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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Malachi 2

Verse 1

Mal 2:1. The priests were the men who supervised the services at the altar and who were responsible for their proper performances. That is why this passage is addressed to them as stated in the beginning of the verse.

Verse 2

Mal 2:2. Do not lay it to heart signifies that the priests were tolerating this inferior service of the people. They had been guilty of such corruption even before the years of the captivity (Jer 5:31). The present generations of priests were drilting into the same unfaithfulness and the Lord was pronouncing a curse upon them.

Verse 3

Mal 2:3. Dung of your solemn feasts. In preparing an animal for the altar it was required that the internal parts be washed and that would include the removal of the dung. This verse threatened to take that matter and spread it on their faces.

Verse 4

Mal 2:4. Such shameful treatment as described would emphasize guilt. It would also impress them with God's respect for the service that had started with Levi which means the tribe from which the priesthood came.

Verse 5

Mal 2:5. Levi as a tribe showed his fear or r everence for God when he responded to the call to take a stand on the Lord's side (Exo 32:26).

Verse 6

Mal 2:6, This description of Levi (or that tribe) applies to the time when he came over to the Lord's side and showed his sincerity by fighting against the rebels.

Verse 7

Mal 2:7. Tbe Lord then honored tbat tribe with being the custodian of the law. (See Lev 10:11; Deu 17:9.) With such a charge the priests were expected to be informed about the law and see that it was followed. Instead of doing so they had become indifferent and were encouraging the people in their formalities.

Verse 8

Mal 2:8. The Indifference of these priests was causing the common members of the congregation to stumble or become corrupt in their practices.

Verse 9

Mal 2:9. The priesthood was an important and dignified office and should have been respected by the people. But the corruptions that were allowed to creep into the service had lowered the priests in the eyes of all people.

Verse 10

Mal 2:10. The common brotherhood of the Jews under one Father should have induced the leaders to treat the others respectfully. They did not do so but used their office to take advantage of' the poor and common people.

Verse 11

Mal 2:11. The tribe of Judah had nothing to do officially with the altar services, but those men became guilty with the priests by offering these inferior articles to be used as sacrifices. They also showed their greed for gain in all of theIr conduct as was seen in verse 10 of the preceding chapter. Married the daughter of a strange god. The last word is defined in the lexicon as meanIng "any deity." The Jews never worshiped idols as that word is used after the captivity, but there are other kinds of gods whom one might worship. Paul says that covetousness is idolatry (Col 3:5), and the Jews were cer- tainly covetous. And Jesus compared mammon (a word meaning riches) to a god (Mat 6:24). Hence the god these Jews had married was doubtless the god of mammon or riches as we have seen by their attachment to their wealth.

Verse 12

Mal 2:12. Master means the man who originates these unlawful practices and scholar means the one who cooperates by using them and both classes were to be condemned.

Verse 13

Mal 2:13. This verse describes the hypocritical performances ot the covetous Priests about the altar. All their tears and weeping were for the purpose of making a show. Because of their insincere devotions the Lord refused to accept their offerings.

Verse 14

Mal 2:14. They said Wherefore? meaning to ask why God was rejecting their service. The answer was in the form of an accusation of their unĀ· faithfulness to their marriage relation. The priests had behaved treacherously against the women whom they had taken into covenant relation to be their life companions.

Verse 15

Mal 2:15. Did not he make one? This refers to the original plan of the Lord that one man and one woman should constitute the number composing the marriage unit. These corrupt priests had disregarded that law and were paying attention to other women besides their lawful wives to whom they had promised their exclusive love.

Verse 16

Mal 2:16. Garment is used figuratively and means something for a covering over another person or object. These priests were guilty of violence (unfaithfulness) against their wives, but were hiding behind the leniency of Moses on the subject of tolerating plurality in marriage. (See Mat 19:8.)

Verse 17

Mal 2:17. God never tires in the sense of becoming weak bodily as man does, but His patience can be exhausted. These priests were charged with having wearied the Lord with their words of falsehood. Those words were in the form of confusing good with evil and then implying that God was not just in condemning them.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Malachi 2". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/malachi-2.html. 1952.