Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior BookPrior ChapterReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext ChapterNext BookRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on TwitterConnect on FacebookConnect on InstagramConnect on PinterestConnect on Google Plus

Receive our Blue Letter Bible Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Malachi 2

toggle collapse

Unfaithful Priests and Broken Marriages

A. God exposes and condemns the unfaithful priesthood of Israel.

1. (Mal 2:1-4) God threatens to severely rebuke a wicked priesthood.

"And now, O priests, this commandment is for you. 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. 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. Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant with Levi may continue," says the LORD of hosts.

a. If you will not hear: If the priests will not hear and repent God promises to curse their blessings. This is either a reference to the "blessings" brought to the priests by the people, or the priestly blessings they gave to the people.

b. Because you do not take it to heart: Their sin all goes back to a hollow formalism. It is a religion of surface emotions and outward signs, but not of the heart.

c. Spread refuse on your faces: Sacrificed animals still had excrement in their systems, and God said this should be burned outside the sanctuary (Exodus 29:14). Here, God says He will "rub their noses in it," so that they will have to be taken outside the sanctuary.

d. That My covenant with Levi may continue: This shows the motive for God's discipline against these ungodly priests. The LORD hoped that this would warn the priests back to a proper respect of His covenant.

2. (Mal 2:5-7) What a priest should be - the example of Levi.

"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. 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. 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."

a. My covenant was with him: God promised Levi that his descendants would be scattered in Israel. This was turned into a wonderful blessing when Levi was designated as the priestly tribe and the priests were sprinkled throughout Israel.

b. So he feared Me: God uses Levi as an example for the priests in the days of Malachi. Levi is shown to be an example of:

- Reverence: He feared Me and was reverent before My name
- Knowing God's Word: The law of truth was in his mouth
- Godly character: He walked with Me in peace and equity
- Preserving and promoting God's Word: Should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth

c. The law of truth was in his mouth: The priests had a special responsibility to hold and spread the word of God (2 Chronicles 31:4, Nehemiah 8:7-9). God's word was given to the priests for life and peace, and so they would be reverent before the LORD.

d. The lips of a priest should keep knowledge: Because the priests had to hold and spread God's word they had to do it with knowledge, so the people could seek the law from his mouth. Leaders should be knowledgeable messengers of God's word.

3. (Mal 2:8-9) Contrast between the ideal and the real.

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. "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."

a. You have departed from the way: The priests should have held the word of God in knowledge, reverence, and obedience. Instead, they departed from the way and therefore caused many to stumble at the law.

b. Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base before all the people: Because the priests of Malachi's day fell so far short of God's ideal for them, the people held them in contempt.

B. God exposes and condemns their treachery, especially in their marriages.

1. (Mal 2:10) God rebukes the priests of Israel for their treacherous dealing.

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?

a. Have we not all one Father? This does not teach the idea of the universal fatherhood of God, the doctrine that all are saved or that God is everyone's father in the same way. This is a simple assertion that because we are all made in the image of God, we must respect and deal honorably with all.

b. Why do we deal treacherously with one another: Malachi will apply this specifically to marriage, but their sin of treachery went beyond their unfaithfulness in marriage.

i. "All betrayals, from the slightest unkindness to the grossest injustice, merit God's disapproval." (Alden)

2. (Mal 2:11-12) The first offense of the priests: marrying foreign wives.

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. 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!

a. The LORD's holy institution which He loves: This tells us exactly how God feels about marriage. It is holy to Him; it is an institution to Him; and God loves marriage.

i. When we sin against our marriage or our marriage vows, we sin against something holy to God. He has set apart marriage for a special meaning, a special purpose in the life of His people.

ii. When we sin against our marriage or our marriage vows, we sin against an institution that God has established. Marriage is God's idea, not man's; He formed and established the first marriage as a pattern for every one afterwards (Genesis 2:20-25). Because it is an institution, we are not allowed to define marriage any way that pleases us; God has established it and we must conform to what He has established.

iii. When we sin against our marriage or our marriage vows, we sin against something that God loves.

- God loves marriage for what it displays about His relationship with us
- God loves marriage for the good it does in society
- God loves marriage for the way it meets the needs of men, women, and children
- Most of all, God loves marriage as a tool for conforming us into the image of His Son

b. He has married the daughter of a foreign god: The first treachery and abomination God addresses is the intermarriage between the people of God and their ungodly neighbors. The dangers of an ungodly intermarriage are well documented in the Old and New Testaments.

i. Israel married women from Moab and brought the curse of God upon the people (Numbers 25).

ii. Solomon married foreign women who took his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:1-10).

iii. Ahab married Jezebel - a foreign woman - who led Israel into new depths of depravity (1 Kings 16:29-33).

iv. Paul says that believers and unbelievers should not be joined together (2 Corinthians 6:11-18).

c. May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, being awake and aware, yet who brings an offering: God promised to punish the priests who married foreign, pagan wives and thought that it would not affect their service of the LORD.

i. Awake and aware is a tough phrase to translate. Other translations have "master and scholar," "tempter and tempted," "witness and advocate," "kilth and kin," or even "nomads and settlers." "Obviously, the Hebrew idiom is just another way of saying 'everyone.'" (Alden)

ii. God's command against mixed marriages in Israel had nothing to do with race, but with faith. There is even a foreign wife in the genealogy of Jesus - Ruth was a Moabite who married a Jewish man named Boaz; but she forsook Moab's gods for the LORD (Ruth 1:16).

3. (Mal 2:13-16) The second offense of the priests: a low regard of marriage.

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. 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. 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. "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."

a. You cover the altar of the LORD with tears … so He does not regard the offering anymore: The neglected and divorced wives of the priests came and wept at God's altar. When their priestly husbands then offered sacrifice to God at the same altar it offended God.

i. "They cover the altar of Jehovah with tears, namely, by compelling the wives who have been put away to lay their trouble before God in the sanctuary." (Keil)

ii. Pastor, has your harsh, neglectful, or unkind treatment of your wife caused her to cry out before God? "You caused your poor wives, when they should have been cheerful in God's service … to cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping, and with crying out." (Trapp)

b. Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously: The priests sinned by forsaking the wife they married in their youth, breaking the goal of marriage (she is your companion) and the bond of marriage (your wife by covenant).

i. "They kept their wives till they had passed their youth, and then put them away, that they might get young ones in their place." (Clarke)

c. Did He not make them one: The Bible continually comes back to God's goal and plan for marriage as revealed in Genesis 2:18-25. Essential to God's plan for marriage is the essential oneness between husband and wife. One important reason for this oneness is to establish a proper environment for raising godly offspring.

d. He hates divorce: There is no doubt that God hates divorce because it destroys what He loves - marriage is the LORD's holy institution which He loves (Malachi 2:11). Specifically, we can say that God hates divorce for at least three reasons:

- God hates divorce because it breaks a solemn vow
- God hates divorce because it is harmful
- God hates divorce because it illustrates apostasy and damnation

i. There is no doubt that God allows divorce in particular circumstances, though divorce is never commanded. God's heart is always for repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation in marriage. We have sinned against God far worse than any spouse could sin against us, and God does not divorce us - though He has every right to!

ii. Yet because we are fallen and suffer from hardness of heart, God gives permission for divorce in two circumstances. Sexual immorality is valid grounds (Matthew 19:1-9), and so is desertion by an unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10-16).

iii. Significantly, misery, unhappiness, poverty, or incompatibilities are never given as grounds for divorce. Where there is danger or abuse separation may be in order in accordance with 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, but the separated couple must live in complete faithfulness to their marriage vows, though they live as separate.

iv. If someone does not have Biblical grounds for divorce, God regards them as still married and any subsequent relationship is considered adultery (Matthew 19:8-9). It isn't that you shouldn't divorce for unbiblical grounds; you can't divorce for unbiblical grounds. Nevertheless, if someone divorces with proper grounds, then they are free to remarry (1 Corinthians 7:15).

e. It covers one's garment with violence: Part of the marriage ceremony in Bible times involved the husband covering his wife with his garment as a symbol of the protection he brought her. But now, their garments were covered with violence. When a wife is forsaken or mistreated the man covers his own garment with violence. This is because the husband and wife are one, and he cannot mistreat his wife without bringing misery and destruction to himself.

i. This is Paul's point in Ephesians 5:28: So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. Simply said, when you love your wife, you benefit yourself.  Perhaps it is better to put it in the negative: when you neglect your wife, you neglect yourself, and it willcome back to hurt you.

ii. We all know what it is like to neglect something - like a noise or a maintenance issue on an automobile - and it comes back to hurt you.  Husbands, it is even more true regarding your wife, because she is part of you.

f. Therefore take heed to your spirit: This phrase is repeated twice because it is so important. The reason why the priests dealt treacherously against their wife is that they did not take heed to their spirit. They allowed their hearts to become hard, critical, and embittered against the woman they were supposed to regard as their special, God-given companion in oneness.

i. It is important to realize that we can change our feelings towards our spouse. If we do not feel loving or connected or caring about them, that can be changed if we will take heed to our spirit.

4. (Mal 2:17) The fourth question: Where is the God of justice in this unjust world?

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?"

a. Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD: The people of God in Malachi's day were depressed and discouraged because it seemed like the wicked prospered and had it better than the godly. This filled them with doubt and unbelief, and they grumbled that everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD.

b. Where is the God of justice? When they compared themselves with others, they thought it was unjust of God to bless others and not them. Nevertheless, their question shows that they don't understand what the God of justice would give to them.

c. You have wearied the LORD with your words: This kind of ignorant, unbelieving talk from God's people is wearisome to God. It shows how much His people resist His truth and His work.

i. "God is offended when people accuse Him of injustice." (Boice)

© 2001 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Search

Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines

Timelines

Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions

Multimedia

Video

Music

Products

Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools

Devotionals

Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Help

Video Tutorials

Support

Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions

Ministries

Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries

About

About the BLB

Statement of Faith

History

Newsletter

Partnerships

Ministry FAQs

Donate

Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites


BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters

Facebook

Twitter


Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username

Password

 [?]

 

Did you forget your password?


Register a new BLB account

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name

PasswordRe-enter

[ Cancel ]

 

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username

 

Return to Login

Close Login