1:1 The a burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
The Argument - This Prophet was one of the three who God
raised up for the comfort of the Church after the captivity,
and after him there was no one else until John the Baptist
was sent, which was either a token of God's wrath, or an
admonition that they should with more fervent desires look
for the coming of the Messiah. He confirms the same
doctrine, that the two former do: chiefly he reproves the
priests for their covetousness, and because they served God
after their own fantasies, and not according to the
direction of his word. He also notes certain distinct sins,
which were then among them, such as the marrying of
idolatrous and many wives, murmurings against God,
impatience, and things such as these. Nonetheless, for the
comfort of the godly he declares that God would not forget
his promise made to their fathers, but would send Christ his
messenger, in whom the covenant would be accomplished, whose
coming would be terrible to the wicked, and bring all
consolation and joy to the godly.
(a) )See Geneva "Isa 13:1")
1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, b Wherein
hast thou loved us? [Was] not Esau Jacob's brother? saith
the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
(b) Which declares their great ingratitude that did not
acknowledge this love, which was so evident, in that he
chose Abraham from out of all the world, and next chose
Jacob the younger brother from whom they came, and left
Esau the elder.
1:3 And I c hated Esau, 1 and laid his mountains and his
heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
(c) For besides this the signs of my hatred appeared even
when he was made servant to his younger brother, being
yet in his mother's belly, and also afterward in that he
was put from his birthright. Yet even now before your
eyes the signs of this are evident, in that his country
lies waste, and he will never return to inhabit it.
(d) Whereas you my people, whom the enemy hated more than
them, are by my grace and love towards you delivered;
read (Ro 9:13).
1:6 A son honoureth [his] father, and a servant his master: if
then I [be] a father, where [is] mine honour? and if I [be]
a master, where [is] my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto
you, d O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, e
Wherein have we despised thy name?
(d) Besides the rest of the people he mainly condemns the
priests, because they should have reproved others for
their hypocrisy, and for not yielding to God, and should
not have hardened them by their example to do greater
(e) He notes their great hypocrisy, who would not see their
faults, but most impudently covered them, and so were
1:7 Ye offer f polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say,
Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of
the LORD [is] (g) contemptible.
(f) You receive all types of offerings for your own
greediness, and do not examine whether they are
according to my Law or not.
(g) Not that they said this, but by their doings they
1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, [is it] h not
evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, [is it] not evil?
offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with
thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
(h) You make it no fault: and by this he condemns them that
think it sufficient to serve God partly as he has
commanded, and partly after man's fantasy, and so do not
come to the pureness of religion, which he requires.
And therefore in reproach he shows them that a mortal
man would not be content to be served in such a way.
1:9 And now, I pray you, i beseech God that he will be
gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he
regard k your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
(i) He derides the priests who deceived the people in saying
that they prayed for them, and shows that they were the
occasion that these evils came upon the people.
(k) Will God consider your office and state, seeing you are
so covetous and wicked?
1:10 Who [is there] even among you l that would shut the doors
[for nought]? neither do ye kindle [fire] on mine altar for
nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts,
neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
(l) Because the Levites who kept the doors did not test
whether the sacrifices that came in were according to
the Law, God wishes that they would rather shut the
doors, than to receive such as were not perfect.
1:11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of
the same my name [shall be] m great among the Gentiles;
and in every place incense [shall be] offered unto my name,
and a pure offering: for my name [shall be] great among the
heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
(m) God shows that their ingratitude and neglect of his
true service will be the cause of the calling of the
Gentiles: and here the Prophet that was under the Law,
used words that the people would understand, and by the
altar and sacrifice he means the spiritual service of
God, which should be under the Gospel, when an end
would be made to all these legal ceremonies by Christ's
1:12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, n The table of
the LORD [is] polluted; and the fruit thereof, [even] his
meat, [is] contemptible.
(n) Both the priests and the people were infected with this
error, that they did not regard what was offered: for
they thought that God was as well content with the
lean, as with the fat. But in the meantime they did
not show the obedience to God which he required, and so
committed impiety, and also showed their contempt of
God, and covetousness.
1:13 Ye said also, Behold, what a o weariness [is it]! and ye
have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought
[that which was] torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye
brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand?
saith the LORD.
(o) The priests and people were both weary with serving
God, and did not regard what manner of sacrifice and
service they gave to God: for that which was least
profitable, was thought good enough for the Lord.
1:14 But cursed [be] the deceiver, which hath in his flock p a
male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt
thing: for I [am] a great King, saith the LORD of hosts,
and my name [is] dreadful among the heathen.
(p) That is, has ability to serve the Lord according to his
word, and yet will serve him according to his covetous