1* An oracle. The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.

I. Israel Preferred to Edom

2a I love you, says the LORD;

but you say, “How do you love us?”

3* b Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?—oracle of the LORD.

I loved Jacob, but rejected Esau;

I made his mountains a waste,

his heritage a desert for jackals.

4c If Edom says, “We have been crushed,

but we will rebuild the ruins,”

Thus says the LORD of hosts:

They indeed may build, but I will tear down,

And they shall be called “territory of wickedness,”

the people with whom the LORD is angry forever.

5d Your own eyes will see it, and you will say,

“Great is the LORD, even beyond the territory of Israel.”

II. Offense in Sacrifice and Priestly Duty

6e A son honors his father,

and a servant fears his master;

If, then, I am a father,

where is the honor due to me?

And if I am a master,

where is the fear due to me?

So says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests,

who disdain my name.

But you ask, “How have we disdained your name?”

7By offering defiled food on my altar!

You ask, “How have we defiled it?”

By saying that the table of the LORD may be disdained!

8* f When you offer a blind animal for sacrifice,

is there no wrong in that?

When you offer a lame or sick animal,

is there no wrong in that?

Present it to your governor!

Will he be pleased with you—or show you favor?

says the LORD of hosts.

9So now implore God’s favor, that he may have mercy on us!

You are the ones who have done this;

Will he show favor to any of you?

says the LORD of hosts.

10* Oh, that one of you would just shut the temple gates

to keep you from kindling fire on my altar in vain!

I take no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts;

and I will not accept any offering from your hands!

11g From the rising of the sun to its setting,

my name is great among the nations;

Incense offerings are made to my name everywhere,

and a pure offering;

For my name is great among the nations,

says the LORD of hosts.

12But you profane it by saying

that the LORD’s table is defiled,

and its food may be disdained.

13You say, “See what a burden this is!”

and you exasperate me, says the LORD of hosts;

You bring in what is mutilated, or lame, or sick;

you bring it as an offering!

Will I accept it from your hands?

says the LORD.

14Cursed is the cheat who has in his flock an intact male,

and vows it, but sacrifices to the LORD a defective one instead;

For a great king am I, says the LORD of hosts,

and my name is feared among the nations.

* [1:1] See note on Zec 9:1.

* [1:35] The thought passes from the person Esau to his descendants, Edom, and from the person Jacob to his descendants, Israel; cf. Gn 25:2123. In the New Testament, Paul uses this passage as an example of God’s freedom of choice in calling the Gentiles to faith (Rom 9:13).

* [1:8] The sacrificial offering of a lame, sick, or blind animal was forbidden in the law (Lv 22:1725; Dt 17:1).

* [1:1011] The imperfect sacrifices offered by the people of Judah are displeasing to the Lord. Kindling fire on my altar: kindle the altar fire for sacrifice. In contrast, the Lord is pleased with the sacrifices offered by other peoples in other places (the rising of the sun: the far east; its setting: the far west). Since the people of other nations could not be expected to know the Lord’s name as did the people of Judah, the rhetorical purpose of this statement is to shame the latter. Incense offerings: in the ancient world, the hallmark of an offering made to a god was the smoke it produced on an altar. In the Old Testament, this was true not only of animals (Lv 8:2021) but also of incense (Ex 30:7), suet (Lv 3:11), and grain offerings (Lv 6:8). In a Christian interpretation of Mal 1:1011, the “pure offering” of Mal 1:11 is seen as a reference to sacrifice in the Messianic Age. The Council of Trent endorsed this interpretation (DS 1724).

a. [1:2] Dt 7:8; Ez 16; Hos 11:1; Am 1:11.

b. [1:3] Gn 25:23; Rom 9:13.

c. [1:4] Is 34:215; 63:16; Jer 49:722; Ob 21.

d. [1:5] Is 60.

e. [1:6] Prv 1:7; Is 29:13.

f. [1:8] Lv 22:1725; Dt 15:21; 17:1.

g. [1:11] Ps 113:3; Is 59:19.

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