Malachi 3:7

7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

Malachi 3:7 in Other Translations

KJV
7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
ESV
7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, 'How shall we return?'
NLT
7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’
MSG
7 You have a long history of ignoring my commands. You haven't done a thing I've told you. Return to me so I can return to you," says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. "You ask, 'But how do we return?'
CSB
7 "Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept [them]. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the Lord of Hosts. But you ask: "How can we return?"

Malachi 3:7 Meaning and Commentary

Malachi 3:7

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from
mine ordinances
Here begins an enumeration of the sins of the Jews, which were the cause of their ruin; and here is first a general charge of apostasy from the statutes and ordinances of the law, which they made void by the traditions of the fathers; and therefore this word is used as referring to this evil, as well as to express their early, long, and continued departure from the ways of God; which as it was an aggravation of their sin, that they should have so long ago forsook the ordinances of God,

and have not kept [them],
but transgressed them by observing the traditions of men, ( Matthew 15:3 ) so it is an instance of the patience and forbearance of God, that they were not as yet consumed; and of his grace and goodness, that he should address them as follows:

Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of
hosts;
this message was carried to them by John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, and by Christ himself, who both preached the doctrine of repentance to this people, ( Matthew 3:2 ) ( 4:17 ) . The Targum is,

``return to my worship, and I will look in my word to do well unto you, saith the Lord of hosts;''

and such who returned, and believed in Christ, and submitted to his ordinances, it was well with them.

But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
what have we to turn from, or repent of? what evils have we done, or can be charged on us? what need have we of repentance or conversion, or of such an exhortation to it? do not we keep the law, and all the rituals of it? this is the true language of the Pharisees in Christ's time, who, touching the righteousness of the law, were blameless in their own esteem, and were the ninety and nine just persons that needed not repentance, ( Luke 15:7 ) .

Malachi 3:7 In-Context

5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
6 “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings.
9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Exodus 32:8; S Jeremiah 7:26; Acts 7:51
  • 2. S Isaiah 44:22; S Ezekiel 18:32
  • 3. S Zechariah 1:3; James 4:8
  • 4. S Malachi 1:2