Yahweh’s Messenger is Coming
1“Look! I am going to send my messenger,#Or “my angel” and he will prepare#Or “clear” the way before me.#Literally “before my face” And the Lord whom you are seeking will come suddenly to his temple, and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you are taking pleasure—look!—he is about to come,” says Yahweh of hosts. 2And who can endure the day of his coming? And who is the one who can stand when he appears?#Literally “at his appearing” For he is like a refiner’s fire, like launderers’ alkali.#Or “lye,” or “soap” 3He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the children of Levi, and he will refine them like gold and like silver, and they will present to Yahweh offerings#Hebrew “offering” in righteousness. 4And the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to Yahweh, like in the days of old and like in former years.
5“Then I will approach you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers, and against those who swear falsely,#Literally “as far as the falseness” and against the oppressors of the hired worker with his wages, the widow and the orphan, and the abusers of#Literally “those pushing aside” the alien,#Or “sojourner” and yet do not fear me,” says Yahweh of hosts.
An Overflowing Blessing
6“For I, Yahweh, have not changed,#Or “I do not change” and you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.#Or “are not destroyed” 7From the days of your ancestors#Or “fathers” you have turned aside from my rules, and have not kept#Or “observed” them! Return to me and I will return to you,” says Yahweh of hosts, “but you say, ‘How shall we return?’
8Will a human dare to rob God? Yet you are robbing me! And you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In the tithes and the contributions! 9You are being cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you! 10Bring the whole tithe to the storehouse,#Hebrew “the house of the treasure” so that there will be food in my house, and test me please in this,” says Yahweh of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour forth for you an overflowing blessing.#Literally, “a blessing up to not enough” 11I will rebuke the devourer#NRSV, JPS interpret this word as “locust” for you; it will not destroy the fruit of your soil; your vine in the field will not be unfruitful,” says Yahweh of hosts. 12“And all the nations will call you blessed, because you will be a land in which one takes joy,”#Literally “a land of desire” says Yahweh of hosts. 13“Your words have been harsh#Hebrew “strong” against me,” says Yahweh. “But you say, ‘How have we spoken together against you?’ 14You have said, ‘It is useless#Or “vain” to serve God! What is the gain if we keep#Or “observe” his requirements, and if we walk as mourners before#Literally “from the face of” Yahweh of hosts? 15And now we are calling the arrogant blessed! Not only do those who do wickedness prosper; they also test God and they escape!’ ”
A Book of Remembrance is Written
16Then those who revered#Or “fear” Yahweh spoke with one another.#Literally “each with his friend/companion” And Yahweh listened attentively#Or “gave heed” and heard, and a scroll of remembrance was written before him#Literally “to the face of him” of those who revere#Or “fear” Yahweh and ponder his name. 17“They will be mine,” says Yahweh of hosts, “on the day that I am acting, my treasured possession. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. 18You will return and see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him.
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