King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Malachi 1

The ingratitude of Israel. (1-5) They are careless in God’s institutions. (6-14)

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The ingratitude of Israel

1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.

5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

They are careless in God’s institutions

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, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it 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.

9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.

10 Who is there even among you 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.

11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be 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.

12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.

13 Ye said also, Behold, what a 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.

14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock 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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Malachias, “the angel of the Lord.” S. Jerom always reads Malachi, “my angel.” Sept. “his angel;” whence Origen infers, that this was an angel incarnate. C.

Ver. 2. Loved us. So they thought, (Theod.) and perhaps spoke. H. — Jacob. I have preferred his posterity, to make them my chosen people, and to load them with my blessings, without any merit on their part, and though they have been always ungrateful; whilst I have rejected Esau, and executed severe judgments upon his posterity. Not that God punished Esau or his posterity beyond their deserts, but that by his free election and grace he loved Jacob, and favoured his posterity above their deserts. See the annotations upon Rom. ix. Ch. — Neither deserved any thing. God’s choice was gratuitous, both with respect to the fathers and their offspring. W.

Ver. 3. Esau, perceiving the evil which was already in him, and would appear afterwards; (S. Jer. and Theod.) or rather he was a figure of the reprobate, though not of course one himself. S. Aug. — A person is said to hate what he loves less. Esau’s privileges were transferred to his brother, who enjoyed a much finer country, and was chosen for God’s peculiar inheritance. C. — Temporal blessings are here specified. — Dragons. Sept. “houses;” so that they shall be deserted. H. — Edom was ravaged by Nabuchodonosor. The people retired into the cities, from which the Jews were driven. Yet afterwards they rebuilt their own habitations.

Ver. 4. Down, by the Machabees, who forced the people to receive circumcision. 1 Mac. v. 3. C. — At that time the Jews were more pious, and glorified God. H. — Ever. God’s gratuitous love appears in his leaving Edom in captivity, and restoring the Jews. W.

Ver. 6. Father. God sometimes took this title. Ex. iv. 32. But he was oftener represented as a master; and the old law was a law of fear. C. — Servant et mertuunt jus. Juv. xiv.

Ver. 7. Bread, including all the victims, &c. Lev. iii. 11. Num. xxviii. 2. C. — By vile presents they shew their contempt of God. W.

Ver. 8. Lame. The victims must be without defect. Lev. xxii. 21. Those of the Jews were also rendered inadmissible by their evil dispositions. Agg. ii. 14. It is surprising, that after such scourges they should not have been more upon their guard. The negligence of the sacred ministers, is a sure sign of faith being extinct. C. — Pagans often thus treated thier idols. Clem. Strom. vi. — Prince: the governor sent by the Persians. If you dare not make such presents to men of eminence, how shall I accept them? C. — How dare you offer them to me? W.

Ver. 10. Gratis? Are you not well paid? Why then perform you not your duty exactly? C. — Sept. “Wherefore also among you shall the doors be shut, and my altar is not enkindled for nought,” (H.) as if God menaced the Jews with the rejection of the temple, as the sequel does. C. — Pleasure. Many other prophets had foretold the reprobation of the synagogue, but none more plainly. The reason is also assigned, viz. the ingratitude and repeated sins of the people, on which account the Gentiles of all countries shall be chosen. W.

Ver. 11. Sacrifice. Prot. “incense.” H. — Clean oblation. The precious body and blood of Christ in the eucharistic sacrifice. Ch. — This is denoted by the very word mincha, the offering of flour and wine. C. See S. Just. dial. S. Iræn.iv. 32. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 35. — “We pollute this bread, that is the body of Christ, when we approach the altar unworthily.” S. Jer. v. 7. — This sacrifice is clean. Trid. xxii. C. i. M. — It is offered daily throughout the world. The Jews see the completion of this prediction, and are vexed; they strive to elude its force. Though enemies, they bear about these proofs of our faith, and of their own condemnation. C. — God not only changed his people, but instituted a better sacrifice. Instead of the former needy elements, (Gal. iv.) which were often defiled by the sins of the offerers, He instituted the sacrifice of his own Body and Blood, under the appearance of bread and wine, as S. Chrys. (in Ps. xcv.) Theod. &c. prove against all opponents. A sacrifice different from any offered as many have demonstrated. W. — Christ’s bloody sacrifice on the cross was performed on Calvary, and not among the Gentiles. What sacrifice can Protestants now produce? H.

Ver. 12. It. The priests complain that ll is burnt, (Grot.) or rather they treat sacred things with contempt. C. — They falsely pretend that they give their best, being poor. M.

Ver. 13. Behold of our labour, &c. You pretended labour and weariness, when you brought your offering; and so made it of no value, by offering it with an evil mind. Moreover, what you offered was both defective in itself, and gotten by rapine and extortion. Ch. — These were two defects. W. — Heb. “what fatigue, or if we change one letter, and read (C.) mothlaé, (H.) it stinks, and you.” &c. Some copies of Sept. Arab. &c. “I blew them away,” with disgust. — Rapine. Eccli. xxxiv. 24. — Offering. Mincha, v. 11. C. — Such victims and presents as are lame or strange, are rejected. Pliny viii. 45.

Ver. 14. Male. So better things are styled mascula thura. Virg. Pliny xii. 14. — It was unlawful to offer a female by vow, but not out of devotion. Lev. xxii. 18. 23. C. — King. So the Persian monarchs were called. — Dreadful. Gr. “Epiphanes.” H.