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耶和華說：「我曾愛你們。」你們卻說：「你在何事上愛我們呢？」耶和華說：「以掃不是雅各的哥哥嗎？但我卻愛雅各， 3厭惡以掃。我使以掃的山嶺荒涼，把他的地業留給曠野的豺狼。」 4也許以掃的後代以東人會說：「我們現在雖然被毀，但我們要重建毀壞之處。」萬軍之耶和華卻這樣說：「他們儘管建造，但我必拆毀。他們的土地要被稱為『罪惡之地』，他們要被稱為『耶和華永遠惱怒之民。』」 5以色列人啊，你們必親眼看見這事，也必說：「願耶和華在以色列境外受尊崇！」
6萬軍之耶和華對祭司說：「兒子應當尊敬父親，僕人應當敬畏主人。我是你們的父親，但你們對我的尊敬在哪裡呢？我是你們的主人，但你們對我的敬畏在哪裡呢？你們藐視我的名，卻狡辯說，『我們在何事上藐視過你的名呢？』 7你們把污穢的食物獻在我的祭壇上，還說，『我們在何事上玷污了你呢？』你們說耶和華的桌子是可藐視的。 8你們拿瞎眼、瘸腿和有病的牲畜來獻祭，難道這不是罪過嗎？你試試把這樣的東西送給你的省長，看他會不會悅納你、恩待你。這是萬軍之耶和華說的。」
9現在，你們祈求上帝向我們施恩吧！然而，你們獻上這樣的祭物，祂怎會垂聽你們的祈求呢？ 10萬軍之耶和華說：「我真希望你們當中有人把殿門關上，免得你們在我祭壇上枉然點火。因為我不喜悅你們，也不接納你們的祭物。」 11萬軍之耶和華說：「從日出之地到日落之處，列國必尊崇我的名。世上每個角落都有人向我焚香，獻上潔淨的供物。因為我的名必受列國尊崇。 12可是，你們卻褻瀆我的名，竟然說我的桌子是污穢的，上面的祭物是可藐視的。 13你們不屑地說，『哼！這些事真麻煩！』這是萬軍之耶和華說的。你們把搶來的、瘸腿的、有病的獻給我，我豈能接納呢？這是耶和華說的。 14許願時說要獻上羊群中的公羊，後來卻拿傷殘的來獻給主，這種人該受咒詛！因為我是大君王，就是外族人也敬畏我的名。這是萬軍之耶和華說的。」