King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Malachi 3

The coming of Christ. (1-6) The Jews reproved for their corruptions. (7-12) God’s care of his people; The distinction between the righteous and the wicked. (13-18)

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The coming of Christ

1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

The Jews reproved for their corruptions

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

God’s care of his people; The distinction between the righteous and the wicked

13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. My angel, viz. John the Baptist, the messenger of God, and forerunner of Christ. Ch. — His purity and office procure him this title. W. — Afterwards Christ himself shall come, for the ruin and for the resurrection of many. Lu. ii. 34. Hence threats and promises are intermixed. The evangelists read his face, making the Father speak, whereas the Son is introduced by the prophet, who however presently changes the person. It is all the same which person of the blessed Trinity speaks, as all act together. C. — Testament. The Messias, the mediator of the covenant with mankind, (W.) with Abraham, and Moses. The latter calls him the prophet; (Deut. xviii. 18.) and Zacharias, alluding to this text, explains angel in the same sense. Lu. i. 76. — Temple. The ancient Jews were convinced that the Messias would come to the temple of Zorobabel, and be its chief glory. Agg. ii. 8. C. — Their descendants put off the coming for some long time, though the prophet says presently, or on a sudden. S. Jer. Basnage vi. 26. — Some take this temple to be the womb of the bless Virgin. S. Cyr. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 35. C. — The Baptist was conceived, born, and preached first; and shortly after Christ appeared. W.

Ver. 2. Coming. This may be explained of the Baptist, (Lu. iii. 7.) or of the second coming of Christ; though his first coming shewed the hypocrisy of the Jews. They would not acknowledge him, but sought his death, and brought on their own condemnation. C. — Fuller’s. Sept. “washers’ herb.” Borith is found in all the low places of Palestine, (S. Jer.) and probably denotes soda, (Jer. ii. 22. C.) or fullers’ earth. H. — Christ purified the religion of the Jews, or did what was requisite for that purpose. The people would not obey. Yet he established his Church in all purity.

Ver. 3. Justice. This is spoken of the Christian priesthood, which far excels that of Levi, Heb. v. and vii. &c. C. — Many Jewish priests embraced the gospel. Acts vi. 7. H.

Ver. 4. Years. So in the mass we beg that God would receive the sacrifice, “as he received the presents of Abel.” M.

Ver. 5. Judgment. He has answered (v. 1, 2) the complaint of the Jews. C. ii. 17. H. — This he does here (M.) more pointedly. H. — Christ condemned the world, as his spirit did likewise. Jo. xvi. 8. He made an example of Jerusalem, which shewed that he would not leave crimes unpunished. We may also understand this of his last coming. C. — God threatens to punish even secret sins, which are know to him alone. W.

Ver. 6. Change. Heb. also, (H.) “hate or recommence.” I do not strike the fallen. Did I spare Sennacherib? &c. Have I not protected the posterity of Jacob? How then can you say that I am indifferent about human affairs? C. — Consumed. Sept. “you depart not from the sins of your fathers. You have rejected my,” &c.

Ver. 8. Afflict. Lit. “pierce.” Sept. “supplant,” (H.) or kick at. 1 K. ii. 29. But the term applied to Heli is different. Here it signifies to nail or irritate. C. — Tithes: the payment is most strictly commanded. W.

Ver. 9. Want. Heb. “malediction.” S. Jerom specifies the kind. C. — Sept. “and you obstinately turn away your eyes, and supplant me,” &c. H.

Ver. 10. Heaven; copious showers. — Blessing; fertility.

Ver. 11. Devour; locusts and other vermin. M. — Malachias came later than Aggeus, and probably speaks of a different famine, to which the Jews were exposed for neglecting to pay tithes. C. — How many now work on holydays, as if all depended on their labour and not on God’s blessing! H.

Ver. 14. Vain. Murmuring against God is blasphemous and unsufferable. When the Jews were punished by famine, for neglecting to pay tithes, they laid the blame on God, as if he took more care of other nations which had abundance. W. — Sorrowful: “humbled.” Chal. “in mourning.” Jun. — But is seems to denote downcast countenances, which our Saviour orders his disciples not to affect. Mat. vi. 16. C.

Ver. 15. Proud. Sept. “strange.” H. — Z has been take for u.Built up: have a numerous family, (C.) and abundance. — Tempted. Sept. “resisted.”

Ver. 16. Then. Grabe changes tauta, these things, into tote, then. The Sept. make the pious express the former sentiments. H. — David, Jeremias, &c. had experienced such anxiety. Ps. lxxii. 2. C. — According to the Heb. &c. the just hearing such blasphemies, doubt not but God will mark them in the book (H.) of his justice, and punish them.

Ver. 17. Possession; (peculium) the property of a slave. C. — Such look upon the smallest things with eagerness. Heb. segula, (H.) means some precious thing. C. — Spare. Sept. “chose,” &c. H.