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Malachi Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Malachi 2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.

Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

Malachi 2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

dung upon your faces. God had commanded that the dung of the sacrificial animals be buried “without the camp” (Exodus 29:14; Leviticus 4:11-12; 16:27). But, because of the faithlessness of the priests to their high calling, they were to be subjected to utter humiliation and disgrace. God would “send a curse upon you” (Malachi 2:2) and “take you away with it.” This dire warning seems to imply an untimely death, with each such corrupt priest buried “without the camp” in the dungheap.

Malachi 2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

My covenant. The covenant with “Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,” was a “covenant of peace,” the “covenant of an everlasting priesthood” (Numbers 25:11-13), but his descendants had “corrupted the covenant of Levi” (Malachi 2:8). Hypocrisy and rebellion on the part of one who is a “messenger of the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:7) may still result in being made “contemptible and base before all the people” (Malachi 2:9).

Malachi 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

God created us. All men are natural children of God by the fact of creation (Acts 17:24-29), but become spiritual children of God only by regeneration (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8). However, the primary thrust of this verse is the unity of the children of Israel, all of whom have the same father, Jacob. In fact, Israel also is said to have been “created” by God as a special people (Isaiah 43:1, 7).

Malachi 2:11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

Malachi 2:12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 2:13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

Malachi 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

Malachi 2:15 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.

make one. Malachi here refers to the original creation of man and woman, when He made them “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Even though God had allowed divorce among His people under certain circumstances (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), the Lord Jesus made it clear that this was only “because of the hardness of your hearts,” but it was not God's will (Matthew 19:8). In fact, Malachi says the Lord “hateth putting away” of one's wife (Malachi 2:16). Some of the Jews had been abandoning their own wives and taking foreign wives, thus risking the same lapse into paganism that had happened long ago when Solomon married “strange wives.” By God's direction, Nehemiah had sharply rebuked this practice, and required them to separate themselves again (Nehemiah 13:23-30).

Malachi 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

Malachi 2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?