From The Work of God's Children
THE PROPHECY OF MALACHI
Malachi, whose name signifies The Angel of the Lord, was contemporary with Nehemiah. He was the last of the prophets, in the order of time, and flourished about four hundred years before Christ. He foretells the coming of Christ; the reprobation of the Jews and their sacrifices; and the calling of the Gentiles, who shall offer up to God in every place an acceptable sacrifice.
Malachi Chapter 1
God reproaches the Jews with their ingratitude: and the priests for not offering pure sacrifices. He will accept of the sacrifice that shall be offered in every place among the Gentiles.
1:1. The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by the hand of Malachi.
1:2. I have loved you, says the Lord: and you have said: Wherein have You loved us? Was not Esau brother to Jacob, says the Lord, and I have loved Jacob,
I have loved Jacob, etc. . .I have preferred his posterity, to make them my chosen people, and to lead them with my blessings, without any merit on their part, and though they have been always ungrateful; while I have rejected Esau, and executed severe judgments upon his posterity. Not that God punished Esau, or his posterity, beyond their desert: but that by his free election and grace he loved Jacob, and favored his posterity above their deserts. See the annotations upon Rom. 9.
1:4. But if Edom shall say: We are destroyed, but we will return and build up what has been destroyed: thus says the Lord of hosts: They shall build up, and I will throw down: and they shall be called the borders of wickedness, and the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.
1:5. Your eyes shall see: and you shall say: The Lord be magnified upon the border of Israel.
1:6. The son honors the father, and the servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear: says the Lord of hosts.
1:7. To you, O priests, that despise My name, and have said: Wherein have we despised Your name? You offer polluted bread upon My altar, and you say: Wherein have we polluted You? In that you say: The table of the Lord is contemptible.
1:8. If you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? offer it to your prince, if he will be pleased with it, or if he will regard your face, says the Lord of hosts.
1:9. Beseech now the face of God, that he may have mercy on you, (for by your hand has this been done,) if by any means he will receive your faces, says the Lord of hosts.
1:10. Who is there among you, that will shut the doors, and will kindle the fire on my altar gratis? I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts: and I will not receive a gift of your hand.
1:11. For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation: for My name is great among the Gentiles, says the Lord of hosts.
A clean oblation. . .Viz., the precious body and blood of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice.
1:12. You have profaned it in that you say: The table of the Lord is defiled: and that which is laid thereupon is contemptible with the fire that devours it.
1:13. You have said: Behold of our labor, and you puffed it away, says the Lord of hosts, and you brought in of rapine the lame, and the sick, and brought in an offering: shall I accept it at your hands, says the Lord?
Behold of our labor, etc. . .You pretended labor and weariness, when you brought your offering; and so made it of no value, by offering it with an evil mind. Moreover, what you offered was both defective in itself, and gotten by rapine and extortion.
1:14. Cursed is the deceitful man that has in his flock a male, and making a vow offers in sacrifice that which is feeble to the Lord: for I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and My name is dreadful among the Gentiles.
Malachi Chapter 2
The priests are sharply reproved for neglecting their covenant. The evil of marrying with idolaters: and too easily putting away their wives.
2:1. Now, O you priests, this commandment is for you.
2:2. If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to My name, says the Lord of hosts: I will send poverty upon you, and will curse your blessings, yes I will curse them, because you have not laid it to heart.
2:3. Behold, I will fling the shoulder at you, and will scatter the manure of your solemnities upon your face, and it shall take you away with it.
The shoulder was appointed in the law to be the priests' portion.
2:4. You shall know that I sent you this commandment, that My covenant might be with Levi, says the Lord of hosts.
2:5. My covenant was with him of life and peace: and I gave him fear: and he feared Me, and he was afraid before My name.
2:6. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with Me in peace, and in equity, and turned many away from iniquity.
2:7. For the lips of the priests shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth: because he is the spokesman of the Lord of hosts.
2:8. But you have departed from the path, and have caused many to stumble at the law; you have made void the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts.
2:9. Therefore have I also made you contemptible, and base before all people, as you have not kept My ways, and have accepted persons in the law.
2:10. Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then does every one of us despise his brother, violating the covenant of our fathers?
2:11. Judah has transgressed, and abomination has been committed in Israel, and in Jerusalem: for Judah has profaned the holiness of the Lord, which he loved, and has married the daughter of a strange god.
2:12. The Lord will cut off the man that has done this, both the master, and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offers an offering to the Lord of hosts.
2:13. This again have you done, you have covered the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and bellowing, so that I have no more a regard to sacrifice, neither do I accept any atonement at your hands.
With tears. . .Viz., by occasion of your wives, whom you have put away, and who came to weep and lament before the altar.
2:14. You have said: For what cause? Because the Lord has been witness between you, and the wife of your youth, whom you have despised: yet she was your partner, and the wife of your covenant.
2:15. Did not one make her, and she is the residue of His spirit? What does one seek, but the seed of God? Keep then your spirit, and do not despise the wife of your youth.
2:16. I hate when you divorce her, says the Lord, the God of Israel: and when you cover your garments with iniquity, says the Lord of hosts; keep your spirit, and despise not.
2:17. You have wearied the Lord with your words, and you said: Wherein have we wearied him? In that you say: Every one that does evil, is good in the sight of the Lord, and such please Him: or surely where is the God of judgment?
Malachi Chapter 3
Christ shall come to his temple, and purify the priesthood. They that continue in their evil ways shall be punished: but true penitents shall receive a blessing.
3:1. Behold I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before My face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the messenger of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to His temple. Behold, He comes, says the Lord of hosts.
My messenger. . .Viz., John the Baptist, the messenger of God, and forerunner of Christ.
3:2. Who shall be able to think of the day of his coming, and who shall stand to see Him? For He is like a refining fire, and like the fuller's herb:
3:3. He shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice.
3:4. The sacrifice of Judah and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years.
3:5. I will come to you in judgment, and will be a speedy witness against sorcerers, and adulterers, and false swearers, and those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widows, and the fatherless: and oppress the stranger, and have not feared Me, says the Lord of hosts.
3:6. For I am the Lord, and I do not change: and you the sons of Jacob are not consumed.
3:7. For from the days of your fathers you have departed from My ordinances, and have not kept them: Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. You have said: Wherein shall we return?
3:8. Shall a man afflict God, for you afflict Me. You have said: Wherein do we afflict You? In tithes and in first fruits.
3:9. You are cursed with want, and you afflict Me, even the whole nation of you.
3:10. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house, and try Me in this, says the Lord: if I do not open unto you the flood-gates of heaven, and pour you out a blessing even to abundance.
3:11. I will rebuke for your sakes the devourer, and he shall not spoil the fruit of your land: neither shall the vine in the field be barren, says the Lord of hosts.
3:12. All nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts.
3:13. Your words have been unsufferable to me, says the Lord.
3:14. You have said: What have we spoken against You? You have said: He that serves God labors in vain, and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinances, and that we have walked sorrowfully before the Lord of hosts?
3:15. Wherefore now we call the proud people happy, for those who work wickedness are built up, and they have tempted God and are preserved.
3:16. Then those who feared the Lord, spoke every one with his neighbor: and the Lord gave ear, and heard it: and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord, and contemplate His name.
3:17. They shall be My special possession, says the Lord of hosts, in the day that I do judgment: and I will spare them, as a man spares his son that serves him.
3:18. You shall return, and shall see the difference between the just and the wicked: and between him that serves God, and him that does not serve Him.
Malachi Chapter 4
The judgment of the wicked, and reward of the just. An exhortation to observe the law. Elijah shall come for the conversion of the Jews.
4:1. For behold the day shall come kindled as a furnace: and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall set them on fire, says the Lord of hosts, it shall not leave them root, nor branch.
4:2. But unto you that fear My name, the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings: and you shall go forth, and shall leap like calves of the herd.
4:3. You shall tread down the wicked when they shall be ashes under the sole of your feet in the day that I do this, says the Lord of hosts.
4:4. Remember the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, the precepts, and judgments.
4:5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
4:6. He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers: lest I come, and strike the earth with anathema.
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