasn't one God created us? Why then do we violate our vows to each other, polluting the covenant of our fathers? 11Judah has acted unfaithfully. A detestable thing was done in Israel and in Jerusalem when Judah polluted the holy place[] of the Lord, which the Lord loves. Judah is married to the daughter of a foreign god. 12May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any man who does this, both the one who is awake and the one who answers,[] even if he brings an offering to the Lord of Armies!
13This is the second thing you do: You cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping and crying, because there is no longer any favorable response to your offering, and God is not pleased with anything from your hand. 14So you ask, “Why is this happening?” This is why—because the Lord is a witness in the case between you and the wife you married when you were young, because you have betrayed her, though she was your partner, the wife with whom you made a covenant! 15No one has done this who has a remnant of the Spirit.[] And why one? He is seeking offspring from God.[] So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not act unfaithfully against the wife you married when you were young. 16He hates divorce! That is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says. He hates it when a person wears violence as a garment. That is what the Lord of Armies says. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be unfaithful.
17You have made the Lord weary with your words. You say, “How have we made him weary?” When you say that anyone who does evil is good in the Lord's eyes or that the Lord takes pleasure in evildoers. Or when you say, “Where is the God of justice?”


  • 2:2 The curse refers to the set of blessings and curses in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 27 and 28.
  • 2:3 Literally seed
  • 2:3 The animal bowels and their contents were the waste produced by Israel's festival sacrifices. It was to be dumped at a distance from the holy place.
  • 2:5 Or fear
  • 2:8 Or by your law
  • 2:11 Or holiness
  • 2:12 Because the meaning of this phrase is uncertain, the EHV retains a literal translation. It seems to mean every last one of them. It may mean something like the one who does this knowingly, and the one who has been warned.
  • 2:15 Verse 15 is very difficult. There is no consensus about the translation. The Hebrew text translated very literally reads: and not one—he has done; and a remnant of spirit to him, and what the one? Desiring seed God. The translation above is an effort to connect these thoughts into a smooth translation. Other suggested translations for the first part of the sentence are: has not one God made them or has not God made them one; and for the second part of the sentence: he has left a remnant of the Spirit or they are his, in flesh and spirit. What is clear in the verse is that God's purpose for the lifelong union of one man and one woman is godly offspring and that God hates wrongful divorce.
  • 2:15 Either the man is seeking godly offspring or God seeks offspring. There is no consensus on the translation of this verse. The biggest difficulty is the uncertainty about who or what the word one in the previous sentence refers to.