:1-9 we finish up this section to the priests
Malachi 2:1 “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.
And now, O priests…Priests are held responsible for what they preach and those listening are held responsible for what they do.
Obviously a priest is responsible to God for all His commandments too, in fact they are more responsible because they instruct others
James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
Makes sense – so of course there are rules and requirements for them as well
So he is outlining and reinforcing some of them from before
this commandment is for you… [the stuff from before that they were not doing]
remember there were no chapter breaks in the original text; this is a continuation of the previous chapter
Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name,” Says the LORD of hosts, “I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, Because you do not take it to heart. [correction; they did not have the fleshly heart that was receptive to this]
If you won’t take this correction then it will not be good for you.
In fact it already has not been good for the people because of the priests not leading the people properly
Haggai 1:6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
Haggai 1:7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!
Haggai 1:8 Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.
Haggai 1:9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.
Haggai 1:10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
Haggai 1:11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
Malachi 2:3 “Behold, I will rebuke your descendants And spread refuse [dung] on your faces, The refuse of your solemn feasts; And one will take you away with it.
spread refuse on your faces…
The excrement of the sacrifices
Wrong approach towards the sacrifices
Shameful condition / spiritually unclean…very unclean
Their sacrifices were far from being acceptable to God, it showed the contempt God had for what they were doing and the way that they were doing it.
And one will take you away with it…
The implication being that as refuse they (the priests, the descendants, the corrupt) will be taken care just as trash is.
Malachi 2:4 Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, That My covenant with Levi [his descendants] may continue,” Says the LORD of hosts. [God is doing this in hopes of reconciling them to Him. This is what He wants and longs for.]
Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, And I gave them to him that he might fear Me; So he feared Me And was reverent before My name.
Levi was to fear and serve god; this was being violated, but it was not always that way
covenant with Levi….The context here in Malachi is the priest(hood). God made another covenant with Aaron (the brother of Moses) who was a Levite, through whom the Priesthood descended.
All Priests are Levites; not all Levites are priests; only through Aaron’s lineage
Numbers 18:19 “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt [a reference to the salt used in the offerings] forever before the LORD with you and your descendants with you.”
Numbers 18:20 Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.
Numbers 18:21 “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
Numbers 18:22 Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.
Numbers 18:23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
(Leviticus 24:5, 8–9: everlasting covenant for Aaron and his sons…by a perpetual statute)
Leviticus 2:13 tells us that “…every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.”
Carried on with Phinehas (perpetually Psalm 106:31)
Numbers 25:13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement [kaphar – covering; pitch – Noah] for the children of Israel.’ ”
Phinehas covered their sins through his singular act of zeal.
Similar to Malachi’s message
Numbers 25:1 Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab.
Numbers 25:2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.
Numbers 25:3 So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel.
Numbers 25:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the LORD, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.”
Numbers 25:5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal of Peor.”
Numbers 25:6 And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
Numbers 25:7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand;
Numbers 25:8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel.
Numbers 25:9 And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.
Numbers 25:10 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
Numbers 25:11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal.
Numbers 25:12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; (Malachi 2:5)
So the point that Malachi is getting across here by the reference to the Covenant with Levi and the allusions to peace is that there was a time when the priesthood was doing what was right to begin with and then when the people got off the track, Phinehas, of the Aaronic lineage, stood up and did what was right and necessary and this is what you guys need to be doing – that is the priesthood of Malachi’s time.
They needed to righteously teach and administer the law of God.
Malachi shows God’s covenant with Levi will continue. We find this confirmed in (Jeremiah 33:16–22)
These passages clearly tell us that God’s covenant with Levi was to be perpetual
Jeremiah 33:16 In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’
Jeremiah 33:17 “For thus says the LORD: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;
Jeremiah 33:18 nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.’ ”
Jeremiah 33:19 And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,
Jeremiah 33:20 “Thus says the LORD: ‘If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season,
Jeremiah 33:21 then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers.
Jeremiah 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’ “
So, when there is a temple in Jerusalem, the sacrifices will be handled by those of the lineage of Aaron and Phinehas.
At the beginning of the Millennium
It will be for the unconverted – the converted have a different High Priest after the order of Melchizedek
REREADING :5 for transition to :6 -7 show how the priests were executing their duties properly and of course how those in Malachi’s time should have been doing it:
Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, And I gave them to him that he might fear Me; So he feared Me And was reverent before My name. [was reverent before My name… this was no longer the case as we addressed before; Malachi 1:6 despised God’s name]
Malachi 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, And injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, And turned many away from iniquity.
Malachi 2:7 “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
Messenger: מלאך mal’âk 1) messenger, representative
they bring the message of another
#1 was Malak iy; embedded in the name; messenger of God (as all these messengers are)
#2 messenger was supposed to be the priests
The priest was to be a messenger of:
the law of truth;
peace and equity (walking by example)
repentance (turning people from sin)
knowledge (they should be able to direct the people)
The priest should know the answer or be able to get it to them; should keep knowledge, should further knowledge; true knowledge not just knowledge about sacrifices
They did that in the past:
Malachi 2:8 But you [it is emphatic in the Hebrew] have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” Says the LORD of hosts.
The priests were doing the EXACT opposite of what they were supposed to be doing
Notice the effect this has
Proverbs 28:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
This would be the effect on the people who were turning away because the priests were not teaching them the law.
Also it would be doubly bad for the priests because of what we read before: James 3:1 that teachers will receive a stricter judgment.
Malachi 2:9 “Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base [remember Proverbs 28:9] Before all the people, Because you have not kept My ways But have shown partiality in the law.”
partiality in the law… literally: “exalted faces” meaning respecters of persons
Leviticus 19:15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
This is under the section of ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2
The priesthood were not acting in a holy manner in so many ways
The Message to People :10-16
How they were doing wrong in particular how they mistreated their wives / divorced them and went after strange wives.
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?
One father or one Father;
One God … all the same God with the same set of rules
So we are one family – physically and spiritually
So why do you deal deceitfully with your family by breaking the the covenant of your fathers
the Old Covenant that we recently went over again
Malachi 2:11 Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The LORD’s holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
an abomination has been committed… [turning away from the law leads to this as we saw previously [Proverbs 28:9]
Judah has profaned… violated or defiled
The LORD’s holy… institution is not there in the original
What is implied?
Institution – could be a pretty good implication
Malachi 2:10… profaning the covenant….that marital relationship
by marrying another they were violating their previous agreement
When we look at it in context and see what Judah was doing, they were desecrating the covenant relationship with God which was a holy one (Leviticus 19:2)
married the daughter of a foreign god…. They were getting in bed, so to speak, with other nations in inappropriate ways
a foreign god…. specifically a pagan religion – that would be ANY religion that does not follow and conform to the law of God
Malachi 2:12 May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob The man who does this, being awake and aware, Yet who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
being awake and aware… him that calls (or awakes) and him that answers; the master and the student;
in other words to both will be cut off if they either of these two things:
1. Brings an offering to the LORD of hosts while being married to the daughter of a foreign god
2. Brings an offering with a false show of repentance
Malachi 2:13 And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
It was a show and they can not serve a foreign god and the true God at the same time.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Malachi 2:14 Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.
Question #3 For what reason?
Are they really saying that? Think about today? Do people believe that they are really doing anything wrong when they are making a mockery of the law of God? They say that God is not upset with them.
God was the witness of their marriage covenant of one to another. He knows they made it and holds them to it.
Yet the men are dealing deceitfully with their wives and illegally and wrongfully divorcing them for a woman whom worships that which is not God
Malachi 2:15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,’
Matthew 19:5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’ ?
Matthew 19:6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
remnant of the spirit… God had plenty of power to do more than that, but it did it for this reason:
He seeks godly offspring: He wanted a Godly family a Godly father mother and children following His ways. Why? To represent the God family of the future that He was working towards.
This is why he found it abominable when they were deceitful in this.
Malachi 2:16 “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”
wedding garment with violence; the effect of divorce and how it violently rips apart families and the work God is doing.
Summary from this section
Jews were divorcing and remarrying outside of Judah. This was committing adultery.
Judah as a nation was being deceitful and abominable and committing spiritual adultery. Jews were mixing religion and thereby breaking the marriage covenant with the God of the Old Testament.
We are to marry within the church for the same reason – we do not want to dilute the truth of God.
If we do we are in danger of breaking the new marriage covenant that we entered into with Christ at our baptism.
Malachi 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words; “Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the LORD, And He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?”
Question #4 In what way have we wearied Him?
goes through to 3:6
Answer: by continually doing these things
Same argument from before, they are saying that God is not punishing the evil nations or being just concerning them, when they should have been introspective.