God’s Love for Jacob
1The [a]oracle (burdensome message) of the word of the Lord to Israel through [My messenger] Malachi.
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. [b]But you say, “How and in what way have You loved us?” “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I loved Jacob (Israel); 3 but [in comparison with My love for Jacob] I have hated Esau (Edom), and I have made his mountains a wasteland, and have given his inheritance to the jackals of the wilderness.” 4 Though [impoverished] Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins.” Thus says the Lord of hosts, “They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the Wicked Territory, the people against whom the Lord is indignant forever.” 5 Your own eyes will see this and you will say, “The Lord is great and shall be magnified beyond the border of Israel!”
Sin of the Priests
6 “‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is the [reverent] fear and respect due Me?’ says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name. But you say, ‘How and in what way have we despised Your name?’ 7 You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ By thinking that the table of the Lord is contemptible and may be despised. 8 When you [priests] present the [c]blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Offer such a thing [as a blind or lame or sick animal] to your governor [as a gift or as payment for your taxes]. Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you graciously?” says the Lord of hosts. 9 “But now will you not entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering from your hand [as an imperfect animal for sacrifice], will He 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 gates, so that you would not kindle fire on My altar uselessly [with an empty, worthless pretense]! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from your hand. 11 For [d]from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, My name shall be great among the nations. In every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name shall be great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts. 12 “But you [priests] profane it when you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.’ 13 You also say, ‘How tiresome this is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it,” says the Lord of hosts, “and you bring what was taken by robbery, and the lame or the sick [animals]; this you bring as an offering! Should I receive it with pleasure from your hand?” says the Lord. 14 “But cursed is the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows [to offer] it, but sacrifices to the Lord a blemished or diseased thing! For I am a great King,” says the Lord of hosts, “and My name is to be [reverently and greatly] feared among the nations.”
Notas al pie
- Malachi 1:1 I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to give.
- Malachi 1:2 The first in a series of sarcastic questions spread throughout this book beginning with “But you say.”
- Malachi 1:8 Only animals without defects or discernable flaws were to be offered as sacrifices.
- Malachi 1:11 I.e. around the world.
No More of This So-Called Worship!
1A Message. God’s Word to Israel through Malachi:
2-3 God said, “I love you.”
You replied, “Really? How have you loved us?”
“Look at history” (this is God’s answer). “Look at how differently I’ve treated you, Jacob, from Esau: I loved Jacob and hated Esau. I reduced pretentious Esau to a molehill, turned his whole country into a ghost town.”
4 When Edom (Esau) said, “We’ve been knocked down, but we’ll get up and start over, good as new,” God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “Just try it and see how far you get. When I knock you down, you stay down. People will take one look at you and say, ‘Land of Evil!’ and ‘the God-cursed tribe!’
5 “Yes, take a good look. Then you’ll see how faithfully I’ve loved you and you’ll want even more, saying, ‘May God be even greater, beyond the borders of Israel!’
6 “Isn’t it true that a son honors his father and a worker his master? So if I’m your Father, where’s the honor? If I’m your Master, where’s the respect?” God-of-the-Angel-Armies is calling you on the carpet: “You priests despise me!
“You say, ‘Not so! How do we despise you?’
“By your shoddy, sloppy, defiling worship.
“You ask, ‘What do you mean, “defiling”? What’s defiling about it?’
7-8 “When you say, ‘The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority,’ that’s defiling. And when you offer worthless animals for sacrifices in worship, animals that you’re trying to get rid of—blind and sick and crippled animals—isn’t that defiling? Try a trick like that with your banker or your senator—how far do you think it will get you?” God-of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.
9 “Get on your knees and pray that I will be gracious to you. You priests have gotten everyone in trouble. With this kind of conduct, do you think I’ll pay attention to you?” God-of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.
10 “Why doesn’t one of you just shut the Temple doors and lock them? Then none of you can get in and play at religion with this silly, empty-headed worship. I am not pleased. The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is not pleased. And I don’t want any more of this so-called worship!
Offering God Something Hand-Me-Down, Broken, or Useless
11 “I am honored all over the world. And there are people who know how to worship me all over the world, who honor me by bringing their best to me. They’re saying it everywhere: ‘God is greater, this God-of-the-Angel-Armies.’
12-13 “All except you. Instead of honoring me, you profane me. You profane me when you say, ‘Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship is of no account,’ and when you say, ‘I’m bored—this doesn’t do anything for me.’ You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air—act superior to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it’s a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I’m going to accept it? This is God speaking to you!
14 “A curse on the person who makes a big show of doing something great for me—an expensive sacrifice, say—and then at the last minute brings in something puny and worthless! I’m a great king, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, honored far and wide, and I’ll not put up with it!”