Malachi 2:15-16

15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[a] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[b] says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

Malachi 2:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
ESV
15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
NLT
15 Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.
MSG
15 God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that's what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse.
CSB
15 Didn't the one [God] make [us] with a remnant of His life-breath? And what does the One seek? A godly offspring. So watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth.

Malachi 2:15-16 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO MALACHI 2

This chapter contains a reproof both of priests and people for their sins. It begins with the priests, Mal 2:1 and threatens, in case they attend not to glorify the name of the Lord, they and their blessings should be cursed, their seed corrupted, dung spread upon them, and they took away with it, Mal 2:2,3 and the end of this commandment being sent them, of giving glory to the name of God, was that the covenant might appear to be with Levi, or him that was typified by him, Mal 2:4 of which covenant some account is given, with the reason why the blessings of it were given to him, with whom it was, Mal 2:5 who is described by the true doctrine he preached; by the purity of his lips; by the peaceableness and righteousness of his walk and conversation; and by his usefulness and success in turning many from sin, Mal 2:6 and it being part of the priest's office to preserve true knowledge, and communicate it, it is the duty of the people to seek to him for it; since he is the messenger of the Lord, Mal 2:7 but as for the priests of those times the prophet respects, they were apostates from the way of the Lord; made others to stumble at the law, and corrupted the covenant; and therefore became contemptible, base, and mean, in the sight of the people, Mal 2:8,9 who are next reproved for their marrying with those of other nations, idolatrous persons; and using polygamy and divorces, which were a profanation of the covenant of their fathers; a piece of perfidy and treachery among themselves; an abomination to the Lord; a profanation of his holiness; and led to idolatry, Mal 2:10,11 wherefore they are threatened to be cut off from the tabernacles of Jacob, and their sacrifices to be rejected; insomuch that the altar is represented as covered with weeping and tears, because disregarded, Mal 2:12,13. The reason of which was, because marrying more wives than one, and these strange women, was dealing treacherously with their lawful wives; was contrary to the first creation of man, and the end of it; and therefore such practices ought to be avoided; and the rather, since putting away was hateful to the Lord, Mal 2:14-16 and the chapter is concluded with a charge against them, that they wearied the Lord with their wicked words; affirming that the Lord took delight in the men that did evil; and that there were no judgment, truth, nor righteousness, in him, Mal 2:17.

Malachi 2:15-16 In-Context

13 Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.
14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.
17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

Cross References 7

  • 1. S Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 14:2; 1 Corinthians 7:14
  • 3. S Deuteronomy 4:15
  • 4. S Isaiah 54:6; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Hebrews 13:4
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 24:1; Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:4-9; Mark 10:4-5
  • 6. S Genesis 6:11; Genesis 34:25; S Proverbs 4:17; S Isaiah 58:4
  • 7. Psalms 51:10

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.
  • [b]. Or "“I hate divorce,” says the " Lord", the God of Israel, “because the man who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence,”"
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