Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
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What should I learn from this chapter?
- It focuses on the priests of Levi whom God set up as a template to teach His ways.
- This chapter weighs out the consequences of the priests with their actions. Like Belshazzar in Daniel 5, it is a fearful thing to be found “wanting” or coming up short. God expected more, especially when it comes to reflecting on His Character.
- God expects more from the Jews in general because they were His chosen people to represent His Name. When they were found “wanting”, one can see how history has meted out the consequences of God’s withdrawal.
- God expects more from kings because they have been given the role of shepherd.
- God expects more from priests because they know God’s directives but become hypocritical in applying them to their own lives.
- God expects more from husbands because God appointed them as the providers and protectors of their wives.
- In short, anyone with a headship is answerable to God for how they use it.
- The family is the foundation for God’s kingdom and the children are the most important focus. The trickle down theory means the children take the brunt of bad leadership and parenting.
- The goal is always Sacred Relationships: not money, positions, things, fame or other enticing things of this world.
Malachi 2:1 “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.
- Not a suggestion, an opinion, or a haphazard thought that will take flight when the conversation has ended:
Malachi 2:2 If you will not hear,
And if you will not take it to heart,
To give glory to My name,”
- Don’t use God’s Name in vain. Their position uses God’s Name, not by the words of the mouth but by the betrayal of their position.
- It is the act of hypocrisy.
Says the Lord of hosts (Yᵊhōvâ ṣāḇā’),
“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.
- John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Malachi 2:3 “Behold, I will rebuke your descendants
And spread refuse on your faces,
The refuse of your solemn feasts;
And one will take you away with it (Lit. to it).
- The Hebrew meaning of “refuse” is “dung”: pereš h6569
- faecal matter
- It’s root meaning is to separate (from the entrails) and scatter (on the fields of the world).
- The modern equivalence of “skat” or “scat”
- It is a euphemism for shame.
- When God says they will be taken away with it, He means they will be separated from Him and scattered on the fields of the world.
Malachi 2:4 Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you,
That My covenant with Levi may continue,”
Says the Lord of hosts (Yᵊhōvâ ṣāḇā’).
- The adage for the “Wandering Jew” becomes the reality of history. After the time of Christ they have wandered for ~2000 years from country to country in exile and affliction. Their faces smeared with shame.
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.
- There was a time when the example was set, when God gave them life and peace and they responded with the reverence due His Holy Name.
Malachi 2:6 The law of truth (Or True instruction) was in his mouth,
And injustice (Or unrighteousness) was not found on his lips.
He walked with Me in peace and equity,
And turned many away from iniquity.
- A reflection of God walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden in peace and equity. Genesis 3:8
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 (Yᵊhōvâ ṣāḇā’).
- Messenger of the Lord:
- The Hebrew word for messenger is mal’āḵ h4397
- The meaning is the same as “angel”
Malachi 2:8 But you 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 (Yᵊhōvâ ṣāḇā’).
- Breaking a covenant is the worst sin a man can make. It is called a covenant of death. When God makes a covenant He does not and cannot break it. Jesus was the covenant of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He made a vow and He kept it.
Malachi 2:9 “Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base
Before all the people,
Because you have not kept My ways
But have shown partiality in the law.”
- The first goal is sacred relationships. The second law is sacred justice where the scales are balanced.
Treachery of Infidelity
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one Father?
Has not one God (‘ēl) created us?
- Genesis 1:1 says the worlds were created by a plural word for God: “Elohim”. Here, it uses the singular “el”. Elohim is the Godhead while “el” is one person of the Godhead.
- See Topic: The Creator
Why do we deal treacherously with one another
By profaning the covenant of the fathers?
- The Hebrew word for covenant is bᵊrîṯ. It is the cutting off the pleasure of worldliness from man’s heart as represented by circumcision, also a covenant from God with the Jews.
- Deu 10:16 “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.
- The rite of circumcision is “bᵊrîṯ mûlâ” where brit is a covenant and milah is the cutting of the flesh.
- All covenants are oaths of death with the belief that if one were to break the covenant, the descendants of the family who was dwelt with in treachery will return for justice and vengeance to act as the kinsman redeemer.
Malachi 2:11 Judah has dealt treacherously,
And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem,
- Judah has dealt treacherously breaking God’s covenant. God has the right to return vengeance with the covenant of death in order to retrieve justice.
- Likewise, Jesus acts as man’s Kinsman Redeemer because Satan acted treacherously when he rebelled against God taking mankind captive. Jesus died to take men back from the auction block of slavery to sin.
For Judah has profaned
The Lord’s (Yᵊhōvâ‘s) holy institution which He loves:
He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
- Marriage is a holy institution where God unites man and woman as one, even as the Godhead is “one”.
- Idolatry is like bringing a new wife into the covenant and leaving the (old) wife of the covenant (God Himself).
- Usually, when it comes to idolatry which God calls “harlotry”, it is the idolatrous wife (Jews) “cheating” on the faithful husband in which God is the husband.
- Since it seems to be reversed, one can assume that the faithful “wife” is the Holy Spirit and the Jews are the treacherous husbands.
Malachi 2:12 May the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) cut off from the tents of Jacob
The man who does this, being awake and aware (teacher and student),
Yet who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts (Yᵊhōvâ ṣāḇā’)!
- He acts the part of the hypocrite.
Malachi 2:13 And this is the second thing you do:
You cover the altar of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) with tears,
With weeping and crying;
So He does not regard the offering anymore,
Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
- It is like a man who brings roses to his wife on Valentine’s Day after leaving jewelry with his mistress.
- The wife has the right to refuse his offering of roses.
Malachi 2:14 Yet you say, “For what reason?”
Because the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) has been witness
- According to the law it takes two or more witnesses to confirm a truth. Since God is a trinity, there are three who bear 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.
- As a covenant with God – so the covenant one’s wife.
- It is Satan’s desire to break the bonds of every covenant dealing with God. Satan even tries to break the covenant between the Godhead by tempting Jesus in the wilderness to worship him. Like the electron’s that circle the nucleus of an atom, when those bonds are broken a nuclear explosion occurs.
If you despise your wife you despise your life, for you and your wife are one.
- Personal Application: For a man to mistreat his wife, ignoring her needs is like one side of the body destroying the other side of the body. The marriage has a “stroke” effecting the body, mind, soul, and spirit. In literal terms, it becomes impossible to function in a healthy way and the children pay the bill.
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 (female),
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
- We are working on two levels, the way men treat God and the way men treat their wives.
- Both result in fruit: either good fruit or bad fruit.
Malachi 2:16 “For the Lord God (Yᵊhōvâ ‘ĕlōhîm) of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the Lord of hosts (Yᵊhōvâ ṣāḇā’).
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”
- To exchange a young wife for the old wife is to leave the old wife behind. A man’s job, like God, is to help her cross the finish line with him in spiritual significance.
- Beware! When violence is in the marriage it does NOT mean to stay together. Because of the hardness of heart God allows divorce.
- Matthew 19:8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
- Whose heart is hardened? Who needs to let go?
Malachi 2:17 You have wearied the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) 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 (Yᵊhōvâ),
And He delights in them,”
- God never – ever – ever delights in sin.
- Colossians 3:25
But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
- God expects more from believers to live as examples of His love and justice.
- Matthew 19:8
- He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”