Warning to the Priests
1“Therefore, this decree2:1 Nah 1:14 is for you priests:
2If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart2:2 Is 42:25; 57:1; Jr 12:11 to honor my name,” says the Lord of Armies, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings.2:2 Dt 28:20; Pr 3:33; 28:27; Mal 3:9 In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.
3“Look, I am going to rebuke your descendants,2:3 Hs 4:6–8 and I will spread animal waste2:3 Dung or entrails over your faces, the waste from your festival sacrifices,2:3 Ex 29:14; Lv 16:27 and you will be taken away with it.
4Then you will know that I sent you this decree, so that my covenant with Levi2:4 Nm 25:11–13; Dt 10:8; 33:8–11; Neh 13:29; Jr 33:17–22 may continue,” says the Lord of Armies.
5“My covenant with him was one of life and peace,2:5 1Sm 25:6; Pr 3:2 and I gave these to him; it called for reverence, and he revered me and stood in awe of my name.2:5 Mal 1:6
6True instruction was in his mouth, and nothing wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me2:6 Gn 5:22,24; 6:9; Mc 6:8 in peace and integrity and turned many from iniquity.2:6 Is 53:6; Jr 23:22; Ezk 3:19–20
7For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should desire instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of Armies.2:7 2Ch 36:15–16; Hg 1:13
8“You, on the other hand, have turned from the way.2:8 Ex 32:8; Dt 31:29; Mal 3:7 You have caused many to stumble2:8 Pr 4:16; Is 8:14–15; Hs 14:1 by your instruction. You have violated2:8 Lit corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of Armies.
9“So I in turn have made you despised2:9 Mal 1:6–7 and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping my ways but are showing partiality in your instruction.”2:9 Lv 19:15; Dt 10:17; Ps 82:2; Mt 22:16; 1Tm 5:21; Jms 2:1,9
Judah’s Marital Unfaithfulness
10Don’t all of us have one Father?2:10 Ex 4:22–23; Is 63:16; Hs 11:1; Mal 1:6; Jn 8:41 Didn’t one God create us?2:10 Dt 32:6; Is 43:1–7; 64:8 Why then do we act treacherously against one another,2:10 Ex 21:8; Jdg 9:23; Jb 6:15; Is 21:2; Jr 3:20 profaning2:10 Nm 30:2; Ps 55:20; 89:34; Mal 1:12 the covenant of our ancestors?2:10 1Kg 8:21
11Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable2:11 Lv 18:22–30; Ezr 9:1–14; Neh 13:4–9 act has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned2:11 Jr 16:18; Ezk 44:7 the Lord’s sanctuary,2:11 Or profaned what is holy to the Lord2:11 Ex 36:1–6; Zph 3:4 which he loves,2:11 Ps 78:68–69 and has married the daughter of a foreign god.2:11 = a woman who worshiped a foreign god2:11 Dt 7:3–4; Ezr 9:1–2,10–14; Neh 13:23–30
12May the Lord cut off2:12 Ex 12:19; 31:14 from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, whoever he may be,2:12 Hb obscure2:12 Ru 4:10; 1Sm 24:21 even if he presents an offering to the Lord of Armies.
13This is another thing you do. You are covering the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning,2:13 Ps 6:6–10 because he no longer respects your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands.2:13 1Kg 8:28–30; Is 56:7
14And you ask, “Why?” Because even though the Lord has been a witness2:14 Gn 31:50–53; Jdg 11:10; 1Sm 12:5 between you and the wife of your youth,2:14 Pr 2:16–17; 5:18; Is 54:6 you have acted treacherously against her. She was your marriage partner2:14 Ec 4:10 and your wife by covenant.2:14 Ezk 16:8,59–62; Hs 2:16–20
15Didn’t God make them one and give them a portion of spirit? What is the one seeking?2:15 Hb obscure Godly offspring. So watch yourselves carefully,2:15 Lit So guard yourselves in your spirit2:15 Ex 23:13; Jos 23:11 so that no one acts treacherously against the wife of his2:15 Lit your youth.
16“If he hates2:16 Gn 29:31; Dt 21:15–17; 22:13,16; Jdg 15:2; Pr 30:23 and divorces his wife,”2:16 Dt 24:1–4 says the Lord God of Israel, “he2:16 Or The Lord God of Israel says that he hates divorce and the one who covers his garment with injustice,”2:16 Gn 6:11,13; Ps 73:6; Jr 22:3; Hab 1:2–3 says the Lord of Armies. Therefore, watch yourselves carefully,2:16 Lit Therefore, guard yourselves in your spirit and do not act treacherously.
Judgment at the Lord’s Coming
17You have wearied the Lord2:17 Is 43:22–24 with your words.
Yet you ask, “How have we wearied him?”
When you say, “Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and he is delighted with them,2:17 Dt 25:16; Mal 3:15 or else where is the God of justice?” 2:17 Neh 9:33; Is 40:27