1 THE BURDEN or oracle (the thing to be lifted up) of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi [My messenger].
2 I have loved you, says the Lord. Yet you say, How and in what way have You loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? says the Lord; yet I loved Jacob (Israel),
3 But [in comparison with the degree of love I have for Jacob] I have hated Esau [Edom] and have laid waste his mountains, and his heritage I have given to the jackals of the wilderness. [Rom. 9:13, 16.]
4 Though [impoverished] Edom should say, We are beaten down, but we will return and build the waste places–thus says the Lord of hosts: They may build, but I will tear and throw down; and men will call them the Wicked Country, the people against whom the Lord has indignation forever.
5 Your own eyes shall see this and you shall say, The Lord is great and will be magnified over and beyond the border of Israel! [Isa. 34; 63:1-6; Jer. 49:7-22; Ezek. 25:12-14; Obad. 1.]
6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is the [reverent] fear due Me? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name. You say, How and in what way have we despised Your name?
7 By offering polluted food upon My altar. And you ask, How have we polluted it and profaned You? By thinking that the table of the Lord is contemptible and may be despised.
8 When you [priests] offer blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Present such a thing [a blind or lame or sick animal] now to your governor [in payment of your taxes, and see what will happen]. Will he be pleased with you? Or will he receive you graciously? says the Lord of hosts.
9 Now then, I [Malachi] beg [you priests], entreat God [earnestly] that He will be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand [as a defective animal for sacrifice], will He accept it or show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts.
10 Oh, that there were even one among you [whose duty it is to minister to Me] who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on My altar to no purpose [an empty, futile, fruitless pretense]! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, nor will I accept an offering from your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting My name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and indeed a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.
12 But you [priests] profane it when [by your actions] you say, The table of the Lord is polluted, and the fruit of it, its food, is contemptible and may be despised.
13 You say also, Behold, what a drudgery and weariness this is! And you have sniffed at it, says the Lord of hosts. And you have brought that which was taken by violence, or the lame or the sick; this you bring as an offering! Shall I accept this from your hand? says the Lord. [Lev. 1:3; Deut. 15:21.]
14 But cursed is the [cheating] deceiver who has a male in his flock and vows to offer it, yet sacrifices to the [sovereign] Lord a blemished or diseased thing! For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and My name is terrible and to be [reverently] feared among the nations.
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