The Word of the Lord to Malachi

Chapter 1

Malachi complains of Israel's unkindness, 1-5; of their irreligiousness and profaneness, 6-14.

1 [The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.]

2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. Yet you say, "In what have you loved us?" "Was Esau not Jacob's brother?" says the LORD. "Yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the jackals of the wilderness." 4 Whereas Edom says, "We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places," thus says the LORD of hosts: "They shall build, but I will throw down, and they shall call them, 'The Border of Wickedness,' and, 'The People Against Whom the LORD has Indignation Forever.'" 5 And your eyes shall see, and you shall say, "The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel."

6 "'A son honors his father and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name." And you say, "In what have we despised your name?" 7 "You offer polluted bread upon my altar." But you say, "In what have we polluted you?" In that you say, "The table of the LORD is contemptible." 8 "And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, 'It is not evil!' And if you offer the lame and sick, 'It is not evil!' Offer it now to your governor. Will he be pleased with you, or accept your person?" says the LORD of hosts. 9 "And now, I pray you, implore God that he will be gracious to us. This has been by your means. Will he regard your person?" says the LORD of hosts. 10 "Oh that there were one of you who would shut the doors so that you would not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you," says the LORD of hosts, "neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even to the setting of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name shall be great among the heathen," says the LORD of hosts. 12 "But you have profaned it, in that you say, 'The table of the LORD is polluted, and its fruit, even his provision, is contemptible.' 13 You also said, 'Behold, what a weariness it is!' And you have snuffed at it," says the LORD of hosts, "and you brought that which was torn, the lame, and the sick. Thus you brought an offering. Should I accept this from your hand?" says the LORD. 14 "But cursed is the deceiver who has in his flock a male, and vows and sacrifices to the Lord a corrupt thing. For I am a great King," says the LORD of hosts, "and my name is dreadful among the heathen."

Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary - Malachi, Chapter 1

Notes

John Gill's Chapter Summary

In this chapter the Lord declares his love to the people of Israel, and proves it; and complains that the honor due to him was not given him; which he demonstrates by various instances. The inscription is [given], showing the name and nature of the prophecy; the author of it; the people to whom it was sent; and the name of the person by whom (verse 1). The Lord affirms his love to the people of Israel, which they called in question; and proves it to be real, special, and distinguishing, by the instance of Jacob and Esau, two brothers; yet one, their ancestor, was loved (verse 2), and the other hated; which latter is proved by the desolations made in his country, and by the fruitless attempts made to repair and rebuild; which was so clear a proof of the Lord's indignation against him, that the Israelites could not but see it, and would be obliged to confess it, to the glory of God (verses 3-5), hence he passes on to observe the honor and fear that were due to him as a Father and master, which were not shown him; but, instead thereof, he was despised, and even by the priests themselves, with which they are charged (verse 6), and which being objected to by them, is proved by offering polluted bread on his altar; and by polluting him, in saying his table was contemptible; and by sacrificing the blind, the lame, and the sick, to him; things which would be justly resented, if offered to a temporal prince and governor (verses 7-8), therefore they are called upon by the prophet to pray to the Lord for grace and mercy for the people, seeing it was by their means (the priests), that these things were done; though it was questionable whether the Lord would have any regard to them (verse 9), their sins being so dreadfully aggravated; and particularly, inasmuch as they did not serve in the temple, not so much as shut a door, or kindle a fire on the altar, for nothing, without being paid for it; hence the Lord declares he had no pleasure in them, nor would he accept their offerings; but would call the Gentiles by his grace, among whom his name would be great from one end of the earth to the other; and incense and pure offerings would be offered by them to him (verses 10-11), and then he renews the charge against them, that they had profaned his name, by saying that his table, and the fruit thereof, were polluted, and his meat contemptible; by expressing a weariness in his worship, and a contempt of it; and by bringing the torn, the lame, and sick, as an offering to him (verses 12-13), upon which such sacrificers are declared deceivers, and pronounced accursed, which they might assure themselves was and would be their case; since he was a great King, and his name dreadful among the Heathen (verse 14).

[v.2-3] - Quoted in Romans 9:13.

John Calvin's Prayer for verses 1-6a:

Grant, Almighty God, that as you have not only designed to give us a life in common in this world but have also separated us from other heathen nations, and illuminated us by the Sun of Righteousness, your only begotten Son, in order to lead us into the inheritance of eternal salvation,— O grant, that having been rescued from the darkness of death, we may ever attend to that celestial light, by which you guide and invite us to yourself; and may we so walk as the children of light, as never to wander from the course of our holy calling, but to advance in it continually, until we shall at length reach the goal which you have set before us, so that having put off all the filth of the flesh, we may be transformed into that ineffable glory, of which we have now the image in your only-begotten, Son.— Amen.

John Calvin's Prayer for verses 1-6b:

Grant, Almighty God, that as you have been pleased to adopt us as your people for this end, that we may be ingrafted as it were into the body of your Son, and be made conformable to our head,— O grant, that through our whole life we may strive to seal in our hearts the faith of our election, that we may be the more stimulated to render you true obedience, and that your glory may also be made known through us; and those whom you have chosen together with us may we labor to bring together, that we may unanimously celebrate you as the Author of our salvation, and so ascribe to you the glory of your goodness, that having cast away and renounced all confidence in our own virtue, we may be led to Christ only as the fountain of your election, in whom also is set before us the certainty of our salvation through your gospel, until we shall at length be gathered into that eternal glory which He has proctored for us by his own blood.— Amen.

[v.8] - "It is not evil!" - From the Pulpit Commentary: "It is more forcible to read this without the interrogation, 'It is no evil!' and to regard it as the priests' thought or word, here introduced by the prophet in bitter irony. Their conscience had grown so dull, and they had become so familiarized with constant dereliction of duty, that they saw no wrong in these violations of the Law, and never recalled the people to their duty in these matters."

John Calvin's Prayer for verses 6-10:

Grant, Almighty God, that as you have been pleased in your infinite mercy not only to choose from among us some to be priests to you, but also to consecrate us all to yourself in your only begotten Son,— O grant, that we at this day may purely and sincerely serve you, and so strive to devote ourselves wholly to you, that we may be pure and chaste in mind, soul, and body, and that your glory may so shine forth in all our performances, that your worship among us may be holy, and pure, and approved by you, until we shall at length enjoy that glory to which you invite us by your gospel, and which has been obtained for us by the blood of your only-begotten Son.— Amen.

John Calvin's Prayer for verses 11-14:

Grant, Almighty God, that since you do not keep us at this day under the shadows of the law, by which you trained up the race of Abraham, but invite us to a service far more excellent, even to consecrate ourselves, body and soul, as victims to you, and to offer not only ourselves, but also sacrifices of praise and of prayer, as you have consecrated all the duties of religion which you require from us, through Christ your Son,— O grant, that we may seek true purity, and labor to render, by a real sincerity of heart, our services approved by you, and so reverently profess and call upon your name, that really fulfilled in us may that be which you best declared by your Prophet—that your name shall be magnified and celebrated through the whole world, as it was truly made known to us in the person of your only begotten Son.— Amen.

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