Malachi 2

The Word Made Fresh

1This command is for you priests: 2“If you refuse to listen or wholeheartedly glorify my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse on you and a curse on your happiness. In fact, I have already cursed it because you don’t take me seriously. 3I will reject your children and smear your faces with filth, the filth of your offerings. And I will send you away from my presence.

4“So, be aware that I have commanded you to honor my agreement with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. 5“That agreement was a promise of the life and good health I gave him. This demands reverence, and Levi did revere me and stand in awe of my name. 6He spoke the truth in all his instructions and walked with me in integrity and goodness, and turned many away from their sins. 7The words of a priest should always guard knowledge, and people should be willing to seek his instructions because he is a messenger of the LORD Almighty. 8But you have turned your back on my instructions. You have given orders that made your people stumble, and you have made my agreement with Levi corrupt,” says the LORD Almighty, 9“and that is why I have made you hated and degraded among the people. It is because you have refused to follow my commandments and have been partial in your teachings.”

10Is there not just one Father? Hasn’t all been created by one God? Why then all the faithlessness to each other, which desecrates the agreement of our ancestors? 11Judah has been unfaithful. Sins have been committed in Israel as well as in Jerusalem because Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the LORD loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12May the LORD exile anyone who does such things and may they not be allowed to teach or answer or even bring an offering to the LORD Almighty.

13You do this, too – you weep over the LORD’s altar and groan because God no longer accepts the offering that comes from your hand. 14You wonder why not? It is because the LORD saw the relationship you had with the wife of your youth, that you have been unfaithful even though she is your companion because of the covenant you have with her as your wife. 15Didn’t God make her? Don’t her body and soul belong to God? And what does God want? God wants God-fearing children. So, pay attention to one another and refuse to allow anyone to be faithless to the wife of his youth. 16“I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate the one whose clothing bears evidence to violence,” says the LORD Almighty. So, pay attention and don’t be without faith.

17The LORD is tired of your words. You ask how you have exhausted the LORD? You have made the LORD weary by claiming that those who sin are good in the LORD’s eyes, and the LORD takes delight in them. You weary the LORD each time you ask, “Where is the God of justice?”


1-3: The priests are threatened to straighten up and fly right or else God will curse them and allow them to suffer the worst kind of disrespect.

4-9: The accusations against the priesthood continue. Early on they were obedient and reverent, and diligent in teaching the people. That was as it should be, but is the case no more.

10-12: It makes sense to understand verse 11 as the prophet speaking to the priests. We’re all in this together, he says (“all one father”), so why have we not kept the faith? The reference to “the daughter of a foreign god” is to priests who marry foreign women who worship other gods.

13-16: These verses are curious, and the whole section becomes difficult to understand. Here he seems to be accusing the priests of being unfaithful to their wives, foreign though they may be.

17: Malachi charges the priests with giving nothing but lip service to their duties. They protest, and he tells them they have not upheld God’s law but have copped out, telling people who are going against God’s law that God loves them all the same. Their perverted understanding of justice has God simply patting everybody on the back and saying, “There, there, God forgives.”

We see that attitude a lot these days as well.


God is upset with us whenever we grant God-like importance to anything else in our lives. We should monitor our expectations of God’s approval to make certain we are not like those folks mentioned in verse 17. God approves of us whenever we put God’s way ahead of our way.