The Lord's love for Israel
1I am Malachi. And this is the message that the LORD gave me for Israel.
The LORD's love for Israel
The LORD said:
2 # Rom 9.13. # Isa 34.5–17; 63.1–6; Jer 49.7–22; Ezek 25.12–14; 35.1–15; Amos 1.11,12; Obad 1–14. Israel, I, the LORD, have loved you. And yet you ask in what way have I loved you. Don't forget that Esau was the brother of your ancestor Jacob, but I chose Jacob 3instead of Esau. And I turned Esau's hill country into a barren desert where jackals#1.3 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller. roam. 4Esau's descendants may say, “Although our nation Edom is in ruins, we will rebuild.”
But I, the LORD All-Powerful, promise to tear down whatever they build. Then everyone will know that I will never stop being angry with them as long as they are so sinful.
5Israel, when you see this, you will shout, “The LORD's great reputation reaches beyond our borders.”
Against the priests
6I, the LORD All-Powerful, have something to say to you priests. Children respect their fathers, and servants respect their masters. I am your father and your master, so why don't you respect me? You priests have insulted me, and now you ask, “How did we insult you?”
7You embarrass me by offering worthless food on my altar. Then you ask, “How have we embarrassed you?” You have done it by saying, “What's so great about the LORD's altar?”
8 # Deut 15.21. But isn't it wrong to offer animals that are blind, crippled, or sick? Just try giving those animals to your governor. That certainly wouldn't please him or make him want to help you. 9I am the LORD God All-Powerful, and you had better try to please me. You have sinned. Now see if I will have mercy on any of you.
10I wish someone would lock the doors of my temple, so you would stop wasting time building fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you priests, and I refuse to accept any more of your offerings. 11From dawn until dusk my name is praised by every nation on this earth, as they burn incense and offer the proper sacrifices to me. 12But even you priests insult me by saying, “There's nothing special about the LORD's altar, and these sacrifices are worthless.”
13You get so disgusted that you even make vulgar signs at me.#1.13 me: Or “the altar”. And for an offering, you bring stolen#1.13 stolen: Or “injured”. animals or those that are crippled or sick. Should I accept these? 14Instead of offering the acceptable animals you have promised, you bring me those that are unhealthy. I will punish you for this, because I am the great King, the LORD All-Powerful, and I am worshipped by nations everywhere.