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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on Malachi

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

2.10–16 :

Judah's unfaithfulness. This speech is either a criticism of idolatry, * by means of the metaphor * of unfaithfulness in marriage, or, more likely, a criticism of unfaithful marriage relationships themselves.

10–12 :

Judean men have been faithless by marrying foreign women, the daughter of a foreign god (v. 11 ). The prohibition against marrying foreign women appears to stem from the concern that the husband will abandon worship of Israel's God (Ex 34.16; 1 Kings 11.1–2 ).

13–16 :

Judean men have also been faithless by divorcing their wives. While deuteronomic law provides stipulations for divorce (Deut 24.1–4 ), this speech appears to be more critical of it.

1.1–5 .

1 :

Title. Malachi, meaning “my messenger” (see note a), is either the name of an individual or a title selected for the author of this prophetic collection on the basis of 3.1 .

2–5 :

Edom's ruins. For those who think their modest efforts at the reconstruction of Judah do not reflect God's presence or love, the uninhabited ruins of their neighbor Edom are a stark reminder of God's real absence and anger.

2 :

Esau, Edom's ancestor, was the brother of Jacob, Israel's ancestor (Gen 25.21–34 ).

3–4 :

God's destruction of Edom is viewed elsewhere as punishment for Edom's participation in the sacking of Jerusalem when it was conquered by the Babylonians (Obadiah; Ps 137.7–8 ).

1.6–2.9 :

The priests' sins. Making up a third of the entire book, this accusation singles out two priestly sins: making improper offerings ( 1.6–2.3 ) and giving improper instruction ( 2.4–9 ).

1.8 :

Priestly (Lev 1.3; 22.17–25 ) and deuteronomic (Deut 15.19–23 ) laws prohibit the sacrifice of blemished animals, Deuteronomy specifically forbidding the lame and blind.

2.4 :

Levi is the ancestor of Israel's priestly families (1 Chr 6.1–48 ).

8 :

Priests were responsible for teaching and instruction. Micah also blames priests for abusing their teaching office ( 3.11 ).

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