Malachi 2

Priests to Be Disciplined

1 "And now this commandment is for you, O priests.
2 "If you do 1not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name," says the LORD of hosts, "then I will send the 2curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have 3cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart.
3 "Behold, I am going to 4rebuke your [a]offspring, and I will 5spread [b]refuse on your faces, the [c]refuse of your 6feasts; and you will be taken away [d]with it.
4 "Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, [e]that My 7covenant may [f]continue with Levi," says the LORD of hosts.
5 "My covenant with him was one of life and 8peace, and I gave them to him as an object of [g]reverence; so he [h]9revered Me and stood in awe of My name.
6 "[i]10True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked 11with Me in peace and uprightness, and he 12turned many back from iniquity.
7 "For the lips of a priest should preserve 13knowledge, and men should 14seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the 15messenger of the LORD of hosts.
8 "But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to 16stumble by the instruction; you have 17corrupted the covenant of Levi," says the LORD of hosts.
9 "So 18I also have made you despised and 19abased before all the people, just * as you are not keeping My ways but are showing 20partiality * in the instruction.

Sin in the Family

10 "Do we not all have 21one father? 22Has not one God created us? Why do we deal 23treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the 24covenant of our fathers?
11 "Judah has dealt 25treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has 26profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god.
12 "As for the man who does this, may the 27LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who 28presents an offering to the LORD of hosts.
13 "This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He 29no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.
14 "Yet you say, 'For what reason *?' Because * the LORD has been a witness between you and the 30wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt 31treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
15 "But not one has 32done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a 33godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal 34treacherously against the wife of your youth.
16 "For I hate 35divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with 36wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."
17 You have 37wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, "How have we wearied Him?" In that you say, "38Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He 39delights in them," or, "40Where is the God of 41justice?"

Malachi 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The priests reproved for neglecting their covenant. (1-9) The people reproved for their evil practices. (10-17)

Verses 1-9 What is here said of the covenant of priesthood, is true of the covenant of grace made with all believers, as spiritual priests. It is a covenant of life and peace; it assures all believers of all happiness, both in this world and in that to come. It is an honour to God's servants to be employed as his messengers. The priest's lips should not keep knowledge from his people, but keep it for them. The people are all concerned to know the will of the Lord. We must not only consult the written word, but desire instruction and advice from God's messengers, in the affairs of our souls. Ministers must exert themselves to the utmost for the conversion of sinners; and even among those called Israelites, there are many to be turned from iniquity. Those ministers, and those only, are likely to turn men from sin, who preach sound doctrine, and live holy lives according to the Scripture. Many departed from this way; thus they misled the people. Such as walk with God in peace and righteousness, and turn others from sin, honour God; he will honour them, while those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.

Verses 10-17 Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; and he who is false to his God, will not be true to his fellow mortals. In contempt of the marriage covenant, which God instituted, the Jews put away the wives they had of their own nation, probably to make room for strange wives. They made their lives bitter to them; yet, in the sight of others, they pretend to be tender of them. Consider she is thy wife; thy own; the nearest relation thou hast in the world. The wife is to be looked on, not as a servant, but as a companion to the husband. There is an oath of God between them, which is not to be trifled with. Man and wife should continue to their lives' end, in holy love and peace. Did not God make one, one Eve for one Adam? Yet God could have made another Eve. Wherefore did he make but one woman for one man? It was that the children might be made a seed to serve him. Husbands and wives must live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed. The God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. Those who would be kept from sin, must take heed to their spirits, for there all sin begins. Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgement? but the day of the Lord will come.

Cross References 41

  • 1. Leviticus 26:14, 15; Deuteronomy 28:15
  • 2. Deuteronomy 28:16-20
  • 3. Malachi 3:9
  • 4. Leviticus 26:16; Deuteronomy 28:38
  • 5. Nahum 3:6
  • 6. Exodus 29:14
  • 7. Num 3:11-13, 45; Numbers 18:21; Nehemiah 13:29; Malachi 3:1
  • 8. Numbers 25:12
  • 9. Num 25:7, 8, 13
  • 10. Ps 119:142, 151, 160
  • 11. Deuteronomy 33:8, 9; Psalms 37:37
  • 12. Jeremiah 23:22
  • 13. Leviticus 10:11; Nehemiah 8:7
  • 14. Numbers 27:21; Deuteronomy 17:8-11; Jeremiah 18:18; Ezekiel 7:26
  • 15. Haggai 1:13
  • 16. Jeremiah 18:15
  • 17. Numbers 25:12, 13; Nehemiah 13:29; Ezekiel 44:10
  • 18. Nahum 3:6
  • 19. Ezekiel 7:26
  • 20. Deuteronomy 1:17; Micah 3:11
  • 21. Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 31:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6
  • 22. Acts 17:24
  • 23. Jeremiah 9:4, 5
  • 24. Exodus 19:4-6; Exodus 24:3, 7, 8
  • 25. Jeremiah 3:7-9
  • 26. Ezra 9:1, 2
  • 27. Ezekiel 24:21; Hosea 9:12
  • 28. Malachi 1:10, 13
  • 29. Jeremiah 11:14; Jeremiah 14:12
  • 30. Isaiah 54:6
  • 31. Jeremiah 9:2; Malachi 3:5
  • 32. Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4, 5
  • 33. Ruth 4:12; 1 Samuel 2:20
  • 34. Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10
  • 35. Deuteronomy 24:1; Matthew 5:31; Matthew 19:6-8
  • 36. Psalms 73:6; Isaiah 59:6
  • 37. Isaiah 43:22, 24
  • 38. Isaiah 5:20; Zephaniah 1:12
  • 39. Job 9:24
  • 40. 2 Peter 3:4
  • 41. Isaiah 5:19; Jeremiah 17:15

Footnotes 26

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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