1 The Lord Almighty answers, "I will send my messenger to prepare the way for me. Then the Lord you are looking for will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger you long to see will come and proclaim my covenant." 1
2 But who will be able to endure the day when he comes? Who will be able to survive when he appears? He will be like strong soap, like a fire that refines metal. 2
3 He will come to judge like one who refines and purifies silver. As a metalworker refines silver and gold, so the Lord's messenger will purify the priests, so that they will bring to the Lord the right kind of offerings.
4 Then the offerings which the people of Judah and Jerusalem bring to the Lord will be pleasing to him, as they used to be in the past.
5 The Lord Almighty says, "I will appear among you to judge, and I will testify at once against those who practice magic, against adulterers, against those who give false testimony, those who cheat employees out of their wages, and those who take advantage of widows, orphans, and foreigners - against all who do not respect me.
6 "I am the Lord, and I do not change. And so you, the descendants of Jacob, are not yet completely lost. 3
7 You, like your ancestors before you, have turned away from my laws and have not kept them. Turn back to me, and I will turn to you. But you ask, "What must we do to turn back to you?'
8 I ask you, is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not, yet you are cheating me. "How?' you ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings.
9 A curse is on all of you because the whole nation is cheating me.