1-2 Listen, you priests, to this warning from the Lord Almighty:

“If you don’t change your ways and give glory to my name, then I will send terrible punishment upon you, and instead of giving you blessings as I would like to, I will turn on you with curses. Indeed, I have cursed you already because you haven’t taken seriously the things that are most important to me.

“Take note that I will rebuke your children; I will spread on your faces the manure of these animals you offer me and throw you out like dung. Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning to return to the laws I gave your father Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. “The purpose of these laws was to give him life and peace, to be a means of showing his respect and awe for me by keeping them. He passed on to the people all the truth he got from me. He did not lie or cheat; he walked with me, living a good and righteous life, and turned many from their lives of sin.

“Priests’ lips should flow with the knowledge of God so the people will learn God’s laws. The priests are the messengers of the Lord Almighty, and men should come to them for guidance. But not to you! For you have left God’s paths. Your ‘guidance’ has caused many to stumble in sin. You have distorted the covenant of Levi and made it into a grotesque parody,” says the Lord Almighty. “Therefore, I have made you contemptible in the eyes of all the people; for you have not obeyed me, but you let your favorites break the law without rebuke.”

10 We are children of the same father, Abraham, all created by the same God. And yet we are faithless to each other, violating the covenant of our fathers! 11 In Judah, in Israel, and in Jerusalem, there is treachery, for the men of Judah have defiled God’s holy and beloved Temple by marrying heathen women who worship idols. 12 May the Lord cut off from his covenant every last man, whether priest or layman, who has done this thing!

13 Yet you cover the altar with your tears because the Lord doesn’t pay attention to your offerings anymore, and you receive no blessing from him. 14 “Why has God abandoned us?” you cry. I’ll tell you why; it is because the Lord has seen your treachery in divorcing your wives who have been faithful to you through the years, the companions you promised to care for and keep. 15 You were united to your wife by the Lord. In God’s wise plan, when you married, the two of you became one person in his sight. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. Therefore, guard your passions! Keep faith with the wife of your youth.

16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, says he hates divorce and cruel men. Therefore, control your passions—let there be no divorcing of your wives.

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.

“Wearied him?” you ask in fake surprise. “How have we wearied him?”

By saying that evil is good, that it pleases the Lord! Or by saying that God won’t punish us—he doesn’t care.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Additional Warning to the Priests

“And now, you priests, this warning is for you.(A) If you do not listen,(B) and if you do not resolve to honor(C) my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse(D) on you, and I will curse your blessings.(E) Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.

“Because of you I will rebuke your descendants[a]; I will smear on your faces the dung(F) from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.(G) And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi(H) may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. “My covenant was with him, a covenant(I) of life and peace,(J) and I gave them to him; this called for reverence(K) and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction(L) was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked(M) with me in peace(N) and uprightness,(O) and turned many from sin.(P)

“For the lips of a priest(Q) ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger(R) of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.(S) But you have turned from the way(T) and by your teaching have caused many to stumble;(U) you have violated the covenant(V) with Levi,”(W) says the Lord Almighty. “So I have caused you to be despised(X) and humiliated(Y) before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality(Z) in matters of the law.”(AA)

Breaking Covenant Through Divorce

10 Do we not all have one Father[b]?(AB) Did not one God create us?(AC) Why do we profane the covenant(AD) of our ancestors by being unfaithful(AE) to one another?

11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable(AF) thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves(AG) by marrying(AH) women who worship a foreign god.(AI) 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove(AJ) him from the tents of Jacob[c](AK)—even though he brings an offering(AL) to the Lord Almighty.

13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears.(AM) You weep and wail(AN) because he no longer looks with favor(AO) on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.(AP) 14 You ask,(AQ) “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness(AR) between you and the wife of your youth.(AS) You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.(AT)

15 Has not the one God made you?(AU) You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[d](AV) So be on your guard,(AW) and do not be unfaithful(AX) to the wife of your youth.

16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,(AY)” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[e](AZ) says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard,(BA) and do not be unfaithful.

Breaking Covenant Through Injustice

17 You have wearied(BB) the Lord with your words.

“How have we wearied him?” you ask.(BC)

By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased(BD) with them” or “Where is the God of justice?(BE)

Footnotes

  1. Malachi 2:3 Or will blight your grain
  2. Malachi 2:10 Or father
  3. Malachi 2:12 Or 12 May the Lord remove from the tents of Jacob anyone who gives testimony in behalf of the man who does this
  4. Malachi 2:15 The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.
  5. Malachi 2:16 Or “I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “because the man who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence,”
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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