1Look, I am sending my messenger who will clear the path before me;
suddenly the Lord whom you are seeking will come to his temple.
The messenger of the covenant in whom you take delight is coming,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
2Who can endure the day of his coming?
Who can withstand his appearance?
He is like the refiner’s fire or the cleaner’s soap.
3He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver.
He will purify the Levites
and refine them like gold and silver.
They will belong to the Lord,
presenting a righteous offering.
4The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord
as in ancient days and in former years.
5I will draw near to you for judgment.
I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers,
the adulterers, those swearing falsely,
against those who cheat the day laborers out of their wages
as well as oppress the widow and the orphan,
and against those who brush aside the foreigner and do not revere me,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
6I am the Lord, and I do not change;
and you, children of Jacob, have not perished.
Return to the Lord
7Ever since the time of your ancestors,
you have deviated from my laws
and have not kept them.
Return to me and I will return to you,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
But you say,
"How should we return?"
8Should a person deceive God?
Yet you deceive me.
But you say,
"How have we deceived you?"
With your tenth-part gifts and offerings.
9You are being cursed with a curse,
and you, the entire nation, are robbing me.
10Bring the whole tenth-part to the storage house so there might be food in my house.
Please test me in this,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
See whether I do not open all the windows of the heavens for you
and empty out a blessing until there is enough.#Or Until what is required is lacking.
11I will threaten the one who wants to devour you
so that it doesn’t spoil the fruit of your fertile land,
and so that the vine doesn’t abort its fruit in your field,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
12All the nations will consider you fortunate,
for you will be a desirable land,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
13You have spoken harshly about me,
says the Lord;
but you say,
"What have we spoken about you?"
14You said,
"Serving God is useless.
What do we gain by keeping his obligation
or by walking around as mourners
before the Lord of heavenly forces?
15So now we consider the arrogant fortunate.
Moreover, those doing evil are built up;
they test God and escape."
The scroll of remembrance
16Then those revering the Lord,
each and every one, spoke among themselves.
The Lord paid attention and listened to them.
Then a scroll of remembrance was written before the Lord
about those revering the Lord,
the ones meditating on his name.
17On the day that I am preparing,
says the Lord of heavenly forces,
they will be my special possession.
I will spare them just as parents spare a child who serves them.
18You will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked,
between those serving God and those not serving him.
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