"I will send my messenger,1 who will prepare the way before me.2 Then suddenly the Lord 3 you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant,4 whom you desire,5 will come," says the LORD Almighty.
But who can endure6 the day of his coming?7 Who can stand8 when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire9 or a launderer's soap.103
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;11 he will purify12 the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.13 Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,144
and the offerings15 of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.165
"So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers,17 adulterers18 and perjurers,19 against those who defraud laborers of their wages,20 who oppress the widows21 and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners22 among you of justice, but do not fear23 me," says the LORD Almighty.
"I the LORD do not change.24 So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.257
Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away26 from my decrees and have not kept them. Return27 to me, and I will return to you,"28 says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask,29 'How are we to return?'
"Will a mere mortal rob30 God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How are we robbing you?' "In tithes31 and offerings.
You are under a curse32--your whole nation--because you are robbing me.
Bring the whole tithe33 into the storehouse,34 that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates35 of heaven and pour out36 so much blessing37 that there will not be room enough to store it.3811
I will prevent pests from devouring39 your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,40" says the LORD Almighty.
"Then all the nations will call you blessed,41 for yours will be a delightful land,"42 says the LORD Almighty.43
"You have spoken arrogantly44 against me," says the LORD. "Yet you ask,45 'What have we said against you?'
"You have said, 'It is futile46 to serve47 God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements48 and going about like mourners49 before the LORD Almighty?
But now we call the arrogant50 blessed. Certainly evildoers51 prosper,52 and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.' "
Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard.53 A scroll54 of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared55 the LORD and honored his name.
"On the day when I act," says the LORD Almighty, "they will be my56 treasured possession.57 I will spare58 them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son59 who serves him.
And you will again see the distinction between the righteous60 and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.61