Malachi 2

1 “Now, you priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name,” says the LORD of Armies, “then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and will spread dung on your faces, even the dung of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it. 4 You will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that my covenant may be with Levi,” says the LORD of Armies. 5 “My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him that he might be reverent towards me; and he was reverent towards me, and stood in awe of my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of Armies. 8 But you have turned aside out of the way. You have caused many to stumble in the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the LORD of Armies. 9 “Therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according to the way you have not kept my ways, but have had respect for persons in the law. 10 Don’t we all have one father? Hasn’t one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 The LORD will cut off, to the man who does this, him who wakes and him who answers, out of the tents of Jacob, and him who offers an offering to the LORD of Armies. 13 This again you do: you cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping, and with sighing, because he doesn’t regard the offering any more, neither receives it with good will at your hand. 14 Yet you say, ‘Why?’ Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant. 15 Did he not make you one, although he had the residue of the Spirit? Why one? He sought godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For I hate divorce”, says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with violence!” says the LORD of Armies. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you don’t deal treacherously. 17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the LORD’s sight, and he delights in them;’ or ‘Where is the God of justice?’

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–9

What is here said of the covenant of priesthood, is true of the covenant of grace made with all believers, as spiritual priests. It is a covenant of life and peace; it assures all believers of all happiness, both in this world and in that to come. It is an honour to God’s servants to be employed as his messengers. The priest’s lips should not keep knowledge from his people, but keep it for them. The people are all concerned to know the will of the Lord. We must not only consult the written word, but desire instruction and advice from God’s messengers, in the affairs of our souls. Ministers must exert themselves to the utmost for the conversion of sinners; and even among those called Israelites, there are many to be turned from iniquity. Those ministers, and those only, are likely to turn men from sin, who preach sound doctrine, and live holy lives according to the Scripture. Many departed from this way; thus they misled the people. Such as walk with God in peace and righteousness, and turn others from sin, honour God; he will honour them, while those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.

Verses 10–17

Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; and he who is false to his God, will not be true to his fellow mortals. In contempt of the marriage covenant, which God instituted, the Jews put away the wives they had of their own nation, probably to make room for strange wives. They made their lives bitter to them; yet, in the sight of others, they pretend to be tender of them. Consider she is thy wife; thy own; the nearest relation thou hast in the world. The wife is to be looked on, not as a servant, but as a companion to the husband. There is an oath of God between them, which is not to be trifled with. Man and wife should continue to their lives’ end, in holy love and peace. Did not God make one, one Eve for one Adam? Yet God could have made another Eve. Wherefore did he make but one woman for one man? It was that the children might be made a seed to serve him. Husbands and wives must live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed. The God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. Those who would be kept from sin, must take heed to their spirits, for there all sin begins. Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgement? but the day of the Lord will come.

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