1This is a prophecy. It is the Lord’s message to Israel through Malachi.
Israel Doubts God’s Love
2“Israel, I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” says the Lord. “But I chose Jacob 3instead of Esau. I have turned Esau’s hill country into a dry and empty land. I left that land of Edom to the wild dogs in the desert.”
4Edom might say, “We have been crushed. But we’ll rebuild our cities.”
The Lord who rules over all says, “They might rebuild their cities. But I will destroy them. They will be called the Evil Land. My anger will always remain on them. 5You will see it with your own eyes. You will say, ‘The Lord is great! He rules even beyond the borders of Israel!’
Give Your Best to the Lord
6“A son honors his father. A slave honors his master. If I am a father, where is the honor I should have? If I am a master, where is the respect you should give me?” says the Lord who rules over all.
“You priests look down on me.
“But you ask, ‘How have we looked down on you?’
7“You sacrifice ‘unclean’ food on my altar.
“But you ask, ‘How have we made you “unclean”?’
“You do it by looking down on my altar. 8You sacrifice blind animals to me. Isn’t that wrong? You sacrifice disabled or sick animals. Isn’t that wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord who rules over all.
9“Now plead with God to be gracious to us! But as long as you give offerings like those, how can he accept you?” says the Lord.
10“You might as well shut the temple doors! Then you would not light useless fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord. “I will not accept any of the offerings you bring. 11My name will be great among the nations. They will worship me from where the sun rises in the east to where it sets in the west. In every place, incense and pure offerings will be brought to me. That’s because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord.
12“But you treat my name as if it were not holy. You say the Lord’s altar is ‘unclean.’ And you look down on its food. 13You say, ‘What a heavy load our work is!’ And you turn up your nose. You act as if you hate working for me,” says the Lord who rules over all.
“You bring animals that have been hurt. Or you bring disabled or sick animals. Then you dare to offer them to me as sacrifices! Should I accept them from you?” says the Lord. 14“Suppose you have a male sheep or goat that does not have any flaws. And you promise to offer it to me. But then you sacrifice an animal that has flaws. When you do that, you cheat me. And anyone who cheats me is under my curse. After all, I am a great king,” says the Lord who rules over all. “The other nations have respect for my name. So why don’t you respect it?
2耶和华说：“我曾爱你们。”你们却说：“你在何事上爱我们呢？”耶和华说：“以扫不是雅各的哥哥吗？但我却爱雅各， 3厌恶以扫。我使以扫的山岭荒凉，把他的地业留给旷野的豺狼。” 4也许以扫的后代以东人会说：“我们现在虽然被毁，但我们要重建毁坏之处。”万军之耶和华却这样说：“他们尽管建造，但我必拆毁。他们的土地要被称为‘罪恶之地’，他们要被称为‘耶和华永远恼怒之民。’” 5以色列人啊，你们必亲眼看见这事，也必说：“愿耶和华在以色列境外受尊崇！”
6万军之耶和华对祭司说：“儿子应当尊敬父亲，仆人应当敬畏主人。我是你们的父亲，但你们对我的尊敬在哪里呢？我是你们的主人，但你们对我的敬畏在哪里呢？你们藐视我的名，却狡辩说，‘我们在何事上藐视过你的名呢？’ 7你们把污秽的食物献在我的祭坛上，还说，‘我们在何事上玷污了你呢？’你们说耶和华的桌子是可藐视的。 8你们拿瞎眼、瘸腿和有病的牲畜来献祭，难道这不是罪过吗？你试试把这样的东西送给你的省长，看他会不会悦纳你、恩待你。这是万军之耶和华说的。”
9现在，你们祈求上帝向我们施恩吧！然而，你们献上这样的祭物，祂怎会垂听你们的祈求呢？ 10万军之耶和华说：“我真希望你们当中有人把殿门关上，免得你们在我祭坛上枉然点火。因为我不喜悦你们，也不接纳你们的祭物。” 11万军之耶和华说：“从日出之地到日落之处，列国必尊崇我的名。世上每个角落都有人向我焚香，献上洁净的供物。因为我的名必受列国尊崇。 12可是，你们却亵渎我的名，竟然说我的桌子是污秽的，上面的祭物是可藐视的。 13你们不屑地说，‘哼！这些事真麻烦！’这是万军之耶和华说的。你们把抢来的、瘸腿的、有病的献给我，我岂能接纳呢？这是耶和华说的。 14许愿时说要献上羊群中的公羊，后来却拿伤残的来献给主，这种人该受咒诅！因为我是大君王，就是外族人也敬畏我的名。这是万军之耶和华说的。”