Will a man rob God?
&c.] Or "the gods"; the false gods, the idols of the Gentiles; the Heathens will not do that, accounting sacrilege a great sin, and yet this the Jews were guilty of: or "the judges" F3, as the Targum; civil magistrates; will any dare to defraud them of their due? see ( Malachi 1:8 ) . Yet ye have robbed me;
keeping back from the priests and Levites, his ministers, what was due to them; and which, being no other than a spoiling or robbing of them, might be interpreted a robbing of God: But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee?
as not being conscious of any such evil; or, however, impudently standing in it, that they were not guilty: to which is returned the answer, In tithes and offerings;
that is, they robbed God in not giving the tithes, and not offering sacrifices, according as the law required: but it may be objected, that the Jews in Christ's time did pay tithes, even of all things; yea, of more than the law required, ( Matthew 23:23 ) ( Luke 18:12 ) to which it may be replied, that though they gave tithes, yet it was (her Nyeb) , "with an evil eye", as Aben Ezra says; grudgingly, and not cheerfully, and with an evil intention; not to show their gratitude to God, and their acknowledgment of him as their Lord, from whom they had their all, but in order to merit at his hands; besides, our Lord suggests that they did not give to God the things that were God's, ( Matthew 22:21 ) and the apostle charges them with being guilty of sacrilege, ( Romans 2:22 ) and, moreover, the priests might not give it to the Levites, as they ought; and which is what they are charged with in ( Nehemiah 13:10 ) and Grotius says that they were guilty of this before the destruction by Vespasian, as appears by Josephus.