Malachi Chapter 1
Malachi, from the Hebrew name pronounced mawl-aw-kee, was a prophet of The Lord whose writings are the end of the ordered "Old" Testament (an inaccurate term in regard to many of the "Old" Testament prophecies, including much of Malachi, because many of the events described will not take place until and after Christ returns - it doesn't get more "new" than that; see also Which 'Bible' Did Jesus Use?). Malachi was active in the same era as Nehemiah, since parts of their books run parallel in describing how the children and grandchildren were repeating the same mistakes that had caused their parents and grandparents to be sent into Babylonian exile 70 years before (see Why Babylon?). The true Prophets of The Lord provided them with a lesson in Bible History, which included intructions in how to properly worship The Lord.
Ironically, it was also in that time after the return that much of modern-day Judaism was born. In their effort to never again face The Lord's wrath for disobeying Him, they created a large compendium of their own traditions that supposedly enhanced their "obedience" to The Lord. The intent may have been good, but it resulted in a large-scale replacement of The Lord's pure and simple Law with their own traditions - the reason that they later falsely accused The Messiah of being a "sinner," because He perfectly obeyed God's actual Law, including The Ten Commandments, in the Spirit in which they were given, rather than mere man-made traditions that the patriarchs, including Moses, never even heard of (see Did Jesus Break The Law?). It was to those practices of their own device that The Lord said: "1:10 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" (Malachi 1:10 KJV).
This chapter of Malachi (verses 2-3) is quoted in New Testament teaching i.e. "9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 9:11 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy" (Romans 9:10-16 KJV).
"1:1 The burden [see Oracles] of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD].
Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?
Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the Dragons of the wilderness.
1:4 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. 1:5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
1:6 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?
1:7 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. 1:8 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.
1:9 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.
1:10 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 [see also What Law Was "Nailed To The Cross"?]. 1:11 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.
1:12 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.
1:13 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. 1:14 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." (Malachi 1:1-14 KJV)
Malachi Chapter 2
The reprimand to the religious leaders of the return was just as stark as earlier prophets gave to those before the fall to Babylon e.g. "2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart" (Malachi 2:1-2 KJV). They were at risk again.
"2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart [see A Pure Heart].
2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. 2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant [see Why A New Covenant?] might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant [see Covenant and Testament] of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. (Malachi 2:1-9 KJV)
2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" (Malachi 2:10 KJV) is profoundly ironic; many of them rejected the long-awaited Christ when He came, while claiming to worship and obey the Creator and Lord of the Exodus - despite the reality that Christ was both (see Christ The Creator and Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?).
2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
2:11 Judah [see Israelite Monarchy - The Southern Kingdom] hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. 2:12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.
2:13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed [see Thou shalt not commit adultery to understand the ultimate spiritual purpose of the Commandment. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. (Malachi 2:10-16 KJV)
The people of Judah were and are not unique in their replacing their own traditions for The Lord's pure Truth. Millions of Christian-professing people do it even more (see I Did It My Way), even by wickedly saying that there is no need to obey The Lord (see Grace Into Licentiousness).
2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" (Malachi 2:17 KJV)
Malachi Chapter 3
"3:1 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" (Malachi 3:1 KJV) is obviously a prophecy of the yet-future that refers to much more than just a physical Temple (see Physical and Spiritual Temples).
"3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger [see The Elijah To Come], 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.
3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire [see also Baptism Of Fire], and like fullers' soap: 3:3 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. 3:4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment [see When Will You Be Judged?]; 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. (Malachi 3:1-5 KJV)
Some regard the failure to help to support the work of The Lord's ministry as a direct violation of the Commandment against theft (see Thou shalt not steal). How? "3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings" (Malachi 3:8 KJV).
3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 3:7 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?
3:8 Will a man rob God?
Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 3:10 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. 3:11 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. 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD.
Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
3:14 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? 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
3:16 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.
3:17 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. 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Malachi 3:6-18 KJV)
Fact Finder: What was the Christian significance of the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, facing east?
See Why Did They Face East?