Malachi 1:8

8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

Malachi 1:8 Meaning and Commentary

Malachi 1:8

And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, [is it] not evil?
&c.] Certainly it is, according to the law in ( Leviticus 22:22 ) or, as Kimchi interprets it, when they bring to you a lamb that is blind for sacrifice to offer it up, ye say, this is not evil; but it is good to offer it up, because the table is contemptible. The sense is, that, however evil this may be in itself, according to them it was good enough to be offered up upon the altar; which proves that they despised the name of the Lord, offered polluted bread or sacrifice on his altar, and had his table in contempt: and if ye offer the lame and sick, [is it] not evil?
verily it is, by the law of God, which forbids the offering of such things, ( Leviticus 22:21 Leviticus 22:22 ) ( Deuteronomy 15:21 ) this was always observed, in all sacrifices under the law, that they were perfect, and without any blemish, whether of the flock, or of the herd; and this was strictly observed, even by the Heathens themselves: so Achilles, in Homer F1, speaks of the perfect lambs and goats they offered in sacrifice; and particularly they were not to be lame, or to halt; such were reckoned choice and excellent sacrifices, which were larger and better fed than others; and which were not lame, nor diseased, nor sickly; for things future could not be known, they say, but from a sound victim F2; for they pretended to have knowledge of them, by the entrails of the sacrifices. So Pliny F3 observes, that this is to be remarked, that calves brought to the altar on men's shoulders are not to be sacrificed; nor are the gods appeased by one that halts; in short, it is said F4, whatever is not perfect and sound is not to be offered to them; and, besides these here mentioned in the text, there were many others, which the Jews especially observed, which rendered creatures unfit for sacrifice. Maimonides F5 reckons up no less than fifty blemishes, by reason of which the priests under the law might not offer a creature for sacrifice: no doubt but the laws of Moses concerning this matter had a respect to the pure, perfect, and spotless sacrifice of Christ, which the legal ones were typical of; and teach us this lesson, that, without a complete sacrifice, no atonement or satisfaction for sin could be made: or, it is not evil in your eyes, as Aben Ezra glosses it; which is the same as before: offer it now unto thy governor;
to Zerubbabel, who was governor of Judea at this time, ( Haggai 1:1 ) for they had no king. The meaning is, offer a lamb or any other creature that is blind, sick, and lame; make a present of it to him that had the government of them; make trial this way, and see how acceptable it would be to him: will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of
will he thank thee for it, or have any respect to thee on account of it? but, on the contrary, will he not resent it as an affront to him? and if so it would be with an earthly prince, how can it be thought that to offer the blind, lame, and sick, should be acceptable to the King of kings, and Lord of lords?


F1 Iliad. I. 1. 66.
F2 Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 3. c. 12.
F3 Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 45.
F4 Scholia in Aristoph. Acharn. Act 3. Scen. 3. p. 409.
F5 Hilchot Biath Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 1. &c.

Malachi 1:8 In-Context

6 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name! “But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’
7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar. “Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices? ’ “You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect.
8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings.
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